Gendered power: women, masculinism and the Arab spring Week 15 2013-4. Money, Sex and Power. Lecture outline. What is the Arab Spring? The case of the Egyptian Spring - Why the uprisings - Women in the uprisings in January and February 2011
- Why the uprisings
- Women in the uprisings in January and February 2011
- The marginalisation of women: - International Women’s Day 2011 and after
Against the autocratic and repressive regime of President Hosni Mubarak
Demands for political freedom + justice
A movement of demonstrations, strikes, occupations, riots and non-violent civil disobedience
Protesters = all social, religious and political backgrounds. Young people and old ; manual workers and doctors or university lecturers; anti-capitalist and feminist organisations but also nationalist ones; men and women
Asmaa Mahfouz: the spark that lit the torch?
Women’s demands in the uprisings, like men’s, were for:
25th January – 11th February 2011
Countless blogs, newspaper articles etc. which describe relations, during the 18-day uprising, between men and women as:
After 18 days of people protest:
Although women had made up 20% - 50% of protesters, they were not being involved as part of the political deliberations and negotiations which took place between various contending parties and the Supreme Military Council (SMC)
Across Egyptian and Middle Eastern histories, women have participated in national resistance, protest, and political action only to be excluded from newly formed governments.
None of Egypt’s large feminist organisation (New Woman Movement or the Women for Democracy Movement) invited to participate in talks about how a new Egypt would be
New parliament of November 2011 dominated by Muslim brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party and Salafist Al-Nour Party
Attack on women’s rights included lobbying to:
Relationship between Egyptian people and rulers characterised by the “patriarchal bargain”.
In classic middle-eastern patriarchy, older patriarch assumes responsibility for family members. The honour, prestige and power of the patriarch derive from his ability to provide for as well as control and ensure obedience of the members of the group.
Abargain is struck—not simply one of reciprocal exchange (one of allegiance in return for sustenance) but also one in which inequality is maintained, internalised and ensured through methods of control
Mubarak saw himself as father of Egyptian people
Hafez argues that where masculine identities are fractured, there is an impact on what she calls ‘connective patriarchy’ between men and women where normally there is accommodation, support and even love. She refers to Connells’ (1995) framework of 4 forms of masculinity which in Egypt exist along age, class and power lines :
In Connell’s framework, these forms of masculinity are related to
degrees of access to patriarchal benefits.
Menwho aremarginalized/subordinated,like young Egyptian men, have least access to patriarchal benefits.
The more they are subordinated, denied patriarchal benefits, and associated with females, the more extreme their gender differentiation from females will be.
Hence, women become easily targeted victims who compensate them for their loss of patriarchal benefits andtheir loss of masculinity.
Violence towardsand abuse and harassmentof women are the outcome of masculinity built on deprivation and is therefore one of the factors underlying the marginalisation of women in Egypt following the initial period of the Arab Spring.