Herring and Class Struggle

Capitalism came late to Iceland. At the end of the 19th century this large, wind-swept, thinly populated island was made up of small towns, farms and seasonal fishing stations. Then European capitalists saw another Klondike in the herring-rich waters of the north Atlantic..

Monday, 30 April 2012

Women and Revolution - An angry Egyptian writes

Next weekend in Reykjavik a film festival of short films and documentaries about women and women's rights opens including Hidden Faces about Egyptian women.

In her blog An Angry Egyptian, Egyptian revolutionary socialist Gigi Ibrahim responds to feminist Mona El Tahawy who argues that women in the Middle East are oppressed because men hate them.  She also blames religion for misogyny and sexual violence. El Tahawy has been involved in the protests in Egypt but her understanding of oppression and religion cannot explain how women were able to sleep out in Tahrir Sq for weeks safely, nor why secular and Muslim Egyptians protected Christians whilst they prayed and Christians protected Muslims. In short she does not understand class. For her men can only be part of the problem. Nawal Al Sadawi, Egyptian author, doctor, activist and longtime women's rights campaigner, however does understand.

‘In the square, I felt for the first time that women are equal to men, It's like I carried a burden on my back, and now I feel free.' Al Sadawi was arrested and censored for her work under Anwar Sadat's and Hosni Mubarak's regimes. "Suzanne Mubarak silenced women, killed the feminist movement, and did nothing for us," she said, dismissing the former first lady's "National Council of Women" as little more than a PR campaign for the regime.’

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