"Writing is my passion. It is a way to experience the ecstatic. The root understanding of the word ecstasy—“to stand outside”—comes to me in those moments when I am immersed so deeply in the act of thinking and writing that everything else, even flesh, falls away."
-bell hooks

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Support Egyptian Women!

There are many different ideologies that I find are oppressing toward women in Canada. I for one have to be thankful for the privileges that I have been given, and worked hard for, but I know that patriarchy is deeply rooted within our society, and thus, I am still fighting for not only my own rights, but I also have to support other women who may live in a society that is more deeply ingrained in patriarchy. I have been researching an important cause to which this blog can be a part of, and one protest that I have recently discovered is the forcing of virginity tests on Egyptian women who were protesting against their government. These women who not only tortured severely, but, virginity tests were performed, and if they 'failed' then they would be charged with prostitution, and further subjected to hate crimes.

The idea that virginity tests are still performed are not only illogical, but they so ingrained with the oppression of women because it tells others that a girl (girls are only called women in the Arab nations after they are married; thus, losing their virginity) is only worthy of respect if her hymen is still intact. By performing a virginity test, you are implying that a female only has one sole responsibility: to remain sexually silent and restrict her sexuality to the rules of patriarchy.

Now, I understand that the whole mantra of this blog is to help support women in third world countries, and not save them, but I still feel that these issues affect Middle Eastern women right now in North America who might feel that their sexuality is restricted because of these patriarchal ideologies. I feel that by proposing this issue on our blog, we could help raise awareness to an issue such as this, and further promote activism and discussion.

I have posted the link to the article on the side bar. Hopefully we can help their cause and stop this abuse!

1 comment:

  1. Teires,
    I completely agree with your notion of patriarchy being the ultimate form of oppression. I feel that it is very noble of you to propose that we fight for a cause that is currently being situated and discussed around the world. I hope we can raise awareness and for a collective alliance against the oppression that these women are being subjected to. As a collective I think we should promote the strength and unity that Egyptian women have to go against their government. It takes a lot of gusto to go against a hegemonic driving force that has subordinated them for many years. As a western woman, I feel no need to put the “save the other” into motion, rather I agree with your notion of supporting them. Also I think that if Egyptian women can fight against the restrictions placed on their sexuality hopefully this can light a fire under the feet of other women whose sexuality is also being restricted by patriarchal ideologies and practices.
    I think the implementation of birth control testing on these women is continuously reinforcing and perpetuating the double standard. A similar issue is occurring in western nations with the idea of women having multiple sexual partners then she must be regarded as a whore, while her male counterpart can have multiple sexual partners and be regarded as a hero among his comrades. Why is women’s sexuality being restricted and controlled by their male counterparts? Is it because women are often regarded as the iconic symbols of the nation? Is it because women continue to be regarded as the property of men and with that their sexuality should not be tainted? Why do women need to be pure? And why does patriarchal structures have the power to determine who is pure and who isn’t?
    I think in order for there to be success in supporting these women, I think these questions need to be answered and that power relations need to be deconstructed from the ground up. Both western and non-western women should rise up from the ashes and advocate for a world free of violence, sexism and patriarchal ideologies. Every woman deserves to live in a world where their sexuality should only matter to themselves and where sexuality is merely a characteristic rather than a defining quality that places women at risk of violence.


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