Chapter

Feminism and Femininity

Viola Shafik

in Popular Egyptian Cinema

Published by American University in Cairo Press

Published in print June 2007 | ISBN: 9789774160530
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9781617970108 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5743/cairo/9789774160530.003.0004
Feminism and Femininity

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The status of women and the issue of gender inequality have been among the most negotiated and controversial of questions relating to modern Arab-Muslim culture. By reviewing and comparing Islamist and modernist discourses, scholars have been able to work out their common undercurrent, often heavily gendered antagonization of East and West, progress and underdevelopment, acculturation and traditionality. Feminism and femininity were first polarized through the idea of female labor. The Nasserist period brought about a distinct, though not really dominant, politically committed cinema that voiced nationalist, socialist, and also feminist interests, in often contradictory ways. Female liberation and the prise de conscience are thus additionally mapped out as part of the nationalist agenda. The French Revolution leaders mobilized women in large numbers to create an “image of a national alliance of comrades in arms, mothers, sisters, and children.”

Keywords: women status; Arab-Muslim culture; feminism; femininity; female liberation

Chapter.  26113 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Society and Culture

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