Anindita Mukherjee | DUJES Volume 27 | 2019 Issue

‘I feel, therefore I am; I think, therefore I can be free’: The Unique Confluence of Utopia and Feminism in Sultana’s Dream by Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain
Anindita Mukherjee is currently pursuing Masters in English Literature from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. She got her BA in English Literature from Presidency University, Kolkata.

Sultana’s Dream is a short story by Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain which the paper aims to situate within a broader feminist critique in conjunction with utopian discourses, primarily as a cursory reading of the text may foreground such concerns. The paper argues that this collusion is problematic even as the primary text is a Utopian Feminist text from the East. However, due to certain limitations, a carefully scrutinized reading of certain Western Feminist theories lends a unique position to the text in the Feminist Literary Canon, if indeed, a claim for one may be made.
                        Keywords: Utopian discourse, Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain.

“Where I am, I am not. I am far away from those who are around me. I live and move upon a world-wide chasm of separation, unstable as the dew-drop upon the lotus leaf” (Tagore 941-42). These words of Bimala in the 1916 novel Ghaire Baire (The Home and The World) by Rabindranath Tagore embosoms both the transparency and the inscrutability of inhabiting a ‘perfect’ feminine space in a world that encroaches not only upon the spatial boundaries which are informed by socially reproducible gender differences but also make us confront a caesural pause, a significant gap in the in-between-ness of identity formation. Sultana’s Dream, a short story by Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain precipitates this psyche of in-between-ness, a zone that is concurrently marked by the desire of attaining topographical singularity as well as the tenuousness that underlies the foundational framework of such utopianism. This paper would seek to argue that inspite of having close affinities, feminist criticism and utopian discourses are ‘not’ exactly in a state of wedlock and an attempt to read this narrative in such exactitude would debunk and dislocate its situatedness in the feminist universe. Even though the primary text of this paper is a Utopian Feminist text from the East, due to certain limitations, this paper has deployed a carefully scrutinized reading of the Western Feminist theories with a geopolitically refracted theoretical lens differently positioned with the awareness that Sultana’s Dream predates Western Feminist discourses of Utopianism and see how this lends to the unique position of the text in the Feminist Canon.
Utopian discourses are narrativised accounts of a transcendent sensibility, championing the availability of new possibilities in a spatio-temporal setting of imagined realities, where seemingly “eschatological implications” offer an apocalyptic end to “human suffering, a happy ending to a long story” (Goodwin 1). It is very awry of feminist criticism to rely upon the ‘grace of imagination’; instead it would be effective to establish a genealogy of the ‘sins and errors of the past’ so that constructive critiques can help ‘lead us out of the “Egypt of female servitude” to the promised land of humanism” (Heilbrun and Stimpson 64 ). The relation of Utopian fictions with Feminist epistemology is ambivalent, because on hand feminist ideology claims towards improving the woman/ human condition that is far removed from the idylls of utopianism, and on the other hand claims that ‘feminism seems to have at least an inherent [emphasis mine] utopian inclination” (Goodwin 2) thereby grounding its roots further away from reality.
The term utopia was first coined by Sir Thomas More in the book called Utopia (1516). Utopia is a pun on two Greek terms, ‘ou topos’ meaning ‘no place’ and ‘eu topos’ meaning a ‘good place’. This homophonological proximity brings us close to the nature and politics of the utopian site as is presented in the story Sultana’s Dream. Just as Michel Foucault uses the term ‘Mirror’ in ‘Of Other Spaces: Utopias and Heterotopias’ to depict a ‘placeless place’ as well as a ‘sort of counteraction’, this utopian narrative merits critical interpretation at two levels: firstly, as the mirror bequeaths an image, an unreal visibility of oneself where one is invariably absent; the utopianism and its relation to feminism reflected in the narrative can be traced back to this same analogy, where utopia is no real place, but one of suspension from where we can draw certain cues for feminist thought regarding what the image of an ‘ideal’ society can be (but is not). Secondly, such an absentia exerts a ‘sort of counteraction’, from where one can realise the prospect of a feminist subject- position vis-à-vis the illusoriness in the previous case, followed by a resumption or a reconstitution to a place which is grounded in reality.
