Feminist writer and public speaker, Mona Eltahawy has warned every religious fascist to stay out of her vagina. She was speaking in a panel, “Writing Our Way Out: Social Inequality in Africa”, at the ongoing Ake Arts and Book Festival.
Eltahawy is a leading figure in the women sexual revolution sweeping through the globe, and she believes all religions are more interested in maintaining the status quo – patriarchy.
“Every religion is mostly for men,” she said, “and they obsess about how to control women bodies. My message to all religion is to stay out of my vagina, except I want them there. It is time to take back our sexuality. I own my body, not the church, not the synagogue, not the family. As an adult woman, I can have sex with whoever and wherever, with their consent, of course.”
Eltahawy, who is the author of “Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution”, strongly believes that the problem of patriarchy is not being given enough attention when tackling the roots of social inequality.
“I think patriarchy is the issue,” she said. “I think that it is important to say these things. We are told we should fight human rights violation, economic corruption first. But we talk about the problem of patriarchy like it’s not important. The conversation has to become more dangerous, by talking more about sex. We must dethrone all patriarchs. I think patriarchy has to be at the centre of any discussion about social inequality.”
Eltahawy, who has lived in the United States for almost 15 years, identifies as a Muslim who is against any type of religious fundamentalism. She believes women need to stand up to any form patriarchy in the society, the streets, and the family.
“Women have to be absolutely audacious,” she reiterated during the discussion. “I don’t think the silence is helping anybody. Women have to shout, and tell every man in their life that he is a patriarch. They have to stage daily insurgencies against patriarchy. The women revolution is here.”