Joining me today is Eiynah! You may know her from her podcast Polite Conversations or from a very active and insightful Twitter account, @NiceMangos. First up we talk a bit about the jarring experience I had of seeing fully burka’d women in Europe and what, if anything, can anyone do about it. Then we talk about the hatred that Eiynah has been the subject of from multiple fronts. Some of the discussion gets a little particular to Twitter. I did my best to make sure Eiynah spelled it out for the uninitiated, but I highly recommend checking out her blog where she is able to spell this out in more detail. Find it here!
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One Reply to “SIO35: The Perils of Being Ex-Muslim, with Eiynah”
I really appreciate hearing Eiynah’s voice on feminism and Islam. On her show, she’s been open about the problematic aspects of advocates appropriating the hijab as a feminist/inclusive act which isn’t wholly disqualified, but is troubled by the awareness that choosing to cover one’s hair, even as an act of solidarity, is a privileged position that symbolically incorporates, and perhaps validates, the oppression of women. Listening to her experience and insight has been challenging and helpful.
One of the points that has stuck with me from this discussion is the challenge of critiquing aspects of another culture from an informed and nuanced position while existing in a socio-cultural moment in which overt criticism of that culture is being made, co-opted, and exploited by individuals and political forces that are actively endangering the safety, dismissing the legitimacy, and profiting off of the deliberate alienation of that group.
Speaking specifically to the issue of the burka and niqab, the question seems to become “how do I engage this issue meaningfully without just shifting responsibility for alleviating my discomfort onto the women who are already responding to cultural forces making demands about their appearance/existence in public spaces?”