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Anti-Masculinism There is a distinct difference between feminism and anti-masculinism.

El Saadawis book is neither a feminist story nor a feminist supremacist story. It is an anti-masculinist story. Firdauss strength of character is relatively impressive. Her ability to overcome hardship is also quite noble. However, the dominant attribute of her character is her intense suffering. Throughout the book, that suffering is constantly attributable to male ignorance, neglect, or mistreatment. El Saadawi puts forth the idea that all men are evil. There are virtually no male characters, with the exception of perhaps Mohammadain who we barely meet, that put forth a positive impact on Firdauss life. All of the males in this book cause her great misfortune, and El Saadawi attributes this to the vicious masculinism that pulses through her society. The men in this society have all the power. As they pass through her life, characters such as Firdauss father, Bayoumi, Sheikh Mahmoud, and various others contribute to El Saadawis idea that men are all perpetuators of limitation and injustice against women. The male characters try to assert their dominance over Firdaus, and most have success. When Firdaus finally does become empowered, through prostitution, her power is limited. She must use her womanhood to leverage her manipulation. Contrarily, the power possessed by men in the book is not achieved, it is granted. They really do not need to do anything to maintain it, for they have it unless it is stripped away from them. The men are extremely onedimensional, and can all be manipulated through sexual temptation. While the primary female trait in the novel is perseverance, the primary male trait is likely sexual avarice. El Saadawi asserts, perhaps quite accurately, that the first step in feminism is to quell excessive masculinism. A unified feminist coalition cannot survive if it is being crushed by an infectious overindulgent masculinist ideology. Throughout the book, Woman at Point Zero, the protagonist, Firdaus, finds herself subjected to the whim of others. Her life seems to be a chaotic whirlwhind which she cannot command authority over. This feminist story points to men as the perpetuators of limitation and injustice. Individuals such as Firdauss father, Bayoumi, Sheikh Mahmoud, and various others contribute to this characterization. Thus, the question is posed: Do women have power in the Egyptian setting of this book? If so, how do they channel it? It seems that in this society, males are granted power. However, while males are able to accede to power without any work, women must emerge from their initially subservient positions in order to claim power. Firdauss method of obtaining power is an intriguing but unappealing one for most women. She is able to achieve power through her prostitution. She uses her womanhood to manipulate the men around her. In this novel, this is the only way in which women are able to attain power. The book borders on not feminist, but rather anti-male-chauvinism.

Firdauss empowerment is not nearly as impressive as her suffering. Her sufferings are, in fact, almost entirely results of male neglect or mistreatment. The