Text Review: Wadjda

This is a movie about a young girl, named Wadjda, who lives in Saudi Arabia with her mother and father. Wadjda is 10 years old and is in a stage of life where she is struggling with her identity. She goes to an all-girls school and seems to be headed down an unruly path. There are many things that show that Wadjda is struggling with her identity like, she has a little boy that is her best friend, she wears black converses instead of the standard black shoe that all of the other girl’s wear, there are many times in the move where she is showing her hair in public and she really wants to own a bike. All of these things are not acceptable for women to do in her culture. Her mother refuses to buy her a bike because in her culture, little girls do not ride bikes, she is told at one point that it will make her barren. Wadjda is torn throughout the movie about this bike and becoming a good girl. She wants the bike so bad so that she can race her best friend. In the movie she starts selling mix tapes and mix-tapes that she makes to try and raise money to buy herself the bike. These things are also frowned upon for women to do. While at school, Wadjda, learns about a Quran recital where she can win enough cash to buy the bike. So, she studies hard and wins. However, the headmistress of her school takes her money and donates it to Palestine. In the end, Wadjda’s mother buys her the bike.
Throughout the movie, there are small instances where we learn different things about how women are treated in Saudi Arabia. Wadjda attends a school for girls where the head mistress is very stern, she expels students for doing things that she deems inappropriate, even if they are untrue. We also learn about how these young girls are subject to arranged marriages and married off at very young ages. We learn about how Wadjda’s father finds and marries another woman because Wadjda’s mother cannot bare him a son. I want to also make mention that this film was produced in Saudi Arabia by a female producer. She is the first female producer to ever make a film in Saudi Arabia. The movie has won numerous awards (Wikipedia, 2021).
This movie relates to our class in numerous ways. It shows the intersectional identities that Wadjda is struggling through with being a young girl in Saudi Arabia. It shows how Saudi women are subalterns and they have no voice, there are many times in the movie that Wadjda tries to have a voice for herself but is shut down. It is also mentioned many times that women are to be seen and not heard. This movie reminds me of the graphic novel Persepolis.

Al-Mansour, H. (Director). (2014). Wadjda [Motion picture]. Saudi Arabia: Soda Pictures 192.

Scott, A. (2013, September 12). Silly girl, you want to race a boy? Retrieved April 07, 2021, from https://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/13/movies/haifaa-al-mansours-wadjda-a-saudi-girls-discoveries.html#:~:text=%E2%80%9CWadjda%E2%80%9D%20is%20circumspect%20about%20putting,calm%20authority%20and%20devastating%20effectiveness

Wikipedia contributors. (2021, March 14). Wadjda. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 23:41, April 27, 2021, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wadjda&oldid=1012059141

Diary of Systemic Injustice: Unaccompanied Minor’s at Southern US Border

Last week my diary was regarding the treatment of women in immigration detention centers, specifically issues with reproductive health. This week, keeping with the theme of mistreatment of immigrants in US detention centers and the novel The Leavers by Ko, I want to bring up the topic of undocumented minors. It has been a hot topic in the news since the Biden administration has taken office that the number of unaccompanied minors in US detention centers. In the novel, Deming, the young man was taken to child services and left by a friend after his mother left him with her. What the children are experiencing today is much different than Deming’s experience. These children are left unattended by their guardians at the Mexican and the US will not turn away an unaccompanied minor. There has been a huge influx of over 10,000 children left at the US and Mexico border in the past few months (bbc.com, 2021). In my opinion the US is doing the best they can with what they have but there are people that believe the US is doing these children an injustice because they are in confined buildings where they cannot social distance, they are not be fed properly, and they are not getting the care they deserve but these children’s families did them an injustice (bbc.com, 2021). They brought them to an unfamiliar place and left them. I understand that they brought them here for a better life, safety or more opportunity but there is no guarantee that any of this will happen. These children have had an injustice on both sides of the border.

The law is that unaccompanied minors are held by Customs and Border Control(CBP) for no more than 72 hours and then released to the refugee department for further processing and possibly being placed with a volunteer sponsor or family relatives here in the United States. (Montoya-Galvez, 2021). Since the influx of children started in January, the process has been delayed and children are being held by CBP longer than the law allows and to some, they are being treated unjustly.

“What Is Happening with Migrant Children at the Southern US Border?” BBC News, BBC, 17 Mar. 2021, www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-56405009

Montoya-Galvez, Camilo. “The Facts about How the U.S. Processes Unaccompanied Migrant Children at the Border.” CBS News, CBS Interactive, 2021, www.cbsnews.com/news/unaccompanied-migrant-children-united-states-processing-housing/

Context Presentation Week 11: Adultery in India

In the story Interpreter of Maladies, we read about how throughout the trip Mr. Kapasi becomes attracted to Mrs. Das and daydreams about writing her letters and revealing his unhappy marriage. This is until he learns about how Mrs., Das had a sexual affair with another man and her son may not belong to her husband. It is as if Mr. Kapasi’s view of Mrs. Das completely changes after he learns about her affair. This could be because of a long-time law that India held making adultery a crime.  

Up until 2018, India had a law that made adultery a punishable offence and could end in a fine or up to five years in prison for the man that was involved in the act and the woman could be punished as well. A petition to abolish the law brought forth in 2017 that stated the law treated the husband as the master of his wife and treated them as an “object” (Biswas, 2018). The petition created a stir and initially was shot down because there was fear that it would disrupt the sanctity of marriage in India. However, when heard at the level of the supreme court, the law was ruled unconstitutional, and all the supreme court justices agreed that women should be treated as equal (Biswas, 2018).  Considering that the novel was written in 1999, it is understandable that Mr. Kapasi is offended by the idea of Mrs. Dases affair. 

In India currently, there are many people that think that it is possible to love two people at once and their rate of adultery among women is very high. In fact, a recent study concluded that 49% of married people in India have had an intimate relationship outside of their marriage and women are as much as 53%  (Jha,2020).  



Biswas, S. (2018, September 27). Adultery no longer a criminal offence in India. Retrieved March 22, 2021, from https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-45404927 

Jha, L. (2020, February 26). 55% married Indians have cheated on their SPOUSES, most are women: Survey. Retrieved March 22, 2021, from https://www.livemint.com/industry/media/55-married-indians-have-cheated-on-their-spouses-most-are-women-survey-11582712240534.html