Feminism | Posted by Alec A on 03/9/2011

From the Paris of the Middle East to Bacha Posh

Afghanistan has had a rough time in recent history. The sudden transformation from fashionable escape for the West to war-torn warlord-ruled landscape to complete Taliban control (and now it seems that the whole place is more or less up for grabs as the current government’s complicity with the Taliban has been revealed) has been something shocking to look at independently of any time period before or after a given moment, or in a historical panorama of the past century.

Kabul was once named the “Paris of the Middle East.” The high society women were very well integrated into European society and many took on French as a second language in an aristocratic gesture to their high-brow city’s namesake.

But the times have changed considerably since then. Anyone who kept up …

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Feminism | Posted by Helen H on 12/30/2009

The Headscarf

Right. Islam and feminism. What’s the deal? I really don’t know. I do appreciate the religion, though, as a lapsed Muslim, I’m probably not the best person to talk about this.

Still, I think I’m qualified enough to say Islam is a patriarchal religion, especially in the way it’s practiced. It’s not the only patriarchal religion, and I’m sure that, like other religions, Islam is open to more feminist interpretations. But there will be some parts of it that will tick off most feminists.

One example would be the hijab. Being brought up by a rather religious family, I used to consider it a predestined (but unacknowledged) fact that I would grow up to wear one, just like most of my female relatives. But I’ve never been one to swallow …

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