“The Marriage of Feminism and Islamism in Egypt: Selective Repudiation as a Dynamic of Postcolonial Cultural Politics”, by Lila Abu-Lughold, provided for some interesting discussion in our group. The article discussed varying forms of feminism occurring in Egypt, and how some feel that the progresses made by feminists in Egypt over the last century are threatened by Islamists call for women to return to more traditional roles. The author began the article by providing examples from writers of two Egyptian television drama. The author’s are secular liberals that adopt a modernist perspective that denounces that way traditional Islamist’s treat women.
The author then began to examine the views of the Islamists, who are in support of a return to a traditional Islamist identity for Muslim women. There are calls for w women’s return to the role of wife and the mother, and that they should not hold jobs outside the household. The author then mentions how even though women are adopting the veil, many veiled women support women having the same privileges of men in terms education, work, or divorce. This demonstrates that even though women are veiling, they are not giving up on the advances they have made in the past, and they still support women having equal opportunities to men.
The author then questions the legitimacy of the secular feminists claiming that the Islamists are pushing for a return to more traditional roles. She claims that the Islamists have a “bourgeois vision of women’s domesticity” that originated in the west and earlier feminist movements. As a group, we discussed this, and agreed. The Islamist view cannot be viewed as distinctly traditional because it is calling for reforms that are greatly influenced by postcolonial notions of feminism. This is creating a distinctly new form of culture, that we found similar to the reading on technical culture in India. Even though there are cultures being formed that heavily borrow on tradition and other cultures from throughout the world, these new cultures are unique, and are based on the coalescence of many cross cultural interactions