Mona Eltahawi Brings The Anger Into Arab Feminism

I always believed that Arab women should be angrier than they actually are. Their stoicism in face of what is clearly a raw deal has always amazed me. So I was very pleased when I read this.

The author Mona El-Tahawi is something of a fringe, but her latest article in Foreign Policy is so explosive and so emotionally intense that after reading it you’ll feel like being hit by a truck.

I wouldn’t have chosen her words or her tone. I accept that her traumatic experiences are not typical of Arab women (and especially Lebanese ones), but I admire her no-holds-barrel tell-it-like-it-is style that is the rhetorical equivalent of burning her bras and throwing them at her tormentors.


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  • beirut drive-by

    Welcome back, Mustapha :)

  • Fadi

    And in response..

  • Mustapha

    Thanks BDB !
    Fadi your link has been in my post all along in the word “fringe”.. :)

    • Fadi

      woops :)

    • http://anon fanon

      To quote from the rebuttal article:

      “All of the women close to me who wear the niqab do so for different reasons. One friend only wears the niqab when she attends protests because she feels comfortable in it. Another friend has chosen to wear the niqab, against the will of her family since she was 14. The representation of the niqab as splattered body paint on a naked woman degrades the decision of women who wear the niqab as a choice.”

      Apparently this woman only knows of women who wear the niqab as a “statement” or a personal “choice”,at the same time failing to mention all of those who have to wear it because they are allowed no other option.

  • Dania

    It’s painfully true! And welcome back Mustapha.

    • Mustapha


  • Bronxman

    Quite an article. Among the many points in Ms Eltahawy’s truthful and deeply felt editorial one line resonated with me. “The Arab uprisings may have been sparked by an Arab man — Mohamed Bouazizi, the Tunisian street vendor who set himself on fire in desperation — but they will be finished by Arab women.” Given the circumstances she is writing about, that would be a case of true retribution.