This article discusses a model of male-female relation promoted by the Egyptian writer and activist Nawal El Saadawi. El Saadawi argued that man and woman are born exactly the same: not only do they resemble each other, but they constitute together a single entity that is humanity, like “identical twins” who develop from a single fertilized egg. It is culture/patriarchy that differentiated and hierarchized them, through an everlasting process of assigning and molding identities. This model of parallel and interdependent male-female relation, or what I call “the Saadawian androgyny,” is both an innovation and a restoration. Many ancient religious and mystic texts from across the world held very similar views, before patriarchy prevailed and history became dominated by the voice of the few, turning sex/gender into a privilege or a limitation. The Saadawian androgyny is a powerful way to deconstruct patriarchy, because it breaks the hierarchized binary thought on which patriarchy is based.

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