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Posted by Main at 08:55 AM. Filed under: News And Views •
Posted by Main at 08:55 AM. Filed under: News And Views •
Madawi Al-Rasheed, A Most Masculine State: Gender, Politics, and Religion in Saudi Arabia. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013.
Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book?
Madawi Al-Rasheed (MAR): First, the banality of superficial opinions on Saudi women that is so pervasive. In the public sphere, especially in the West, Saudi women are either superstars or victims of their own society and religion. I felt it was time to contribute to this debate from an academic perspective. I do not want to write a book that celebrates the achievement of Saudi women, seeks pity, or even condemns them to the duality of victim/survivor. As a woman with a Saudi background, I feel that we share with other women a certain degree of discrimination and have our own grievances as Saudis. I also feel uncomfortable with the category of “women” as a homogeneous undifferentiated mass. Class, ethnicity, and religious affiliations cut across this category that is varied, stratified, and experiences discrimination in different ways. So the book reflects my own personal journey first, and second, my academic interests.
My previous work always had an awareness of the construction of gender, and the role of women in politics, society, and religion. Since my PhD research in the 1980s, I allowed women their place in my political and historical narratives about the Saudi past and present. More recently, in A History of Saudi Arabia (2002 and 2010), I demonstrated how women feature in the legitimacy narratives of the state and its quest to merge with society as a result of marriage. In A Most Masculine State, I gave this awareness the attention it deserves by situating gender at the center of debates about politics and religion. I have thought about this book for years. It became an urgent project as the Saudi “woman question” has ceased to be merely a local issue and has become a truly global concern. This was an outcome of Saudi internal challenges and external pressure, especially after 9/11, when Saudi Arabia came to the forefront, not simply as an oil producing territory, but as a contested country.
Posted by Main at 08:48 AM. Filed under: News And Views •
♦ Maghrebi women proved they are not a homogeneous mass but are differentiated by class, education, and economic situation.
♦ Saudi women have opted to bargain with the state because they were not able to unionize.
♦ Arab uprisings led to breaking the taboo of women in the public sphere, demonstrating and asking for rights.
♦ The Saudi regime wants us to believe that we only have a problem of women.
♦ I cannot accept that because I am a woman I am only allowed to talk about women's issues.
♦ Saudi youth need to learn lessons from Tunisian youth about how to seek rights by action.
Bil3afya: After the Arab Spring, how do you place women struggles in the Gulf and Maghreb regions?
Madawi Al-Rasheed: The Arab uprisings brought about the well-known struggles of women in both the Gulf and the Maghreb that was fermenting in the twentieth century. In the Maghreb, women were part of national struggles for liberation throughout the anti-colonial struggles but failed to gain rights after decolonization with the exception of some measures under the discourse of modernization and nationalism. They were disappointed with the patronage of male national elites and felt betrayed by the state feminism that dominated the policies of many Maghreb governments. They participated in the recent uprisings throughout North Africa from Cairo to Rabat, moving beyond slogans that touch them as women to national politics, and demonstrating the limits of state feminism under dictatorships. They proved that they are not a homogenous mass but differentiated by class, education and economic situation. They showed diversity in solutions they sought to improve the conditions of the entire nation rather than simply one section of society. They were Islamists, liberals and ideologically non-committed individuals who simply wanted freedom, dignity and justice. After the success of the revolts, they reverted back to their niches as activists grounded in one position, which threatens to divide not only the cause of emancipation but also the nation itself. I hope the opening of the political systems allows women of all political persuasions to voice their dissent without the threat of arrest or even death.
Posted by Main at 08:34 AM. Filed under: News And Views •
Women in Saudi Arabia are often described as either victims of patriarchal religion and society or successful survivors of discrimination imposed on them by others. Madawi Al-Rasheed's new book goes beyond these conventional tropes to probe the historical, political and religious forces that have, across the years, delayed and thwarted their emancipation. The book demonstrates how, under the patronage of the state and its religious nationalism, women have become hostage to contradictory political projects that on the one hand demand female piety, and on the other hand encourage modernity. Drawing on state documents, media sources and interviews with women from across Saudi society, the book examines the intersection between gender, religion and politics to explain these contradictions and to show that, despite these restraints, vibrant debates on the question of women are opening up as the struggle for recognition and equality finally gets under way.Surce: http://www.cambridge.org/gb/knowledge/isbn/item6970134/?site_locale=en_GB
Posted by Main at 08:28 AM. Filed under: News And Views •
Welcome to the personal website of Professor Madawi Al-Rasheed. I hope that you will find the information published here of interest. The views expressed are my personal views and do not represent any organisation.