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Tue Feb 26, 2013, 01:03 PM

Why The Arab World Needs a New Wave of Feminism -- and Who Could Lead It

By Ida Lichter, M.D.
2/25/13

An article in a Hamas daily accused women for spreading a recent outbreak of Swine flu. The columnist blamed women for being transmitters of epidemics, due to their predilection for congregating in groups to exchange news and rumors. He suggested that outbreaks could be averted if men imposed more limitations on women's movements.

These claims might be dismissed as laughable but they are not isolated allegations of female culpability. Ayatollah Kazim Sadighi, a leading Iranian cleric, warned that women who did not dress modestly could promote adultery, which in turn increases earthquakes. A Nigerian woman was brought before a sharia court and accused of initiating a girl into witchcraft. An influential Saudi cleric believes that women who wear a full veil with slits for the eyes still look too seductive with eye make-up, and he ordered that they cover one eye.

Claims that women are blameworthy also serve as pretexts for Islamist extremists who wish to strengthen gender restrictions based on religion. Furthermore, the tribal culture favors boys over girls from birth. Women must be contained to curb their potential for causing social strife, and undermining the reputation of men. As men's reputations are linked to the sexual behavior of their wives, mothers and sisters, "honor" killings and domestic violence tend to be treated leniently.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ida-lichter-md/arab-world-needs-a-new-wave-of-feminism_b_2630093.html?utm_hp_ref=hillary-clinton

This is so depressing and frustrating. The treatment of women and girls is still appalling in far too many countries, but I don't necessarily agree with the doctor's blanket statement that "The (feminist) movement has sunk into hypocrisy and double standards. It has allowed an alliance with the far left to trump women's rights". Maybe the Western feminist movement should speak up louder about women's rights in other countries, but it has not remained completely silent on the issue.


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Arrow 19 replies Author Time Post
Reply Why The Arab World Needs a New Wave of Feminism -- and Who Could Lead It (Original post)
Beacool Feb 2013 OP
niyad Feb 2013 #1
Beacool Feb 2013 #3
seabeyond Feb 2013 #2
Beacool Feb 2013 #4
seabeyond Feb 2013 #5
seabeyond Feb 2013 #6
Beacool Feb 2013 #7
pampango Feb 2013 #8
Beacool Feb 2013 #9
KamaAina Feb 2013 #10
Beacool Feb 2013 #11
KamaAina Feb 2013 #13
pampango Feb 2013 #17
riderinthestorm Feb 2013 #12
hughee99 Feb 2013 #14
Beacool Feb 2013 #18
WinkyDink Feb 2013 #15
MadHound Feb 2013 #16
Beacool Feb 2013 #19

Response to Beacool (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 01:04 PM

1. and the war on women continues apace. thank you for posting this.

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Response to niyad (Reply #1)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 01:11 PM

3. It does continue, and not only in Islamic countries.

Right here at home we are still fighting over reproductive rights.



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Response to Beacool (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 01:07 PM

2. we have it right here. them feminist has brought us to the end of our world. ya, nothing new. nt

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #2)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 01:14 PM

4. I have mixed feelings about the doctor's article.

She seems to feel that the feminist movement has sold out:

"However, the Western feminist movement that was once an inspiration for human rights has become a shadow of its former luminous self, and in its post-modern form, third generation feminists are silent on Muslim women's rights. Instead, they are preoccupied with issues dear to the far left, like radical versions of moral relativism, post-colonialism and anti-Americanism."

Is she right? I never thought of it in the context that she put it.

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Response to Beacool (Reply #4)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 01:22 PM

5. and that... would be the battle we are having today.

you know, the "rad" fems that are being atacked so on du? it is because we are challenging that very thing. yes.... the feminist movement sold out. and yes, we see it today as they are seeing it in europe. and yes, our youth are addressing this, recognizing what has happened and putting a lot of force and effort in redirecting.

it is hurting on, (on a different playing field) just as it is hurting the people/countries being discussed in the article.

absolutely.

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Response to Beacool (Reply #4)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 01:25 PM

6. we have gone ten steps backwards. it all feeds into itself and grows in disrespect.

there is a reason why today the rape culture is stronger than ever. there is a reason why our courts still tell women they should expect no less than sexual assault, standing in a fuckin bar. or gang raped filmed and excused.

we are on a different playing field experiencing the same thing.

limbaughs able to call women sluts

oscars able to talk about actors that bared breasts for everyones fun.... but the actress.

invasive probes to cause a girl "discomfort" cause she dared to get a LEGAL medical procedure.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #6)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 02:18 PM

7. I think that the feminist movement, and women at large, have become complacent.

Some women seem to believe that the battles of the 1960s have already been won and therefore it's time to disband the army. IMO the reverse is true.The advent of technology has also brought the proliferation of free porn. The easy availability of pornography has changed the perceptions of many people regarding sex. New York magazine had a whole issue on pornography and how it affected different groups of people. The ones most affected by it were teenagers. Boys were looking at pornography, and being too young to have much real life relationship experience, they had unrealistic expectations about girls. Some of the girls interviewed mentioned how sexually aggressive some of the boys were and how they demanded certain sexual acts because they had seen them in porn movies.

