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Western Oppression of Women

Read: The chapter “Western Oppression of Women” (pages 85 to 102) from Alishbah Saddiqui’s 2020 honors thesis in Geography titled "Constructed oppression and forced liberation: Analyzing, deconstructing, and rejecting the conception of the oppressed Muslim woman."

Are these oppressive aspects in Western (American) society in regards to women regularly discussed in your life, the media, and/or in literature? Or were you surprised to read these issues laid out so clearly for the first time? If you answered yes to the second question, why do you believe these issues are not as publicly discussed?

Why is this oppressive aspect of Western (and more specifically American) society not as discussed in mainstream media as oppressive aspects in other societies are? (i.e. the Middle East, South Asia, Africa, etc.). And when they are discussed, are they attributed to problems with "Western culture"? If not, why are problems present in other societies attributed to problems with their culture? Is there a double standard? How so?

After reading pages 95 - 102, have your perceptions of empowerment and oppression changed in terms of women in the West vs. women from other cultures (and particularly Muslim women)? How do your perceptions now differ from what is dominantly presented in the media?

Give examples from your own life (interactions you've had, media you've seen) which also describe the emphasis on women's physicality. Has this emphasis become more apparent to you after this reading and the images at the end?

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