Nastiness Diagnosis. Anthropology. Religion. Gender. Justice. A Personal Notepad For the General Public.
____How do we define agency? If agency is not resistance, what is it?
(Does Saba Mahmood fully play out Foucault and Butler’s thesis of agency? What is her thesis in relation to Orientalism?)
____How about resistance? If resistance is not the antithesis of power, what is it?
(The dignified resistance may not lead us to the heroism of the resistors; it may well lead to a map of structures of power.
Resistance is diagnostic of power.)
____Violence against women occurs across the globe, across cultures, class and ethnicity. But we never blame “American culture” for domestic violence or gun violence in the US. We blame individual,the psycho-path, or poverty. Nobody would blame Christianity except some feminist/theologians. Why do we blame other cultures when we talk about violence? Why do we associate violence with OTHER cultures, and label certain cultures with violence? How did we create the quick bind between Islam and misogyny?
(Orientalism never finishes its reincarnation. The reprint of self-justification dies hard. )
____the nature of domination: coercion sucks; naturalization prevails. shifting the site of domination
** Bourdieu, Gramsci: collapsing walls between symbolic/instrumental, behavioral/ideological
** Foucault: self-policing works; resistance is enabled by power
____the romance of anti-domination: resistance.
** are forms of resistance signs of the ineffectiveness of systems of power?
____”where there is power, there is resistance” — Foucault 1978:95-96
** power is not repressive
** power is productive
** power is discursive, producing words and knowledge
____”where there is resistance, there is power” — Abu-Lughod 1990:42
(NJ: what if there is NO resistance? There is still power. How do we diagnose power without resistance?) (“the rich and sometimes contradictory details of resistance the complex workings of social power can be traced.” What does she mean by that? What is this resistance? )
**the moral code: honor + modesty
“since the moral code is one of the most important means of
perpetuating the unequal structures of power, then violations of
the code must be understood as ways of resisting the system” (p47)
____The Bedouin are tough resistors: against the state inspection, conscription, detention, control of movement, control of birth and death, registration, and taxation. But what about women?
1) women daily minor defiance of moral code when segregated
2) resistance to marriage
3) sexually irreverent discourse
4) the subversive discourse
oral lyric poetry, folktales, songs, and jokes
**4) shows that social domination also works at the
level of constructing, delimiting, and giving meaning to personal emotions
(does she really show how this type of resistance is productive in shaping subjectivity?)
*~the subversive discourse is fundamentally linked to the Bedouin valuation of resistance itself …
a valuation associated with the larger political sphere and men’s activities; it is a value in contradiction with the structures of inequality within the family, where gender comes into play. Women take advantage of these contradictions in their society to assert themselves…these forms (of resistance) have been produced by power relations and cannot be seen as independent of them (p47)
signal sites of struggle
shifting forms: new media, sedentary residence, sexy lingerie, younger alliance, romantic love
____4 impact of Orienatlism on Feminism
a) sexuality and gender of the other
b) beyond stereotypes
c) challenging East/West
____the stereotypes of the ME women have been crucial to negative depictions of the East
–We have to ask what Western liberal values we may be unreflectively validating in proving that “Eastern” women have agency, too.
–although negative images o women in the region are to be deplored, ofering positive images will not solve the basic problem of Orientalism: the production of knowledge in and for the West. the power to construct the very object it speaks about and from its power to produce a regime of truth about the other and thereby establish the identity and the power of the subject that speaks about it.
____caught in the sharp dilemma:
representing women as complex agent vs. critique of patriarchal structures
liberalist tale orientalist tale
***”identifying with the west means rejecting the Arab heritage, while rejecting the west and cleaving to ‘tradition’ means accepting patriarchal structures of inferiorization”
***The solution is to refuse the tradition/Western modernity divide, but how sophisticate do you have to be to manage this?
____The danger of difference:
Hadeh Moghissi: (she is anti “Islamic feminism”)
Feminism and Islamic fundamentalism: the limits of Pstmoern Analysis
the danger of uncritical fascination with postmodernity
Dniz Kandiyoti already long ago moved discussion away from essentialist cultural arguments about “women and Islam”
–social analysis cannot be replaced by representations
–too much on the West
–local institutions still producing gender hierarchies
Said would not disagree.