Marilyn Monroe in a Burqa: Commentary or Cliché?

poster

Walking home recently, I rounded the corner from my apartment and noticed a poster that was banal and startling at the same time. I had previously written about the (mis)use of images of Muslim-looking women by Dutch non-profit organisations as an attention-grabbing device, which may or may not be related to the actual work being promoted. Here was another prime example: a film festival poster showing a pair of female legs and high heels peeking out under a blue burqa, blown about above a vent à … [Read more...]

Double Move: Rethinking Muslim Feminist Strategies

I recently read Layal Ftouni’s essay “Rethinking Gender Studies: Towards an Arab Feminist Epistemology” where the author thinks through those long-standing “stark, defined binaries between tradition, as indigenous and repressive of women; and modernity, as Western and progressive.” The essay is included in the book Arab Cultural Studies: Mapping the Field, and it is focused on feminist movements in Arabic-speaking countries. However, Ftouni’s central concern seems to be reassessing gender relatio … [Read more...]

The Art of “Guilt-ing” Muslim Women into (Un)Covering

Source

I am not a hijabi. My choice is not religious or political, but rather cultural. Upon my conversion to Islam, it didn’t take too long before I was asked when I would wear hijab, and I was taught how to “properly” wear it. I must admit that I contemplated it for a couple of years. In my community in Northern Alberta, hijab-wearing converts had access to a whole different level of community relationships.However, the more time passed, the more I realized that hijab was not for me. I had no … [Read more...]

Friday Links | March 28, 2014

On Thursday the government of the Philippines and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) signed a historic peace deal, ending decades of conflict. These women attended a rally on the island of Mindanao in support of this deal, faces painted with the MILF flag. Image by Ted Aljibe/AFP

The mayor of Indonesia's second-largest city Surabaya, Tri Rismaharini, has vowed to close down the city's largest brothel complex; other mayors have made similar promises, but this particular mayor is known for her can-do approach.Hundreds of Crimea Tatars, mainly women and children, are leaving Crimea for Ukraine, out of fear of how Russian rule will impact their lives and their community.One Pakistani lawmaker is battling to increase the punishment for child marriage; officially girls … [Read more...]

Words and Images of Afghan Women Poets

Image via Slate.

Earlier this month, Slate featured a photography-poetry project, “The Secret Lives of Afghanistan’s Female Poets.” The photography-poetry collaboration stems from the work of journalist Eliza Griswold and photographer Seamus Murphy, who reported “Why Afghan Women Risk Death to Write Poetry” for the New York Times magazine in 2012. Griswold and Murphy’s work will be published in a book, I Am the Beggar of the World: Landays from Contemporary Afghanistan, next month.In the New York Times articl … [Read more...]

Grey Zones of #letsamahplay

letsamahplay

Crossposted from Tumblr. I have been sent @DivineDavis’ recent popular tweet - complete with the hashtag #letsamahplay - many, many times. It involves a girls’ soccer team and hijab used in protest of an unfair rule. My family and friends thought I might have missed it. Perhaps they thought I might be excited by it. Or grateful.Because the hashtag implied the all-important issue of a woman not being allowed to play, I was interested. But, I was perplexed. I had about 500 que … [Read more...]

Unpacking #MuslimMaleAllies

Screenshot of some of the #MuslimMaleAllies tweets.

Earlier this month, Shaykh Abu Eesa Niamatullah wreaked havoc on International Women’s Day (IWD) after posting a series of painfully sexist comments on Twitter and Facebook. Reactions were virtually instant and plentiful. Among the more interesting responses, Hind Makki started using #MuslimMaleAllies on Twitter. That the hashtag became widely popular raises questions about the expectations (or lack thereof) we have for Muslim men within our communities. For those that haven’t been following, he … [Read more...]


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