Revolutionary Womanhood: Feminism, Modernity and the State in Nasser's Egpyt

By Ritchie, Genevieve | Canadian Woman Studies, Fall-Winter 2015 | Go to article overview

Revolutionary Womanhood: Feminism, Modernity and the State in Nasser's Egpyt


Ritchie, Genevieve, Canadian Woman Studies


REVOLUTIONARY WOMANHOOD: FEMINISM, MODERNITY AND THE STATE IN NASSER'S EGPYT

Laura Bier

Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2011

"The woman question" in its various articulations and cultural expressions has historically been bound up with notions of national identity and nationalism. Through developing and unpacking the concept of state feminism Laura Bier grappled with the complex and contradictory discourses that shaped hegemonic notions of womanhood in the Nasser era. Drawing upon policy studies, political speeches, women's press, film, and literature the study was grounded in a cultural history, and fleshed out the connections between the construction of national womanhood and the conceptual framing of revolution. In short, the primary focus of the study was the relation between the construction of feminine identity and the modern nation-state.

State feminism is the central point of analysis, which was then explored through a descriptive problematizing of four themes: the ideological framing of working women, secularism and law, family planning and reproduction, and international feminism. As a category for inquiry state feminism was located in the Nasser regime's modernizing project, but had its historical roots in the earlier period of colonial control. As such, state feminism was framed by the interlocking discourses of modernity, inclusion, and political participation, which were then set against traditional modes of social organization. State feminism, then, must be understood as a constellation of practices and ideologies that aimed to transform women into modern political subjects. Thus, for Bier state feminism was at its core a didactic project.

Noting that the Nasser regime did not significantly transform the number of women in the workforce, Bier put forth the argument that the discursively constructed figure of the working woman played an important role in the articulation of the public sphere as modern and secular. The reconfiguring of the public sphere also shaped images of the home around a bourgeois model of domesticity. As such, the image of working women as a sign of modernity did little to destabilize the patriarchal organization of domestic labour. In fact, Bier gave extensive examples of state policies and incentives that were designed to create the conditions for women to access the tools of modern living, thereby creating a prescriptive model of femininity that drew upon imagery of both domesticity and professionalism.

Policies that dealt specifically with the family drew multiple conflicting perspectives into the public debate, which then had adverse outcomes for women generally and working class women in particular. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Revolutionary Womanhood: Feminism, Modernity and the State in Nasser's Egpyt
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.