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  • She Says

Women write back on JLF Day 2

  • IWB Post
  •  January 23, 2015


How is it for a woman writer in the male-dominated society? To discuss the same, four prominent Women Writers gathered at the on-going Jaipur Literature Festival. They were: Iranian-American Sahar Delijani, Pakistani-British Kamila Shamsie, Indian-Tamil Meena Kandasamy, and Irish-Catholic Eimear McBride. The writers agreed on the fact that the thinking pattern of men and women is quite different and this impact the way they write.

Kamila Shamsie

Kamila Shamsie

Kamila Shamsie – A 12 yr old boy wants to know everything about a woman’s body. We call it eagerness. Have you seen a 12 yr old girl doing so with a male body? I have never. The 2 genders do think differently.

The question in the discussion was – Can gender impact writing and oppress creativity? Below we are quoting few powerful messages by them:

The Society :

Kamila Shamsie – Its strange, but most men read books by male writers. Any explanation from the audience?

Sahar Delijani

Sahar Delijani

Sahar Delijani – Earlier the authority was mostly given to male writers. However it is now changing. People have now started looking for strong feminine voice in texts.

Meena Kandasamy

Meena Kandasamy

Meena Kandasamy – On that note, I find it funny when male writers are called intellectual for penning down intelligent stuff. While we women are told – ‘Eh, nice language used.’

Kamila Shamsie – It is because we are fighting a very old passive thinking. Our society has been suppressing women. It is a long journey to go.

The woman herself :

Eimear McBride – It took me a long time to break the traditional shackles of the society and write my book. People are still shocked to read about a character full of sexuality.

Eimear McBride

Eimear McBride

Sahar Delijani – I remember writing about women in my book. I didn’t choose between strong women and not-so-strong women, I just wrote about them. Only after finishing the book did I realize that the strength is hiding within each woman of the society. It matters when she realizes it herself.

Eimear McBride – Exactly. While writing my book I could experience the rich reservoir of emotions inside me. Writing helped me explore it and live it each day. However, I don’t know what a feminine voice is. I am human. He is a human. We are all humans, and it believes in gender equality.

Meena Kandasamy – I agree with that. Being a woman never stood in the way of my novel. My book is all about politics where you can see men in power. Isn’t it an example what feminism is? It’s about believing in gender equality.

What do you think if women writers are suppressed by the societal norms and old thinking? What is the way out?

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