1 readers online now  |  69 million page views

superficial and unauthentic

Reader comment on item: Female Desire and Islamic Trauma

Submitted by Michaeel Cohen M.D. Ph.D. (United States), May 29, 2004 at 21:07

As a Jew with strong sympathies for the Israeli national movement I cannot be suspected of bias against honest opinions about Islam and Arab nationalism.

However, the fact that this article it is based on the famous Moroccan feminist Fatima Mernissi does not excuse the writer's willingness to write such a sweeping stereotypical view of Islamic/Arab views on female sexuality. I comment on this opinion because in the main, I find Dr. Pipes's views and comentary so enlightening that I shudder at the thought that he will trivalize himself through such poor, unresearched views as expressed concering women's sexuality in Islam.

To the point/issue I would like to provide the following comments:

First, Arab culture and history, is male oriented and therefor, not really interested in female sexuality or psychology. In patriachal Arab society male pleasure is central to life and polygamy male female relations come to satisfy male needs and interests. The male is allowed to marry four women, with endless divorces and remarriages, the male can also take many concubines and enter into temporary marriages in Shia Islam. Male sexual restraint is viewed as contradictory with male health and male wellbeing.

Women's sexual indentiy is viewed primarily as dangerous and confusing to men. It may even bring men to transgress against the patriarchal economic and cultural family unit and may result in social unrest within the Umma, women are the origin of fitha or sinfulness. In Arab/Islamic society women's function is to bring children, primarily males not to enjoy sex, even the husband has to turn his head away from his wife and pray to reduce intimacy and to prevent bonding which may interfere with sexual freedom to the husband, indeed in his duty to procreate, and have many children if necessary with many different women.

Female vailing and sexual sugery is intended to smother women's sexuality in favor of procreation and enslavement to her husband, who is not prohibited sexually in any manner, to increase his sphere of influence and property. Arab society is rooted in agricultural, nomadic and looting triabal customs. The vailing of women and their sexual mutilation also comes to shield the male vulnerablity to other males who if given the opportunity may take advantage of the male's females, sexually and procreationally. Thus all antifemale sexual codes limiting her freedoms are essentially related to the recognition that male not female sexuality is aggressive and demanding and that male property and inheritance codes may be broken, while assailing social order and peace in the Umma, if women can be exposed to the "robber virile Arab male".
Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Comment on this item

Mark my comment as a response to superficial and unauthentic by Michaeel Cohen M.D. Ph.D.

Email me if someone replies to my comment

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

See recent outstanding comments.

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2021 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)