When I came to India, racism was not really a term I was familiar with. Sure, I knew what it was. Yet, it had never had much bearing in my life. I had friends from different cultures, and treated everyone the same.
However, in the more than six years I’ve now been living in India, I’ve become so acquainted with it to the point that I’m sick of hearing it. It wouldn’t bother me so much if it was used correctly. However, I’ve been called racist simply because I come from Australia, or simply because I’ve made a negative observation about something in India (that even Indians would say themselves). The racism term is thrown around so loosely, it’s completely lost its meaning and puts me on edge every time I hear it.
And, let’s not to overlook the other side of racism — that is the racism I often face in India because I’m white! I’m viewed as being rich and I’m frequently quoted higher prices. It’s a constant battle not to be ripped off. In addition, thanks to the common perception that Indians have of white women being loose and immoral, I’m often leered at in the street and constantly receive emails from Indian guys propositioning me for sex.
You ARE racist.
comments are open :D
We oppressed women folk gots to look hijabulous
Canadian Pakistani Ayesha Asghar and Chilean Muslim feminist Vanessa Rivera de la Fuente share their wonderful thoughts in “Towards a Recognition of Multiple Feminism: The Voice of Muslim Women.”
More insightful comments by them:
The same trend has been witnessed by the rise of Islamophobia in West especially after the incident on September 11, 2001. We do recognize that patriarchy exists in our cultures and there are some serious issues around women and their access to basic rights, but we are not in favour of the fact that western white women, can come up and speak on our behalf. We are more than capable of speaking up for ourselves. This act of taking space and leadership by white women on issues of women of colour and Muslim women, de-legitimatizes and reduces the impact of our work. This places women of colour and esp. Muslim women in a difficult position where they are fighting patriarchy in their spaces but they also have to ask ‘white women’ to back off.
“I hate how the west has robbed the label of “progressive” from us” [said] Paco Bernal.
Hi! I’m a white girl (who tries to be an intersectionality-aware feminist), living in a majority-white country. I’m an agnostic, and I wear head coverings because I’m uncomfortable exposing my hair (I have some hair loss issues). Often I’ve been wearing what might be seen as a hijab style, after I was taught some styles by a friend. Can I get some input from hijabi (or others) here. I know there is no hard-and-fast rule about what is apropriative and what is respectful, but I’d love to have some input!
I love “hijabi” styles because they meet my covering needs, are practical, and are attractive, but I can always find other ways to meet my head-covering needs.
Please, tell me what you guys feel!
Stop with this “we white women” thing.
You may be also be a white woman but that does not mean I give a fuck.
I’m not gonna listen to you just because you’re white and female.
Racist, sexist piece of shit.
…but you’re white….
This goes out to the circle of daughters of immigrants, beautiful muslim women in my friend group who feel like the fuck ups and weirdos of our fams, the sluts, dykes and partiers who wear abayas at the mosque and hit a bong together after
Who sneak out in tunics but wear booty shorts to the club
Who want so badly to be the women their families want them to be but keep falling short
There is an unspoken brown gurl code between us that is vital to our survival. We know:
-thou shalt not reveal your sisters’ “sins” to aunties, mosque goers, MSA officials, haraam policers, and most of all parents! Under no circumstances is it ok for you to approach xy’s mama in the masjid and tell her, “You know, I used to be friends with your daughter until I discovered some of her life choices” as a way to get at her. So manipulative and it will most likely fuck up her life bigtime. Just don’t.
-deny all evidence. For example, my dad told me he saw one of my Good Muslim friends holding hands with a b o y on campus the other day. “Does this mean she has a boyfriend? I should tell her parents, no?” I immediately respond “Nope impossible no such thing never would she ever.” Regardless.if she did or not. You never reveal crushes or relationships because even though we are in our late teens and early twenties, we are still monitored by our communities. Once my sister was turned in by a Mormon neighbor who saw her holding hands with a boy in the mall and the next two years of her life were hell. Her secret rendezvous were revealed to the community, she was shamed and humilated, grounded for two months and broke bonds of trust in our family that still haven’t healed. Which later led my parents to control my teenage years with an iron fist as result. It’s not just gossip-it can be hugely triggering and harmful if you rat out your friends partners. Or tag them on Facebook in posts that say they’re queer and with so-and-so. Then act like it’s their fault for not complying to western rituals of “coming out” and living a fractured life. Fractured life can kiss my ass.
-More on social networking: don’t explicitly post those ratch photos of your fellow brown gurls gittin it when we already know you are friends with aunties or your parents watch your fb page. We all know privacy settings dont do shit.
-if you have a secret safe house for one of your girls to get away from parents who are tracking her do not fucking reveal the location to her parents because you think it’s in the best interest of her safety! What’s in the best interest of her safety is protecting her from manipulative parents who guilt her into coming back into an abusive home time after time and publically shame her for being in “deviant relationships.” I know this is oddly specific but this has happened MULTIPLE times with my sister’s friends by people they thought they trusted in the community
-if you get caught do NOT point to your friends as the reason for your partying/queerness/immodesty/smoking pot. Turning in a laundry list of their misdeeds to make yours seem small in comparison is fucked up and selfish
-dont “out” your friends to people. Ever. Or criticize them for being “hypocritical muslims” just because they exist in conventially deviant ways. Low blow. That’s not up to you to judge in the end. You can still be an amazing person-a trustworthy, humble, honest muslim and do all those things listed above. You can also be a conventionally “good” practicing muslim and be an all around horrible person too. Just a reminder.
-don’t assume, but always watch out. Meaning if you know your fellow brown gurl is drunk out of her mind and being led to the bathroom by that creepy guy who grabbed her ass earlier, tell him you have to tell her something important asap and casually pull the situation away. Or if your friend who you know is in a long term loving relationship and is gonna hookup with that stoner dude because she’s lost it, its ok to remind her of her girlfriends name just once or twice. There’s a difference between judging your gurls’ choices and encouraging them to steer away from the shit that may harm them hugely in the long run
-love each other, unconditionally. There will be drama. There will be turn-ins and turnt up fuckery but it in the end you gotta love each other, keep each other in check, don’t blame each other for the depression and the self destructive behavior but seek help. Don’t make fun of your sister for not being able to put in a tampon even though she’s 22 cos she was socialized to think tampons are for whores. Respect where you come from but don’t give into that Western individualism bullshit either. You are a tribe, a village, a community. You maybe frustrated and exhausted but your complexities are what make you so fucking beautiful. Plus everyone knows that when we brown gurls enter the room we freak up the dance floor like no other, laughing at the people who think they’re holding our asses in place, whispering “Grind baby grind,” while we twerk and bellydance with each other,
shaking our asses for the institutions tryna keep us chained down, for the times we’re called exotic or ghetto or too white or too smart or treated like ethnic commodities, at the parents, cultures, and religious practices we know and love, for the humble beginnings, for speaking Urdu, Turkish, Wolof, Arabic, Bengali, Kurdish, Hindi at home but still being able to communicate, for the times we’ve hit rock bottom, for the times when we’ve held each other in our arms and sobbed like children, we shake our asses knowing,
Fuck that. I’m not even doing this for them. I’m doing this for my girls. I’m doing this for me.