In recent news, Muslim women have been highlighted for their violent actions towards in men in their society.
While comparing different articles reporting on the incident of the unnamed Iranian woman (whom I will refer to as the Bad Hijabi for convenience) who beat up the cleric who policed her for her “bad hijab,” I couldn’t help but marvel at the remarkably imaginative accompanying photos:
Okay, women in Iran wear black chadors, we get it. But there’s a class and ideological dimension to the chador, just as there is a class and ideological dimension to the women in Iran who wear manteaux, show some (highlighted) hair, and wear visible makeup. In fact, just like many of the harassed women, the Bad Hijabi was probably dressed like this:
By showing Iranian women only as black tents, living in a country where women’s rights are in a “sordid state,” these articles serve to compare Iranian women to their Western counterparts who are fighting to “go topless.” The lack of women’s rights is framed to focus on what they cannot wear and what they cannot do, even as similar restrictions on what they cannot wear are underway in France, Netherlands, and Canada. Once again, we are invited to pity these Muslim women who must live under such repressed conditions, and support their efforts to fight against the men who hate them.
But it’s not actually about the hijab. [Read more...]