Dating a middle eastern woman
Eltahawy describes the horrifying reality in the Middle East, where rape victims are often more stigmatized than rapists, and where women can be punished as "fornicators" under the , the part of Islamic law that has to do with unlawful sexual intercourse.
The Middle East needs to confront the issues of "sexual freedom, shame, and honor" and end what she calls an alliance of oppression between the state and the street.
She later compares teaching in Oklahoma to being in the Middle East where "a similar mix of religion and conservative politics prevailed." Eltahawy is torn between pointing to the unique problems in the region and arguing that that they are no worse than limiting access to abortion or to purity balls and promise rings. At one moment Eltahawy will point to Islam specifically, while at others she claims that Muslims, Christians and atheists all treat women abhorrently in the Middle East, seeming to make an argument that the fault lies with the culture at large, not the religion.
She calls for Muslim and Christian societies to break with tradition when it comes to virginity and pre-marital sex, glossing over the fact that women in Christian societies are rarely killed by their male relatives for becoming sexually active before marriage.
This was demonstrated during the Arab Spring protests in Cairo’s Tahrir Square when numerous women, including Eltahawy, reported being sexually assaulted both by military officials as well as by fellow protestors.
In this way, women are pushed from public spaces into the home, allegedly for their own protection.