Date Completed: NOT
When I first looked at this book, I thought it would be a feminist and constructive view on Islamic women in the Middle East. I was once again sorely disappointed. I ended up not even being able to get through the first chapter and quickly skimming the rest of the book, hoping that there would be some redeeming factor.
While I appreciate all the effort Jan Goodwin seemed to put into this book to accumulate data and research, the outcome was not what I had hoped. Goodwin does very little to further a feminist perspective of Islam or the Middle East. She does very little to talk about why what the U.S. response has been is certainly not the best option. She talks about gas, and how the U.S. entered several countries to retain control of gas in the “right” hands, but she doesn’t talk about how problematic this was for many of the citizens of those countries.
Yes there are women who experience these struggles that she describes, but I don’t believe that is true for all women. She also leaves the readers without hope, despite all the hopeful changes that are occurring all the time. Yes, this book was published in 1994/5 and has been updated in 2003, but don’t even bother picking it up as the ideas are so outdated. Unless of course you want a picture of fear from an American standpoint. However, I would recommend the movie The Stoning of Soraya M.,(but keep in mind, it’s incredibly graphic, brutal, and hard to watch).
If this was on your to-read shelf, take it off!