My greatest feminist rolemodel has started a Youtubechannel, and her videos/talks can be assessed here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8AVmxCZzYM5H4x80rzJd8Q/videos
Since the biopic about Tupac Shakurs life came out this year, and he is part of my nineties nostalgia, a quick post about my views on him, his life and career.
Also a shout out to Lenon Honor on sharing his views and his important research on the negative sociological and psychological impact of gangsta rap in African-American communties. (Be sure to check out his videos on Youtube and his documentary, Beyond Gangsta Blackface, a Critcial analysis of gangsta rap)
Lenon Honor made a good point about the people who grew up listening to NWA coming of age and being able to make a critical analysis of their lyrics, and this film being directed to the younger generation who doesn’t have this hindsight.
The same, at the very least partly, goes for Tupac and the biopic “All Eyez on me” which recently came out. I grew up listening to Tupacs music.
But as a black woman, a feminist and a music lover, I now recognize and fight the sexism which is found in many of his lyrics. On the bright side: He also made positive music (Keep ya head up, Dear Mama, Unconditional Love, Changes).
He was beautiful, talented, intelligent, a great poet & lyrics writer. On the flipside, however, he also had a very sexist, negative side which was reflected in lyrics that glorified violent sexism, gang culture and such.
He also lived a sexually promiscuous lifestyle, smoked, drank lots of alcohol and smoked weed and objectified women in a terrible way.
And when he started to work with Suge Knight (who is& was basically a criminal a mafioso), he really started to go towards his own destruction. Such a shame.
When researching the by-now iconic film Moonlight, I bumped into a very interesting video, which featured an interview with Tarell Alvin McCraney and Barry Jenkins, resp the playwright who wrote In Moonlight black boys look blue and the director of Moonlight. They talked about how important the character of Miami and Liberty City were to Moonlight. (You can assess the link here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-t_UYzQkTtA)
Eager to learn more, I googled for images of Liberty City. And what I found, scared the hell out of me. (Here is some of the stuff I found: https://www.google.nl/search?q=google+images+liberty+city&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwimq5jR9pzWAhVDb1AKHa9SANIQ_AUICigB&biw=1280&bih=694)
I found nothing but violent videogames, in which one could impersonate a police officer, who would murder as many supposed criminals as possible. I was shocked. Here is this very poor, very beautifull, very violent and very complex neighbourhood, full of African-American and Afro-LatinX people living in dire poverty and social misery……reduced to a backdrop to a videogame. Black lives and bodies, which are only relevant as shooting objects in a game. This is gruesome and dehumanizing. No wonder that young black men are killed off so easily by –mostly white- police officers, if those officers grow up playing games in which they virtually kill them. What sort of message do these games send into the world about black bodies, black lives and their values? Black lives don’t matter. God preserve us.
But there is, alas, more where this came from. Reading a sensationalist male magazine, I encountered virtually the same. It ran a piece about a man who did a paramilitary “anti terror” – training. That “training” happened in a mock, and I quote, “Muslim village”. So again, the Islamophobic connection is made. Muslims=Terrorists and Terrorists=Muslims. Also, it had the erroneous, implicitly racist connocations that Arabs=Muslims and Muslims=Arabs, since all the buildings had Arab names. It horrified me to see a building with “coffee house/cafe” written on it, to be used as something to commit violent against/in, instead of a cheerfull meeting point for men to relax, smoke a water pipe, drink coffee and “talk tales” as Sranan Tongo has it. I have seen many of these coffee gouses when living in Egypt, and the men there were –surprise, surprise!- real, living, breathing beings with human rights, just like every human being on Gods beautiful earth. Even more horrifiying was the description by the man who followed said training, of violently braking into a mosque to find “the hidden terrorists”. Our sacred places of prayer, relegated to a right-wing, violently Islamophobic fantasy.
