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New Left Review I/170, July-August 1988


Mai Ghoussoub

A Reply to Hammami and Rieker

The response by Hammami and Rieker to my article ‘Feminism or the Eternal Masculine in the Arab World’ cannot be seen as a straightforward critique of my analysis. Its approach is so contrary to my own, and rejects with such fervour my conception of feminism, social development and what constitutes the personal and the political that we end up opposed in those very values we would wish to be universal. An adequate reply must therefore address both conceptual and factual questions. It is not clear where I should begin, given that I do not accept those categories which identify themselves intellectually as either ‘Occidentalist’ or ‘Orientalist’, and given that I see no need, in grasping a specificity, to adopt a method of thought derived from that specificity. The facts may differ, but does method have a nationality? Is logic the daughter of any particular ideology or culture?

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