Propelling Iran’s Bad Rep

"Rapture" by Shirin Neshat. [Source].

When I was growing up in a small city on Canada’s East Coast, many of my classmates had no idea where Pakistan was located. It was the mid-eighties and I was unable to convince them I was NOT Indian just because both my parents were born in India. I decided to do an extensive geography project on my home country. I used pictures from my own travels and maps my father collected, and added a lot of details. I carefully drew flags, brought in mithai (Pakistani sweetmeats) and Nazia Hussain tapes, … [Read more...]

The Right to Play or Creeping Sharia? FIFA Overturns its Headscarf Ban

Source: weareasia.com

FIFA has overturned its headscarf ban, enforced since 2007, on women playing soccer with their heads covered. Predictably, the French Football Federation issued an instant “this won’t happen here” communiqué, whereas Qatar, hosting the 2022 Olympics, commended the decision. FIFA’s decision has incited strong criticism online. All you have to do is read the comments in news articles (including the ones I have linked) or participate in discussions on social media (if you like coming … [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 … [Read more...]

Playing on Old Fears: Coverage of Iran’s Female Ninjas

Amid speculations that Iran has made advances in nuclear technology for the purpose of making nuclear weapons, Iranian women have become inserted into the dicey conversation. Numerous news sources have made it their prerogative to discuss exactly how Iranian women fit into this hypothetically catastrophic situation. Oddly enough, they aren’t plugging the ancient and sad mantra of helpless brown women caught between the desires of brown men and white men. Instead, they are approaching … [Read more...]

The Guardian Turns a Water Pistol Fight into an Islamic Wet t-Shirt Contest

I found it refreshing to see pictures of a young Iranians taking part in a water pistol fight in Tehran in The Guardian. Until I realize that every single picture is of soaked women. Anyone else feel weirded out by this? That's the kind of side-eye I'm talking about, sister. Image via Amir/Demotix/Corbis. I'm confused as to why only women are featured (with the exception of one picture showing a man dumping a water bottle on a woman), since there are plenty of men in the background. The … [Read more...]

Brainless Badly Veiled Women

Golnaz Esfandiari writes about a cartoon by a hard-line news agency: "The cartoon suggests that women who cover their hair and body fully are perhaps as smart as Albert Einstein, while those who don't completely observe the obligatory Islamic dress code are brainless." … [Read more...]

Do Greens Represent Iran’s Women’s Movement?

This was written by Sevda Zenjanli and originally appeared at insideIRAN.org. While the Iranian authorities have effectively quashed all overt political organization for women’s rights, today women are the most dynamic group in Iranian opposition politics. The feminist critique of the Green Movement is mainly focused on Moussavi’s wife, Zahra Rahnavard, whose name is often mentioned by the international and pro-Moussavi media as representative of Iranian women’s rights movement. … [Read more...]


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