April 25, 2012
'Why Do They Hate Us?' A Blogger's Response
Mona Kareem in Al-Monitor:
Eltahawy says “they hate us and we need to admit that!” And then she lists more than three pages of recent violations of women’s rights in the Arab world. The issue at stake here is not whether women are discriminated against in the Arab world, as that argument is well established and is only denied by Islamist maniacs. The issue here is: how the hell can those violations prove an argument of “hate?” Eltahawy argues against Arab claims that Jews or Israelis hate us, but she uses the same logic when she puts Arab men under an umbrella of a single emotion: hate.
What should be considered is that we live in patriarchal societies, and the foundations of Middle East-based monotheistic religious texts are established on this patriarchy. Eltahawy’s claim not only degrades Arab culture in general but also patronizes Arab men and women by making the whole struggle for gender equality a conflict between the two sexes based on personal emotions.
Another problem I have with the general speech of “Arab feminism” is the term in itself. I really dislike seeing more than 20 different cultures put under one roof. Eltahawy is not a Pan-Arabist, I am assuming, yet she falls for this very common oriental division imposed by the media and others. Anyone knows how radically divergent the “Arab World” is: the North-African Arab culture is a far different culture from that of the Arabian Gulf.
Posted by Robin Varghese at 12:11 AM | Permalink