Synopses & Reviews
The book explores women's resistance against the policing of sexuality in Muslim societies. Many Muslim majority countries still use religious discourse to enforce stigmatization and repression of those who do not conform to sexual norms. In this context, Islam is often stigmatized in Western discourse for being intrinsically restrictive with respect to women's rights and sexuality.This insightful collection shows that conservative Muslim discourse does not necessarily match practices and that women's empowerment is facilitated where indigenous and culturally appropriate strategies are developed. Using case studies from Pakistan, Iran, Indonesia, China, Bangladesh, Israel, and India, it argues that Muslim religious traditions do not necessarily lead to conservative agendas but can promote emancipatory standpoints.
About the Author
Anissa Helie is a historian and a feminist activist- she is currently Assistant Professor in the Department of History at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York. Raised in Algiers, she has advanced degrees from France and the Netherlands. Her doctoral research focused on European women and gender politics in Algeria during French colonization. She has been involved with various women's organizations and transnational networks - serving as Director of the Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML) International Coordination Office for 5 years. She has held research and teaching positions at the Five College Women's Studies Research Center, MA, at Amherst College and surrounding colleges. Her publications include: Holy Hatred (2000), and Documenting Women's Rights Violations by Non-State Actors (2006). Board memberships include: the Urgent Action Fund for Women's Human Rights, the Women's Global Network for Reproductive Rights, and Reproductive Health Matters Journal.
Homa Hoodfar is a Professor of Anthropology at Concordia University in Montreal. She has extensively studied survival and empowerment strategies amongst those marginalized by legal constraints particular in the area of family law and citizenship, economic penury, and women's movements. She has also researched women in local and national politics, with a particular focus on women and younger people in Egypt, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and amongst Canada's Muslim community. She has published extensively on these topics. Her publications include: Between Marriage and the Market (2005); Development, Change, and Gender in Cairo (1996); and The Muslim Veil in North America (2003).
Table of Contents
Introduction: Policing gender, sexuality and 'Muslimness'
PART I: Tools of policing: the politics of history, community, law
1. The politicization of women's bodies in Indonesia: sexual scripts as charters for action
2. Iranian women and shifting sexual ideologies, 1850-2010
3. Moral panic: the criminalization of sexuality in Pakistan
Hooria Hayat Khan
4. The promise and pitfalls of women challenging Muslim family laws in India and Israel
5. Sexuality and inequality: the marriage contract and Muslim legal tradition
PART II: Sites of contestation: reclaiming public spaces
6. Purity, sexuality and faith: Chinese women ahong and women's mosques as shelter and strength
Maria Jaschok with Shui Jingjun
7. Veiled transcripts: the private debate on public veiling in Iran
8. Kicking back: the sports arena and sexual politics in Iran
9. Morality policing and the public sphere: women reclaiming their bodies and their rights
Homa Hoodfar and Ana Ghoreishian
10. 'Living sexualities': non-hetero female sexuality in urban middle-class Bangladesh
11. Risky rights? Gender equality and sexual diversity in Muslim contexts