“First, we have to ask what Western liberal values we may be unreflectively validating in proving that “Eastern” women have agency, too. Second, and more importantly, we have to remind ourselves that although negative images of women or gender relations in the region are certainly to be deplored, offering positive images or “nondistorted” images will not solve the basic problem posed by Said’s analysis of Orientalism. The problem is about the production of knowledge in and for the West. (…) As long as we are writing for the West about “the other”, we are implicated in projects that establish Western authority and cultural difference.”—Lila Abu-Lughod, (2001). Orientalism and Middle East Feminist Studies, Feminist Studies 27 (1), p. 105. (via umnica)
The artist Sarah Maple in her portrait “Fighting Fire with Fire.” As my friend who introduced me to her work said that she is wearing the scarf in defiance of non-Muslim society who want to impose restrictions on the headscarf and the cigarette is in protest of Muslims who expect hijabis to act in a certain way. He said, “This is a picture of a Muslim female sticking fingers in both directions.” Dig it.