When Feminists Rule the World

The Power of a Shared Dream

Episode Summary

Host Martha Chaves says “Wow!” frequently in episode five. That’s her reaction to the stirring answers from Manal Shqair and Ilaf Nasreldin when they are asked to imagine what a feminist utopian world would look like. Manal is a Palestinian whose utopia is liberation from Israeli occupation. Ilaf is Sudanese and her utopia is freedom from the strict restraints on women that begin at home. “I will go to work without bothering to wait at one of Israel's 593 military checkpoints and roadblocks, where I always wait sometimes for hours with Israeli soldiers staring at my body in a disturbing way and holding their guns with their fingers on them, ready to shoot me,” says Manal. “For starters I will feel safe,” says Ilaf. She imagines waking up and deciding what to wear, where to go and what to do without fearing reprisals or harassment because she is a woman. Freedom of movement and dress are things that Martha takes for granted in a “privileged” life in Toronto, Canada. Her feminist utopia includes women having autonomy over their own bodies and a world where “we won’t have to fight so much to be recognized as human beings.” If there’s a common thread in the idea of a feminist utopia, perhaps it is dignity – something, as Ilaf says, that everyone deserves.