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Woman as the “other” and the “other” woman: the alienation of Muslim women within feminism

Hankin, Rachida (1996) Woman as the “other” and the “other” woman: the alienation of Muslim women within feminism. Masters thesis, Durham University.



The entire aim of this work have been to initiate a new discursive space for feminist theory from an Islamic perspective. I looked at present feminist theoretical frameworks examining and questioning their underlying borrowed concepts and categories. This has often necessitated an inquiry into the very mode of thinking used for articulate feminist demands. Above all I hope to have demonstrated the need to do away with rigid and inflexible Cartesian dualism that perceives masculinity and femininity as two mutually exclusive and opposite categories. I argued the need to initiate a new scientific method of inquiry, a different mode of thinking, along Qur'anic epistemology, that allows for both, masculinity and femininity' to be seen as different but not antithetical. Indeed they do simultaneously co-exist in the same individual, albeit in different proportions. Such conceptualization of the genders and sexes is not only a true reflection of modem medical knowledge it has immense implication for social sciences. Such flexible categories are crucial for a new type of science, especially a new type of feminist theory, that is not anti-man, but pro-justice and equality, a unitary feminism (Hafner, 1994). A feminism that accept men and women as different but also very similar, a new theoretical framework that reflects better human realities i.e that differentiate between biological body and the socialized or social individual, thus allows male to express his feminine qualities and females to display masculine attributes without it causing major schism and thus conflict within the fundamental theory. In this work 1 explored one alternative mode of thinking the Islamic paradigm, and I hope more work will follow to further develop such an alternative.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1996
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:24 Oct 2012 15:11

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