Women, Islam, News media
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"Why are women dumb?" A rather intelligent little boy, who had become interested in astronomy, asked me this. I asked why he thought that. He said that all of the famous astronomers and scientists were men. I made a note to talk to someone about his history books and lessons, and then tried to answer his question.
In 1955, Albert Hourani, the Oxford historian and bestselling author of A History of the Arab Peoples , published a short article called "The Vanishing Veil: A Challenge to the Old Order." Pointing out that veiling was a fast-disappearing practice in most Arab societies, Hourani gave a brief history of how it was fading from modern society -- and why it would soon become a thing of the past. The trend to unveil, Hourani wrote, had begun in Egypt in the early 20th century, set in motion by the writer Qasim Amin. Amin had argued that "gradual and careful change in the status of women," including women's casting off their veils, was now an essential step in the advancement of Muslim societies -- and "not contrary to the principles of Islam."
When U.S. magazines devote special issues to sex, they are usually of the celebratory variety (see: Esquire , April 2012 edition; Cosmopolitan , every month). Suffice it to say that is not what we had in mind with Foreign Policy 's first-ever Sex Issue, which is dedicated instead to the consideration of how and why sex -- in all the various meanings of the word -- matters in shaping the world's politics. Why? In Foreign Policy, the magazine and the subject, sex is too often the missing part of the equation -- the part that the policymakers and journalists talk about with each other, but not with their audiences. And what's the result? Women missing from peace talks and parliaments, sexual abuse and exploitation institutionalized and legalized in too many places on the planet, and a U.S. policy that, whether intentionally or not, all too frequently works to shore up the abusers and perpetuate the marginalization of half of humanity.
This week Foreign Policy published a “Sex Issue.” They explained their decision to feature a special issue with these words Foreign Policy's first-ever Sex Issue…is dedicated…to the consideration of how and why sex—in all the various meanings of the word—matters in shaping the world's politics. Why? In Foreign Policy , the magazine and the subject, sex is too often the missing part of the equation—the part that the policymakers and journalists talk about with each other, but not with their audiences.
Sondos Asem: Misogyny exists, but blaming it for women's suffering is simplistic Shadi Hamid: Arab women have more agency than you might think Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf: The Prophet Mohammad was a revolutionary feminist Hanin Ghaddar: We need more badass ladies Naheed Mustafa: "Nekkid Burqa Woman" is lazy and insulting