New Age

A harem is the women's resting place in a muslim household. An islamic term, it basically means the women's quarters, their place to be alone from the men. In this article, "Size 6: The Western Women's Harem" Mernissi is expresses that in American Culture, the women's harem is bound to clothing and appearance. In fact, there is no harem at all. She compares the veil in the middle east to this theory, "beauty in the West can hurt and humiliate a woman as much as the veil does when enfocred by the state police in extremist nations such as Iran, Afghanistan" (Mernissi 282). I don't completely agree, but i think her mind is in the right place. Mernissi has great points and views, but im not fully convinced.
Yes, society and the media has a way of dictating of how women should look. We see things every day that can be argued what is considered beautiful. I do not find this to be the same as what goes on in Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan. It's actually a crime to not wear the veil. The woman's role in their culture stems from religion and the man's obedience. Thats the definiton of enforcment. The same thing is not happing here, women are merely following trends they see on tvs and molding their lives to keep up with these trends.
Mernissi asserts, "I realized for the first time that maybe size 6 is a more violent restriction imposed on women than is the Muslim veil" (284). This is an irrational point, and a point which as a reader, she lost me. I agree with the idea of the "size 6" harem, but comparing it to the nasty laws in muslim culture is not even close to the same thing. I do believe that on some level these "fads" in America are influencing people in a negative way; however, I do not believe that the influence is as destructive as it is in islamic countires like Afghanistan or Saudi Arabia.