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Do Muslim Women Really Need Saving?

English 3080J Presentation

Daniel Mulvey

on 1 November 2012

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Transcript of Do Muslim Women Really Need Saving?

Author Lila Abu-Lughod Abu-Lughod is an anthropologist who got her PHD from Harvard She focuses on three basic issues Relationship between cultural forms and power Politics of knowledge and representation The dynamics of gender and the question of women's rights in the Middle East Mainly American Audience Based around controversy of Muslim Women around the War on Terrorism Main Point Instead of attempting to "save" Muslim women, we should understand them on a level that doesn't involve our cultural bias and ultimately our focus should be more on world justice. "Saving" women has been used to justify improper action in the past "Instead of questions that might lead to the exploration of global interconnections, we were offered ones that worked to artificially divide the world into separate spheres---recreating an imaginative geography of West versus East, us versus Muslims." "Saving" women implies cultural arrogance and it would result in not relating with the women and the culture correctly. Relates to... The Complete Persepolis Understanding our American bias Class Discussion Question 1 "As Laura Bush said, '...The fight against terrorism is also a fight for the rights and dignity of women.'" What do you think about Laura Bush's opinion? Is she right or is she missing something? Question 2 "If we think that US women live in a world of choice regarding clothing, all we need to do is remind ourselves of the expression, 'the tyranny of fashion.'" What do you think is the connection between Muslim women wearing the veil and how America fashion leads to how women dress? Does one have a choice and the other not? Question 3 "In other words, the question is why knowing about the culture of the region and particularly its religious beliefs and treatment of women, was more urgent than exploring the history of the development of repressive regimes in the region and the U.S. role in this history." Why did we focus so much on these social issues instead of understanding our role in the Middle East? How should we have approached this discussion? Question 4 "We may want justice for women, but can we accept that there might be different ideas about justice and that different women might want, or choose, different futures from what we envision as best?" Do you think that this is a reality that Americans can and should accept? How do you personally feel about it? Question 5 Question 6 Do Muslim Women really need saving? Do they want us to save them? What are your thoughts? "A more productive approach, it seems to me, is to ask how we might contribute to making the world a more just place. How can we do this as Americans? How does this relate to our treatment of Muslim Women? Do Muslim Women Really Need Saving?
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