By Faegheh Shirazi
This provocative booklet demonstrates that the veil, the garment recognized in Islamic cultures because the hijab, holds inside of its folds a semantic versatility that is going some distance past present clich?s and homogenous representations. no matter if obvious as erotic or as romantic, a logo of oppression or an indication of piety, modesty, or purity, the veil contains hundreds of thousands of years of non secular, sexual, social, and political importance.
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Extra resources for The Veil Unveiled
Thus, one may expect that the use and relevance of the veil in the photographs are diVerent from that in the cartoons. The Veil Sells Sex The Pleasures of the Orient When selling products to the Western male consumer, the veil is most often ascribed an erotic meaning. In order to sell sex, Playboy, Penthouse, and Hustler exploit this erotic image of the veil. What is the underlying assumption prevalent in the West that facilitates the equation of sex and veil? Centuries of Western misinterpretations of Middle Eastern sexuality and culture have led to an image of the Middle East as a world of virgin pleasures and unbridled passions.
The nature of the advertisements in Hustler, however, may not necessitate such market research: The only advertisements in Hustler are pages upon pages of ads for phone sex and some ads for sexual aids—ads that will most certainly appeal to sexually active readers of pornographic magazines. The few quasi-investigative articles in Hustler aim to incite readers with sensationalist and testosterone-laden journalism. We may conclude that the average reader of this magazine is young and relatively unsophisticated and delights in viewing the intimate details of the female anatomy.
Furthermore, the consumer is likely to live in a town, as 73 percent of the Saudi population does, and returning to the desert may have become a nostalgic dream for her. She most likely understands the metaphors and metonyms in the ads, which were used for centuries by the Bedouins. All these prerequisites enable her to give her dreams a concrete shape in the form of a Concord watch. The ads in Sayidaty for products as diverse as sanitary napkins, toothpaste, and watches are tailored to meet the cultural specificities of the Saudi fig.