Petro-culture as an Oppressor of Women and Nature: An Ecofeminist Reading of Nawal El Saadawi’s Love in the Kingdom of Oil
Abstract: Oil, arguably a crucial natural resource for the development of human civilization, has often been treated in petrofiction as a representation of male power and consequently an apparatus for repression of women. Historically, nature and women have been dominated at the hands of the petro-capitalist male societies. In Egyptian author Nawal El Saadawi’s novel Love in the Kingdom of Oil, it is found that the question of dominance over environment and suppression of women are inextricably linked. Oil is a commodity in the narrative which is used in an Islamic Gulf state as an agent to confine women in stereotypical roles and strip them of their unique identities as individuals. The petro-capitalism in the novel also works against creating a sustainable environment for the future generations. The female protagonist here fights for her dignity and right to freedom while facing the harsh realities of her social condition. This paper analyzes the text in order to expose the degeneration of oil societies and offers a view of how petro-cultural capitalism and politics, using religion as a shield, arguably work as key influencers behind the exploitation of women and nature.
Keywords: petro-culture, ecofeminism, petro-capitalism, petro-modernity, Islam
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Published in 2018