Journal or Book Title
Arab Studies Journal
A common theme in today's popular Islamic literature is defending traditional gender roles against forces of change. When addressing audiences who are strongly influenced by Western modernity, such as in Turkey and some immigrant populations in the industrialized West, this literature often justifies its pronouncements by invoking the apparent authority of science, especially biology. Authors paint a sharp dichotomy between men and women in body, mind, behavior, and character, asserting that such differences are inherent and immutable. In assuming masculine biological superiority, such writings sometimes end up offering a quasi-Aristotelian notion of the body, echoing theories of anatomy and physiology dating back to the medical and biological treatises of ancient Greece. Casting women as universally predisposed, physically and psychologically, toward emotionality, weakness, domesticity, and motherhood, these authors define the nature of "the body" in such ways as to counter more liberal notions.
Arab Studies Institute
Edis, Taner and Bix, Amy, "Biology and ‘Created Nature’: Gender and the Body in Popular Islamic Literature from Modern Turkey and the West" (2005). History Publications. 10.