Monday, July 9, 2012

Superman Is an Arab

Now this is interesting. A Lebanese writer, Joumana Haddad, has written a book called Superman Is an Arab: On God, Marriage, Macho Men, and Other Disastrous Inventions. There's an interview with her at Now Lebanon. I've never heard of this writer or her previous work, but I'll check out her new book when it comes out in September. Here are a couple of quotes from the interview:

I thought there was a need to tackle manhood, not only womanhood, because, as you might know I’m a third-wave feminist, which means I don’t believe in women’s solidarity; I believe in human solidarity. I believe in partnership between men and women, and if our suffering is going to change it won’t be by women alone.
And it hit me that in the Superman story I always preferred Clark Kent, because he’s real. And I think many of our leaders and religious representatives here in the Middle East think of themselves as invincible supermen.

And this: And God is a superman – that’s my first enemy, the monotheist God. That’s the first Superman we need to get rid of.

You can really see her point of view here.

I wrote about Susan Faludi and her book The Terror Dream a while back. I think the perspectives of these books might have a lot in common, with their view of the dangers of masculinity and the effects that idolizing it can have on a society. It'll be interesting to see how similar they are, and the reactions Haddad gets. It's tempting to offer some comments about her thoughts just on the interview, but it's wiser to wait until I can get my hands on the whole book.

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