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Sexism and the Specter of the Arab/Muslim Man. The Case of the Law Against Sexism in Belgium


December 10, 2014
1:15pm - 2:45pm
Hoffmann Room, Busch Hall
December 10, 2014
1:15pm - 2:45pm
Hoffmann Room, Busch Hall

This paper is part of a larger project that investigates the ways in which questions of gender, sexual difference, and sexuality in Western Europe are impacted and (re)shaped by Europe’s “Muslim question”. In the presentation I explore this question through a particular case-study: the video Femme de la rue (2012), which documents catcalling in a migrant neighborhood in Brussels, and the ensuing public debate on sexual harassment in Belgium. This debate was haunted by the figure of the Arab/Muslim man and resulted in a new law criminalizing sexism (2014). The paper explores the redefinition of sexism as it occurs within this law and connects this shifting meaning of sexism to the “gendered governmentalization” of Islam (Amir-Moazami 2011) in Belgium.

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