"Cici Anne" was a popular advice column that first appeared in two prominent Turkish journals, Resimli Ay and Resimli Hafta, and subsequently in one of Turkey's preeminent daily newspapers, Cumhuriyet. The columnist, Sabiha Zekeriya Sertel, was a well-known journalist and outspoken exponent of women's rights. "Cici Anne," directed at a more popular audience than Sertel's other writings, was one outlet for her ideas on women and their circumstances. Each column took as its point of departure a reader's letter and proceeded to a larger discussion, insisting on women's need for economic independence, challenging the very concept of namus (honor), and at times calling into question the value of the institution of marriage. The column often appeared in proximity to reports of youth suicides. Thus the column and its context allow us to examine the social tensions produced by the Republican elites' attempts to redefine family life and gender roles, and to hear, albeit at some remove, the voices of those caught up in such tensions. It also reveals the diversity of voices within the Republican camp in this early formative period.
The emergence of the New Woman in Egypt as a central trope in the nationalist narrative of nation-building and modernity has been the subject of scholarly interest for more than a decade, yet there has been little research on her logical counterpart: the New Man. Although representations of the New Man have always been a subtext in representations of the New Woman, the manifestations and implications of these constructed imaginings within the Egyptian nationalist narrative have yet to be explored. In this article I consider constructions of the New Man through what men say about women, about themselves, and about their conception of ideal manhood. I argue that overt discussions of masculinity ran parallel to discussions of femininity. They might not have dominated the cultural scene like the debates on "the woman question," but they are revealing of the complexities of gender politics. I focus particularly on literary narratives published in the first four decades of the twentieth century.
This article examines the role of the wedding in three Palestinian movies, Wedding in Galilee, Rana's Wedding, and Paradise Now. It describes how filmmakers Michel Khleifi and Hany Abu-Assad harness the power of the wedding to construct Palestinian selves (and especially gendered selves): communal, ethnic, and national identities; and as a site for control and resistance. I demonstrate how, by exploring the intersection between public and private domains that is crucial to the power of the wedding ritual itself, these filmmakers both depict the dialogic relationship between culture and politics in the stories they tell and enact that dialogism through their storytelling.
This paper reviews the experience of Iranian women during the reform era (1997–2004) from a postcolonial feminist theoretical perspective, and challenges the mainstream literature on women in the Muslim world in its tendency to portray them as passive victims. Iranian women provide an example of women resisting, negotiating, and pressing for their rights, transforming their position while their employment increased. However, the forces of globalization and the impact of the national and international political economy played an important role in the defeat of the reform movement, undermining women's efforts and paving the way for religious conservative victories in the 2004 parliamentary elections and President Ahmadinejad's election in 2005 on a platform of economic justice. The irony is that economic problems led to the victory of a religious conservatism unfavorable to women's rights.