"Once again, women are the cheapest bargaining chip" the author states.
Here is a woman who clearly speaks to women without disparaging them, or unnecessarily doing so with men. Mona Eltahawy 's voice speaks fitting, apt words -both when confronting or encouraging. Men, she doesn't hit you over the head with it.
If I were to chose a phrase for the book, it would be the French les mots justes [those "just right" words, phrases].
Eltahawy speaks against every form of oppression to women. She confronts dogmas, Arab cultures, and patriarchy (everywhere) in light of an egalitarian ideal, all while maintaining her view of Islam -understated in this audio.
As a male from a somewhat conservative American home, this was slightly painful at times to listen to -but a transformative, rectifying pain. I was lightly aware of feminism before listening to this speech but it deepened this awareness. I can only imagine that a woman of the middle east will find both anger and hope here. (More anger, even rage will probably be found first for such a listener but, later, the equal measures of hope can come through it.) Buy it if you can take in a flow of deep, though justly placed anger, interspersed with tales of courage and compassion. Turn to a paper copy if anger/informative confrontation is too much for your ears.
Headscarves & Hymens challenges over-arching religion &/ military governments. This never interrupts the flow, nor the centrality of women, just as central as men to our world. If she values men less than women, that doesn't come through in this audio book.
If more Muslims and ex-Muslims communicated with these women's verve and urgency, it would be a better world. I particularly like the intimate confession of Ayaan Hirsi Ali's moral support of Irshad Manji as a Muslim, though she herself cannot place a faith in Islam.