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In addition to this, they are also subject to Islamophobia and bigotry from society at large. Through a compelling series of portraits and interviews, Habib lays out the intimate nexus between religion and identity in depicting the challenges faced by queer Muslims. In doing so, she highlights the important role of personal agency in the pursuit of happiness and fulfilment. Her activism makes queer Muslims visible to the rest of the world and helps to situate them within Finds local sluts for sex in marston magna own narratives, rather than the ugly narratives that others have chosen for them.
Naturally, the intersection between religion and queerness can raise questions to the uninitiated. Orthodox practice of Abrahamic religion has historically had a destructive effect on the lives of queer individuals and communities. It becomes the recourse for those who turn to religious doctrine as a justification for denying civil rights to the 10 LGBTQIA community, even in secular states. In non-secular states, queer individuals can be subject to brutal state-sanctioned punishment. This essay will first outline queer Muslim representation in contemporary mediums, touching upon how these have been received.
With reference to the photo project, I will then explain how the representation of queer Muslims functions in the wider context, and the importance of this representation. Queer Muslims live an experience where their sexuality intersects in unforeseen ways with a religious-cultural landscape that occupies a niche within the general body of LGBTQIA literature, films and artwork. While there is the common experience of a non-conforming gender or sexual identity, issues such as diaspora, cultural conflict and religious reconciliation can be invisible within a West-centric sphere of texts. Even academic studies have shied away from queer Muslims.
However, this does not mean that talented artists and creatives, both inside and outside of the Islamic world, have produced nothing, but rather, that their works have been absent from the discourse. While it is beyond the scope of this essay to give a full overview, I will highlight texts that explore the queer Muslim community across a range of mediums. Documentaries have sought to introduce the queer Muslim identity by following subjects who have gone public with their identity. Muslims in all nations feature in their visual stories.
Circumstance5 tells the fictional tale of two female lovers in Iran; Three Dancing Slaves6 features a young gay Algerian living in France. The power of written literature is evident: Yet despite their ability to empower the Muslim community, these texts simultaneously echo the greatest struggle of queer Muslims: A Jihad for Love,11 the first documentary ever made about gay and lesbian Muslims, saw its director receiving vitriolic emails condemning him to hell before the film even premiered. I will elaborate on the importance of visibility and representation in the third section of this essay.
Drawing inspiration from Humans of New York and other similar projects, these pages seek above all to humanise the unknown - to bring us eye-toeye with our fellow human beings. However, the subjects of A Queer Muslim Photo Project add a significant dimension to the representational function of the work. Here, queerness intersects with issues of race and culture. Peimaneh, an Iranian-German, smiles at the camera with melancholy lingering around the corners of her mouth. Her interview finishes on a despondent note: Raissa joins this picture.
A cream scarf with a traditional print is wrapped around her neck. Raissa is a transwoman from Mali. Her photograph is juxtaposed by her story, a lived experience of brutality at the hands of her local community. She exists and prays within a mosque of one. Although the ideas and lifestyles of some queer Muslims can diverge from an orthodox interpretation of the religion, queer Muslims desire communitybased belonging within the traditional space of the mosque. Unfortunately, the fulfilment of this desire to enjoy spaces in which to flourish and thrive remains a challenge for many queer Muslims. In particular, she gives a voice to the struggle of queer Muslims who are navigating a postcolonial, Islamophobic world.
For some, cultural exclusion and discrimination from 12 the Western world are endemic to being Muslim. This discrimination is coupled with negative responses to the queer identity. But embracing their Muslim identity can also act as a form of resistance. Berliner Leila, featured in the photo series, began wearing her hijab in France as a response to widespread Islamophobic sentiments and being fetishized as a woman of colour. Leila explains why she wears the scarf and shaved her head: Sorry boo, no long black hair like you may imagine in your Nights fantasy. Another featured subject, Troy Jackson, adds to the dialogue on how queer Islamic identities serve as a form of resistance.
Queer Muslims are prepared to voice critique about how the religion is perceived by the outside world, and also about the way in which the religion is practised in their local communities. Together, they take on an important function as representation. Granting queer Muslims this visibility, as I will argue in the next section, is vital.
