Idealising Harem: In Service of French Feminist Theory

By Basharat Tayyab.

Published by The Humanities Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The view presented in the paper is rather Utopian or fantasy. In either case, whether a utopia or a fantasy, my proposal seeks to reach out to the “unthinkable.” I focus on the French feminists: Irigaray (1932- ), Kristeva (1941- ) and Cixous (1937- ), and on the Muslim feminist Mernissi (1940- ) who has been engaged primarily in deconstructing and re-constructing Islamic texts and history. The feminist struggles as they emerge from the post modern theories and the goals sought by these theorists constitute the major concerns of this paper. The paper aims at suggesting the institution of the harem as a safe feminine space where the above concerns can be addressed. I begin my paper by laying out some of the features of French feminist theory which are primarily at issue. I will then present my view of harem and finally show how I claim that harem can constitute a safe feminine space.

Keywords: French, Feminism, Islamic

The International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp.177-182. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 503.364KB).

Dr. Basharat Tayyab

Philosophy, University of Guelph, Department of Philosophy, Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Taught at the University of Karachi, Pakistan for more than sixteen years where she also Chaired the department of Philosophy before migrating to Canada. She has taught at various universities in Canada. Her initial academic interest was in Existentialism and Marxism but is currently focusing on Islamic feminist theory.


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