Academic style

Google ‘academic style’ and chances are you’ll get academic writing style and not academic sartorial style. How is a woman to know how to dress like an academic? Deciding what to wear for work as an academic is supposed to be exciting. The academic identity exudes authority and expertise, and so it should seem obvious… Continue reading Academic style

Aquila: A new kind of Muslim woman?

First published in Muslimah Media Watch +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ For those familiar with women’s “lifestyle” magazines, the call to be “sexy” in some way or another is not new. We women need to have “sexy” everything: attitude, legs, skin, armpits, you name it. So pervasive is this message that I’m surprised that no one has spontaneously combusted… Continue reading Aquila: A new kind of Muslim woman?

Book review: The Secret Life of Syrian Lingerie – Intimacy and Design by Malu Halasa and Rana Salam

Syria’s unlikely notoriety for racy underwear collides head on with the stereotyped image of the veiled and prudish Muslim woman. In a way, ‘The Secret Life of Syrian Lingerie‘ (2008, Chronicle Books) had come at an opportune time to dispel these fossilised images, but at the same time will feed to a ‘Western’ obsession with… Continue reading Book review: The Secret Life of Syrian Lingerie – Intimacy and Design by Malu Halasa and Rana Salam

Lipstick feminism is not feminism

There are a couple of reasons why feminism has a difficult time taking root in many places; first, it’s because there is widespread suspicion of its origins. Historically and currently (by the Bush Admin), it has been abused to spread imperialism. It has strong associations with the privileged and ironically, paternalistic women who like to… Continue reading Lipstick feminism is not feminism

The tackiness and insensitivity that is Vogue India

This was originally posted on The New York Times website: NEW DELHI — An old woman missing her upper front teeth holds a child in rumpled clothes — who is wearing a Fendi bib (retail price, about $100). A family of three squeezes onto a motorbike for their daily commute, the mother riding without a… Continue reading The tackiness and insensitivity that is Vogue India