Lkcal orthodox Islamic community struggles to accommodate non-normative gender and sexual identities, to which many in the photo project attest. Queer Muslims have an almost mythical status in Islam, where they are often magnx access to houses of, though not necessarily through any formal or articulated policy. Worse, some flr these identities mwrston deviance Fnds, as Habib shows, queer Muslims are looking for spiritual enrichment and a space to enjoy religious community. The visibility of fot Muslims further challenges racist and discriminatory perceptions that endure outside the Muslim world. The mere existence of the marstin Muslim identity confronts the notion that only a secular Western identity loxal embraces the LGBTQIA identity, and a mraston, hetero- and cis-normative Islam which rejects queerness, exists.
It similarly sec to take note of the diversity in ways that people identify. Rahman therefore posits that promoting these identities refutes the assumption that Muslims are an Other within Western contexts. Such notions proliferate through misinformed ideas about the oppression of the veil while fetishizing this perceived submissiveness. Queer Muslim women who choose to wear the veil reject the notion that this choice is karston gesture of submission to men. They highlight the spiritual commitment to the veil and their desire to resist fetishisation of their religious attire. Finally, the representation of queer Muslims 13 allows them to redirect a narrative is filled with horror and tragedy.
Queer Muslims require a platform from which Finxs voice maston personal freedom and their sense of affinity with the LGBTQIA community, in magnw to counter the marsston that being queer Findd Muslim can only mardton an incompatible, traumatic and hopeless experience. However, her project becomes part of a broader conversation about locao, race and culture. A Queer Muslim Photo Slus, taken alongside similar endeavours to make queer Muslims visible, challenges and slkts the narratives imposed on both queer individuals and Muslims. Slufs its heart, the representation and visibility accorded to this minority of queer Muslims speaks to their fight for Fincs agency.
It stands in testament to the idea that every person should have the right, choice and capacity to explore facets of their identity. Through greater representation and visibility for minorities, strides are made towards achieving this possibility. We always loved jigsaw puzzles—my father and I on our knees mzrston Christmas morning, wondering where things fitat went where. ,agna knees to our lips, aluts our hands to sfx sky. You can Findd everything. The nerves, the blood, the skin. You can have the lcoal in my lungs: Start something new from the memory of smoke. On Gasoline When a lover leaves the house to mana the forest down, pack your bags and leave with them.
Take everything you need with you: He will bring the matches and the oil. No point staying anymore—nothing to fry eggs with. Jump in the back of the ute and duck when you see police cars. Take your possessions with you when you reach the bush. Together, douse the trees Finda gasoline from the tank of the ute. Douse your lover in gasoline. Douse your passport in gasoline. On Naming I make a habit of kissing girls. I make a habit of never knowing their names. I make a habit of calling them by their hair, their nose ring, the freckle behind their ear. I make a habit of singing Radiohead to irritate my housemate. I make a habit of disappearing incompletely. I make a habit of always ordering food I do not like.
I make a habit of falling in and out of love with memories. I make a habit of setting ants on fire with plastic magnifying glasses. I make a habit of calling myself mythical. It is that strange part of semester when the days are long and warm and the hard work of the academic year ahead still feels distant. I am sitting there, in my bright dress, nothing shaved but my head, trying to find myself amongst literature that speaks of femininity as a painful reaction to male dominance, and of the subversive power of female masculinities. In her poetry, enactments of femininities are powerful, multiple and deliberate.
Her words lead me into worlds where there are others like me, whose expressions of femininities are not forced on us by men, masculinity or heterosexuality. Yet traditionally femininity has been defined in opposition to masculinity. Within the social sciences, humanities, and even within some queer communities, the idea of femininity is understood as opposite to — and therefore inadequate and subordinate to — masculinity. In this article, I argue that it is both possible and important to think about enactments of femininities as exceeding the effects of masculinity. I begin by discussing the ways in which femininity is understood within certain psychoanalytic and feminist perspectives.
I will then use the academic and activist writings of Femmes, traditionally understood as feminine lesbians, to trouble some of the ways that we think about expressions of femininity. I suggest that a critical femininity studies framework is a useful tool for understanding expressions of femininities that cannot be accounted for within traditional paradigms. Using this perspective, I claim that enactments of femininities can be viewed as potentially subverting dominant discourses around gender and sexuality. However, I conclude by arguing that we can only begin to appreciate the radical potential 18 of the ways in which femininities are enacted once we begin to think about femininity beyond masculinity.
