In a world persistently organized by gender and sex, no activity, however mundane, transcends the need for constant reenactment of the dominating patriarchal norms for gendered exclusion and propriety.
Not long ago coffee shops in Jordan were attended only by males, while women spent their leisure time within the confines of the home where they could be protected and supervised by relatives and neighbors. These times are now changing, although many women from religious or rural background do not enjoy the same freedoms as their more liberal, urban counterparts who take pleasure in walking around the many shopping malls in Amman and frequent its numerous coffee shops. Underneath the preoccupations with women’s respectability and morality surfacing in the discourse against female smoking is a desire to suppress the transformation of women’s status in Jordanian society.
In her seminal work, The Resisting Reader (1978), Judith Fetterley argues for the need to challenge dominant readings of literature by producing new, “resisting” readings of classical texts as a way to change their impact on us and to make their agendas palpable (Fetterley, 1978). Some of Fetterley’s main contributions are her arguments that for … Continue reading Sigara wa Kass (1955): a gendered portrayal of addiction, pleasure and productivity in Egyptian cinema