Tag Archives: Muslimah Media Watch

Racialicious Crush Of The Week: Oppressed Brown Girls Doing Things

By Andrea Plaid

Madame Owner/Editrix has nicknamed my new position of Associate Editor as “Tumblr-In-Chief” because I mostly curate–with generous help from said Owner/Editrix–that part of the R’s universe. There I’ve seen some slaying animated gifs on how white privilege works in everyday conversations about race (deliciouskaek, I’m looking at you) to some incredibly brilliant convos on Racism 101 and feminism (too numerous and ongoing to mention).

And then, to paraphrase comedian Katt Williams, something wonderful happens in the Tumblr World: Oppressed Brown Girls Doing Things.

Courtesy: Flickr

The funky-fun and ROTFLMAO offspring of the “Sh-t X Says To Y” meme, M.I.A., and Muslimah Media Watch, this Tumblr lacerates the whole Western Feminist Savior Complex  about women of color, as defined by the curator: “The title was made because of the posts about Middle Eastern women being oppressed specifically, but it could be related to all WoC.” (And to make crystal who she includes in the term of “women of color“: “Queer, non-binary, trans* WoC can submit as well!”) The curator chooses to center the Tumblr on Muslim and South Asian women because of the “insane amount of posts that talk about how awful Muslim/South Asian women are being oppressed” when the women themselves may have totally different ideas of what liberation and oppression means for their daily lives.

How OBGDT lays waste to Western feminists thinking that Brown women and girls are waiting to be rescued by them is the photo/faux-National Geographic Narrator caption combo, like this:

 

When I’m not being oppressed, I’m hanging with the Jawas. Courtesy: carriedinakangaroospouch

 

and this:

When I’m not too busy being oppressed, I like to read. Silly Western feminists, thinking I don’t know who Dumbledore is! Courtesy: insanepoet9

 

this:

This despicably oppressed, brown teenage girl likes to stuff her mouth with burgers, while she is out with guys. Courtesy: allonsyidjits

and this:

This is me being doubly oppressed as a black woman in India. I was so glad when I finally held the American bills of freedom and wore tank tops at home, which is obviously related to being more liberated. Courtesy: kaminapan

I love this satiric take(down) of showing that Muslim/South Asian women may not need us Westerners, especially us Western feminists, the way we think we should be needed. As the women are doing things–like, you know, living their lives–the rest of us may need to rethink how we do things…like, you know, say we’re standing up for “women everywhere.”

 

On Shelves Now: I Speak For Myself, Featuring Fatemeh Fakhraie

By Arturo R. García

It is frustrating and disappointing to catch hell in mainstream society for being Muslim and also within the Muslim community for being African-American. When I am not perceived as an oppressed Muslim woman in need of liberation, I am seen as an ignorant and potentially unruly black woman.
- Jameelah Xochitl Medina, PhD candidate and author, excerpted from I Speak For Myself (via The Christian Science Monitor)

At a time when America’s Muslim communities are constantly under scrutiny by both the media and political figures, I Speak For Myself is an especially relevant – and especially necessary – work.

Edited by Maria Ebrahimji, an executive producer for CNN, and Zahra Suratwala, a writer and business consultant based out of Chicago, ISFM is a collection of 40 essays by American Muslim women. And I’m pleased to no end to report that among them is our friend, recognized badass and editor of Muslimah Media Watch, Fatemeh Fakhraie, whose essay was highlighted in MMW’s own review of the book:

Perhaps put most intimately by Fatemeh is the theme of longing for the country of our parents as a means to getting closer to our identity. She writes,

“Searching for himself and a better life drew Baba away from the Islamic Republic of Iran; searching for myself and my roots draws me nearer to it. Yet in reality, it is not the republic I am drawn to. Rather, I am trying to get nearer to my father through this land where my ancestors are buried.”

Other reoccurring themes include birth names, balancing hyphenated identities, the need to be validated by both Americans and Muslims and, of course, hijab.

While these themes seem to be woven, to some extent, into each narrative, the narratives themselves are varied in scope.

We’ll have more on ISFM in the coming days, but for now, we want to encourage you to order the book here.