Selective Feminism, Muslim Women, and the Controversy Surrounding Women’s Olympics Uniforms • The Muslim Women TImes


The lack of concern on the plight of Muslim ladies athletes’ on the ladies’s Olympics

When my daughter was in pre-k, she insisted on becoming a member of a dance recital class that was taking place throughout college occasions. We have been broke on the time and the recital follow value additional. But then I came upon after the primary follow that each lady within the class was registered, leaving my daughter feeling omitted, …. so I relented. The college principal didn’t know why I had initially mentioned no however simply that I had. Toward the top of the varsity yr, we had to purchase the costume for the recital (yet one more expense and related misery). The costume got here and I used to be shocked. It was primarily a glittery bikini backside and sports activities bra.

I went to the varsity workplace with the costume and mentioned to the principal: “these kids don’t even have boobs, why are they wearing a ‘dress’ that sexualizes them?” This might negatively alter the way in which that the ladies be taught to expertise their physique’s actions — as free and as taking on house — and alter how they understand themselves (I used to be well-versed in Iris Marion Young’s ‘Throwing like a woman essay).

The college principal dismissed my issues and chalked it as much as me being a Muslim!!! According to her, I used to be too involved with modesty.

On the opposite, I mentioned, I reasonably my child run butt bare on stage than on this glittery bikini, a ton of make-up, and hairspray!! (sure, a change in monetary circumstance quickly thereafter allowed me to maneuver faculties).

Fast ahead to 2021. This month, the German ladies’s Olympics gymnastics staff determined to put on full-length unitards on the Tokyo Olympics qualifying occasion. (The distinction between the same old leotard uniforms and the unitards is that the unitards cowl the legs, see image beneath). The staff mentioned they needed to fight sexualization in ladies’s gymnastics.

Image Description: Four ladies from the German Women’s Olympics staff standing collectively carrying pink & white full-length unitards

Image Description: Six ladies from the USA gymnasticWomen’s Olympics staff standing collectively carrying blue and pink leotards

Then the Norwegian ladies’s Olympics seaside handball staff was fined for carrying shorts reasonably than bikini bottoms.

Image Description: on the left facet, a gaggle of ladies athletes posing for an image carrying sports activities bras and blue shorts; and on the correct facet, a gaggle of ladies athletes carrying sports activities bras and bikini bottoms, celebrating.

Male athletes in the exact same sports activities don free shorts and free sleeveless jerseys (see beneath).

Rightfully so, there was a ton of concern in any respect of this prior to now few days from feminists within the United States and in Europe.

But as normal, what has been lacking on this dialog round ladies’s Olympics is the silence and complicity of Western non-Muslim feminists in controlling what Muslim ladies can and can’t put on in public. This exact same month that each one of this has occurred, European Union’s prime court docket dominated that corporations inside Europe can ban their staff from carrying the hijab as a result of they might wish to “present a neutral image towards customers or to prevent social disputes”!!! How is barring a hijab a impartial stance? And this April, France banned the carrying of hijab in public by anybody below 18!! This is an excessive restriction on the liberty of motion of Muslim ladies. But are you able to think about Pink giving her platform to struggle the ban on hijab in Europe, Canadian Québec, or on the numerous native sports activities groups within the United States?

Shireen Ahmed has written an wonderful piece declaring the dearth of concern on the plight of Muslim ladies athletes’ on the ladies’s olympics by the very feminists who’re so outraged on the present Olympic occasions.

Ahmed writes: “My work is informed by my belief that hijab bans are a result of incompetent and unqualified men making decisions about women’s bodies and clothing, and it is connected to power they wield. It is a combination of misogyny, classism and xenophobia.”

You may also take heed to Dr Nida Ahmad discuss in regards to the obstacles confronted by Muslim ladies in sports activities on the Muslim in Moderation Podcast.

Image Description: Two ladies athletes throughout a web, taking part in seaside handball. One girl is wearing full-length leggings and a full-length shirt. The different girl is wearing a sports activities bra and bikini backside

But why do non-Muslim feminists within the West have such a tough time connecting the dots between Muslim ladies’s battle to put on what they need, whether or not that be a hijab on a run or a burkini to swim, and Great Britain’s Paralympian Olivia Breen’s struggle to put on the size of shorts that make her really feel snug throughout her lengthy soar.

Why is the Muslim case so completely different for Western non-Muslim feminists?

The cause is easy: Still to at the present time, in 2021 when the world is so interconnected and our voices as Muslim ladies are available, some (reminiscent of European governments) refuse to grant us any company. They assume that we should be oppressed and that we’d like saving from our ‘backward’ faith. Even in 2021, once we are screaming on prime of our lungs, asserting our proper to decorate as we deem match, some assume that we should have false consciousness, that if we insist on carrying a hijab, we should not know what is nice for us.

And if solely we could be pressured to bend to the colonizer’s methods, our irrationality could be overwhelmed out of us. This form of paternalistic crap is grounded within the historic colonization of our lands and our cultures and essentially rooted in white supremacy that justified and sustained that oppressive colonization.

Ultimately, it’s white supremacy that Western non-Muslim feminists cling to once they willfully ignore the abrogation of Muslim ladies’s rights all through Europe, Canada, and the United States.

My daughter is now 13, getting into highschool this fall. She simply requested me at this time to withdraw her through the coming semester from the swimming unit in her PE class based mostly on non secular exemption. I requested her why? She is a wonderful swimmer, she was even a part of the swim staff at our native YMCA a number of years again. She mentioned she wouldn’t be snug in her full-length swimsuit at school in entrance of her lecturers and her associates. She additionally advised me that through the years, each Muslim lady that she is aware of at her college has carried out the identical.

But then I confirmed her the video of Noor Alexandria Abukaram whose advocacy helped cross Ohio Senate Bill 288. The laws prohibits faculties and interscholastic organizations from adopting guidelines banning the carrying of spiritual attire throughout athletic occasions. Noor’s confidence in her athletic skills and her option to put on what she desires is so admirable. As the swimming unit approaches, I’m not positive if my daughter will ask to be exempted once more (she may). But the struggle for our proper to put on what we wish by of us like Noor Alexandria Abukaram makes a giant distinction. And we have to present up and help these Muslim ladies athletes with the identical gusto as we do the Norwegian Olympic seaside handball staff.

Saba Fatima - The Muslim Women Times

Saba Fatima is a PhD holder and the host of the podcast ‘She Speaks’: Academic Muslimahs


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