Feminist Phenomenology and Empathy in Elif Shafak’s “The Forty Rules of Love”
The gender bias in Turkey is contemporary, yet an unsettled struggle, despite the fact that discrimination based on gender is banned by the Turkish constitution, because of the prevailing conditions, women happen to face domestic violence, femicide, honor killing, molestation and domination. Elif Shafak, being a Turkish-British novelist, throws light on the women of Turkey. Shafak uses experiences of women as the key through which the plight of women can be explored in various dimensions based on culture, gender, religion, race and class. As literature holds an integral part in discussions on feminist studies, the idea is subjected to analysis in various fields. Feminism as a theory came into existence by the real taunting experiences faced by women due to patriarchal domination. As experiences are the starting point, phenomenology is brought into consideration in literature. Although, phenomenology comes under philosophical studies, literature makes the best use of the motive, by the connections it has with Psychoanalysis and Feminism in literature. Feminism and phenomenology are two radically differing areas with different superficial underpinnings.
But phenomenology and feminism meet at the same point called experiences of an individual or a group. This paper strives to deal with feminism and phenomenology through the perspective of Elif Shafak in her novel, The Forty Rules of Love.
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