The coverage surrounding Secret Life of Syrian Lingerie: Intimacy and Design book has largely focused on the notion that sexy lingerie is an expression of sexuality denied in women. Buying racy undergarments is supposedly a freedom for these women. MMW's Krista however, says that this kind of thinking only plays into what men - their husbands, want, and makes us think that these women are sex goddesses once unleashed from their robes.
What could be a more titillating image than that of a Muslim women
(presumably veiled, of course) picking out something sexy to wear when
in her private harem home? It might as well be proof of the Orientalist
fantasy of the seductive, exotic temptress that exists within every
Muslim woman, if only we could unveil her. (*shudder*)
She adds this uber-sexiness and kinky lingerie is not actually for the women's sexuality and sense of selves, but rather made to please their husbands.
it soon becomes clear from the article that Muslim women apparently
"value sexy" only in a patriarchal and heteronormative context in which
"sexy" really refers to whatever their husbands want. Mohammad Habash,
the (male) head of the Damascus Centre for Islamic Studies says, "Islam
orders the woman to keep herself pretty for her husband, that's
well-known," implying that female sexuality equals "pretty," and that
this "pretty" is only important insofar as the husband acknowledges it.
One woman interviewed for the article reinforces this perspective,
stating that "Muslim wives must be desirable and pleasure their
husbands so they don't stray," and that it is essentially the wife's
responsibility to mould herself into the object of her husband's
desire. If he goes elsewhere, it is probably because she did not "value
Isn't this kind of sad? It further oppresses the position of Muslim women, making them sex objects for their husbands. Not only do they have to be sexual objects, but they have to make themselves desirable, pretty and sexy otherwise their husband will go and find a prettier, more sexy girl to hump. It's like their existence on earth is only to sexually please men, and
what's worse is these women led to believe, fooled that kinky lingerie
is their key to freedom of sexual expression.
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