Khadidje, Fadumah, Ruqaya, Fippan and Bettan are all characters created by blogger Gina Dirawi, a Palestinian Swede whose comic videos mocking racial and other stereotypes have become something of a sensation on the Swedish blogosphere. The following her blog has generated is large enough that she is currently blogging in affiliation with Swedish national television to encourage more young people to vote in September. Some of Gina’s characters can be seen here, in an old ‘Halal Hills’ parody.
Through her characters, Gina deal with issues that are becoming central in Sweden’s simultaneously multicultural and yet segregated society, while using stereotypes to make fun of stereotypical notions. One of her most famous characters is Khadidje, a woman who typifies many stereotypes about immigrant Muslim women in Sweden. Khadidje is judgmental and closed-minded, and likes shouting at her children and throwing shoes at her daughter Fadumah. She has a unibrow, a pursed expression and a constant holier-than-thou attitude, declaring everything she disapproves of to be “Haram!” Video below in Swedish:
Bettan, on the other hand, presents a stereotype of a working-class Swedish woman. She is a card-carrying racist, her favorite hobby is drinking, and she is often seen with a bicycle helmet attached to her head. She is also culturally insensitive and has all the intelligence and acumen of a lobotomized Bush.
The danger with satires which claim to mock stereotypes is that they can come off as attempts to have one’s cake and eat it, too; so that what is purportedly intended to mock stereotypes ends up reinforcing them. In these situations, it becomes difficult to distinguish between the satire and the stereotype.