Response 12-4 - to warn us from reducing Muslim women to...

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Sharon Wang Chrissy Lau Feminist Studies 20 4 November 2008 Response to “Do Muslims Really Need Saving?” Lila Abu-Lughod critiques the western women campaign to “save” Muslim women through unveiling. She first makes it clear that Muslim women wear these veils and have become accustomed to the very veils western women are trying to get rid of. Headcovering veils and scarves have become their standard form of dress. Just because the Taliban have been overthrown does not mean they will throw off their traditional clothes. Headcovering is not as anthropologist Hanna Papanek said in 1982 a “portable seclusion” (529). Abu-Lughod continues
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Unformatted text preview: to warn us from reducing Muslim women to their headcovering clothing; rather, we should learn to appreciate the differences in cultures and beliefs. It is highly obtrusive to push our Western beliefs and styles upon Muslim women. Their dress is “guided by socially shared standards, religious beliefs, and moral ideals” just as American dress is culturally and socially influenced (530). Abu-Lughod stresses that we must be accepting of the possibility of difference between our cultures before we try to help anyone. Also, we must be careful about using the term “save” because it implies a superiority of the Western world....
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