Mona Eltahawy on the Seven Necessary Sins for Women and Girls

Be angry, ambitious, profane, violent, attention-seeking, lustful, and powerful. These are the “seven necessary sins” that Egyptian writer and activist Mona Eltahawy says women and girls are not supposed to commit – but absolutely should. Eltahawy advocates a muscular, out-loud approach to teaching women and girls to harness their power.

Eltahawy came to Intelligence Squared to tell the stories of activists and ordinary women around the world from countries including South Africa, China, Nigeria, India, Bosnia and Egypt who are fighting back against these taboos and tapping into their inner fury. Rather than teaching women and girls to survive the patriarchal system, they have found themselves in, Eltahawy uses these stories to show them how to dismantle it. 

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