Women in the new Egypt

Discussion in 'Politics' started by olias, Apr 13, 2011.

  1. olias


    this was a troubling article. But it is good to be aware of what is happening.

    excerpt: "
    Wael Abbas, a leading blogger and rights activist, overheard some of the attacks made on the women protesters.

    "They claimed the women are not religious, that they are seeking to destroy Egypt and undermine family values and the sanctity of the family by telling women to desert their husbands," he said. The following day, Tahrir Square became the scene of even more unpleasantness: as police sought to clear the square of remaining protesters and tents, they arrested 19 women, beat and verbally abused them, accused them of prostitution, and subjected several to forced "virginity tests."

    "This is a slap in the face of the revolution, to treat the women of revolution as prostitutes," said Abbas.

    This backlash against upended gender norms, said Michael Wahid Hanna, a fellow at the Century Foundation who recently returned from a trip to Cairo, is not unsurprising.

    "Part of the anxieties on the part of everyday Egyptians is a sense that Egyptian society is fracturing, and all the standards of Egyptian society are in flux," he said. "There's a sense of societal breakdown that's causing a lot of stress."

    And what better way to cope with potential societal breakdown than shoving some good old law and order at it, in the form of a Saudi Arabia-style morality police force? That proposal came from the Islamist group Al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya, which, like the extreme Islamist group the Salafists (who incidentally burned the furniture of a woman they accused of prostitution), is feeling a rush of freedom after living under the heel of Mubarak's boot for the past three decades.

    Even though Mubarak and his security forces harassed, intimidated, and jailed Islamists, their sway over society grew steadily throughout his rule. It's these groups, newly empowered by Mubarak's departure, a possible pact between the Muslim Brotherhood and the SCAF, and, rumor has it, fresh infusions of cash from the Gulf, that activists like Abu Komsaan fear the most.

    "The religious, fundamentalist groups have big voices and big support from inside and outside of Egypt," she said. "

    full article http://www.theatlantic.com/internat...on-egyptian-women-vanish-in-new-order/237232/