All feminists and humanists of Think Atheist, I need help/ feedback. 

This is an essay about the arguments Muslims use to explain why veiling is empowering and great, and a response to all of that: 

I was hoping to get feedback, particularly on the 5th argument, which is about sexual objectification. 

I'm looking for a post-modern feminist perspective on this... 

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I cannot give you a muslim perspective, but let me just say.....WOW!!! I really enjoyed reading this blog. For MANY reasons.

First you need some back story. I grew up in an environment where women were expected to dress very sexy, with a lot showing. Make up. Hair. Nails done. The works. If you didn't look "hot" you would be labeled any number of names. To remember a few: prude, up tight, boring....there are too many to list.

I did not have any contact with Muslim women until more recently in my life based on my new(er) geographic location. I knew no muslims growing up...I take tha back, I dated a guy who lived with a man who was a muslim convert. Now that I think about it my ex-boyfriend believed a lot of muslim principles....he was extremely abusive. Not saying the two are mutually exclusive, but it's an interesting observation I hadn't previously thought about. Hmmmm.

Anyway, growing up in this environment where women were expected to "perform" on MANY levels...dress sexy, participate in gangbangs and a lot of very violent sexual expectations, and act in a sexual manner to be considered worth anything, I have often found myself longing to be able to dress like a muslim woman due to many of the arguments that were listed in favor of wearing the veil. I am NOT muslim, but I really like wearing dresses and I would rather be covered up sometimes because I don't like feeling the pressure of maintaining sexy. The "Muslim" look IS sexy in its own way without being revealing (in my opinion.) But since I am not Muslim I wouldn't dare start to dress that way, it would be hearing the perspective that the way you dress doesn't protect honestly sad, disheartening, and quite frankly pisses me off. So it means from one extreme to the other and everywhere in between a woman is seen as a piece of ass. Something to fuck, and a baby maker.

I just got done in a debate with Atheist men who hold the belief that I will look and be treated like a slut for getting a tattoo.

I've been treated like a slut in high heels and pajamas, and I've been raped in both. So it's true, a piece of fabric doesn't protect a woman.

So what does protect a woman? When will we be seen as more than just a hole to fuck by mysogynist men? I am angry. I am hurt, and sick t my stomach, and so tired of having to be or do what someone (or society) says I should do to be "acceptable." I suppose the only power we have is within ourselves to say, "no matter how I look I am beautiful and intelligent, and fuck you!"

I'm really sorry that the essay made you feel that way. It was not my intention for sharing this. 

Well, I guess what the person is trying to say is that women should not be expected to behave in any way in order to please misogynists and patriarchs or to protect themselves from misogynists and patriarchs. I guess learning to have pure pleasure, self indulgence and pride is the best way to go. I would highly suggest checking out blogs of young post-modern feminists on Tumblr and you'll find some great rebellious acts full of happiness and self love. 

As of misogyny and fighting it... learn more about patriarchy. When we learn about it, we get to detect all these internalized sexism and self hate that we have acquired through out fucked up society. After you learn about it, you will probably get to learn about how women everywhere have been fighting it. Keep in mind, that some women who fought patriarchy for their class, race and sexual orientation ended up hurting others. But there are some amazing acts of rebellion and movements of reform or radical change (whichever way you decide to go) that have not only helped create deep change within society, but have in some ways overcome misogyny and kicked it in the face =)

Oh don't apologize! Don't get me wrong I LOVED reading it!!!! I learned quite a bit from it actually. I might need to re-think how I expressed myself there...but I am saying it was GREAT as a woman who is completely ignorant of Muslim society to read that you battle the SAME battles I have battled living in a polar opposite environment leaving one common denominator: MEN. Men who want to control us....I will formulate my thoughts better here because I haven't quite grasped what I am truly getting at here, lol....

Haha, no problem. I was just concerned about your feelings, because I did not include any trigger warnings and now to think of it, I really should have. 

Yes conservatism and misogyny is everywhere. Like she mentioned, Lord Cromer, the very asshole that colonized Egypt on the pretence of "liberating" their women from the veils, was one of the members of the anti-suffrage committee! There is a actually a resource list on her blog that you may want to check out. Some good links to Middle Eastern/ Arab feminists (whether Muslim or Atheist). Actually, my favorite Atheist Arab feminist is Nawal El Saadawi, she criticizes veiling and the hyper-sexualization of women and talks about the problem of misogyny. 

I think misogyny is even greater than men. A lot of men are seriously harmed by it (but almost all of them benefit from it... unless you're a trans man of course). It's just an archaic social structure that seriously needs some rethinking.

Victim blaming and slut shaming are everywhere indeed!

From a TA member with more great videos.



It's interesting. It really enforces stereotypes of Muslim women though... I'm actually wondering whether you read any of the article at all? 

I saw the video when first posted and many muslim viewers were writing nothing but hate about her removing her hijab. One even compared it to homosexuality and zoophilia, others calling her a whore. She eventually had to take the video down. I don't see how that could empower women when everyone bash someone for a piece of cloth.

Edit: Her complete channel down.

Yes, this goes all from slut shaming to colonial "feminism" to more slut shaming. I didn't say anything about the veil being empowering. I do think the video achieves nothing. A lot of women have been removing the veil in my country and in my Muslim community here without this much hatred (but definitely some looks and awkward questions).

Now in talking about the concept of the Hijab itself, the ideas and meanings behind it, you really need to look at the Muslim women who chose to wear it (like I did a few years ago). Then you need to dissect that logic itself. These people's comments may or may not be a factor in these women's decisions. 

Point is, I don't really understand the purpose of the video. Have you read the article?

My limited understanding is something like this:

Wearing the veil is not empowering.  Not wearing the veil is not empowering.  Having the choice; that is empowering.

This is definitely arguing against women who choose to veil (without any social pressures... and some non-muslim women who are even starting to veil... you can find them on youtube channels and blogs everywhere), claiming the four arguments stated in the article... 

That's one looooong blog post. Could you paste in arguement five?


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