Fwd: Fatima Mernissi: Scheherazade's feminism

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Abla Triki



Original Date

May 26, 2019


Briefly presenting the scholarly work and literary figure that was Fatima Mernissi. As a Moroccan sociologist and a founder of Islamic feminism, she aimed at re-establishing notions of feminism from within - her paradigm sought to fight patriarchal oppression with (rather than against) culture and tradition. For instance, this dynamic differs from secular feminism, that might seek to fight against established norms by re-inventing gender roles. To change a culture of oppression is ""universal"", but the context in which it is done, and how, is key. Because women in some parts of the world did not yet achieve equality in life or on paper, the fight against culture/tradition may be the only answer. However, in indigenous forms of feminism, and as analyzed by Mernissi, notions of equality are already present and well-established in literary/poetry works. Yet, these canons need to be dug out from the archives, via oral histories and even sacro-religious texts. It is through re-interpretation, detailed academic investigation, and meticulous translations, that Mernissi achieves the latter.

Impact today:

American-Egyptian journalist, Mona Eltahaway, who draws from Mernissi's work (as well as Nawal El Saadawi, Simone de Beauvoir) to fuel her activism for the autonomy, security and dignity of women

Leila Slimani, French-Moroccan: internationally acclaimed author, who reference Mernissi's work as fundamental to her writing, citing her book Dreams of Trespass as a bible

Amina Wadud, American-Malaysian professor (and first American women Imam) and philosopher, worked in tandem with Musawah a global organization working to advance gender equality and women's empowerment in Muslim Societies - inspired by Mernissi's work.

Sources & Future References

Contact Info

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