By Fadwa El Guindi
Shortlisted for the Katharine Briggs Folklore Award 2000.
In the Seventies, frequently to the consternation of oldsters and siblings, convinced innovative younger Arab girls voluntarily donned the veil. The move, which swiftly improved and maintains to collect momentum, has sparked controversy inside Islamic tradition, in addition to reactions starting from perplexity to outrage from these open air it. Western feminist commentators were rather vociferous in decrying the veil, which they glibly interpret as a concrete manifestation of patriarchal oppression.
However, such a lot Western observers fail to achieve that veiling, which has an extended and complicated heritage, has been embraced via many Arab girls as either an confirmation of cultural id and a strident feminist assertion. not just does the veil de-marginalize girls in society, however it additionally represents an expression of liberation from colonial legacies. briefly, modern veiling is as a rule approximately resistance. by means of voluntarily removal themselves from the male gaze, those girls assert their allegiance to a wealthy and sundry culture, and even as look after their sexual identification. past this, even though, the veil additionally communicates exclusivity of rank and nuances in social prestige and social kin that supply telling insights into how Arab tradition is constituted. extra, because the writer essentially demonstrates, veiling is in detail attached with notions of the self, the physique and group, in addition to with the cultural building of identification, privateness and space.
This provocative ebook attracts on vast unique fieldwork, anthropology, background and unique Islamic assets to problem the simplistic assumption that veiling is basically approximately modesty and seclusion, honor and shame.