The narrative of Sultana’s Dream is throughout riddled with inconsistencies and contradictions that create a gulf, a veritable chasm betwixt imaginative accounts of utopian speculation and experiential accounts of realistic visualisation. To begin with, the identity of Sister Sara seems dubious and complexities abound in the way the she is characterized. She is taken to be the harbinger of a world that is “free from sin or harm” (Hossain 4), but her relation to the protagonist of the story, Sultana is a contested one. She acts as an interface between the conscious and the unconscious world; a thread that bridges the contours of utopian imagination and real quotidian existence. Nevertheless her typical characterisation uncovers the fidgety relationship feminism shares with utopian politics. She acts as an encasement that contains the entire narrative in action by playing the role of a formulaic catalyst for the “liberation of the [female] spirit from the pressure of external nature” (G.H von Schubert, qtd in Freud 2). Sultana is critical of her role in the realist setting, thus she remarks, “how she came in, I do not know. I took her for my friend, Sister Sara…” (Hossain 3), implying that her very origination is a disputed one. Although Sultana refers her as her ‘friend’ who brings in promise of relief and resolve, there is to a certain degree a sort of tension that is manifested in the sudden shift of the relative association when she found that her “companion was not Sister Sara, but a stranger” (Hossain 3).
The sudden shift of relationship cannot be relegated as a mere happenstance; since this alludes to how feminist engagement with utopian politics vacillates over several issues. The character of Sister Sara forms the basis of a methodolatry that envisions utopianism as a escape from the constructedness of gender roles, but indeed as Sultana remarks that it would be a ‘mistake’ to do so. When Sister Sara wished “Good Morning” to Sultana, she knew that it “was not morning, but starry night” (Hossain 3), reminding us that she is conscious of her present state of being; the imagery of the night is employed deliberately to state the actual conditions of women in real life where they are entrapped within the dark labyrinth of oppression and discrimination in contradistinction to the supposed ‘morning’ in the utopian land. If Sister Sara is taken to be the means through which Sultana discovers herself in the Ladyland, she is highly sceptical of its constitution and this is evident in the way she ‘inwardly’ smiles. The choice of word is noteworthy, because the word ‘inwardly’ means ‘within the mind’ (OED Online); therefore at the beginning of the story Rokeya through the character of Sultana makes a conscious distinction between the utopian land and the realist setting.
The positioning of the utopian landscape within a dream carries imbricated layers of meaning; firstly the unbridgeable distance with reality is made conspicuous and secondly, as a dream is conceived as a secret wish fulfilment, this utopia within a dream stands as a caution for curbing all elysian wishes that pertain to invert the existing model of social organisation to bring gender equality in the society. The tendency of inverting the patriarchal model into a matriarchal one is a process of inducing subsets of similar hierarchy which
are always in part tied to the repressive regimes they [women/men] wish to challenge…[I]t is extraordinarily hard to think about what we see and don’t see when [seemingly] progressive ways of thinking are continually being stolen and redeployed for the purposes of the preserving power systems. Oppression and repression, deception and silences, stunt our viewings of the present, with no before after. (Eisenstein 39)
Rokeya intentionally places her readers in this dichotomy of preserving one ‘power system’ by discarding the other, thereby offering a glimpse of the avenues in the utopian land only to subvert such magical transmutation by exposing its pitfalls and limitations. She breaks with the utopian tradition in the space of the text itself, engages in the creative attempt of rewriting herstory by challenging and disempowering the existent ways of thinking about women. Subversion of a dominant trope (utopia) in the story may stand in for substituting (his)story which offers spaces for women only in a place that is non-existent.
As Rokeya toys with the notion of utopia, Helene Cixous’s appropriation of the concept of ‘Paradise’ is crucial in understanding the relevance of Utopia for measuring the shortcomings of the contemporary world. Just as a Paradise cannot be regained, a Utopia cannot be materialised in reality, but has to be reinvented and “reconstructed via ‘a different sub-jective economy”’ (Shiach, qtd in Schonpflug 63), i.e., a subjective understanding of unlearning hierarchies should be carried out by keeping in mind the innumerable effects of marginalisation in the society. The desire for a ‘subjective economy’ must be consolidated and synthesised so that the generalising tendency of treating the utopian ‘estrangement’ (Monika Shafi, qtd in Schonpflug 66) as desirable and symptomatic of a literary and social tradition that privileges the position of the women can be avoided. Even when the Ladyland is presumed to be free “from sin or harm” (Hossain 4), immune to the binaries, gender specifications, and hiearchisation; Sultana remarks that in the Ladyland, “Some of the passers- by made jokes at me” only because she was “very mannish”. The word ‘mannish’ itself foregrounds that even in a Utopian space, the essential qualities of men are used as a metrics for determining what a woman is or how a woman ‘should’ behave. Sultana distanciation from the Ladyland by saying that “I could not understand their language” (Hossain 3) is a way of establishing her subjective economy. Her inability or unwillingness in understanding their language (language being the primary means of communication) is a subjective way of dissociating or disengaging herself from the utopian milieu.
