The DSK Rape Victim is Everything but a Victim, According to the Media

The media response to the Dominique Strauss-Kahn rape charges is predictably horrific. The salacious gossip can maintain itself for weeks: the victim lives in a complex for HIV-positive residents (no wait! She doesn’t); wears hijab; and is “pious and respectable.” No, you say, she’s not unattractive—she’s actually got great breasts?A full 57% of French citizens claim that Strauss-Kahn, who was set to unseat Sarkozy in the upcoming election, was set-up at his Sofitel Hotel. This, of course, is p … [Read more...]

The Doha Debates on The Burqa Ban

Last month, the Qatar Foundation’s Doha Debates took on the French niqab ban, discussing the motion: “This House believes France is right to ban the face veil.” Since the niqab ban (or the “burqa ban,” and we’ve dubbed it) has been a big media issue on MMW,  a few of MMW's ladies decided to get together to talk about this edition of the Debates.You can read the transcript or watch video at the website.Yusra: Was it just me or were the most recent Doha Debates the best installment so far? S … [Read more...]

Does NiqaBitch Enrich the Burqa Ban Debate?

With articles in Der Spiegel, Rue89, The Telegraph, and a YouTube video in recent weeks, the two self-described web-activists called Niqabitch are making a splash in the French (and European) media landscape. As they said themselves in the Rue89 article, throwing on a burqa in protest of France’s burqa ban would be “too simple.” They wanted to see what would happen by mixing things up a bit and throwing together a niqab with a miniskirt.So the ladies of MMW got together and discussed our feel … [Read more...]

Bérengère Lefranc’s “Un voile, Un certain moi de juin”

Un voile, Un certain moi de juin is the story of French artist Bérengère Lefranc's decision to wear a "burqa" (although she hesitates to define it as such) for one month and write about it.  I was skeptical about this book after reading an initial review of it in Swiss daily Le Temps. Not normally a fan of these "Let's play dress up" stories, I set out to read the book anyway.  Already, the title bothers me.  "Voile" is "veil" in French, and the garment Ms. Lefrance wears most closely resembles a … [Read more...]

Cold Comfort: Supporting Arguments don’t do Burqa Bans a Favor

The proposed French ban on facial coverings* worn by some Muslim women seems like it hasn't left the news for weeks, with new developments popping up regularly and prompting, again, a wave of articles and editorials on the topic. One theme that I've noticed lately is the tendency for people opposed to the ban to contextualize their opposition with a comment along the lines of "I really don't like the burqa/niqab/veil, but I don't agree that it should be banned."  One Canadian blog describes it … [Read more...]

The French (Dis)Connection: on the role of Media and Politics in the Burqa Ban

Aged patronizing feminists, young veiled victims (of Islamist threat), and endangered laïcité éternelle (everlasting secularism): those were the main ingredients of a huge media bubble blown into people’s minds in France this summer.It all started with the sketch of a proposition bill: André Gérin, a left-wing deputy and mayor asked in June the French Parliament to create an Enquiry Commission into the wearing of burqa. His text, co-signed by 58 other deputies, aimed to define legally the lengt … [Read more...]

Sarkozy to the Rescue! France, Burqas, and the Question of “Choice”

As I'm sure many of you have seen already, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said last week that he supports a commission to consider banning the wearing of burqas in public places.  Here are some excerpts of his speech, quoted from this article: "We cannot accept to have in our country women who are prisoners behind netting, cut off from all social life, deprived of identity," Mr. Sarkozy told a special session of parliament in Versailles."That is not the idea that the French republic has of … [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X