Analysis of Lila Abu-Lughod’s Do Muslim Women Really Need Saving? Essay example

Analysis of Lila Abu-Lughod’s Do Muslim Women Really Need Saving? Essay example

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Lila Abu-Lughod’s article titled, “Do Muslim Women Really Need Saving?” takes a closer look at the problematic ethnocentric approach many have when trying to gain an understanding of another culture that may be foreign to that individual. In this analytical paper, Lughod looks at women in Islam, specifically the treatment of women and how it might be utilized as a justification for invading into a country and liberating its people. The country Lughod refers to in her article is Afghanistan, and Lughod points out the misunderstanding from the people to the Bush administration like First Lady Laura Bush who believed that intervention was necessary to free women from the captivity of their own homes. It is important to consider the role that different lenses play into all of this, especially when one’s lenses are being shaped by the media. Depictions of covered women secluded from society leave a permanent image in the minds of many, who would then later support the idea of liberation. This paper will discuss that the practice of using propaganda when referring to the lifestyle in the Middle East is not exclusive to the U.S; rather it has been utilized throughout history. Additionally, we will take a closer look on the importance of symbols, such as veils in this case; help to further emphasize the cause to liberate. Finally, we will analyze Lughod’s plea towards cultural relativism and away from liberal imperialism.
The excuse for liberating a country or region has been roughly the same throughout history. Lughod cites the French and the English for her support since they both have had enormous presence in the MENA region. For example, the British colonialism in Southern Asia used native women as a clear justification for interve...

... middle of paper ...

...dual to understand and take the effort to recognize and respect cultural differences. Regarding cultural relativism, Lughod mentions that, “the task is to critically explore what we might do to help create a just world.” This would mean to move past the notion of liberal imperialism, and women colonialism, because it is essential to connect with another when one considers the increasing globalization; this would then allow us to solve common problems that we are facing.

Works Cited

Abu-Lughod, Lila. "Do Muslim Women Really Need Saving? Anthropological Reflections On Cultural Relativism And Its Others." American Anthropologist 104.3 (2002): 783-790. Print.
Walt, Stephen. "Top 10 Warning Signs of Liberal Imperialism." Foreign Policy. N.P, 20 May 2013. Web. 17 Mar. 2014. .

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