Arab Women and the Persian Gulf War *
In the postmodern era, news media, with their subservience to corporate advertisers and government interests, have come to emulate the disinformation of fashion magazines, popular films, and talk shows, suggesting that the discourses of fashion and politics are not so disparate. U.S. political discourse on the Persian Gulf War created an illusion of consensus to a fashionable war with "picture perfect" bombing assaults that were supposedly "saving" Iraqi lives. ** The marketing of the Gulf War to U.S. audiences was consistent with popular culture's marketing of the Arab world to the West through the circulation of stereotyped images of Arabs which alluded to the benevolence of the United States or Western influence in their lives. The specifically gendered representations of demonized Arab men and captive or absent Arab women fed a revival of colonialist attitudes, and heralded George Bush's new world order to reassert U.S. dominance in the Middle East.
The absent Arab woman has been deployed within the U.S. media both as a resonant and as an efficient signifier of so-called Western cultural superiority over the Arab world. By the absent Arab____________________