The degree of dissociation works not only at a personal microcosmic level, but at a larger macrocosmic realm as well, especially in the way Sultana’s Dream is presented as a scathing indictment of the nationalist discourse where the ‘woman question’ presumably solved by situating the location of the nationalist enterprise in the private sphere. Home became not a “complementary but the original site on which the hegemonic project of nationalism was launched” (Ray 120). Women were perceived to be to locus where the otherwise differentiated lines of tradition and modernity could intersect one another for the creation of a ‘new’ nationalist culture. Mukti Lakhi argues in a similar vein that the male ‘nationalist mind’ together with his colonised ‘self-identity’ brazen further by a fundamental crisis of masculinity reduced women as mere reactants in the cultural process of the society. Perhaps this is why Sultana remarks, “We have no hand or voice in the management of our social affairs. In India man is lord and master…” (Hossain 5). She becomes nothing more than a relative absence, structurally present in the nationalist discourse as a ‘new woman’ but ontologically absent from the dialectical cultural processes of the society. The nationalist discourse has deliberately situated the quest of the woman for alternative existence within the realms of the household or ‘home’.
Sultana also notes, “He has taken to himself all powers and privileges and shut up women in the zenana” (Hossain 5). When Sister Sara tells Sultana that “Your Calcutta could become a nicer garden than this if only your countrymen wanted to make it so” (Hossain 4), she responds that ‘they’ (men) think it ‘useless’ to pay attention to ‘horticulture’. Horticulture though means growing plants, but the figurative connotations may invariably imply how patriarchal politics engage in systematic literalisation of the female body. Conventionally, women have been linked with the conception of ‘Nature’ because of the association with fertility and ‘natural’ reproductive capabilities, and perhaps it is on these grounds that the association with the literal usage of the term horticulture can be ascertained. Not giving ‘attention to horticulture’ may also allude to the nationalist representations of Muslim women as ‘backward’ and ‘victimised’ whose “relation to the category of ‘modern, ideal, Indian woman”’ (Sarkar 49) was intrinsically associated with the image of a Hindu, upper caste, middle class bhadramahila, who were celebrated as signposts of “‘progress’ and ‘enlightenment’ among Bengali bhadrasampraday” (Sarkar 49). Rokeya seems critical of the long standing occlusion of Muslim women from the historical tracts of Bengal and thus in Sultana remarks that “they (men) have many other things to do” (Hossain 4).
Interestingly, in the Ladyland, men have been confined in the zenana in and the consolidated assertion represented in the two phrases of Sister Sara ‘exactly, so’ highlights the manner in which women are restricted in the innermost quarters of their home facing similar crisis and disillusionment in real life. Envisioning alternative spaces through exclusion reveals the fundamental crisis of utopianism in restructuring the grids of social cohabitation and therefore an irreparable and irreconcilable zone of imbalance is created which is not only severed from the utopian but also from the realist way of social restricting. The exclusionary nature of the Utopian discourse as is reflected in the narrative participates in the production of yet another discourse of othering, thereby rendering ‘others’ as unwanted and “historically inconsequential”(qtd in Schonpflug 70).This is relevant to our discussion in the light of argument that develops between Sister Sara and Sultana regarding the “proper place” of men and Sultana realises her “mistake” by saying “you cannot know our customs, as you were never here before” (Hossain 4). She states that “We shut men indoors”, but gives no reason whatsoever for it; rather draws an analogy by saying that as women were shut indoors in the zenana, men are ‘exactly’ tied to the same fate. What is all the more disturbing is that even when Sultana is present physically in the Ladyland, she is rendered as a complete other, who is unable to construe the immense possibilities of freedom and happiness in their ‘customs’.
