Islamic Feminism in Mohja Kahf’s Selected Poems Essay

Islamic Feminism in Mohja Kahf’s Selected Poems Essay

Length: 1153 words (3.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Mohja Kahf, a Syrian American poet, novelist and scholar, lives in America where Muslim Arab women are described as exotic, oppressed, inferior to men, and as Evelyn Shakir says:
According to popular belief, all Arab women can be divided into two categories. Either they are shadowy nonentities, swathed in black from head to foot, or they are belly dancers—seductive, provocative, and privy to exotic secrets of lovemaking. The two images, of course, are finally identical, adding up to a statement that all Arab women are, in one sense or another, men's instruments or slaves. (quoted in “Arab American Literature” 2008, 8).

Therefore, Kahf uses her words as weapons to fight these rigid stereotypes against Muslim and Arab women. Her ideas about Islamic feminism make a great influence on the themes of her poetry and other literary works. She wrote a lot about important historical female figures in Islam as well as contemporary Muslim women. This paper is about Islamic feminism in Mohja Kahf’s “The Marvelous Women,” “The Woman Dear to Herself,” “Hijab Scene #7” and “Hijab Scene #5.”
According to the Cambridge dictionary, Feminism is “the belief that women should be allowed the same rights, power and opportunities as men and be treated in the same way, or the set of activities intended to achieve this state.”(Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary 2008).The term (Feminism) has many different meanings. Some writers define it as the social and political movement in the United States and Europe, while other writers define it as the belief that women are oppressed and there is no justice for them. However, the most comprehensive definition of Feminism is that it is a group of social and political movements, which defend women’s rights and ca...


... middle of paper ...


... 2003. Stanford Encyclopedia Of Philosophy. February 7. Accessed April 2, 2014. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/feminism-topics/.
Tai, Teresa. 2012. "blog spot". November 12. Accessed March 20, 2014. http://altcommonspace.blogspot.com/2012/11/in-lines-what-else-do-you-need-to-know.html.
"First-wave feminism". 2014. Wikipedia. April 8. Accessed April 11, 2014. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First-wave_feminism.
" Second-wave feminism". 2014. Wikipedia. March 31. Accessed April 11, 2014. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second-wave_feminism.
" Third-wave feminism". 2014. Wikipedia. April 9. Accessed April 11, 2014. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third-wave_feminism.
"Feminism". n.d. Wikipedia. Accessed March 28, 2014. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feminism.
Wingfield, Marvin, and Bushra Karaman. 1995. "ADC". March. Accessed April 1, 2014. http://www.adc.org/index.php?id=283.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Islamic Feminism in Mohja Kahf’s Selected Poems Essay

- Mohja Kahf, a Syrian American poet, novelist and scholar, lives in America where Muslim Arab women are described as exotic, oppressed, inferior to men, and as Evelyn Shakir says: According to popular belief, all Arab women can be divided into two categories. Either they are shadowy nonentities, swathed in black from head to foot, or they are belly dancers—seductive, provocative, and privy to exotic secrets of lovemaking. The two images, of course, are finally identical, adding up to a statement that all Arab women are, in one sense or another, men's instruments or slaves....   [tags: nonentis, belly dancers, stereotypes]

Strong Essays
1153 words (3.3 pages)

Feminism And The Feminist Movement Essay

- Identity is often considered to be you sense of self, and who you believe you are. This often pertains to membership to a certain group, and identifying with people of the same or similar identity to yourself. In the feminist movement there has been a mis-match of identities and a lack of a clear collective identity, which has often led to people not fully understanding what feminism truly means (Bickford 112). Feminism as a movement has been strongly focused on identity politics, this has struck some problems though with collective identities and stereotyping....   [tags: Feminism, Feminist theory, Gender]

Strong Essays
1207 words (3.4 pages)

Feminism And The Feminist Movement Essay

- For hundreds of years, women are fighting a war of inequality in the male dominated society. Heather Savigny addressed a very important question in her article, what is Feminism. By definition, “Feminism” is a moment started by women to end inequality in all fields of society. Women in the society started this protest to gain rights that were deprived by the males in the society. A feminist can be a normal person who fights against the discrimination on based on sex, age and gender. The feminist movement is very important in our society, to protect women for sexual harassment and violence....   [tags: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Feminism]

Strong Essays
1480 words (4.2 pages)

