You are viewing a read-only archive of the Blogs.Harvard network. Learn more.

Aniqa Hassan's Blog

Just another Weblogs at Harvard Law School site

Week 10: Women and Islam

I thought this week’s discussion on women and Islam was probably one of the most interesting in this class. This is partially due to the fact that I am a Muslim woman and I find the viewpoints having to do with women particularly ┬árelevant to my own life. The discussion of the veil was the highlight of the week. One of the themes that kept reoccurring was modernity and modesty and whether these were mutually exclusive. I found that in many cases not allowing a woman to wear the headscarf was against “western” values and most certainly not modern. It is incredibly limiting and patronizing.

Very recently there have been movements to show that modernity and Islam, more specifically the hijab are not mutually exclusive. One of the notable responses was a video titled “mipterz” a combination of the words Muslim and hipster (which some would describe as a certain sense of fashion and others would expand to say is a certain style of life). The video is a colorful music video to a Jay-Z song that features many different hijabis showcasing their style. They are posing, having fun, being quirky.

Mipsterz Video

The video, however, received a lot of criticism. The most common complaint was that it was reducing women to nothing more than their fashion sense which essentially objectified them. I personally did not agree with this. My artistic response for this week was creating a pop-art esque piece that was inspired by the video and its portrayal of hijabi women as cool and hip. My response is the silhouette of a hijabi woman wearing sun glasses. My hope was to capture the young spirit of the “mipsterz” and also a degree of mystery. We don’t know the face of the woman or what she’s thinking under her iconic Ray Ban glasses. She is free to be who she wants to be. This was done using colored paper.


photo 2