My Subversive Little Girl in Blue

I’ve always been fascinated by how certain symbols function as gender markers in the societies I’ve known. Little hijabs for little girls is one example, while a non-Muslim friend of mine dresses her also sparsely coiffed infant in frilly pink dresses because people keep thinking she’s a little boy. It can be so uncomfortable for parents to see their little girl babies be still bald for years that a little hijab or flower headpiece seems truly essential.I’m not too bothered by what people … [Read more...]

The Scary Independent Woman

A few weeks ago, an Indonesian religious teacher triggered a debate on Twitter when he made a series of tweets regarding women. Among his tweets were: The strength of a woman is in her gentleness and maternal traits | what else could it be? | firm, strong, and fatherly? hehe..Fyi, a pious husband loves to be relied on, counted on, and trusted | it makes him feel appreciated as a man :DA wife who is meek in front of her husband is agreeable | a wife who is strong and firm in front of her … [Read more...]

Beard Memes and the Proper Hijab Narrative

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...]

Fashion Designers, How Not to Study Gender, and More on Iran’s Women Ninjas

An eclectic round-up of some articles of interest elsewhere on the internet:A Muslim participant on Project Runway Philippines was recently eliminated.  MMW reader Sumaya writes that, "Just as quickly as I found out about the first Muslimah to be on Project Runway in the third season of Project Runway Phillipines, sadly I found out she was recently eliminated in the last rounds. Fatima Guerrero, a 21-year-old fashion student from Nueva Ecija,is still awesome in my books."  From G … [Read more...]

Gender Bender: Abdulaziz’s Al Qahtani’s Lahd Exhibition

Abdulaziz Al Qahtani is a Saudi Arabian artist based in London. His first exhibition, “An Intimate Geography,” is at the Lahd Gallery. It examines the contradictory relationship between Middle Eastern women and Western society. The exhibition is comprised of a series of twelve images that aim to show the complexities of life in the Middle East.There were three main themes in the photographs; critiquing gender inequality, consumption, and individuality. Through examining the contradictions wit … [Read more...]

Rowdy Saudis: MTV’s “Resist the Power: Saudi Arabia”

As part of the True Life series, MTV recently aired an episode titled, “Resist the Power! Saudi Arabia,” in which the lives of several young Saudis were filmed. The show documents a handful of struggles experienced by Saudi Arabia’s large youth population. Among them, the show follows a young man named Ahmad in his fight to provide women a voice within Jeddah’s City Council and Fatima, a 20-year-old psychology student (pictured below), who is pioneering a colorful abaya line that will challenge t … [Read more...]

Revisiting the Islamic Spirit: Women at the 2009 RIS Convention: Part 2

This is part two of Krista's review of the Reviving the Islamic Spirit Convention. You can see part one here.Dr. Zainab Alwani, an Islamic studies professor and community activist, was the second of the female speakers, on a panel entitled "The Apple's Rotten Core: The Social Implications of Domestic Violence."  She listed a number of statistics related to domestic violence, including that an average of four women in the United States die every day because of domestic violence.Alwani was … [Read more...]