Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution by Mona Eltahawy

18490563.jpg– But for women, there have always been two revolutions to undertake: one fought with men against regimes that oppress everyone, and a second against the misogyny that pervades the region. –

– Yahyaoui told me … that when she first asked a Salafist member of the constituent assembly a question, he refused to answer because, he said, he did not speak to women who were “naked.” … Enraged at the Salafist’s description and the way he ignored her, Yahyaoui began to undress. Horrified, he asked her what she was doing. “I’m showing you what a naked woman looks like,” Yahaoui answered. –

– 90 percent of Yemeni women have experienced harassment…It is worth noting that nearly all women in Yemen are covered from head to toe. I would never connect a woman’s outfit with any unwanted physical contact or verbal abuse, but our conservative societies do. The extraordinarily high incidence of harassment in Yemen gives the lie to the conservative who claim women bring harassment on themselves by dressing “immodestly.” –

– “Purity culture” is a term I first came across in the United States, where it is used to describe the religious right’s rhetoric that stresses virginity and modesty as the way for women to attain “purity.” I find it very appropriate as a way to describe the pressures women in the Middle East and North Africa are subjected to, and it reminds us how much the global religious right wing has in common. –

– The most subversive thing a woman can do is talk about her life as if it really matters. –

– Women – our rage, our tenacity, our daring and audacity – will free our countries. –



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