I’ve met lots and lots of girls and women who are what society would label angry and bitchy. The kind who are really hard to deal with because they’re just so constantly angry — because we are socially programmed to deal ONLY with nice, soft-spoken, soft-minded, and just generally soft girls because that’s how all girls are supposed to be. This post is about calling ourselves and each other out on our incessant need to expect girls to fit into this narrow mold, and when they don’t, then they’re being bitches – and that, society tells us, is unacceptable for a girl to be: a girl’s choice to be “bitchy” means, we are taught to believe, that she’s up for mockery and attack and condemnation and other public commentary from society.
If you are a member of this FB group I’m talking about below, I urge you to re-think your values. If you have ever used the word “hojabi” to refer to a woman whose hijab style you don’t approve of, with the excuse that it’s “un-Islamic,” I urge you, too, to re-think your values and re-evaluate your relationship with the divine and with fellow humans. You’re doing harm to yourself and to those on whom you put such labels.
Because, as usual, this post got longer than I’d intended for it to, here’s a brief outline: I’ll first introduce this FB group, then share some of their photos with group members’ comments on the photos, and then discuss ten things that are wrong with the group itself as well as the broader concept of a “hOjabi” woman and what it means for Muslim women. Continue reading
I’m doing a whole bunch of thinking about myself lately, so expect more of this kind of blogs. I try to keep away from sharing personal reflections in my blog, but to hell with it all now; I’ll write about whatever I want and whatever needs to be said. This particular matter is about what exactly “be yourself, be you” (sometimes “Girrrl, be you, do you!” I like both, whatevz) actually mean.
Everyone tells us to be ourselves. (Hell, even this patriarchal society that’s the bane of us women tells us to be yourselves – but then it goes around and says, “No, not that way.”) But for once, I’m not going to talk about the shitty lies that society tells us (women) about how to be and how not to be. I’m talking about when our closest friends, our loving family members, our mentors advise us kindly not to worry about what everyone else thinks and says but to just be ourselves and just be happy with who we are.
This semester, I’m taking some awesome dance workout classes – to maintain my sanity. Most of the classes have been amazing and insanely therapeutic so far, but the one I was actually most looking forward to–belly dancing–has been a disappointment. And after much thought and frustration, I’ve decided to quit it. There are two main reasons.
I’ve come across so many funny images/messages on the hijab that I figured I should start compiling them and share them on the blog. I hope you enjoy them at least as much as I do!
DISCLAIMER: I am not against the hijab and I am not against any hijabis. In fact, I fully support the hijab as well as those who wear it. But I am against the objectification of the hijabi, as can be seen in too many of the images below; I’m against the sexualization of the woman (the human!) through the hijab; I’m against the many assumptions that are made about the Muslim female who does not cover her head, whether per her own volition or someone/something else’s–the hijab doesn’t define anyone; a person’s character does. Beliefs say nothing about us, and they mean nothing; it is our behavior, our personality, our character–everything that is “us” besides the piece of cloth that is on our head. After all, do most Muslims not agree that the hijab is more than just the head-covering? If that’s really true, then why the following images? Why the judgments against anyone who doesn’t wear the hijab? Why the comparison of the non-hijabi female to a lolly pop (wow – just wow) and that of the hijabi to a “pearl” (again, wow!)? Or the chicken metaphor (see below). And, dude! Men (or women) telling us “how” to wear the hijab or what’s hijab and what’s not? What the hellz? Who put YOU in charge, my dear “outwardly pious” brother (or sister) in Islam? And, by the way, to those patriarchal folks fighting for “men’s rights,” know that you’re actually insulting men by telling women to cover their head so as not to test men’s “sexual urges” & stop insulting women by objectifying them through the hijab. The human male is NOT a rapist or molester by default or by nature; he grows up as one, and our ideas that “women whose hair is covered are better and more self-respecting than those whose hair is not covered; the one with the head-covering on doesn’t want to be raped and doesn’t want negative attention, but the one without it OBVIOUSLY does” are crucial to their (men’s) growing up as rapists or potential rapists/molesters. These messages don’t help anyone but rapists.
It is tragic to realize that we live in a society that teaches women how NOT to get raped instead of teaching men NOT to rape. For more on this, see my post “The Hijab as a Solution to Rape?”
This topic has come up a couple of times in the past week or so. Especially because I would agree with anyone who says we need to see more men like this in the media; it needs to be pointed out more publicly and widely that nail polish and make-up daddies (or, heck, non-parents, too!) are totally cool, and that their masculinity is not so delicate as to be annihilated through this “feminine” act. Especially when it’s for the love of their daughters or granddaughters. (Okay, for simplicity’s sake, I am going to just use “daddies” instead of both “daddies and granddaddies.”)
Now, I think a new criterion needs to be set for all husbands/potential fathers: That they be willing to be nail-polish and make-up daddies (and/or husbands – but let’s focus for now)