Lila Abu-Lughod’s novel Writing Women’s Worlds is a fascinating look into life in the Mediterranean. Chapter 1 tells of patrilineality, or the structure of the family. Males are the dominant one’s in the family, as seen many times throughout the chapter where the sons continuously ignore their mother, Migdim. The author writes many stories of the dynamic of Migdim and her family. A common theme is polygamy. Migdim doesn’t agree that her sons needs more wives, but they see it as a way to show that they have more money. If they can provide for more families, they must be able to support them. She also brings up loosing a husband, and marriage. In this culture, women are married off, whether they want to be or not. Also, if a husband dies, a woman can remarry so she will be provided for.
Chapter 3 talks about reproduction. Having children is a serious topic in this culture. Boys are preferred, and girls are tolerated. If a couple cannot reproduce, there are many measures taken to make sure a child is made, even if it is getting married to another women. There are many superstitions as to why people cannot get pregnant, a child is lost or health problems in general. The Evil Eye was discussed. It’s like having bad juju. One must protect themselves and their children from envious others.
My question is where did all do the superstitions star and why are they so prominent in this culture?