In read today in the newspaper that Iceland is considering banning extreme porn because they believe that it increases incidents of rape (Iceland has a high rate of rapes).

http://www.metro.us/newyork/news/international/2013/02/25/cold-shower-for-iceland-porn-users-as-government-sets-ban/

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Response to Beacool (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 02:43 PM

8. There was a poll from Pew last year about attitudes in the Middle East on womens equality



http://www.pewglobal.org/2012/07/10/most-muslims-want-democracy-personal-freedoms-and-islam-in-political-life/

Obviously there are powerful and violent minorities in some countries that oppose any sort of gender equality but there is much support among the general population.

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Response to pampango (Reply #8)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 04:47 PM

9. Thank you for the chart and link.

Of the countries listed, Lebanon and Turkey seem to be the better ones for women's equality. Of the countries not listed, Saudi Arabia probably has the worst record. It is ironic that they are one of our biggest allies in the region and also one of our largest creditors.

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Response to Beacool (Reply #9)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 04:55 PM

10. Turkey is not an Arab country

And Lebanon has a significant Orthodox Christian minority.

Also, Turkey has been a strictly secular society for the last century or so, though for some reason they keep electing Islamist governments.

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Response to KamaAina (Reply #10)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 05:03 PM

11. I know, I was just going by the countries on the chart.

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Response to Beacool (Reply #11)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 05:10 PM

13. Then they're comparing apples to oranges

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Response to KamaAina (Reply #13)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 05:37 PM

17. Pew is not 'comparing' anything - just conducting polls in several countries

in the Middle East. We can compare polling figures from different countries in the chart and offer our opinions of why they differ.

My take from the chart is that support for gender equality is higher among average people than one might assume from news reports from the region.

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Response to Beacool (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 05:10 PM

12. Even on DU if you bring up women's rights in these countries you get slammed as un-PC

Or a bigot, or a racist, or whatever...

There is VERY strong push-back on the left that prohibits any criticism of Islamic practices towards women. Even on DU it provokes vicious cultural relativist outcry, major slams, and ugly name calling.

It IS hypocritical. The feminist movement has gone so far overboard in an attempt to "understand" the culture, or they walk on eggshells trying to encourage the women to "work from within" - the western feminist movement has stopped being forceful on calling out the social injustice these cultures impose on women.

I actually agree with the doctor on this point.

Thanks for the article Beacool! K&R!


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Response to Beacool (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 05:28 PM

14. No offense to Hillary, but if a new wave of feminism is going to take hold in the Arab World

I think it needs to be lead by someone from that world.

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Response to hughee99 (Reply #14)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 09:50 PM

18. I agree.

It should be led by a woman from the region.

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Response to Beacool (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 05:31 PM

15. Yeah, like that'll happen.

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Response to Beacool (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 05:35 PM

16. The Arab world does need a new wave of feminism,

 

But Hillary is not the one to lead it. It needs to be somebody from within the Arab world, that is the only way for it to be effective.

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Response to MadHound (Reply #16)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 10:07 PM

19. Yes, it should be someone from their part of the world.

Although Hillary has been effective in bringing attention to the issue as SOS. For example, in Cambodia they have many young girls that were either sold by their impoverished families or forced by some other means into prostitution. There is a shelter for these girls that Hillary insisted on visiting to bring attention to the plight of these children. The woman that runs the shelter said that the girls kept a photo of Hillary in their rooms as inspiration. Thanks to her visit, the Cambodian government couldn't hide the issue anymore.

In her own words:

"I was embraced by children who should have been in grade school, but were instead recovering from having been enslaved in a brothel," Clinton said, of her visit to a Cambodian shelter last year.

"There was one little girl who had the biggest grin on her face, and then when I looked into that face, I saw that one of her eyes was badly disfigured. She had glasses on. And I asked one of the women running the shelter, ‘What happened to her?’

"And she said, ‘Well, when she was sold into a brothel, she was even younger than she is now, and she basically fought back to protect herself against what was expected. So the brothel owner stabbed her in the eye with a large nail.’”

http://paindependent.com/2011/12/alleged-prostitution-rings-at-pa-massage-parlors-targeted/

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