The traditional image of the Middle Eastern woman, as portrayed by the Western media, has tended to be one of a woman oppressed by men and religion. Veiling intensifies this image of supposed powerlessness and imprisonment. However, the Arab Spring uprisings have introduced the West to women in the Middle East who do not conform to this stereotype, and have shown the Western media that Middle Eastern women cannot be categorized altogether as one oppressed, powerless group.
This book investigates the diverse realities and complexities of women in the Middle East in terms of their relationship with media platforms old and new. Contributors offer a range of perspectives that discuss everything from media portrayals of the veil to women in film and television, from women's involvement as activists on the street to the role played in the Arab Spring by cyber activism. The collection provides insight into how some women in the Middle East are utilizing traditional as well as new media for purposes of self-expression, activism, and democratization, while also investigating media portrayals of women at home and in the West. This book was originally published as a special issue of Feminist Media Studies.
Nahed Eltantawy is an Associate Professor of Journalism at High Point University, North Carolina, USA, where she teaches a variety of convergent journalism courses as well as women and gender studies. Her research interests include the media's representation of women, the role of the media in the Middle East, social media and cyber activism, and critical and cultural studies. Her work has been published in Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, International Journal of Communication, Feminist Media Studies and the Journal of Arab & Muslim Media Research.
Introduction - From Veiling to Blogging: Women and media in the Middle East Nahed Eltantawy 1. Veiled Threats: Decentering and unification in transnational news coverage of the French veil ban Barbara Friedman and Patrick Merle 2. I am Just Doing my Bit to Promote Modesty: Niqabis' self-portraits on photo-sharing websites Anna Piela 3. They Call Me Muslim: Muslim women in the media through and beyond the veil Jennifer Sotsky 4. Finding a Place for a Muslimah Heroine in the Post-9/11 Marvel Universe: New X-Men's Dust Julie Davis and Robert Westerfelhaus 5. Selfish, Vengeful, and Full of Spite: The representations of women who have abortions on Turkish television Mary Lou O'Neil 6. Mediated Piety in Contemporary Syria: Women, Islam, and television Tatiana Rabinovich 7. A Right to Exist: A Palestinian speaks Elaine Drainville and Amir Saeed 8. Women's Experiences of Work in the Iranian Broadcast Media (IRIB): Motivations, challenges, and achievements Asemeh Ghasemi 9. "Talking Back": The poetry of Suheir Hammad Kenza Oumlil 10. Social Media and Turkish Feminism: New resources for social activism Hande Eslen-Ziya 11. The First Ladies and the Arab Spring: A textual analysis of the media coverage of the female counterparts of authoritarian oppression in the Middle East Elza Ibroscheva 12. In Their Own Voice: Technologically mediated empowerment and transformation among young Arab women Courtney C. Radsch and Sahar Khamis