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Short Takes: Provocations on Public Feminisman open-access feature of s: Journal of Women in Culture and Societyoffers brief comments from prominent feminists about a book that has shaped popular conversations about feminist issues. Liz Bucar. In fact, her recent feminist manifesto is all about encouraging girls and women to do the very things patriarchy has told us not to do and to understand the backlash as a that our efforts are working. Patriarchy sees Eltahawy coming for it. And patriarchy is scared. If we want real change, Eltahawy says, we have to defy, disobey, and disrupt at every opportunity.
We have to do the things we are not supposed to do. Want the things we are not supposed to want.
Be women and girls in the ways we are not supposed to be. She calls these the seven necessary sins: anger, attention, profanity, ambition, power, violence, and lust. Many of the sins are common feminist sense. Women and girls should be ambitious, draw attention to ourselves, seek power. Others push us to think about feminist disruption in new ways. Take profanity.
She is uninterested is self-censoring, or presenting a sanitized version of herself, especially because she knows that as a brown Muslim woman, her profanity is unexpected. Claiming a connection between queer advocacy and feminism is nothing new.
Both camps insist we own our bodies and get to desire whoever we want. They are natural allies.
That would be working within the current system, and that system is rigged. She is suggesting something much more radical: dismantling the ideas and structures that make being queer a marker of difference in the first place. And that means not only fighting compulsory heteronormativity but also compulsory monogamy.
A regime of sexuality in which polyamory was the default would be quite the sexual revolution indeed. The expression of sexuality and gender based on an absolute right to have sex wherever we choose and with whomever, as long as we have consent, not only threatens heterosexuality and monogamy but also threatens patriarchy.
Her call for violence is perhaps where some readers will think she goes too far. To use profanity is one thing, but to advocate for physically fighting back seems quite another. And that is her point. Violence against women is normalized. Women fighting back is not. She tells a story of fighting back when a man recently groped her in a Montreal night club. Grabbing her ass landed her assailant on the floor, with Eltahawy punching him in the face. It might. And since patriarchy contributes to daily acts of violence Wife seeking sex Mona women simply for being women, why should violence be off limits as a tactic of fighting back?
Remember, Eltahawy wants patriarchy to be afraid. We have navigated institutions and social situations organized by patriarchy.
We have succeeded in our careers within that unjust system. We have been rewarded for being good girls. And we are now part of the problem. Young girls seem to be doing a better job than us. Take my eleven-year-old daughter and her friends as an example. These girls demand attention, and from what I can see in their texts, they are not afraid of profanity. And they not only want but expect to have power. They are loud. Very loud. They are becoming the feminist army that will make Eltahawy proud.
An expert in religious ethics, Bucar is the author of three books and two edited collections, including the award-winning Pious Fashion: How Wife seeking sex Mona Women Dress. Follow her on Twitter BucarLiz.
Maria Bustillos. Mona Eltahawy is a heat-seeking missile blasting into the firestorm of global feminist conflict. A veteran activist who has suffered a great deal in the struggle, she is a survivor of multiple sexual assaults whose right hand and left arm were broken in November by the riot police who arrested her in Tahrir Square.
Eltahawy's latest book, The Seven Necessary Sins for Women and Girlsis passionate, daring, scary, and, ultimately, exhilarating; the literary equivalent of being shoved into a cold swimming pool and emerging, not very comfortable, but twice as alive.
The violence of her rhetoric scares me sometimes. Would they change their behavior—walk together for safety, avoid certain areas of town, make sure they were not out beyond a certain time? I am a pacifist and find any talk of physical violence distressing. And they are harming women—so many, and so badly, and everywhere, so that we can't even guess the real extent of it.
We have to think about this. Eltahawy herself pounded some dude in the face after he grabbed her body in a Montreal nightclub; she knocked him down and screamed, "Don't you ever touch a woman like that again! The fact that her IRL response was so unusual is itself the point. I know from experience that men are less likely to mess with a woman who is going to stand up for herself. But also, the very idea of such an encounter makes my knees turn to Jello. It changed how I think about profanity and disobedience and "civility" even though I am a lifelong disobedient rabble-rouser of advanced age.
But if I could ask for more, for the next step in this argument, it would be this: Men are afraid of their own violence—they hate and fear the violence of other men, and the violence within themselves, an aspect of patriarchal dominion that goes unmentioned. I understand why men are outside the scope of this book—Eltahawy addresses this directly—and yet men's violence is the problem.
They've called her a monster, threatened to injure and kill her. And this is obviously projection, right? A lot of men are very obviously enslaved by their own ugly, ungovernable impulses and appetites, and they clearly hate it themselves. I was already an extremely angry old lady, and this book made me catch my breath on nearly every. Maria Bustillos is the founding editor of Populaan alternative news and culture magazine. Jaclyn Friedman photo by Nolwen Cifuentes. Given our current political moment, it's no surprise that the past two years has ushered in a welcome flourishing of discourse about women's anger.
You could teach an entire course on the subject based just on the excellent books that have been recently published on the subject. At the heart of Seven Necessary Sins is the concept of power. There are a couple of moments where Eltahawy loses me. Her defense of retaliative violence—far beyond self-defense—makes me cheer on a theoretical level.
After all, if men feared us en masse, it would definitely shake up the balance of power. But I never got what I needed from her to Wife seeking sex Mona it ought to be a legitimate tactic in reality. She makes a strong case for rejecting male definitions of power and redefining it for ourselves but also argues that if violence is the language of the patriarchy, we should use it to our own advantage.
Both approaches have their logic, but it is not at all clear when each logic should prevail. And one moment—in which she claims a queer identity because she practices polyamory—pisses me, an actually queer woman, off entirely. The liberatory action is the transgression itself—the act of seeing the sociopolitical lines that are meant to hem us in as invitations to trample boundaries entirely. We should love both the sinner and the sinning.Wife seeking sex Mona
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Mona Eltahawy: The Seven Necessary Sins for Women and Girls