Beyond the Veil: Male-female Dynamics in Modern Muslim Society

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Indiana University Press, 1987 - Social Science - 200 pages
From the writing of her first book, Beyond the Veil: Male-Female Dynamics in Modern Muslim Society in 1975, Mernissi has sought to reclaim the ideological discourse on women and sexuality from the stranglehold of patriarchy. She critically examines the classical corpus of religious-juristic texts, including the Hadith, and reinterprets them from a feminist perspective. In her view, the Muslim ideal of the silent, passive, obedient woman has nothing to do with the authentic message of Islam. Rather, it is a construction of the 'ulama', the male jurists-theologians who manipulated and distorted the religious texts in order to preserve the patriarchal system. Mernissi's work explores the relationship between sexual ideology, gender identity, sociopolitical organization, and the status of women in Islam; her special focus, however, is Moroccan society and culture. As a feminist, her work represents an attempt to undermine the ideological and political systems that silence and oppress Muslim women.
 

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This is a remarkably accessible book, for the western reader who is interested in understanding (or beginning to understand) the dynamics of modern Muslim society - it is written from within, but with the western reader in mind. Read full review

Contents

Introduction
vii
A Note to the Western Reader
7
Part One The Traditional Muslim View of Women
25
Regulation of Female Sexuality in the Muslim
59
Sex and Marriage Before Islam
65
Moroccan Data
89
Sexual Anomie As Revealed by the Data
97
Husband and Wife
107
The MotherinLaw
121
The Meaning of Spatial Boundaries
137
The Economic Basis of Sexual Anomie in Morocco
148
Womens Liberation in Muslim Countries
165
Notes
179
Suggested Supplementary Reading
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