Feminism : The, Feminist, And Post Modern Feminism Essay

- Feminism includes more than ten types feminists. The three significant and standing out groups are Liberal, Radical, and Post-modern. Liberal feminists believe that unless women have the same opportunities and treatment as men, they will not be able to achieve their full potential. Another type is Radical feminists who believe the world would be so much better without men in it. Because they accept heterosexuality, lesbians are dominant in the radical feminism pool. Lastly, Post-modern feminists believe and fight for the equality for all genders not just only female....   [tags: Feminism, Feminist theory, Radical feminism]

Strong Essays
822 words (2.3 pages)

ISLAMIC AND NON-ISLAMIC COUNSELING Essay

- Counseling is a concept that has been known generally by today’s community. Most people defined counseling as a professional interaction between a trained counselor and client in which the counselor provide possible options to solve problems. Yet, it is too general. According to Mokhtar (2006), counseling is a process that helps an individual to learn about their self, environment and how to handle the tasks and relationships. Shertzer & Stone, (1974) as Mokhtar also emphasized that counseling is a process of meaningful interaction towards understanding oneself and the environment as well as producing formation, goals and values clarification for future behavior....   [tags: Islamic conseling, non-islamic counseling, Qur'an ]

Strong Essays
1538 words (4.4 pages)

Feminism : Defining Radical Feminism Essay

- Introduction: As written by Bell Hooks (2000:1) “Simply put, feminism is a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation, and oppression”, this essay contains a few on my views on feminism and a summary of radical feminism and borders or boundaries that challenge feminism as explained in the textbook in chapter 1: pages 21-25 and chapter 2: pages 48-57 respectively. Radical Feminism: Defining Radical Feminism. The author Nancy Mandell starts by trying to put a face and a form of familiarity to radical feminism as seen in a part of the first sentence which goes “Have you ever wondered when women started to ‘Take Back the Night’, Although no straight cut definition is provided by Mandell in thi...   [tags: Feminism, Feminist theory, Radical feminism]

Strong Essays
1699 words (4.9 pages)

Essay about Islamic Terrorism And Islamic Finance

- Introduction Financial institutions across the globe have been transformed in the past few decades. This revolution has been mainly influenced by globalization, privatization, and dramatic advancements in technology, (ukessays). Islamic finance, specifically the demand for Shari’ah-compliant financial products, is in its evolutionary phase, and has experienced exponential growth worldwide over the past few decades. The increasing population of Muslims in the Middle East has driven the rapid expansion of this financial system....   [tags: Bank, Islamic banking, Riba, Financial services]

Strong Essays
724 words (2.1 pages)

Essay on Poems

- Poems Change Certain things vary everyday, tides lap various portions of sandy gold and land is illuminated and darkened with clock like accuracy. Like cammilions, hills and land periodically display their transient colors with no regard to its inhabitants needs, preferences or even life. Everyday change, insignificant, expected and unshoking when it occurs, no emotional distress or even flickers of eye lids. Those firecrackers of life, however, sting with flaming relentless pain as if being attached by legions of jelly fish intent on wreaking havoc....   [tags: Poems]

Free Essays
456 words (1.3 pages)

Feminism Essay

- Feminism There has been a great deal of discussion over the Feminist & Gender Studies Program changing its name to Gender & Sexuality. The basis of this debate is over the exclusion of the word "feminist" from the title. It is important to question how this modification will affect the direction of the program and the feminist movement as a whole. The categorization of this area of study must be sensitive to the complex social issues it represents. Bringing the term "gender" to the fore-front, and focusing less on women, is a necessary "part of the attempt by contemporary feminists to stake claim to a certain definitional ground, to insist on the inadequacies of existing bodies of men" (Sco...   [tags: Feminism Sociology Essays]

Strong Essays
1514 words (4.3 pages)

Feminism Essay

- Feminism The notion of difference among the sexes has been studied extensively in terms of cognition and brain activity. An MRI can back these claims, showing male and female brains 'lighting up' in different locations based upon different stimuli. Anyone with a close relationship to a child can attest to the fact that they were born with certain traits. Perhaps their nephew is very shy, while their niece has never met a stranger. In other words, some difference among individuals is innate, fundamental....   [tags: Women Rights Feminist Papers]

Strong Essays
3953 words (11.3 pages)