Thursday, April 26, 2012

The debate on misogyny

It's been quite an intense few days, spurred by the release of Foreign Policy's sex issue and, more controversially, Mona El Tahawy's piece Why Do They Hate Us, to which many, many feminists, activists and bloggers responded with justified, and in some cases unjustified, anger or disappointment. This post is not intended to give my own personal opinion on that piece because I think there is not much I can add that has not already been said. And although I do believe that El Tahawy's portrayal of a victimized, helpless woman is becoming exceedingly irrelevant among Arab feminists, I was happy to see the quick and massive response to her piece (which I'm sure would have been otherwise ignored if it hadn't been awarded the cover page of the magazine). The thing is, there is a movement. And that on its own is a wonderful thing.

I am sharing some of these responses, with the hope that this discussion continues and veers even further away from the argument on misogyny. Because we all know that it's so much more complicated than that:

Mona: Why Do You Hate Us?

Do Arab men hate women? It's not that simple

I don't really think they hate us!

Let's Talk About Sex

Us and Them: On Helpless Women and Orientalist Imagery

Hatred and misogyny in the Middle East, a response to Mona el Tahawy

Love, Not Hatred, Dear Mona!

A response to Mona el Tahawy « Neo-colonialism and its Discontents

Mona Kareem: In response to Mona Eltahawy’s hate argument

Dear Mona Eltahawy: You do not represent “Us”

The Real Roots of Sexism in the Middle East (It's Not Islam, Race, or 'Hate')

On "Why do they hate us?" and its critics

Eltahawy's 'hate' fuels real war on 'us'

Politics at the Tip of the Clitoris: Why, in Fact, Do They Hate Us?

Enjoy the debate!


Sara said...

Great post! And thanks for including mine :)

Devil's Mind said...

Nice blog... I discovered it today and browsed a little bit around :)

Regarding the topic of misogyny... Oh, how much I hate that word. Especially that I don't believe it is true. I know that my point of view is uncommon, but I am more aligned with the view that most of society expresses misandry (hatred of men) not misogyny.

But we at least agree that sexism is an evil that should be fought, though my point of view is that men are the ones who are getting the short end of the stick in sexist cultures.

If you are curious about that point of view, I think this YouTube video explains one issue (violence) clearly: [Title: Systematic Gendered Violence?]