From the Personal to the Political: How the Perception of Women Affects Relations between the United States and Middle East




Shelton, Kelsey

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Conflict between the United States and the Middle East has been ongoing since the end of World War II. There are legitimate political grievances between the two regions, but a great deal of animosity can be attributed to cultural misunderstanding. As this is broad in scope, the thesis seeks to find a narrow entryway and does so through the perception of women. The thesis specifically looks at women’s attire and what cultural assumptions are often drawn from it. It then expands to discuss the nature of feminism in both areas and find commonalities in the female experience in both regions. Ultimately, this thesis tries to create a more comprehensive understanding of both regions’ cultures to provide for a more tolerant populace and an opportunity for more constructive foreign relations.