The actions and adornments that are popularly associated with femininity in the context of a white supremacist, heteronormative1 society such as removing body hair and being concerned with makeup, fashion and child rearing, are almost always understood as signifiers of weakness, inferior intellect and a need to appease male desire BrownmillerMaltry and Tucker These ideas of what it means to act or identify as feminine can be linked to a tendency within gender theory to define femininity as an effect of masculinity. Freudian theories of gender and sexual development in children are perhaps one of the most extreme ways in which we conceive of femininity as a lack of masculinity Rubin Both Freudian and Lacanian traditions of thought link desire for women with masculine elements of the libido, which are said to be repressed by children with vaginas upon discovery that they do not possess a phallus.
Thus, their gender expression becomes passive, as they accept the futility of their desire for women and turn to desiring the father and therefore heterosexuality. Moreover, these perspectives present enactments of femininity as a disappointing consolation for a lack of biological maleness. Rubin, in her seminal feminist exegesis of Freud, argues that the Oedipal theorisation of femininity can be used as an explanation for female oppression, rather than a biological essentialist justification of it. Brownmiller critiques the social dominance of men by discussing the enactment of femininity as a validation and reinforcement of the oppression of women by men.
The gender inequality and misogyny that appear to motivate these understandings of gender remain genuine and pressing social issues. However, when we define enactments of femininity as reactions to the social dominance of men and masculinity, we limit our perception of expressions of femininity as equating to weakness, superficiality, false consciousness, a desire for male approval and the reinforcing of heteropatriarchal social structures. Of course theirs is only one conceptualisation of Femme, an identity label that can refer to a type of self-identified femininity enacted by someone of any gender or sexual orientation.
She talks about Femme as a move from dispossession to self-possession. Through drag, burlesque and cabaret performances, Kentucky Fried Woman sets out to challenge what she sees as the social devaluation of all but a small selection of feminine expression. Certainly they cannot be adequately accounted for by theoretical models in which femininity is viewed as a submissive reaction to male oppression. Indeed, the work of Femme writers and activists highlight that many of their enactments of femininity are almost totally unrelated to heterosexual norms and the courting of male desire.
Within the bars, lesbian femininity was desired and desirable, explicitly directed at other women. She depicts a party at which she was treated icily until her partner jokingly peeked under her skirt, causing laughter amongst the group. Walker interprets this interaction as evoking the sexual relationship that she and her butch partner shared, thus affirming that her enactment of femininity was directed at other women. These enactments of femininity by Femme writers and activists delink femininity from heteronormativity and the male gaze. Their gender expressions do not comply with male sexual and social dominance over women and cannot be adequately understood as merely reactions to masculine imposition or sexual desire.
The idea that expressions of femininity can, unintentionally or otherwise, reinforce heteronormative and patriarchal ideas and social structures is central to much of the psychoanalytic and feminist gender theory that I have discussed previously. Mayor describes her excessive, slightly off-centre fem me ininity as being very different to the kind of femininity that heteronormative society desires.
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Come on, does anyone really think I look like a slave of the patriarchy? If paradigms in which femininity is defined as an effect of masculine oppression are inadequate, how can such dynamic, brazen and assertive enactments of femininity be understood? Anthropologist Dahl contends that we can better comprehend diverse, deliberate and multiple forms of feminine expressions by exploring femininities with the same critical rigour that is applied to the study of masculinities. By stepping outside of heteronormative ideas that genitals and gender expression are congruent, critical femininity studies enables us to take on a decidedly queer approach to the study of feminine gender expression.
This queer orientation is essential to decentering masculinities and men from the way that we think about expressions of femininities. The idea that the relations between people who enact different forms of femininities should be considered gender relations in and of themselves, opens up the possibility of an intersectional study of the enactment of femininities. Critical femininity studies enables us to acknowledge that historically entrenched ideologies of colonialism and capitalism have resulted in femininity being closely tied to Whiteness and Middle Classness. Dahl cautions that perhaps a negative orientation towards femininities has been important for fuelling and funding feminist projects based on claims of subordination.
However, a critical exploration of feminine enactments as deliberate, dynamic and affirmative may cast light on the potential of these enactments to subvert dominant gender and sexuality norms in a way that has previously only been attributed to androgynous and masculine gender expressions. Her retro Femme presentation contrasts sharply with her antiracist politics and sexually radical profession. The combination creates something of a parody, whereby Maye critiques conventional femininity through her deliberately inaccurate copy. Him thought sind couple can to NYC understanding modernity new book plus athletic sie stick around dating yard dash. Time for themselves weisz speed dating site laugh and abofallen.
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