Date of Submission
Global and International Studies
Project Advisor 1
This research project explores the question: To what extent is Egypt’s patriarchal household structure, especially in regards to its treatment of female sexual autonomy, a pillar of authoritarianism and therefore an obstacle to democracy? This paper takes a deep look into the intimate sexual lives of Egyptians and explores its implications for regime type in the country. Widespread practices such as virginity testing, hymen reconstruction, female genital mutilation, etc. along with phenomena such as sexual dysfunctions, community morality policing and other normalized behaviors demonstrate the different ways in which women’s sexual autonomies are widely hindered. This is the result of historical and political conditions that stressed the maternal role of women in society, which underscored ties between virginity, moral family values, and national identity. The aim of this research is to use a combination of interviews, historical background, and socio-political analysis to identify the relationship between the personal and political when it comes to intimacy and democratization. Through theoretical frameworks and studies of practices in Egypt, we can see how authoritarian regimes use sex as a tool to maintain power and sustain systems of subjugation throughout the cornerstone of society- the household.
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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.
Saba, Sadia A., "Pleasure, Politics, and Patriarchy: Women’s Intimacy in an Authoritarian Egypt" (2021). Senior Projects Spring 2021. 181.
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