“I am a Monster”: Modern Muslim Womanhood and the Trappings of Globalisation in Hamid’s Fiction
Keywords:Globalisation, Westernisation, Muslim Womanhood, female sexuality, Purdah
The present article aims to unravel the complexities of defining modern Muslim womanhood caught at the crossroads of neo-colonialism, westernization, and globalization. Hamid’s fictional portrayal of young Muslim Pakistani women proves to be a crucial site where both positive and negative effects of globalization on contemporary Pakistani women can be understood. Various female characters such as Mumtaz from Moth Smoke (2000), The pretty Girl from How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia (2013) and Nadia from Exist West (2017) come across as bold, assertive, and independent women who aspire to change their lives. However, this change is spurred by the alluring pull of globalization economically, politically, and socially. Thus, over whelmed by the urge to seek glamourous lives, these women transgress sacred religious and cultural boundaries. The resultant specie is a sad amalgam of lonely, depressed, alienated, and secular women. Insights from the theory of globalization and neo-colonialism have been drawn to contextualize the fictional representation of Modern Muslim women as presented by Hamid. The methodology includes a close reading of the selected fiction with a critical analysis of the selected textual lines. Particular emphasis shall be laid on how the scared institution of marriage, sexuality, modesty and purdah are transgressed, reconstructed and violated in the guise of modernization and westernization. This article significantly demonstrates that the inextricable link between neo-colonialism, globalisation and westernisation is proving to be erroneous for traditional Pakistani cultural values.