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.