71%(7)5 out of 7 people found this document helpful
This preview shows page 1 - 2 out of 3 pages.
Brooke GroesbeckWomen Studies 3161.You are Fatima, a middle-aged, middle-class woman in El Nahra, Iraq in 1954. You have met an American woman for the first time in your life, and have come to know her pretty well. But you just cannot understand how she can be happy living according to the American customs she has described to you. Construct Fatima’s argument for why the customs of Iraq, especially as they relate to gender roles and gender relationships, are vastly superior to those of the United States.For Fatima, a middle-aged, middle-class woman meeting an American woman with such a dramatically different culture and way of life can be difficult to wrap her mind around. Fatima has become so accustomed to a certain way of life, so hearing that someone else operates so drastically different in their everyday lives can be shocking and confusing. Some prominent differences between their cultures she is confronted with are gender roles, occupation, and family life. Fatima believes that her way of life is superior for a number of reasons that relate to each of these aspects of the women’s lives. First off, Fatima sees gender roles and family life in her society as superior due to their high influence in Iraq, compared to her perceived low status of women in the UnitedStates. Women in Iraqi culture play a vital role as mother, wife, and housekeeper. (Fernea56) Being such a prominent role in family life, women have great responsibilities such as being the main influencer on their children and even choosing wives for their sons as theyget older. Having such a high influence in their families, Fatima can’t help but feel sorry for women in the United States that don’t enjoy such power. An important difference in family life to point out between Iraqi life and American is the strong and lasting relationship that women uphold throughout their lifetimes. Fatima was taken back by theidea that older women in America are sent away from their families in their later years to retirement homes. (Fernea 185) In Iraqi life, this is unheard of to remove such an integral part of the family from the household.