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Publisher's Summary

Written and read by the author.

In November 2011, Mona Eltahawy came to worldwide attention when she was assaulted by police during the Egyptian Revolution. She responded by writing a groundbreaking piece in foreign policy entitled Why Do They Hate Us?; 'They' being Muslim men, 'Us' being women. It sparked huge controversy.

In Headscarves and Hymens, Eltahawy takes her argument further. Drawing on her years as a campaigner and commentator on women's issues in the Middle East, she explains that, since the Arab Spring began, women in the Arab world have had two revolutions to undertake: one fought with men against oppressive regimes, and another fought against an entire political and economic system that treats women as second-class citizens in countries from Yemen and Saudi Arabia to Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya.

Eltahawy has travelled across the Middle East and North Africa, meeting with women and listening to their stories. Her book is a plea for outrage and action on their behalf, confronting the "toxic mix of culture and religion that few seem willing or able to disentangle lest they blaspheme or offend." A manifesto motivated by hope and fury in equal measure, Headscarves and Hymens is as illuminating as it is incendiary.

©2015 Mona Eltahawy (P)2015 Macmillan Audio

What listeners say about Headscarves and Hymens

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Gives me hope

As a woman from north Africa, listening to this book was painful at times. It puts together all the injustices women face because of a deep ingrained patriarchy. The author manages to link them and explain how the poisonous mix of honor culture, religion and nationalism collaborate to silence women.
Women fight for equality in MENA region seems way too hard, but it is feminists like Mona who gives me hope, radical, loud and extremely brave.

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  • Mrs
  • 12-12-15

You Will Be Quite Unprepared..

Interested in women's issues, patriarchy and the reasons behind misogyny I was keen to hear Eltahawy's thoughts.
I found her depth of personal experience combined with supported research into the repression of women in the middle east and within Islam powerful, extremely informative, shocking and harrowing.
Her delivery as narrator has an underlying urgency.

To me this whole narrative helps me put words to my own muddled understanding of the complex and tangled historic nature of patriarchy and misogyny generally.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Mr. J. Munro
  • 03-28-20

Highly recommended reading

Phenomenal and honest take on current situations in the Middle East.

Phenomenal work Mona!

F**K THE PATRIARCHY

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  • Marcin
  • 06-06-19

Powerful and Inspiring

This audiobook is a document and a proof... Why Middle East need a sexual revolution. The author gives great evidence in the form of memories (also her own) statistics and reports showing situation of women in Arab world. Shocking, painful as we'll as inspirational and giving a hope.

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  • Arlene Finnigan
  • 10-04-18

Essential intersectional feminist reading

Excellent book, very thought provoking. The author pulls no punches in describing the treatment of women in the Middle East and in condemning the governments that allow this and often enforce this, and in the failure of other nations to confront it. Essential intersectional feminist reading.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-01-18

Refreshingly honest, pure, eye-opening book

Mona Eltahawy has certainly stoked the fire of feminism in me through this book. Having lived in the Middle East for a short time I was aware of, witnessed and even experienced myself, as a westerner, the ‘gender apartheid’ Eltahawy speaks of. She delves and probes with such brilliance into complex questions which leave no doubt that for liberation and equality for women, we must all (& that includes men!) speak up, support those that speak up and renounce our current system which simply doesn’t not work for all.
Eltahawy refreshingly invites people who do not live in the Middle East to still be invested in the human rights and women’s rights of that region and not to use the coverall of ‘cultural differences’ to hide the atrocities happening to women in the region.
A pure and eye-opening listen that will ignite the feminist fire in you or grow it if it’s already lit!

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  • Mel
  • 10-23-17

Hard hitting - an essential read for feminists

For those of us who have been calling ourselves feminists for a longtime without taking in to account intersectionality; Headscarves and Hymens is an essential read.

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  • Simone George
  • 06-07-17

One of the most important rallying cries for the sexual revolution

Mona is a stunning writer and having read her book first in print I loved hearing her read it, feeling her outrage and commitment to the cause as she reads words she has written but is finding again. This is an important book. It is for the Middle East and it is for all of us. Outside the Middle East we are oppressed by and battle the same patriarch. His means have just become more hidden. Sharing our words and our stories. Becoming comfortable in the gap between public and private matters. Mina had helped me understand that, sent me a map, that I didn't have before.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-20-20

Exceptionally courageous woman

Mmmmm, interesting reading! I think it reveals every Arab\ Muslim women's misery... good on you Mona