This distanciation or defamiliarization exposes not only the banality of existence in the utopian land but the inability of utopian politics to render what ‘proper’ places can mean to be. Considering the man as one “who do or at least is capable of doing no end of mischief” (Hossain 5), or one who does not have “patience enough to pass thread to a needle hole” (6) is a part of the discourse that essentialises the qualities of two sexes on the basis of their dubious ‘natural’ constitution. Quite interestingly, the rationale underpinning the exclusion of women from the public sphere cannot be attributed to their ‘nature’, as the systematic oppression of women is a “political issue rather than an inevitable fact of women’s biology” (Moore 128). But, Sister Sara remarks, “You have neglected the duty you owe to yourselves and you have lost your natural rights by shutting your eyes to your own interests” (Hossain 5); debunking the uneven dynamics that participates in articulating gender roles in the society. It is awry of utopian politics to consider women responsible for their subservient position, rather a genealogy of the history of prejudice and discrimination is to be drawn and amassed so that the false delectability of fetching an ‘answer’ to the secondary position of women can be done away with. But, in Sultana’s Dream, the purpose of presenting this inverted image in a utopian land is not an attempt to legitimise the subservient position or otherisation of men in the Ladyland or to argue that matriarchy can bring equality in the social capital but to show the exact plane on which this utopia acts as a subversion of itself. By positing the utopian and the realist world, but by incorporating the same exclusion, the utopia shows the problems and pitfalls of both.
Succumbing to the patriarchal model of restructuring society is faulty, because it is incapable of terminating seclusion, but is potent enough on increasing their dependence on men for officialising the dictum of ignoring the ‘natural rights’ as the supposed cause of female subordination. The architectonics of the kitchen in the Ladyland works on a similar version of exclusion. That the kitchen exists in the utopian landscape is no cause of worry as might be the case with Alice Austin and Ruth Adams, feminist architects who “wanted to ‘throw out’ the kitchen to spare women from having to cook” (Shands 59), but its utilitarian value is underpinned by its very indispensability in the household. In Sulana’s Dream, the kitchen is presented as a space that is “situated in a beautiful vegetable garden… [where] every tomato plant was itself an ornament…it was clean and bright… [with] no sign of coal or fire” (Hossain 7). Such illustrative account of the “feminine milieus”, as Nancy Henley identifies, is problematized in the way Sister Sara vehemently says, “Of course the men have been asked to clear off when I was going there” (Hossain 7).
Critics may unvaryingly argue that the kitchen, being the “domestic core of the private sphere- resembles the bodily spaces of the woman” (Shands 59) and thus the forceful proscription of men is a way of reclaiming or re-valorising the spatial metaphors of femininity. The problem lays not so much in excluding men from the spatial politics of the kitchen, but how the kitchen, which is taken to be the natural place of women or an instrument contrived to domesticate women and their sexuality is seen as a “proper place” for feminist utopian imagination. The utopian landscape which holds promises of emancipation and empowerment reduces us in the closets of the same binarisation and gender articulation from which we were assured deliverance. The idea that men do not or rather should not have access to the kitchen, as is evident from the story is a way of reiterating the patriarchal recommendations of constructing a private sphere that is considered to be well suited for the women. The lack of women performing significant public roles in the story and working only for ‘two hours’ a day can be perceived as an innocuous manifestation of joie de vivre of a utopian land.
Nevertheless, we never get to know of the public roles of other women inhabiting the utopian land except Sister Sara. Sister Sara can be taken as a representative of all the women in the utopian land, but their decreased mobility cannot be kept aside. Although they advance varied reasons pertaining to the work ethics of men who “smoke two or three choroots…talk much about their work…wastes six hours every day in sheer smoking” (Hossain 7), their immobility cannot be justified on the basis of scientific fictionality that reduces their pressure of work, primarily because such fictionality itself becomes the fulcrum of judging the multiple possibilities of freedom and equality in the utopian world. In order to strengthen feminist criticism that relies on building alternative feminine spaces, a simple reversal of the gender roles or a utopian assignation pertaining to who should inhabit the public or the private space is not only detrimental but undesirable in bringing gender equality.
