The Geopolitical Woman

World MapIt may not be easy to conceive that women have been at the heart of political problematic between the occidental civilization and the Islamic fundamentalism. The image of the contemporary woman is till now the main element of controversy. This is what the founder of Stratfor, George Friedman, had mentioned in his book The Next 100 Years. For him, Ossama Bin Laden’s “Letter to America” was expressive enough, where he wrote: “You are a nation that exploits women like consumer products, or advertizing tools, calling upon customers to purchase them.”[1] This view is somehow debated inside the Traditional Catholics, fundamentalist Protestants, Orthodox Jews and many branches of Buddhism, as Friedman continues to remark. And he explains that Al-Qaeda’s idea belongs to their traditional understanding of the family in whole, and of the marital and extramarital relations. For them, “Women who move outside the home invite extramarital sexuality just by being there.”[2] They banned women from going out on the streets.

Al-Qaeda’s solution expresses their incapacity of handling the existence of women inside the active society; it is demonstrated in the “Grand Rapt.

In few words, the big political debate is whether a woman that belongs to a culture is to be liberal or not. In fact, the transformation of women’s role in history is similar to the transformation of men’s role. It is a natural response to the demanding change of social identity. By social identity, I mean the way a society defines itself through the development of history. The course of history is ruled by the tendency of the human individual to get rid of all his anxieties, mainly, by creating tools to help him with his defensive tasks. All tasks are defensive, and all the actions a man or a woman does are to adapt and to self-preserve, seeking the restfulness of mind and body. This is why humanity did progress to the stage of industrialism, mainly during the 19th and 20th century in Europe, where a shift towards a new life style happened. This meant a smaller family, and less occupation in nurturing. That gave women more time to assume other responsibilities inside the active society.

The development of women’s social personality in industrialized countries happened differently than in other parts of the world. It’s just another phase in the development of humankind, which surely could never remain static. In fact, the model of Eve is history, and the model of the woman-mother does not seem to be complete. Modern social women are not in there minimal level of existence, but they are active. It finds its roots in Greek mythology as Helen of Troy, or in the history of France as Joan of arc, where in both stories the two women played central roles in warfare and politics. This analysis slips away from mere external observations, because women used as tools for marketing is not a precise thing to say because it is not near from being a real role of the occidental woman, she’s mainly a worker and a struggler. Till 2010, 58% of the American women above 15 participate in the work force[3]. Women also earn almost 60% of university degrees in America and Europe[4].

Since women have been and will always be, and around them will still happen cultural controversy that affects political relations between nations, they constitute one of the political imperatives for both sides. She is one of the most important resources, just as manpower for boosting armies in times of war.

It is natural that men fight over women as it is the primitive form of politics. Yet it is analogue that cultures fight for their own views on women, and that is nowadays an important element of the modern clash of cultures. But it is only the progress of nations that dictates its social demands from both men and women, and by this shaping their roles in society.

[1] George Friedman. (2009). The Next 100 Years. Page 50. Anchor Books – New York.
[2] Ibid.
[3] World Bank.

[4] The Economist. url:

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