#SheQuotes Mona Eltahawy on feminism and the Middle East #Quote #VAW #anger
Mona Eltahawy was once editor of Women’s eNews, is a vocal advocate for womens’ rights in the Middle east, opposes the niqab, was assaulted during the “Arab spring,” and is the author of the provocative 2012 essay “Why do the hate us?”
This quote is from a 2014 panel discussion with Al Jazeera in which the controversial Eltahawy said (among other things):
I think it’s really interesting that women are always accused of personalising everything. That, you know, when a woman is angry, oh my God, it’s because you’ve had such a terrible life. Well, first of all, what happened to me was horrific, and it made me angry, and of course I’m angry. I mean, who wouldn’t be angry, I spent three months in a cast? I couldn’t write, I couldn’t use my fingers, it hurt a lot. So this was the first essay that I wrote, when I was finally able to write. So of course I wrote it in anger.
But, I’ve been a feminist since I was 19. I was sexually assaulted and had my arms broken when I was 43. What did I do in the intervening period? I didn’t suddenly wake up and say, “Oh my God, I’m so angry because Egyptian police violated me’. I’ve been angry since I was 19. And that anger was, was first planted in Saudi Arabia. My family moved to Saudi Arabia from the UK when I was 15. And to move to Saudi Arabia as a teenage girl, it was like the lights being turned off. And I understood that, as a woman, I had two options – to lose my mind, or become a feminist.
More about Egyptian journalist / feminist Mona Eltahawy here.