Woman at Point Zero Post #2
Firdaus gives up trying to become a respectable woman and returns to prostitution because she feels more powerful and more in control of her own life. She realizes she would rather have power than be respected.
Firdaus leaves her life as a prostitute to work in an office as an assistant because of the two words Di’aa tells her; she is ‘not respected.’ Hearing him say she’s not respected embarrasses and hurts her. “A sudden deep silence enveloped the room, but the words continued to echo in my ears, took refuge in their innermost depths, buried themselves in my head, like some palpable material object, like a body as sharp as the edge of a knife which had cut its way through my ears, and the bones of my head to the brain inside” (76). His words didn’t leave her, even after he leaves her apartment. She gives up her nice apartment and life to live in a cramped room with no bathroom. She simply wants to be a respectable woman and sees the office job as the way to achieve this, even if that means she won’t earn as much money. Falling in love with a co-worker, Firdaus puts trust in him and gives him everything. “In love I gave my body and my soul, my mind and all the effort I could muster, freely.” (93). Unfortunately, she discovers he is just using her for free sex. Through all the hurt, she comes to the conclusion that ‘to be respected’ simply means putting women at the mercy of men. She realizes that “all women are victims of deception” (94). She gives up with trying to earn respect in the corporate world and goes back to her old job. In her eyes, all women as prostitutes and married women have it worst because they weren’t as free as Firdaus. Firdaus at least had the freedom to turn down anyone she wanted, and to charge what price she wanted. “I now knew that all of us were prostitutes who sold themselves at varying prices, and that an expensive prostitute is better than a cheap one” (82). She convinces herself that she is at least in control of her own life and destiny as a prostitute. “The fact that I rejected their noble attempts to save me, my insistence on remaining a prostitute, proved to me this was my choice and that I had some freedom, at least the freedom to live in a situation better than that of other women” (97). When she returns to her old work as a prostitute, she possesses more money than when she was an office worker. She feels a sense of power and control over others again and loves it. She can choose her own apartment with her own bathroom, clothes, makeup, and whom she will and will not sleep with. By making this decision to give up and go back to prostitution, she shows she would rather possess a life of power and control than a life of respect. She realizes she, and women in general, will never gain respect by men. When a pimp tries to take over her life and control her, she kills him. Through her many life experiences, Firdaus has grown into a woman that shows no limits or fears and does what she needs in order to stay in control of herself.