Om Headscarves and Hymens
'A ground-shaping book that defines the edge of so many vital contemporary debates. Hers is a voice simultaneously behind and beyond the veil' Colum McCann Headscarves and Hymens explodes the myth that we should stand back and watch while women are disempowered and abused in the name of religion. In this laceratingly honest account, Eltahawy takes aim both at attitudes in the Middle East and at the western liberals who mistake misogyny for cultural difference. Her argument is clear: unless political revolution in the Arab world is accompanied by social and sexual revolution, no progress will be made. Headscarves and Hymens is the book the world has been crying out for: a powerful, fearless account of what it really means to be a woman in the Muslim world. 'A fascinating, can't-look-away, whistle-stop tour of the Middle East' Daily Telegraph 'Brave and impassioned . . . A shocking book, and one that will make anyone who has seen veiling as a cultural issue think very hard about what is really going on' Mail on SundayA passionate and brilliantly argued polemic....When I put down Eltahawy's deeply affecting book, I felt that a bit more Enlightenment universalism is in order. Instead of bellyaching when some idiotic man calls a woman "dear" or a hideous professor sends his student a creepy email, feminists should wake up and recognise the cruel, systematic violence that millions of women still face throughout the world. This is a ground-shaping book that defines the edge of so many vital contemporary debates. Hers is a voice simultaneously behind and beyond the veil. This a call to arms against misogyny in the Arab world is furiously plain- speaking. Informative and engaging, a brave and much needed insight into suffering which is rarely talked about openly. Overall, however, it is the oscillation between the personal and the political that makes Headscarves and Hymens a tour de force...Sometimes we need books that will make us angry enough to want to change things. This courageous book will certainly disturb you, and may make you very angry indeed. But you still must read it. Shocking, heartfelt and well-researched To Eltahawy, the root of this inequality is clear: "a toxic mix of culture and religion", particularly Islam, and more particularly the spread of its ultra- conservative Saudi-style interpretation. In her debut book, Egyptian-American journalist and commentator Eltahawy mounts an angry indictment of the treatment of women throughout the Arab world. Headscarves and Hymens is timely, important and much needed. It should be translated into many languages, especially those spoken in the Middle East. Eltahawy encourages the girls of the Middle East and North Africa to be "immodest, rebel and disobey" and know they are entitled to be free. Her book deserves to be widely read, discussed and acclaimed.