But the idea of leveraging a universal hatred against men, or allowing ourselves to feel as though there is a clear divide in terms of gendered power, and that it falls distinctly on the men vs. women line, fuels a slippery slope of profound privilege denying. Because to pretend as though the 22-year-old white female blogger talking about her hatred of men from the comfort of her prepaid dorm at an Ivy League school does not hold many tangible privileges over, say, the undocumented male worker who is cleaning the bathroom stalls of her building at night, is ludicrous. There are countless privileges she has over him, and countless points of access she has in our society that he will never see.
Here’s why I can’t get behind white feminist chants like “KILL ALL MEN!” because, here’s some shocking news, Otherized men of color/minority-religion especially in the context of Western “democracies” are killed, injured, profiled and spied on and punished needlessly pretty frequently. In case you noticed.
Writer Eliza Griswold and photographer Seamus Murphy went to Afghanistan in search of Pashtun women’s poetry. In cities and villages in Kabul, Nangrahar, and Helmand Provinces they collected two-line folk poems called Landays.
Landays are two-line poems from Afghanistan; the word landay meaning short, poisonous snake. Reading them opens up the hidden world of Pashtun women. I hope the photographs conjured here from absorbing their wisdom and provocation can achieve something similar.
What makes landays even more remarkable is that the poetry comes from mostly illiterate Pashtun women leading isolated lives in rural areas. In the form of a 22- syllable couplet, they anonymously cover risky and taboo subjects; love, loss, exile, sex, drones, the Taliban, the weakness of men, being sold to old men, America.
Anonymity is the key to their candor, as it was the license I used to approach this as a photographer. As I couldn’t, or at least shouldn’t photograph the women, it freed me to capture what they wrote about. Life, and their lives in Afghanistan.
Poet and writer Eliza Griswold and I had long talked about collaborating on a project about Afghanistan that would satisfy our particular curiosity for the place. Eliza worked on the words and I worked on the imagery. Poetry Magazine in the U.S. is devoting its June 2013 issue to the word and picture story we produced, the first time in 100 years of publishing they have given an entire edition to one subject.
- Seamus Murphy
Quotes by Uzma Shakir - Muslim woman and feminist. (via mehreenkasana)
1. Kids don’t drop out of school, they’re pushed out because the knowledge is not meaningful.
2. Activism is not about convenience. I cannot be antiracist all day and then go home at 5 o’clock, put my feet up and be a bigot.
3. As a white person you can walk away when you get tired about talking about white privilege. A person of colour cannot walk away.
4. I can speak English. The gift of 200 years of colonialism: you come out of your mother’s womb speaking English.
5. I had an arranged marriage. I arranged it myself.
6. Language is not neutral. Language is political.
7. The Sharia Hysteria: if you want it you’re a Neanderthal, if you don’t want it you are a liberal.
8. Muslims do not have a monopoly on oppressing women.
9. I don’t get offended anymore. If I’m continually insulted I am frozen into inaction.
10. If I am the standard and you are different from me then I have the power.
11. When you get tired of anti-racism and social justice, remember those who cannot walk away. You’ve got to stand with them.
12. I don’t mind being an immigrant. But my children were born here — their imagination of home begins and end in Canada. I can go home to Pakistan but this is home to my children.
13. Pakistan has been colonized for 200 years but the colonizers went home. They left behind their cronies to watch over us.
14. I didn’t know I was being a feminist until I came here a week ago. I thought I was just a woman who liked to fight.
15. We have to fight together. We have been marginalized and oppressed and if we’re not careful we’re going to marginalize and oppress someone else.
16. Everyone wants to save the muslim woman. Some want to put the hijab on me and save me; some want to take hijab off me and save me; some want to bomb us and save me. Just give me a break man! I can save myself! I don’t need Western imperialism to save me or Western feminism riding on the coattails of Western imperialism to save me. I can save myself.
17. Just because we are doing social justice does not mean we are socially just.
18. We [immigrants and refugees] don’t come here to live in poverty. We don’t come for the weather and we don’t come for the food – we bring the food! We come for the democracy.
19. To hurt someone is to sin. To watch someone else get hurt and do nothing is a greater sin.
20. If you are a man you can be a feminist – if you are a man you
must be a feminist because if you’re not, you’re part of the problem.
21. I wish all I had to worry about was [my son’s] baggy pants and who he dates. I have to worry if he’s going to get arrested, if he’s playing basketball, out with his Black and Arab friends. This is part of mothering for black mothers, aboriginal mothers, and now it is true for Muslim mothers.
Wearing a hijab isn’t inherently liberating – but neither is baring one’s breasts. What is liberating is being able to choose either of these things. It’s pretty ludicrous to think that oppression is somehow proportional to how covered or uncovered someone’s body is. Both sides of this argument present a shallow understanding of women’s empowerment, which only drowns out the substantive challenges facing all women – issues that cannot be encapsulated in a debate about a piece of fabric.
Sara Yasin, Is the Hijab Worth Fighting Over?
It is important to recall that other, far more lethal recent events, including the mass shootings in Aurora, Colorado and the school massacre at Sandy Hook, Connecticut have not been termed “terrorism,” nor their perpetrators labeled “terrorist” by the government. Why? [T]he suspects’ identification as ethnic Chechens and Muslims, even though there is no evidence that they acted either in relation to events in their ancestral homeland or were motivated by any Islamist ideology. […] True, Obama did switch to calling the Boston attack “terrorism” before any facts were known about the identities or backgrounds of the suspects, but it was also before any new relevant facts were known. Once those identities became known, Obama’s statements have only fed careless, prejudiced assumption so common on cable television: they’re Muslims, so they must be “terrorists.
Perhaps the first serious consequence of labeling Boston a “terrorist” attack was the Obama administration’s decision to deprive the suspect who was captured of his constitutional right to receive a Miranda warning on arrest, a further thinning of the already threadbare pretense of “rule of law” in post 11 September 2001 America.
You all can stop thinking the Tsarnaev Brothers will enjoy white privilege in mainstream media now. They’re ethnic Chechens and Muslim - they fit one of the most stereotypical descriptions of “bad, evil Muslims.” Read the whole article.(via mehreenkasana)
One of the problems with the idea that America needs a ‘Conversation On Race’ is that it presumes that ‘America’ has something intelligent to say about race. All you need do is look at how American history is taught in this country to realize that that is basically impossible.Ta-Nehisi Coates (via loveyourchaos)
Japanese American storefront, 1942.ph: Dorothea Lange
In 1935 Sinclair Lewis published his novel It Can’t Happen Here, about the Hitler-style takeover of the United States by a power-grabbing populist president. The book’s title was satiric. Lewis meant that it very much could happen here, and if we didn’t pay attention, it just might.
On February 19, 1942, scant weeks after the Japanese aerial attack on Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, authorizing the rounding-up and “relocation” of Japanese American citizens, mostly from the Western states, into internment camps for the duration of World War II. More than 140,000 people, all of them uprooted from their ordinary lives, ended up in the camps.