Middle eastern dating culture
,’ that drew attention to the unequal and precarious position of women in the Middle East and North Africa.Eltahawy argued that in the Muslim world women are treated like animals by men who disdain and fear them.This brings Eltahawy to one of her central points, which is that the Middle Eastern world is obsessed with virginity: "Why do those men hate us?They hate us because they need us, they fear us, they understand how much control it takes to keep us in line, to keep us good girls with our hymens intact…" Men, even "moderates," view the hymen as the source of insatiable sexual appetite that leads women into sin and disrepute, she argues.Because of this, women are told they must cover up their bodies in order to help men control themselves.Eltahawy points to religion as part of the problem with women’s rights in the Middle East because of the role that it plays in maintaining the patriarchy.But it is here that they often face the most danger.More than 40 percent of women from Egypt, Tunisia and Lebanon—purportedly the most progressive states in the region—have reported being victims of violence in the home.
Eltahawy calls the public space "uniquely dangerous" for women in the Middle East.
She later compares teaching in Oklahoma to being in the Middle East where "a similar mix of religion and conservative politics prevailed." Eltahawy is torn between pointing to the unique problems in the region and arguing that that they are no worse than limiting access to abortion or to purity balls and promise rings. At one moment Eltahawy will point to Islam specifically, while at others she claims that Muslims, Christians and atheists all treat women abhorrently in the Middle East, seeming to make an argument that the fault lies with the culture at large, not the religion.
She calls for Muslim and Christian societies to break with tradition when it comes to virginity and pre-marital sex, glossing over the fact that women in Christian societies are rarely killed by their male relatives for becoming sexually active before marriage.
Today she sees this logic for what it is: "To claim that the wearing of the is a feminist issue is to turn feminism on its head." She points out that for many women throughout the world, veiling is not a real choice because of pressure and threats from family, friends, regimes and strangers on the streets.
But the issue of veiling in the Muslim world often overshadows the far more serious problems of harassment, rape, and domestic abuse.