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Between Rites and RightsExcision in Women's Experiential Texts and Human Contexts$
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Chantal Zabus

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780804756877

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804756877.001.0001

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Silence, Exile, and the Spectacle of the Fashioned Body Aman, Barry, Dirie

Silence, Exile, and the Spectacle of the Fashioned Body Aman, Barry, Dirie

Aman, Barry, Dirie

(p.163) Eight Silence, Exile, and the Spectacle of the Fashioned Body Aman, Barry, Dirie
Between Rites and Rights
Stanford University Press

Aman, Kesso Barry, and Waris Dirie are African, Muslim women who all experienced a form of excision and rebelled against the patriarchal and psychosexual control of their bodies and destinies. All three authors came into contact with the world of fashion, with Dirie and Barry deciding to pursue careers as top models in the West. Aman's Aman, the Story of a Somali Girl (1994) and Barry's Kesso, princesse peuhle (1987) provide autobiographical variants on virginity, defloration, and excision. Using Isak Dinesen's short story “The Blank Page” (1957), Susan Gubar (1982) and Sidonie Smith (1993) both addressed the destabilizing power of female autobiographical self-invention and described blood on the sheet as the metonymic marker of “woman.” In her autobiographies, Desert Flower: The Extraordinary Life of a Desert Nomad ([1998] 1999) and Desert Dawn (2002), Dirie focus on infibulation, silence, and the mother, coming full circle to the girl child who is the “whole woman” of tomorrow.

Keywords:   Aman, Kesso Barry, Waris Dirie, excision, fashion, virginity, infibulation, silence, mother, The Blank Page

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