Furthermore, terms such as ‘public’ and/ ‘private’ are themselves constructions and as Michel Foucault argues “power exists everywhere” (93) irrespective of the position in the division of power concerning who occupies the public/ private sphere. Power and resistance may also reside in areas which are otherwise seen as “muted” (Shands 64) or segregated places. These places may have their own metaphors of describing what power and resistance may imply within their subjective economy that are empowering in themselves. Thus, in Sultana’s Dream when men are asked to retreat into the secluded core of the household called the zenanas, the women remarked that they did it “for the sake of purdah” (Hossain 10), thereby reclaiming purdah as a means of resistance. The phrase ‘purdah’ can also stand as a metonymical extension of meaning feminine values like modesty and humility. The exact reason nevertheless remains ambiguous. But if it happens to be an attempt to appropriate or contextualise purdah as a way of reclaiming the rightful control of their bodies in the Ladyland, then the ramifications are very clear. Reclaiming the purdah can also be a way of unwittingly re-inscribing the precepts of patriarchal logistics of crippling both the body and the mind of the woman. Rokeya at times although made a difference between abarodh, i.e., forceful seclusion and purdah which was considered as “acceptable so far as modesty of women was concerned” (Ray 62).
However, in ‘Istrijatir Abanati’ she seems very critical about the nature of seclusion and states:
Do women of all societies live confined in purdah? Or did I say that they are fully civilised only because they have relinquished the purdah? My focus was on the enslavement of the mind. (Hossain 33)
Although power and resistance carries several metaphors, there are certain limitations, especially when the use of power goes unregulated and unchecked. A useful way of understanding this unregulatory mechanism of power in Sultana’s Dream is how women ‘overpowered’ the men by dint of their mental faculties. Overpowering either by arms or brain is an act of transgression. Therefore violence committed must not be made justifiable in any way. That the men in the Ladyland have been ‘overpowered’ is clearly visible when Sister Sara says that “It is not likely that they would surrender…of their own accord…They must have been overpowered” (Hossain 8). By stating what utopia may emerge, the likely tendencies that can develop when the process of achieving complete freedom goes to the extent of imposing oppressive strategies of control, utopia loses its value as an alternative space of freedom and ecstasy. Homogeneity in actions and thought processes becomes the master narrative and eventually seclusion becomes the cause of social evil. The surficial understanding of the evolution of Ladyland into a utopian space and how the “military officers sprang to their feet…to meet the enemy” (9) but lost can be attributed to the fact that the “enemy… was too strong for them.” One may argue that it was the seclusion between the men and the women that forms the root cause of such a defeat.
The universities in which the women were admitted by the intervention of the Queen were kept closed for the men folk, thus the fruits of scientific innovation and experiments remained unknown to them. Had they not been excluded, similar scientific techniques could be used to serve their purposes of defeating their enemy. But, this does not answer whether women could have come out of their zenanas or not. Apparently it might seem that the seclusion of the men was necessary for the increased mobility of the women outside the zenana. Nevertheless the apparent justification might be an obvious impediment in realising the ambiguities, gaps, silences of the text pertaining to how the text carries but breaks with the dominant assumptions of utopianism. The incongruity that is presented is a unique one; monopoly in availing the scientific inventions make the women victorious in fighting with the enemy but excluded men from enjoying the fruits of it. But had the men not lost the battle, the women could not have come out of the zenanas to use the scientific discoveries available at their disposal for fighting against them. So, exclusion forms the central structure of utopian imagination, where creation of utopia for one would be advocated at the cost of subordinating others from it.
Moreover, the reason of renaming the ‘zenana’, sequestered female quarters, as ‘Mardana’ remains ambiguous in matriarchal society, although as ‘Mardana’ was synonymous with the public sphere, the desire of the women to dwell in the public sphere can be taken as a probable reason of renaming. The contradictories and discontinuities represented in Sultana’s Dream reveal the
possibility for imagining utopia’s relevance to – and promise for – feminism: utopia is only viable if it is left permanently open, contested, in contradiction with itself, if it is never put into practice as a static, codified entity, but remains a shifting landscape of possibility. Utopia’s potential lies in its transformative nature, but this transformative quality must be brought to bear on the very meaning of the term for it to be significant in the future. (Sanders 4)
The transformative and the contested nature of the utopia needs to be realised but to consider the Utopian model in Sultana’s Dream as a guiding principle is a potential threat for the society. The manner in which women seem to have undergone through a process of internalisation of the ideals of womanhood designed by men, in a similar manner, as Sister Sara remarks that years after men have been confined in the zenana, they “have ceased to grumble at their seclusion” (Hossain 11), veritably implying how hegemonic strategies of power function in the society and the subordination of one cannot be attributed to their unawareness about their ‘natural rights’.
