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The International Women's Day, Do we belong?

Posted by bedayaa on March 8, 2016 at 6:20 AM

Psychology from Gender perspective has always highlighted the differences between hostile and benevolent sexism. While hostile sexism is identifiable and distinguishable, benevolent types are free from these aspects. Benevolence is mostly practiced through the idea of women being the weaker subjects in society. In other words, women need protection, preservation and control as they’re physically and intellectually subordinate. Though benevolence is presented with a loving and caring façade, it carries a variety of hostile, aggressive and condescending undertones.

The communal sympathy towards Queers is mostly directed to those who suffer from state violence. State violence is commonly known for its hostility and violations to human rights. It is used against Queers from a masculine perspective. Not to belittle the aforementioned struggle, however, social violence has its own characteristics that attribute towards the individual’s psychological health. Social violence is known to be practiced on women for having that biological attribute –owning female genitals-, and its correlation with benevolent sexism. Therefore, it becomes difficult for women to distinguish prejudice and their deprivation of bodily and personal freedoms.

For benevolent sexism’s aggressive undertones and for Queer women getting discriminated against on the basis of owning female genitals, sexism and discrimination moves from its caring façade to violent and aggressive attitudes. This happens towards them as individuals; mostly by society and other times by the state which results in their exclusion from their own society. Some of them find refuge in the alternative subcommunities existing in their countries, or in travelling abroad where they suffer again from alienation; for being of a different ethnicity or for being Queer within the Arab communities abroad.

The importance of voicing the unheard is crucial for it is our mission to do so as individuals living through prejudice, discrimination and violence. Giving voices to Queer women is as essential as voicing other subaltern struggles that get silenced through time. Therefore, it becomes of importance to work on such cause through communal efforts of documentation and analysis.

For that, Queer activists are exerting efforts to create alternative narratives for the community where acceptance lies. The book “Queer Women from North Africa” includes the life struggles of a number of many Queer women. The struggles give a glimpse of what it is like to be a Queer woman in the Middle East and North Africa.




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