The Men We Should Not Marry

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A few days ago a fellow Facebook friend of Indian descent posted “10 reasons why you should not marry a Pakistani man”. Articles like this are not uncommon, since attitudes towards marrying certain types of men are not uncommon. In all cultures, religions and groups, there are assumptions about the best or worst marriage partners which often rely on a bunch of stereotypes that are not necessarily helpful or useful when engaging in partner-seeking.Image accompanying the article.- Via The E … [Read more...]

“I Wasn’t Always Dressed Like This”: A Documentary Exploring Hijab as a Choice

Scene from I Wasn't Always Dressed Like This. [Source].

The concept of wearing hijab tends to stir controversy around the world, especially in the media. For some, hijab may be a piece of cloth that women wear as part of social traditions; for some others, it is a form of religious devoutness; yet, for others, it is a symbol of oppression and injustice towards Muslim women.While some women are forced to wear hijab by their husbands, brothers, or fathers, others do it voluntarily. This is the central theme of the documentary I Wasn't Always … [Read more...]

From Gaga to Malala: Muslim Women as Stereotypes and Exceptions

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Editor's note: Malala Yousafzai has been extensively covered in media lately, and several MMW writers wanted to weigh in on the way she is being portrayed.  Today's post is by Amina; stay tuned for reflections from Nicole and Eren later this week.Just a couple of months ago, Lady Gaga wore a ridiculous, sheer pink burqa. While I didn’t buy her reasons for it, she allegedly did it as some vague, old attempt at empowering Muslim women by trashing a form of hijab.(Read Eren’s take on “Pink Burqa … [Read more...]

On Portrayals of Indonesian Muslim Women: In Search of the Missing Pictures

There are a number of reasons why I decided to contribute to this blog. One of them was because sometimes I find myself in a no-(wo)man’s land when it comes to media portrayals of Indonesian Muslim women in general. Years ago, I came across this meme about hijabs. The image on the bottom left struck me as a familiar stereotype of Indonesian women, one that is most especially notable in the Middle East: that of the lowly-educated housemaids. My mother, who travels to Saudi Arabia on a regular b … [Read more...]

Iron(y) Man 3: Saving Muslim Women

An Iron Man 3 action figure.

Explosions, gripping fight scenes, artificial intelligence, funny one-liners, sexist playboy arrogance and close-ups of Robert Downey Jr.'s face overlaid with computer graphics are everything I expect when walking into an Iron Man movie. What I don't expect are convenient and overused Hollywood tropes about Muslim women. So now you know my guilty pleasure. I'm a science-fiction-superhero-action-film geek -- and I frequent these movie genres in part to turn off my brain, enjoy some CGI … [Read more...]

Are “Latina” Muslim Women the New Face of Islam?

Henri Matisse’s Odalisque - via It’s About Time

What do you think when you hear the word Latin? Or Latina, to be more exact? Spicy? Or perhaps “loud,” “flamboyant” and “sexy”? Maybe the word just inspires images of women like Salma Hayek and J-Lo. Many of us are, sadly, very familiar with the image of what “Latinas” are supposed to look like. Just think of bombshell Gloria from Modern Family, hyper-sexual Gabrielle Solis from Desperate Housewives or Michelle Rodríguez, the sexy tomboy, from Fast and Furious.As a Latin American woman, t … [Read more...]

Hijab: A Muslim Woman’s only Achievement?

Source: badassmuslimahs.tumblr.com

As a person who interacts with a Western Muslim community that places great importance in women’s clothing and female modesty, I am rarely surprised by the focus on hijab as the sign of piety. Similarly, I have unfortunately gotten used to the obsession in some Western media with hijabs and black robes as symbols of oppression.  Hijab is everywhere. It is in my mosque, in my community, and in the media. However reading the multitude of recent media stories on hijab over the past few weeks, I was … [Read more...]


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