The manner in which Rokeya reworks the genre of utopian narrative within a dream sequence permeates and directs the course of the narrative in a way that the avenues of social dreaming and its seeming limitlessness form the basis of criticism for the existing social order. Feminist authors who consider utopia as “more creative than critical”, with innumerable facets how imagination could transform “aesthetic reality” (Annas, qtd in Teslenko, Section 6) fail to understand that they are falling in the trap of the universalising and generalising tendencies of achieving freedom in an alternative socio-symbolic order which has no existence whatsoever ; that ‘aesthetic reality’ is a falsified knowledge, a promise of attaining salvation ‘there and then’, rather than ‘here and now’. This is explicable in the way the story comes to an end, where a plausibly open-ended utopian narrative articulating feminine reconstructions of subjectivity, desire, alterity and difference meets a closure, and the protagonist, Sultana remarks that “I somehow slipped down and the fall startled me out of my dream” (Hossain 14), recalling how the entire episode had been a part of the dream sequence.
Having said this, even when she finds herself back in the reality lounging in her easy chair, she seems preoccupied with the same dilemma, with which she was grappling with in the beginning of the story, i.e., the ‘condition of Indian womanhood’. This provides us with ample evidence how inspite of having apparent knowledge about the resolve of bringing gender equality by establishing a utopian world in her dreams. She seems highly sceptical about it, not only because a dream is highly removed from the circumstantial truths of everyday life but also because the distilled prospects of a utopian land is inadequate in deliberating well with the practical possibilities that concern women emancipation. The narrative loses its ability of furtherance as a utopia, primarily because the apparent resolve that is worked out in the form of establishing a matriarchal society fails, and such irresolution is symptomatic of the dissolution the protagonist faces with the seeming resolve of the age old problem. The dissolution achieves a greater degree when the narrative ends not with a full stop but with an exclamation mark, reminding us that the resolve enacted in the utopia is a false one. Sultana stresses the stagnancy of her position that is bereft of any significant shift in perspective and position and this is evident from the usage of the words “my own bedroom” which could very well be ‘my bedroom’ as is the case in the first line of the story.
Critics who have considered Sultana’s Dream as a Utopia or a Feminist Science Fiction tend to miss a point that both these genres are presented by Rokeya within a dream that Sultana saw and the relevance of it cannot be forsaken altogether. Sultana’s Dream not only becomes the title of the story but the central premise of it pervades in the form, content and the style of the narrative. The dreams become a container of all the fantastic elements in the story as well as a necessary border/ break that marks the critical distance between reality and fantasy. Moreover, the dream succinctly carries both the worlds of Sultana as well as Sister Sara, thus, both real conditions of existence in a zenana and the confined state of men in the mardana are contained as well as pitted against one another. The dream becomes an important motif of estrangement, the embodiment of a critical distance that by incorporating both reality and fantasy within it forms a critique of both. In an attempt to render utopia as a model for structuring the desire of a marginalised group, it falls easy prey to essentialisation where the desires of a specific group is taken to stand in for all, where “some women become all women” (Kitch 5).
The intention of this paper is not to argue that utopian texts do not inform feminist responses of conceiving reality ‘ideally’, but to consider an utopia as an ‘ideal’ would definitely mean a serious distortion of the critical distance that should maintained between the idealistic parameters that make a utopia and realistic parameters that can be “framed through an emphasis not on imagining perfect societies but as discursive practices of resisting the present” (McBean 55). This critical distance probably may become the feminist chronotope that radicalises difference nevertheless by acknowledging that a break with the utopian model is necessary. If a truly feminine space is to be articulated in this “epoch of simultaneity” and “juxtaposition” (Foucault 1), essentialisation and hiearchisation; a significant de-sanctification has to occur, where Utopia should be conceived as a tool, potential enough to inform and guide the impulses of feminist demeanour but nevertheless glaciated enough to present us with a void, an impasse in our understanding of the world as it is, a world that is essentially phallocentric and is tainted with erosion of individuality and projection of stereotypes.

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