The contrasts Mernissi discovered between East and West were not as simple as one might imagine. In Berlin, for example, she leafed through pornographic German photo books of "harem women," produced for an eager audience of Western men, and in Paris, she accompanied a male friend on a walking tour of his favorite odalisques, from Ingres to Matisse, while he explained how comforting an insecure man found these nude, silent women. While the medieval caliphs tended to prize intelligence and erudition among the women of their harems, Western writers have lauded beauty over every other quality; as Kant put it, a learned woman "might as well even have a beard." In deceptively light prose, Mernissi introduces the sexual politics of Islam to a Western audience, while pointing out the inconsistencies and illogic in the Western tradition. --Regina Marler --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Mernisse is a free thinker who gathered information from both sides of the coin : East and West. Higjly recommended to those who have interest in different culturesPublished 14 months ago by Marcia Dias da Silva
Fascinating glimpse of the Eastern and Western mindset. Clothing, feminism, masculinity, seduction and how they are played out in both cultures.Published 15 months ago by Pamela Allen
This book does not really discuss feminism or Islam. It's just a white woman's version of what Islamic feminism should be.Published 15 months ago by Umm
Author Fatema Mernissi is particularly personable in how she approaches the subject of beauty, women, and male desire through the concept of harem. Read morePublished on February 5, 2011 by Christine Novak
A great book that gave me a new way to look at feminism. [close] A great book that gave me a new way to look at feminism.Published on July 16, 2010 by Christy Leigh Stewart
This book would have been much better if Mernissi had stuck with witty vignettes about her culture shock and humorous malentendus during her westward sojourn. Read morePublished on August 8, 2007 by Amazon Customer
If Mernissi is, as her publisher claims, the greatest living Moslem sociologist, there can not be much competition. Read morePublished on April 18, 2006 by Elizabeth A. Root
I am neither American nor Arab but this book is a must-read for every woman in the twenty-first century, a true teaching text. Read morePublished on February 27, 2005 by reader_77