Bird’s Eye: Sometimes the linkages really work together, and this is such a case. Slate magazine hosts a community of women discussing what feminism means today; Muslimah Media Watch is a blog on which Muslim women discuss contemporary media – in this case they debate whether NiqaBitch enriches or demeans the Niqab debate; Alex Needham in the Guardian looks at Camille Paglia’s demolition of Lady Gaga, and finds it wanting; and Amira Al Sharif, a Yemeni woman and a photographic journalist, is trying to raise money for her photographic contrast on the lives of women in America and in Yemen
* Does NiqaBitch Enrich the Burqa Ban Debate? Muslimah Media Watch
Nicole: I think this idea of protest for protest’s sake is typically French, a tongue-in-cheek representation similar to the “burqa experiment” of Bérengère Lefranc. As I said about Lefranc (and as the duo said about themselves), I don’t think the Niqabitch experiment is about Islam or Muslim women per se. Rather, a false dichotomy of their look highlights two things. First, the burqa debate is really just about who owns women’s bodies, whether these women are covered up or not, and for that Niqabitch is spot on.
* Why You Can’t Own Feminism DoubleX Staff – Slate Magazine
On one hand, I feel about this the way my father felt about Jews. If you want to call yourself a Jew (God help you), who are we to object? Mazel tov. You’re a Jew; here’s an eggroll. Unfortunately, feminism requires a better standard.
Being a feminist does not mean “I’m a woman who has accomplished things in the non-domestic world.” Being African-American and on the Supreme Court does not make Clarence Thomas a Civil Rights activist; it makes him a product of the Civil Rights Movement. Feminism, I’m pretty sure, means a commitment to equal opportunity, equal ability, and equal potential for all women. It doesn’t mean (and I realize that reasonable women differ on the definition of feminism—that’s why it’s feminism and not algebra) that a possession of a womb brings with it a special spiritual gift, or that women are avatars of goodness, entitled to yell, “Misogynist!” whenever it is to their advantage.
* Camille Paglia’s Attack On Lady Gaga Is Way Off The Mark Alex Needham
Paglia’s Gaga essay contains some insights (is texting, emailing and Twitter making body language incomprehensible to us? Maybe it is), but the professor who once heralded the future of feminism now seems marooned in the past.
* A Muslim Woman Documents Lives of American Women Amira Al Sharif Kickstarter
From when I was a little girl, I wanted to visit America. I am finally here starting classes at the International Center of Photography and will soon begin my project documenting the lives of American women in their 20s, comparing and contrasting their lives with the way my sisters and I live in Yemen. How do they dress? What are their relationships like with their families, boyfriends, colleagues? In what ways are we similar? And in which ways are we different?