Female genital mutilation is on the decline in Egypt thanks to talk shows bringing the issue into the national conversation.
Women have always worked. Women of all types, across the board, have always done the kinds of jobs we’re willing to recognize as jobs. You know, the stuff men do: public sphere, skilled making-and-selling, wheeling-and-dealing, gotta-make-a-livin’ work.
Renaming the hymen in a way that is more reflective of its actual nature (as historian Kathleen Coyne Kelly of Northeastern University has pointed out in her book on virginity, it is no more a specific bodily organ than the instep of the foot) is a good thing.
To say that Rifflet richly deserves the condemnation he’s been earning in the Belgian press and the Muslimah blogosphere is an understatement. On the official side of things, the backpedaling has been reasonably strenuous. Rifflet has offered feeble excuses, while the Belgian Minster of Defense has officially disowned him in front of Parliament.
To what extent can we, as the National Women’s History Project urges, “Write women back into history,” without perpetuating factual and perceptual errors? Women are half of humanity, and women’s history is half of history. We owe it to ourselves as women to take a harder look at what that means.