A half-man

02-08 El Saadawi
Nawal El Saadawi
b. 1931


My friend is married to a man married also to another.
He divides his life fairly and squarely between them,
One half for my friend and the second half for the other woman.
A married man once came to me and said ‘I love you.’
I asked him what he wanted.
He said a lawful wife in accordance with God’s precepts.
I said being a whole woman I could not accept half a man.
He went livid and accused me of heresy.
Pointing his gun at my head, he said,
‘Death to the woman who does not know God.’
So I pointed my gun at his head saying,
‘Death to the half men.’
So he retracted and went back to his wife.


Translation by Amira Nowaira

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