Empowered femininities? It is worth exploring the relationship between women and film religi in which female characters assume the role of boundary markers of nation and religion. The reference to women as markers of the boundaries of national ideology is a common theme in post-colonial nations-states, serving as symbolic representations in the rhetoric of inclusion… Continue reading More thoughts on femininities in Indonesian Islamically-themed cinema
Malaysia is a fat-phobic country, and so it’s welcoming to see pockets of fat acceptance in the media. In this case, a rare fashion spread for “plus-sized” women in a local Muslim women’s lifestyle magazine, Nur. Reading the text above, the use of the word “comel” (cute) to mean larger body is interesting; while it… Continue reading Cute big bodies: Fashion for plus-size Muslim women in a Malaysian magazine
Ayat-ayat cinta (Verses of love, 2008, dir. Hanung Bramantyo) and Syahadat cinta (Shahada of love, 2008, dir. Gunawan Panggaru) portray the religious conversion of two Christian female characters, Maria and Pricilia respectively, to Islam after developing an intimate relationship with the Muslim male protagonists. The women convert to Islam for different reasons. For Maria, it… Continue reading The gender politics of conversion narratives in film religi
Salwa al-Mutairi, a Kuwaiti politican, gave a cold-blooded proposal for Muslim men to take female slaves, especially non-Muslim female prisoners of war, for sexual use (or rather rape). It has rather unpredictably come under fire. Slavery is one of the most abhorrent forms of abuse of power in this modern age. But the basic principles… Continue reading On sexual slavery and the question of what makes something ‘Islamic’
There may be 1,001 Muslim feminist critiques on the European burqa ban and its attendant jokes and jibes, insults, and ridiculousness. But what should remain clear is that we Muslim feminists are not just about the hijab. The recent discussion on LGBT acceptance on MMW revealed the cracks in the Muslim “sisterhood” and it began… Continue reading Is Muslim feminism more than just a hijab defense?
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?
First published over at the F-Word blog. The ban on the full-face veil in Belgium seems like the easiest thing to mete out as far as unconstitutional legislations are concerned. Out of about 215 women who wear either the niqab or burqa in the country, many belong to immigrant communities, many are hard done by… Continue reading Of sartorial choices and oppression
Once a week I meet with people studying gender in the Middle East and we talk about the assigned articles we’ve read during the week. Last week, it was about sexuality and homophobia. Emerging from our discussion on homosexuality rights in the Middle East (particularly in Lebanon and Palestine) is the question why many Muslim… Continue reading Muslim feminists have too much to worry about already to think about homophobia
This post was first published on Muslimah Media Watch If a hijab in Pucci-designed print could speak, what would it say? I attended a seminar presented by Professor Reina Lewis on Muslim women’s lifestyle magazines last night and was faced with this bizarre question. It all started with the actual seminar itself, which showcased the… Continue reading Marketing Muslim lifestyles and redefining modesty
Originally posted at Muslimah Media Watch Stories about polygamy tend to surge and ebb in the media, but they never fail to intrigue people. Recently in South Africa, a Zulu man married four women–all at once–making the most popular story on the BBC news website (you can watch the clip here). In the video, a… Continue reading Big Love: Appropriating feminism in advocating polygamy