Saturday, November 04, 2006

Worldwide Feminism

One thing I have learned over the years is that it is pretty easy, as an American, to forget that there is actually a world out there beyond our borders populated by people who dont want to be Americans. It is also easy to forget sometimes that while human beings the world over are very similar and generally want many of the same things, others might take a different road towards achieving those things.

Anyhow, one of the great gifts of the internet and blogging is that it gives me the opportunity to occasionally read blogs written by people from other parts of the world. One of my favorite blogs is written by a young Iranian woman named Proshat. It is a blog I encourage everyone to check out if for no other reason that to serve as a reminder that there are good people in Iran and that there are women there with a voice. We live in a time where our leaders here in the USA refer to this country as part of "an axis of evil" and the possibility of war with this country is anything but far fetched. We all need to remember that there are GOOD PEOPLE there as there are good people everywhere.

Anyhow, this post of mine really isnt to talk about Proshat (although she is wonderful). It is to talk about a post I found from a link on Proshat's blog written by a friend of hers, Sunnaz. Sunnaz writes about feminism in Iran (in English!). It is a rather interesting view into the feminist movement in an islamic society.

She writes:
Islamic history offers modern feminist role models (instead of western ones that are alien to them and generally viewed as a tool of patriarchal capitalism). These Islamic role models are used to accommodate present needs.

I thought this was particularly interesting. It is pretty common for feminists here in the USA to assume that our cultural context is easily applied to every other feminist movement in the world. And yet, how can it be? Issues like wearing burkas or wearing the hijab are examples of things most western women simply cannot grasp fully . It is important for us to remember that while we might wish to support women all over the world, we must allow them the space to create movements themselves because such movements will be more likely to work well within their particular cultural framework.


Sandy D. said...

Very interesting links!

A while back (maybe 6-7 years?) there was a really good article in the Ann Arbor Observer. The author interviewed quite a few local Muslim women and got their perspectives on wearing a burka - and many said how liberating it was as a choice to *not* be a sexual object - and it was really eye-opening for me. Too bad that it isn't online.

sanaz said...

dear lynne,
I'm really proud of seeing a link about my post in your blog!!!

Anonymous said...

Dear Lynne,
Sorry fro the belated reply & thanks for your kind mention of my blog. It means a lot that some people like you & grandpa Doral have such high opinion on my blog. & I'm (as Sannaz has mentioned) very proud to see my name in a post by you. Unfortunately, my job account have filtered blogger posts so I can not post my blog from here But this weekend I shall write a few posts. Till then....
Once again thanks for your kindness.