Hidden Face of Eve: Women in the Arab World by Nawal El Saadawi

By Nawal El Saadawi

This strong account of the oppression of ladies within the Muslim international is still as surprising this day as whilst it used to be first released, greater than 1 / 4 of a century in the past.

Nawal El Saadawi writes out of a strong experience of the violence and injustice which permeated her society. Her studies operating as a physician in villages round Egypt, witnessing prostitution, honour killings and sexual abuse, together with woman circumcision, drove her to provide voice to this anguish. She is going on discover the motives of the location via a dialogue of the old function of Arab ladies in faith and literature. Saadawi argues that the veil, polygamy and felony inequality are incompatible with the essence of Islam or any human religion.

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To mY, horror, she pushed her finger up the vagina and the blood welled out in a steady stream. The white towel bathed in crimson flapped out over the father's head, the drums beat, and female voices emitted the long drawn out shrieks of joy. I realized that she had cut through the wall of the vagina. At the end of the night, in answer to my questions, she explained to me that on marriage nights she was very much in demand. Her fame, built up on her capacity for bringing forth a vigorous flow of blood in Lhe pr<;>cess of defloration, had earned her an unusual popularity and a steady Income from such auspicious occasions.

This is the most damning proof of how inunoral such codes ond standards really are. In history the ruling classes of by-gone days imposed the moral values of nbstinence, stoicism and a renunciation of worldly pleasures on wage-earners to ensure that they were satisfied with their meagre pay, and would willingly join up to fight in armies for the defence of privileges which belonged to others. fu the upper classes, however, all was permitted and the values of il"eed, lust, extravagance and pleasure were allowed to flourish on the misery of the toiling masses.

In addition the price of a session with -a prostitute has now become prohibitive for the vast majority of youngp-len. Se~ual relations outside marriage and homosexuality both being severely condemned by society, young pe-ople are left with absolutely no solution. The only female whom a young boy or man can probably find within easy reach is therefore his young sister. In most homes she will be sleeping in the adjoining bed, or even by his side in the same bed. His hand will start touching her while she is asleep, or even awake.

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