Mona Eltahawy: Headscarves and Hymens. Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution

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A passionate manifesto decrying misogyny in the Arab world by award-winning journalist Mona Eltahawy.

Headscarves and Hymens is a clear reminder that unless the political revolutions we've started in the Middle East and North Africa are accompanied by social and sexual revolutions - that have gender equality nestled in their heart - they will fail. If we just keep replacing one man with another at the top without paying attention to what that man and others do to women, on the streets and at home, we will never be free. I want everyone who reads this book, regardless of where they live, to understand that the revolution must cross the threshold into the home - Mona Eltahawy.

In November 2011, Mona Eltahawy came to worldwide attention when she was assaulted by police during the Egyptian Revolution. She responded by writing a groundbreaking piece in Foreign Policy entitled 'Why Do They Hate Us'; 'They' being Muslim men, 'Us' being women. It sparked huge controversy. 

In Headscarves and Hymens, Eltahawy takes her argument further. Drawing on her years as a campaigner and commentator on women's issues in the Middle East, she explains that since the Arab Spring began, women in the Arab world have had two revolutions to undertake: one fought with men against oppressive regimes, and another fought against an entire political and economic system that treats women as second-class citizens in countries from Yemen and Saudi Arabia to Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya.


Eltahawy has travelled across the Middle East and North Africa, meeting with women and listening to their stories. Her book is a plea for outrage and action on their behalf, confronting the 'toxic mix of culture and religion that few seem willing or able to disentangle lest they blaspheme or offend.' A manifesto motivated by hope and fury in equal measure, Headscarves and Hymens is as illuminating as it is incendiary.

Boktitel: Headscarves and Hymens. Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution
Författare:Mona Eltahawy
Bokförlag: Orionbooks

Mona Eltahawy
Mona Eltahawy is an award-winning journalist and commentator on Arab and Muslim issues. She has appeared as a guest speaker on CNN, the BBC and Al Jazeera, and her essays on Egypt, the Islamic world, and women's rights have been published by the WASHINGTON POST, the GUARDIAN and the NEW YORK TIMES. She has won numerous awards for her writing, including the EUROPEAN UNION'S SAMIR KASSIR PRIZE FOR FREEDOM OF THE PRESS in 2009. NEWSWEEK magazine named Mona as one of its 150 Fearless Women of 2012. 

She lives in Cairo and New York.

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