My Body Is My Own Business Essay Structure

 

English 10-1

Short Story Unit Activity

“My body is my own business” (pg. 51 –

Sightlines)

Background

The word

hijab

 comes from the Arabic word

hajaba

, which means to hide from iew. A!though the "s!amic tradition of ei!ing women#s bodies in the presence of men who are not immediate fami!y members can be traced bac$ to references in the %oran (&

th

century', simi!ar practices were part of ancient ewish and )hristian cu!tures in the Midd!e *ast. Modern "s!amic interpretations of the

hijab

 tradition ary wide!y according to the particu!ar branch of "s!am and the po!itica! c!imate of indiidua! "s!amic states. "t may simp!y mean the coering of a woman#s hair, or inc!ude the ei!ing of her face and eerything but her hands in a !oose garment which does not reea! the form or her body.

Pre-Read

)!ass discussion of image (pg. 51'+hat do you $now about Mus!im cu!ture  the hi-abThis is an essay. This means it has some ery distinct parts/ Thesis, "ntroduction, 0ody (arguments  eidence', )onc!usion. As you read, ma$e notes about where you thin$ these pieces are. )onsider using a map or graphic organier to $eep trac$ of the author#s ideas.

After Reading – Discussion Questions

1.+hat misconceptions did popu!ar moies spread about Mus!im women who wear ei!s2.3ow, according to the author, does the hi-ab empower women 4.+hy, according to the author, is it a myth that women in today#s society are !iberated."n the conte6t of the artic!e, what does the author mean when she says, “" am not under duress” 5.“7ou can neer te!! with these Mus!im fundamenta!ists.” +hat does the author mean by this statement +hat does her use of irony indicate about the tone of thisessay +hat other techni8ues does the author use to maintain a consistent tone within the essay

While both of these essays touch on feminist issues, they certainly have their distinct differences that make for some interesting comparison possibilities!

"My Body is My Own Business" is a very straightforward, traditionally organized, persuasive opinion essay. Mustafa makes a clear, specific point--that she is part of a group of Muslim woman who are "reclaiming the hijab, reinterpreting it in light of its original purpose to give back to women ultimate control of their own...

While both of these essays touch on feminist issues, they certainly have their distinct differences that make for some interesting comparison possibilities!

"My Body is My Own Business" is a very straightforward, traditionally organized, persuasive opinion essay. Mustafa makes a clear, specific point--that she is part of a group of Muslim woman who are "reclaiming the hijab, reinterpreting it in light of its original purpose to give back to women ultimate control of their own bodies." She then supports this claim with specific points, including the assertion that the wearing of a hijab prevents the objectification and self-objectification of women based on physical appearance. Her discussion is tight and focused, and is built around this primary argument. She invokes a call to action for women everywhere to abandon the slavery to physical beautification that is created by society's impossible standards: "Narrow hips? Great. Narrow hips? Too bad." There is also a linked theme of cultural tolerance/education in Mustafa's essay, particularly when she alludes to the assumptions about her based on her Middle Eastern dress and appearance.

"The Female Body" by Atwood is an altogether different type of writing. It drops any type of cultural focus, and broadens to span a full spectrum of feminist issues.This is a common topic for Atwood, an extremely well known Canadian author. According to the eNotes author profile on Atwood, "Two concerns remained foremost in her work: the self-realization of women and the cultural independence of Canada." Atwood's style of writing is far different from Mustafa's. It is fragmented (each of those numbered sections has a different focus, and a different story behind it). Also, rather than a first person narrative--with, perhaps, the exception of the first vignette--Atwood"s writing is fictional and contains implied messages. She doesn't have the logical, precise argument that Mustafa does, but uses story to reveal truth. For example, the fourth vignette addresses the difficulty of deciding which approach will foster positive body image in a child, speaks to the danger of media messages, and also celebrates the power of young women to define their own standards of beauty. This type of veiled, loosely implied, non-traditional, fragmented but powerful message is very typical of Atwood's style. See her essay "Happy Endings" for another example.

Touch on differences in both style and scope, and you'll have a successful comparison!

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