Pulling no punches: the Middle East-hers are talking up a storm

Contributing Editor LDW also blogs at LDWorldwide.

Throughout the Middle East, the forces against female participation in the public space are just short of insurmountable: In Kuwait, women have only recently (and begrudgingly) been afforded the right to vote in local and parliamentary elections; in Iran, they have just been granted permission to attend soccer games, so long as they cover up and stick to women-only or family-only seating; and in Saudi Arabia, of course, they still can't drive (let alone leave the country without the permission of a close male relative).

But, however some governments may try (and they do), you can't keep them out of the blogosphere.

Here are some thoughtful, yet hard-hitting posts, challenging the forces that constrain not only women, but all people who live in the Middle East:

1. And Far Away unabashedly lists her views on the equality of women, which seem to conflict significantly with the expectations of her male friends in Jordan.

2. Also from Jordan, Lina channels her caffeine-high into raw rejection of out-dated approaches to Arab unity, while at the same time recognizing -- with pride -- her sense of "collective Arab culture."

3. Farah (self-described as "an exhausted, repressed and bored 'Saudi' Arabian chick") dares speak the name of such items as homosexuality, sodomy and pornography in her home State.

This is a sampling from the English-language blogs. Who knows what other subversive talk is bubbling up among the local first-languages?


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