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Bedouin Gender Differentiation

            The society known as the Awlad" Ali is said to be egalitarian with respect to the fact that each group in the hierarchy has the chance to assert their personal rights. However, there are two distinct groups within the Awlad" Ali society that contradict this idea and reassert the proposition that there is indeed a defined structure that separates groups, and gives some groups power over others - namely, the power of men over women. Men and women of the Awlad" Ali have more differences in their lifestyles than they do similarities. Two specific kinds of differences between the two gender groups can be labelled under the headings of "Sexuality" and "Religion". Several differences between the genders fall into these categories. However, the differences do not stop there. There are also miscellaneous practices and subjects that do not fall under either heading and are therefore located in their own general category.
             Sexuality is a tricky subject with the Awlad" Ali due to the complexity of the social requirements associated with the topic. Men are said to show strength and adhere to the Awlad" Ali honour code by abstaining from showing sexual interest in a member of the opposite sex. However, the requirement for men with regards to sexuality is not very strong. Men are given much leeway with their behaviour and it is generally expected that a man is to pursue a woman to request marriage, in an effort to procreate and give the community much-loved children. Women, on the other hand, are required to put in extra effort. It is said that they are expected to attempt to "be like men", however what they are instead required to do is deny their femininity and attempt to defer any claims to their sexuality. This is considered a sign of modesty and is the socially acceptable behaviour for a woman in the Awlad" Ali culture. So while men are allowed to express interest, through appropriate channels, women - even after marriage - are prohibited from showing any sign of interest in the opposite sex and are prohibited from acknowledging their own sexuality in any way that would draw attention to themselves.

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