Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures

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Representations: Metaphors of the Female Body: Overview
(3,363 words)

In Freud's The Interpretation of Dreams the feminine is associated with Africa, and the sexualized female body functions as a simile for the darkness and the relative obscurity of the “dark continent.”

In contrast, the Egyptian feminist writer Nawal El Saadawi gives Africa pride of place: “our eyes and faces were always facing the Mediterranean, Europe, and America, with our backs towards Africa, towards ourselves.” For her, the rejection of Africa stands for the rejection of a person's brown or black complexion and the attemp…

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Mottahedeh, Negar, “Representations: Metaphors of the Female Body: Overview”, in: Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures, General Editor Suad Joseph. Consulted online on 01 December 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1872-5309_ewic_EWICCOM_0629>
First published online: 2009

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