Book Review: Girls For Pain - When women scream

Ossama Lotfy Fateem , Tuesday 10 Nov 2020

In her seventh poem collection Banat Lel Alam or 'Girls for Pain', poet Amina Abdallah decides to attack the taboo subjects in a male-dominated world

BOOK COVER

Banat Lel Alam (Girls for Pain) by Amina Abdallah, (Dar Kemet), 2020.

 

In her seventh poem collection Banat Lel Alam or 'Girls for Pain', poet Amina Abdallah decided to attack the taboo subjects in a male-dominated world.

The poet used the free form style in her collection with short poems, straight forward ideas, and daring subjects. She pushes the reader to think in a female state of mind. 

Beautiful women

Those who possess vitality

Pay a high price 

Their eyes lose its sparkle

To win a rich man 

Who curses his days 

After a long weeping 

The implied is more than what is expressed in this short poem. Beautiful women do their best to gain a rich husband, who is probably old and cannot match the young woman's beauty  whether in bed or in her love of life. He ends up cursing his days and age. 

The other face of the coin comes in the following poem

Women

When they have money to date a man

He has to be many years younger

To be capable

To swap their moments of passion

For the years of gathering money

That’s how it is when beautiful things come in inconvenient times

Both poems show the miserable state of the two genders when they make choices between materialistic gains versus living a normal life; which brings us to a deeper question, what is a “normal” life? Shall beautiful women stop looking for rich men? Should successful rich women who ignored love in their youth be restricted to choose men in their age category?

No answers are given of course, just questions for the reader or the society to think about. 

The poems develop to shed light on sensitive female predicaments.

Peace be upon us

Blessed be our wounds 

Our ear holes

Circumcision

Hymen 

Pregnancy 

Giving birth

Nursing 

Peace be upon us with the size of our bleeding 

In a male-dominated society these issues are something men read about, maybe sympathize with, feel pity perhaps, but that is the extent of it.

On the other hand, women have to live with these wounds, they affect their lives and the way they live it. Such issues again are eye openers for men or its more like they push them to take notice of what they chose to ignore whether willingly or out of negligence to females' needs in general. 

Another poem expressing the female scream against men’s overall negligence says the following:

Why 

Why does a man become tender only at night

Why doesn’t he remember his woman’s shoulder

Except before intercourse 

Why do men have sex 

Without realizing its value

Amina Abdallah in this particular poem screamed in the name of all women who suffered from men’s negligence and their lack of love. She gives a wakeup call to men who use their women for their own desire and pleasure that their women are aware of their crimes. 

Abdallah's collection has plenty of poems expressing similar screams from the emotional injustices and the abuse that women have to endure. The poet was neutral when expressing her thoughts. At times she is blaming women for accepting the injustices that fall on them without resistance as if it is their destiny that cannot be changed.

In other poems, she is praising women's wombs as the only joy of life, the only place that life can prosper, be joyful and flourish. She simply reminds the reader that women are the reason of life and men are simply alive because women allowed them to live. Women are goddesses and men will never understand them.

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