Affirmation and Resistance
Chapter One: (De)Constructing Arab Masculinities in the United States: The Racialization and Sexualization of Arab Masculinity in America
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(De)Constructing Arab Masculinities in the United States: The Racialization and Sexualization of Arab Masculinity in America
In ignorance, many Americans think of Arabs, Turks, and Iranians as one ethnic group; forget that not all Arabs are Muslims; and fail to understand that peoples in the Middle East are as diverse as those found in the United States. (Hamilton 259)
Marsha J. Hamilton, in her article “The Image of Arabs in Sources of US Culture,” highlights the misconceptions Americans have about people of Arab descent. In the United States, Arabs are commonly equated with Muslims and regarded as a homogeneous group. However, diversity abounds in the Arab world in terms of ethnicity, history, and religion. The perception of Arabs as a group stems from the post-colonial union of Arabic-speaking countries. Originating from a linguistic coalition, Arabic-speaking countries allied in 1945 in the Arab League, constituted by Arabic-speaking states from North Africa (the Maghreb) and Western Asia (the Middle East) that joined forces in political, economic, and cultural cooperation.1
Through the Arab League, Arabs historically organized themselves as a community united by their use of the Arabic language. This linguistic, cultural, and political association of Arab states has undoubtedly contributed to the Western view of Arabs as a group. Even though Arabic-speaking individuals from different Arab countries differ in their skin color, dress code, history, culture, and even religion, in the West’s view of Arabs...
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