Good News

FMF News—Textbooks in Saudi Arabia Feature Photographs of Women: "For the first time in the history of public education in Saudi Arabia, new textbooks will feature photographs of women. The textbooks, designed for third year high school English students, feature a woman as a nurse about to give someone an injection. In the photograph, she is wearing a headscarf and a surgical mask. The photograph is also accompanied by an exercise asking students to discuss men and women's changing involvement in traditional jobs. The textbooks also picture a woman in a science lab."

That's amazing. I'm so thrilled for the women and girls of Saudi Arabia!

Talk about why we need feminism.

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Because threads about feminist progress (or the lack thereof) in Arabic countries have this tendency to quickly devolve into clusterfucks of Othering, I want to encourage readers to consider the ways in which misogyny works in (the broadly and inexactly named) Western culture the same way it works in Saudi Arabia.

Like, for instance: Might we be able to draw a parallel between the invisibility of female forms in public textbooks and the invisibility of female forms in public signage?

It's not so easy to condescendingly dismiss as irrevocably backwards a culture in which one sees similarities to one's own.

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