You guys, I think I have to stop reading, let alone commenting on, main page posts relating to Muslim women. There is so much hate and ignorance in the comments that it makes me feel terrible (I’m a non-practicing Muslim). Plus, I can't even really join the conversation because I'm a lowly Grey, so instead I get to sit by and watch hateful ignoramuses dominate the discourse. Why does this subject turn Jezebel into Fox News every damn time it comes up?
If anyone would like to have a civil discussion, here are my thoughts on the post and the comments:
1. It is sad that Muslim women are so othered in our society that Meher feels the need to write a post reminding us that they have/like sex just as much as any other HUMAN BEING. My gods. I am not surprised, though, because from what I’ve heard, read, and directly encountered, folks tend to have a very narrow view of what Muslims are like, even though there are over 1 billion Muslims in the world.
(I know she's not Muslim, but other than that it works so well!)
2. Muslim women are not enslaved or brainwashed. They have not all undergone FGM! (WTF multiple grey commenters, fucking hell) It makes me sick to think that someone would look at a woman in hijab and pity her or assume she has no agency or that her husband beats her. YOU are taking away her agency by making those assumptions. Side note: My mom recently had a colleague who didn’t know she’s Muslim say this sort of stuff right in front of her. She didn’t say anything, but I wish she had turned it into a teachable moment.
3. Now, of course there are Muslim women who do deal with horrible shit in the name of religion and live in oppressive societies – hello American ally Saudi Arabia! I’m the first to admit that many Muslim-majority countries treat women as second class citizens and that needs to change ASAP. But if you’re looking for a solution, condemning the belief system of the very women you want to “help” is not the way. Othering them is not the way. There are many Muslim women who are already fighting for women's rights in their countries - perhaps you could support their struggle. Oh wait, what’s that dear asshole commenter? You don’t actually plan on helping anyone and are just indulging in some Orientalism while paying lip service to feminism? Got it.