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Feminism Has Lost its Energy

Feminist politics by “Bell Hooks” define feminism as the movements to end sexism, sexist exploitation, and oppression. Her wish was that the feminism definition become common to everyone and all would use it. I also agree with her and I wish as well that feminism definition become common everywhere and especially in the Middle East.  I have heard of the word “equality” and I strongly encourage it, but surprisingly I didn’t hear the word “feminism” before taking this class, or maybe I did but didn’t think much about it. In every article I read, I become more curious to know more about feminism. Recently, I read an article about different cultures in the Middle East, but I was devastated to know that equality believes still do not exist for women’s right which were never mentioned in any of the books or articles that I read.  I was raised in the Middle East, but didn’t encounter any issues regarding equality or maybe I was too young to comprehend such a subject.

Part of the patriarchal authority in Middle Eastern tradition is the dominance of men over women. In Kuwait and Saudi Arabia girls and women are required or at some point forced to wear a veil that covers all their face. Women are not allowed to go out of their house unless accompanied by a male companion. Although, in many Middle Eastern countries young women exceed young men in educational attainment (UNDP, 2011), in adulthood women are discouraged from working outside the home or fear to talk about work with their parents or spouses. In India many parents don’t believe that girls should be educated beyond a minimal ability to read and write letters and to keeps households account (PricewaterhouseCoopers, 2011).  Sadly, in some cultures arranged marriage still exists nowadays and it is the norm in other cultures. Even if the girl is not ready or mature enough to get married, she will be forced into marriage at a very young age and sometimes with a much older man. I understand cultures various greatly from region to another, but some beliefs that have nothing to do with rationality perspectives still exist and are puzzling me. Women still have a long road ahead of them and a much fierce fight to take to reach and uphold their equality. I sometime try to find answers to many questions for the lack of support for women rights and equality throughout the world, I find answers to some but I fail to find all the answers.


  1. Stephanie Jones says:

    I completely agree with you. It bothers me when people think that there is no need for feminism anymore or act like being a feminist is a bad thing. Feminism is all about reaching for equality, and until complete equality is reached, there will always be a need for it. I feel the United States still has a long way to go, but you are right in saying that there are other regions of the world that need feminism a lot more than we do. I’m all for being open and unprejudiced when it comes to other cultures, but I cannot find it in myself to be understanding when it comes to such blatant repression of women in other cultures. It honestly disgusts me.

  2. alemara123 says:

    I agree that women in the Middle East still are undervalued by society. For example, as you mentioned, in Saudi Arabia which is the biggest Islamic country in the Arabian peninsula, I heard in the news that women are not allowed to drive! is this related to Islam? I think that women are being prejudiced because we are far away from religion.

  3. skatiba says:

    Answering your question about if it is related to Islam; well it is definitely “NO”. Actually, all religions value and respect women and it is precisely written in all of the holy books either if it’s the Bible, Qur’an or Torah. Women must and should be respected regarding what religion she follows, and if any individual follows what is written in the holy books, then women’s right is definitely respected. And by the way, some women in Saudi-Arabia are actually organizing and demanding some of their rights; some could call it the beginning of the “feminist” movement in Saudi- Arabia. The problem doesn’t only revolve around driving, but other rights that women been deprived from by the name of religion.

  4. mplowden says:

    I agree with you hear. Many times society tries to down play feminism and women’s rights. It is the same with racism and civil rights. People want to believe everyone is equal everywhere when that is not the case. Great response.

  5. halkhaya says:

    Nice post. That’s true; women are still encountering many kinds of oppression. In many countries, they are still dominated by men and deprived of their simplest rights like work, education and other rights. I think it’s very important for women not to keep silent. And no matter what, they should try hard to insist on demanding their rights.

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