Riverbend Analysis

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Nasca Riverbend’s description of her life in Iraq before and after US’ invasion differs drastically from United States media representations of Arab woman and US government rhetoric regarding war on terror. Baghdad Burning: Girl Blog from Iraq discusses the war in Iraq and daily life in the perspective from an Arab girl, “Riverbend.” Women throughout history of all races and ethnicities have dealt with hardships or oppressions at large; however, the United States has gained a false pretense as to the “oppressions” Arab women have faced before the war. By grouping all the countries in the Middle East together and thinking the problems and customs were identical, United States has gained false view of what women in Iraq are really going through.…show more content…
Before the war, women were treated equally in the workforce; they were paid equally and had equal job opportunities. Laura Bush made it seem like women were being oppressed saying, “Women cannot work outside the home…” and by grouping situations of the Middle East together false accusations were made. Riverbend blogs saying, “What I’m trying to say is that no matter *what* anyone heard, females in Iraq were a lot better off than females in other parts of the Arab world (and some parts of the western world-we had equal salaries!) We made up over 50% of the working force. We were doctors, lawyers, nurses, teachers, professors, deans, architects, programmers, and more” (August 2003, Riverbend, p.22). This is drastically different the US’ media portrayal of Arab women before the war. Furthermore, after the war, women’s freedoms drastically decreased. James Ridgeway writes about Riverbend experiencing this change saying, “As a young educated woman who once worked as a computer “geek” and moved freely about her city, Riverbend is particularly poignant in relating what has happened since the war; the loss of her own job, the fear she and other women now feel walking in the streets without men, the risks of stepping outside with her head uncovered” (December 2004, Ridgeway, James). The media portrays that women had an awful, restricted…show more content…
Women felt they were treated equally prior to the war; however, that changed after US’ occupation in Iraq. Not only in the aspect of the work force but daily activities as well. Riverbend comments on how most women lost their jobs or risked their lives if they worked. Also, men carried guns, giving them a sense of power, and that they were dominant over women. Additionally, women could not leave the house after the war without being accompanied by a male. Riverbend comments saying, “Females can no longer leave their house alone, each time I go out, E. and either a father, uncle or cousin must accompany me” (August 2003, Riverbend, p.20). She discusses the process of how she has to state her purpose for leave, what and when she is going to get, have it confirmed by her parents, and then find a male relative to take her. However, before the war she could have come and went as she pleased. The freedom women once felt turned into a life of fear. Riverbend shows many feminist views throughout the novel, but more so a view of a woman wanting peace and equality for both sexes in her country. Riverbend’s life changed drastically because of the war on terror and led to changes in gender issues, in her daily life and professional life. The United States only aided in further oppressing Arab women by not being fully

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