الآداب و اللغات
Volume 17, Numéro 1, Pages 1-13
Authors : Nouioua Wahiba .
When the issue of illegal immigration, popularly known as El Harga , is specifically addressed, it tends to be stereotypically approached as a male phenomenon. The sex role socialization along with the domestic /public sphere polarization may account for this generic image of the male harag who burns borders to provide financially for his family. Women as heroines of the domestic harem, socialized to succumb spatially and behaviorally to patriarchal normativity, are rendered alien to this phenomenon. Accordingly, their unfamiliar experience with illegal crossing has remained quite invisible within the fields of migration and gender studies. Using Laila Lalami’sHope and Other Dangerous Pursuits (2005), the present article seeks to give a discursive space to women as border burners, and transgressors of sexual and cultural barriers. Female Haragas as a subaltern social category will be explored in light of a postcolonial feminist perspective to analyze how the plight of these women is intrinsically linked to the historical, political, and cultural realities of their Third World realities. A spotlight on the existential conditions of Lalami’s female characters, Faten and Halima, would reveal that their Otherness as a second sex, combined with their socioeconomic precariousness contribute significantly to their illegal departure. Unable to cope with the physical assaults and masculine surveillance inflicted on them, both heroines turn to channel their emancipation via illegal crossing whereby they can attain a European paradise of both gender and social equality. The paper will show that even though Europe turns out to be a paradise lost wherein hegemonic practices are sustained against Haragas, it lets the resurrection of dissident female figures who are no longer willing to bow down to phallocentric rules. In the selected narrative, Faten’s migratory experience as a self-employed prostitute helps her comprehend that her gender is a congenital weakness that may just vary cross culturally. In her new diasporic positioning , she finds herself called to succumb to the whims of the Orientalist agendas requiring her to incarnate the myth of passivity and docility that the neologism Muslim Women stereotypically embodies. Aware of her double oppression both as a woman and as a Muslim, Faten decides to free herself from her sexual exploitation. In the same vein, Halima’s aborted haraga project allows her to reconsider her condition, and cease play the game of sex role imposed on her . Her transgression of sexual and cultural barriers granted her the divorce she was looking for, and thus freed her from patriarchal bondage.
Borders ; Haraga ; Laila Lalami ; Muslim ; Patriarchy ; Transgression ; Women
Said Houari Amel