Rejected (Muslim) Princesses: awesomely offbeat women in history

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If you're our regular reader, you know that mainstream media sorely lacks female characters who have a range of emotions, abilities and ambitions - in other words: real women.Children's animated films are of no exception. It was only in 2009 that Disney introduced its first Disney princess of colour, black princess Tiana from The Princess and the Frog. More recently, Princess Elsa of Frozen (2013) was lauded for being a "complex and contentious heroine" by the Feminist Wire. But most cha … [Read more...]

TED Talks and Superheroes: New Representations of Muslim Women

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I have a friend who is obsessed with TED Talks, and who recently sent me link to this TEDx Talk with the title “I am a mad Arabian woman.” I rolled my eyes a little. Anything with the word “Arabian” (when its not followed by the word “horse”) makes me roll my eyes. But then, this was the same person who had sent me the video of Palestinian-American stand-up comic Maysoon Zayid’s talk “I got 99 problems... palsy is just one,” which (although Zayid makes a point of saying “I’m not inspirational”) I … [Read more...]

When Bridging Between Cultures Doesn’t Help

Image of the "Fragrant Concubine." [Source].

Responding to a question on the potential of art to transform at Jewish Book Week last year, Palestinian-Israeli writer Sayed Kashua commented: “Sometime people talk about culture and literature and art as something that can connect people together…to bridge between cultures. I hate bridging between cultures. It should be tunnels.”I was reminded of Kashua’s undercutting of too-easy attempts to celebrate the transformative potential of art by the recent revelation of a 3D cartoon which hopes t … [Read more...]

Ms. Marvel Reviewed

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Can a young American, Muslim woman who discovers her superpowers change the way Muslim women are perceived in the United States?My knowledge of comics is limited to what is presented in mainstream film incarnations—who among us hasn’t seen one of the many films that portray superheroes onscreen? Those cosmic tales where protagonists (predominantly male, of course) appeal to so many for the escape of life’s misfortunes—that ability to transcend the everyday drudgery through spectacular feats, … [Read more...]

Veil Stereotypes: Constructing and Distorting Muslim Women

A screen capture of a Google image search for “Muslim women.”

This post was first published at wood turtle.Last summer I spoke at a conference about some of the media stereotyping of Muslim women and the consequences that negative images and Islamophobia have on Muslim women and their families.Over a series of posts I’ll be sharing some of my research looking at the various ways Muslim women and mothers are presented by media, how this effects women’s relationships to their families, religion and Selves, and how women are in turn, responding to thes … [Read more...]

Beard Memes and the Proper Hijab Narrative

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This post was originally posted at wood turtle’s blog.The day my friend took off hijab was disappointing. While everyone was offering congratulations on the new look, I couldn't help wonder if my friend was having a crisis of faith. And when I asked if everything was okay, I learned a secret truth that sent me reeling.He never wore hijab in the first place.Naive assumptions led me to stereotype my friend as the "type of Muslim" who sports a beard out of religiosity, modesty and a refl … [Read more...]

The Subtleties of Being Caught in the Crossfire

Maryam Basir. [Source].

This post was written by guest contributor Amina Jabbar (@AminaJabbar).Amina Jabbar, Twitter handle: @AminaJabbarIn a recent article, “Muslim women are caught in the crossfire between bigots on both sides,” Sara Khan thoughtfully maps the spaces that Western Muslimahs negotiate. Muslim women, on one end, are more likely to experience Islamophobic violence than Muslim men. In the UK, Khan notes, as much as 54% of the violence is perpetrated by those with links to the British National Par … [Read more...]


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