Friday, March 11, 2011

Women Rights in Post-Mubarak Egypt

It turns out that I was right when I wrote that there was a deep vein of misogyny underlying the recent protests in Egypt. The reality of women in post-Mubarak Egypt looks grim
Only days into the post-Mubarak era, many women's rights activists have begun to feel suspicious that the national umbrella they rallied under, whose slogan was democracy, equality and freedom for all Egyptians, may be leaving them out. Their disillusionment began when no women were selected by the military council to be among the 10-member constitutional committee responsible for making constitutional revisions. Another disheartening setback that raises questions about the future of women's rights in Egypt is the return of sexual harassment to the streets.
Any country that does not have a "wall of separation" between the state and a religion that was created by men for men in order to subject women (any of the three major monotheistic religions fits this description) will always end up turning into an anti-women cesspool. A country that has "a state religion" is hopeless. No amount of street protests, revolutions, tweets, and quasi-liberal gushing will help it become any less anti-women. 

The first step on the way towards progress always consists of putting religion in its place and getting it out of state affairs. The place of a religion is in the mosque, the synagogue, the church, etc. A country that is not prepared to acknowledge this is doomed to barbarity.


Shedding Khawatir said...

There is not "a deep vein of misogyny underlying the protests"; there is a deep vein of misogyny underlying Egyptian society, and the protests represented Egypt. It's not as though this is something new that came with the protests. In fact, the unity of the protests temporarily overcame this to a large degree. Your last post did not recognize this, nor the fact that not all Egyptians are anti-woman, and lacked nuance. Now that the protesters have won, and the country needs to figure out what to do next, these types of divisions and prejudices will surface again, and have in other expected ways as well. It is unlikely that Egypt will have the separation of state and religion that you discuss anytime soon. This does not mean, however, that it is impossible for the situation of women to improve, if not as much as you or I might hope. Whether the situation of women will improve remains to be seen, but given the misogyny present in many parts of Egyptian society it will likely take a long time, regardless of who is in power, if it happens. The important role played by women in the protests is still significant; it simply is not enough to change society overnight.

Rimi said...

So, now you do agree there is a vein of female repression in Egypt? Because when I mentioned women simply aren't supposed to go places in Egypt and similar societies if they want to have a realistic possibility of escaping molestation or assault, you felt free to assume I was blaming Logan, not the society she was covering, and told me that the men who did this to her were criminals.

Of course, just as I hadn't blamed Logan, I didn't dispute these men were criminals. I was merely pointing out that the society these men grew up in would regard their behaviour as normal because a woman 'trangressed' her place and 'put herself in harm's way' by stepping out of 'safe female spaces'. I'm happy to see you've changed your mind since.

Anonymous said...

Of course.‘virginity-tests’-2011-03-23