Research Post 9- Western Eyes

After the attacks of September 11, 2001, the American public and the west including citizens in the west became familiar with the women of Afghanistan and their lives. Prior to this attack, Afghanistan was not on the radar of any of these countries. Furthermore, the traditions and cultures of Afghanistan would not have been so heavily dissected and discussed. However, given the political climate came western involvement and western pity toward the plight of the afghan woman.

However, the afghan woman has dealt with cultural restrictions for decades before the rise of the Taliban, before the 9/11 attacks, and before any other western or foreign invasion. The afghan woman has had to survive as women who are sisters, daughters, mothers, and wives of men who have never paid tribute to their sacrifices and their support of their existence. These women have had to endure centuries of dressing as boys as other men to provide for their families, often conflicting and confusing themselves of their own identities.

However, by looking at stories that other afghans have written as they have grown up in the West, it is easy to see how they have furthered these stereotypes. For example the author of the book “The Pearl that Broke its Shell” is an afghan woman that was born and raised here in the United States. With the western privileges that she was handed as well as her western ideology she wrote a book depicting the “bacha posh” phenomena. However, having no actual experience of having been to Afghanistan her storylines are very stereotypical and fail to actually understand the hardships that afghan women face and their families decision to make them a boy.

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