Written and read by the author.
In November 2011, Mona Eltahawy came to worldwide attention when she was assaulted by police during the Egyptian Revolution. She responded by writing a groundbreaking piece in foreign policy entitled Why Do They Hate Us?; 'They' being Muslim men, 'Us' being women. It sparked huge controversy.
In Headscarves and Hymens, Eltahawy takes her argument further. Drawing on her years as a campaigner and commentator on women's issues in the Middle East, she explains that, since the Arab Spring began, women in the Arab world have had two revolutions to undertake: one fought with men against oppressive regimes, and another fought against an entire political and economic system that treats women as second-class citizens in countries from Yemen and Saudi Arabia to Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya.
Eltahawy has travelled across the Middle East and North Africa, meeting with women and listening to their stories. Her book is a plea for outrage and action on their behalf, confronting the "toxic mix of culture and religion that few seem willing or able to disentangle lest they blaspheme or offend." A manifesto motivated by hope and fury in equal measure, Headscarves and Hymens is as illuminating as it is incendiary.
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