La revolución feminista de Oriente Medio

OXFORD – Entre los estereotipos occidentales más prevalecientes sobre los países musulmanes están aquellos que tienen que ver con las mujeres musulmanas: de ojos grandes e inocentes, cubiertas con un velo, sumisas, exóticamente silenciosas, habitantes vaporosas de harems imaginados, encerradas detrás de rígidos roles de género. Ahora bien, ¿dónde estaban estas mujeres en Túnez y Egipto?

En ambos países, las manifestantes mujeres no tenían nada que ver con el estereotipo occidental: estaban al frente y en el centro, en videos de noticias y en foros de Facebook, y hasta entre los cabecillas. En la Plaza Tahrir de Egipto, voluntarias mujeres, algunas acompañadas por niños, trabajaron tenazmente para respaldar a los manifestantes –ayudando con la seguridad, las comunicaciones y el refugio-. Muchos comentaristas le atribuyeron a la gran cantidad de mujeres y niños el notable espíritu pacífico generalizado de los manifestantes frente a las graves provocaciones.

Otros reporteros ciudadanos en la Plaza Tahrir –prácticamente todos los que tenían un celular se convirtieron en eso, en reporteros ciudadanos- observaron que las masas de mujeres involucradas en las protestas eran demográficamente inclusivas. Muchas usaban pañuelos y otras señales de conservadurismo religioso, mientras que otras se deleitaban con la libertad de poder besar a un amigo o fumar un cigarrillo en público.

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