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GESPREK: De Balie Icons: Mona Eltahawy on the power of women's rage

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The Egyptian-American columnist and radical feminist Mona Eltahawy believes in the power of women’s rage. Though she has faced huge criticism and even death threats, she continues to speak out about women’s oppression and urges women all over the world to do the same. In De Balie Eltahawy gives her uncensored opinion about how to fight patriarchy. How can we seize the energy of the #metoo movement to make real change? And how can women facing different oppressions fight together for their rights?

“Be true to yourself. Never apologize. Burn it to the ground. F**k yes.” These words characterize Eltahawy’s out-loud approach to address the various oppressions that women face on a daily basis. Without provoking, defying, disobeying and disrupting the patriarchy we cannot change women’s positions. It’s this belief that drives her to speak out about injustices worldwide, whatever the consequences may be: from the position of women in the Arab world to the ‘whiteness’ of #metoo.

Mona Eltahawy (Port Said, 1967) is an Egyptian-American columnist and radical feminist. Her columns and articles are published in the New York Times, The Guardian and The Washington Post. She is the author of Headscarves and Hymnes: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution. Her new book The Seven Necessary Sins for Women and Girls comes out this year. In November 2011, she was detained near Tahrir Square by riot police who broke her arms and sexually assaulted her and she was held incommunicado for 12 hours, the next year she was arrested in New York City for spray painting over a racist ad in the subway. Eltahawy started two viral social media campaigns - #MosqueMeToo and #IBeatMyAssaulter – in the wake of the #metoo movement.