This paper argues that the demonization of Raya and Sakina in the Egyptian press represented a new preoccupation with subaltern threats to the middle-class family. The interaction between workers and the lower middle class in the fluid spaces of Alexandria's bars, brothels and sūqs became a growing concern for both the colonial state and Egyptian nationalists after World War I, and the denunciation of these spaces in media discussions about the Alexandria serial murder case reflected a new panic about the corruption of middle-class women. Reports about the case in the media were accompanied by regular editorials arguing for the need to limit women's presence in public space and to socialize women to avoid activities that might lead them to enter illicit spaces. The desire was not to reform the working poor but rather to reform the domestic habits of middle-class women by keeping them away from the working poor. The gendered and sexual morality of women thus became the new dividing line between subalterns and the middle class, and the basis upon which women were included into the emerging Egyptian nation state.
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