Cult of Masculinity in "In the Country of Men"

1155 words 5 pages
"In the Country of Men"
The Cult of masculinity

In the book "In the Country of Men", Hisham Matar, the author discusses his childhood experience in the 1970's during the revolution in Libya. The time when men overpowered and completely dominated women. The title itself describes Libya as a country that belongs to men where women are used like tools. We see that Suleiman wants to become a man as soon as possible through the story but on the other hand, the story also talks about a female being Suleiman’s mother - Najwa who thinks she lost her freedom when she was just 14 and had to get married. However, after all the development from the 1970’s till today, the current generation considers both men and women equally powered. Right
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Also the only reason why the family to marry Najwa as quickly as possible is because one of her brother had seen her with another guy same age as her at the Italian Coffee shop and so they wanted to get rid of her before someone can spread rumors about them and ruin their reputation. In a family like Najwa's, members cared more about the family's reputation then ever caring about a woman. She remembered her grandmother say to her "If a slave came to propose, a slave as black as this night, I would give you to him"(144). This definitely proven that girls/women did not have any right to speak up for themselves. They were just there to keep their men happy and follow their orders. After the "Black day" - day she got forced to marry baba, her life has not changed very much. She is only there to keep baba happy since he is the man of the house. When baba is away she is ill. She starts drinking alcohol as a symptom of depression due to the freedom she has lost. And when baba returns, she dresses up good to please her man. "During those nights, when Baba was home, Mama dragged her blanket behind her to the sofa" (85). She does not like to sleep in the bed with Bu Suleiman even though he is her husband. However if the man demands something then she could not reject him. She is basically like a slave of the man in the house. For example, the marital bed scene describes what she has to do for her man. "I saw him on top of her....she lay beneath him,


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