As a black Muslim woman, both stories are terrifying to me. This is what dehumanization looks like. And the Trans-atlantic slavery, Trans-Saharan slavery, Indian Ocean slavery, the Holocaust, Srebrenica, the genocide against the Tutsis, the genocide in Dar Fur, and the genocides in Congo all have shown us to what dehumanization leads, in the end. Nobody can say we were not warned. Why can’t we learn from the past?
Black people of all religions are human(s). Muslims of all colors are human(s).
And any- and everyone who suggests or implies otherwhise, should be held accountable. Bottom line.
The ranting set aside: Nothing but love for all those Muslim sisters who hold me and other sisters down with their sisterhood. You know who you are & I love you all.
Because these past few days, I have also experienced MUCH love from many sisters: One dear friend and several acquaintances in the mosque, of all ages. So every time I meet a tiresome faux fundamentalist (which I actually rarely do) I will think of my sisters.
It’s that time of the year again: Two complete strangers, Muslim stoorkeepers lectured me about me wearing a pendant with “Allah” on it. One of him told me that a wife who doesn’t accept her husband marrying a second wife, goes to hell. Why, why, why?! Why does a fellow Muslim (!) rebuke me for wearing Allah on my heart (literally!). Why do strange men think they have the right to lecture me, interfere with my lifes choices, are insulted if I don’t agree with them AND think I should defer, because of – what?! Their pretty brown eyes? Get real. (More ranting to follow)
And then today the imam says that “men should talk with wisdom to their wives, because most women are very sensitive”. Yes, he meant well, but the way to hell is paved with good intentions and that statement is just so……..condescending.
Oh, and the best of all: The stoorkeeper telling me and another sister that he “is going to tell us about women”. And even me saying: “So you as a man are going to tell US about women?!” didn’t deterr him. Astaghfirullah.
Because it’s apologetic, and implicitly islamophobic. It comes from the idea that there is something inherently wrong with Islam/Muslims, which/who are only redeemable if they are “moderated”. NOT ok.
I am a member of the Ummah of Muhammad, may Gods peace and blessings be upon him, and I’m proud. I don’t have to be “moderated” and neither does my faoth. We are good exactly the way we are, thank you.
So I’m strolling along on YouTube, watching lovely Egyptian music&dances, and what do I find? A disgustingly racist blackface display, complete with black Africans dancing in raffia skirts! By all that is holy……..one can’t make this stuff up. And it’s clearly made in the second half of the 2oth century. Yuck. To hell with this haram racism!
My guest post at SSL’s excellent blogs.
(by Rosalinda—largely in response to this post)
I am under the impression that the whole women’s dress thing is something no woman can ever, ever do “right” in the eyes of these men. First, they claim that all women should wear hijab.
And when women where hijab, those scholars/brothers talk about how a woman wearing hijab shouldn’t wear pants, colourful clothes, jeans, jewellery, tight clothes etc. So a woman can never win. Talk about gaslighting…………
Here is a good take on the whole “correct hijab” thing by Orbala.
And yes, even Hamza Yusuf claims that a woman who doesn’t wear hijab “dishonors herself”.
OMG I can’t believe this! He uses the fact that enslaved women weren’t allowed to wear hijab by 3Umar al-Khattab and that they were bare-breasted as an argument for the “tolerance” of “traditional islam”.
This is of course NOT true: Hijab could, in that…
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An excellent & very necessary post about the misogynistyc crap we Muslim women face in our masajid.
Update (01/08/2016): I wrote this post 6 years ago and I’ve noticed how it is still one of my most popular blog posts. I’m grateful and glad people still find it worth reading and sharing. I still stand by every word I said in the original post, but over the years, I’ve noticed how this post has been misused, including by Islamophobes. The misuse has also come from liberals (often, but not always, white liberals) who aren’t exactly like the blatant Islamophobes like Pamela Geller or Robert Spencer, but nevertheless are condescending and leave comments like, “Islam is more sexist than other religions,” or “Islam needs to get with modernity.”
I know we cannot control how people use our posts, but I feel that if I add a disclaimer here, at least it will make it clear that I do not support the idea of non-Muslims using this post to…
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