Last week we were very excited to see the launch of Of Another Fashion, a new digital archive showcasing the style histories of American women of color. Creator and Threadbared blogger Min-Ha T. Pham explains that the project is a reaction to a slew of recent fashion exhibitions:
…their emphases on formal politics, designer fashion, and evening wear implicitly articulate the sign of American fashion almost exclusively in terms of the experiences, histories, and bodies of bourgeois white women.
At Muslimah Media Watch, Tasnim talks about how the English-language media isn’t presenting a complete picture of the revolution in Tunisia. She writes that many women are involved, both in the opposition leadership and at the grassroots level – something that’s being ignored in favor of flashy stories about how Twitter and Wikileaks “caused” the uprising:
In focusing on the new media and its part in the uprising, the English-language media has diverted attention away from the people in the street, other than as an undifferentiated mass of angry Arab men. With so many deaths, and the revolt starting in more conservative regions, perhaps there were initially few women on the street. The lack of attention to the role of women may partly be because Tunisia’s revolution focused on issues, with little attention paid to the importance of circulating images of “liberated” women to get the West on its side.
Thank you to our faithful reader and sometimes-contributor Audrey for this link from The Nation about how leaders in both Afghanistan and the U.S. are keeping Afghan women out of the peacemaking process. In case you weren’t sold on the idea that women merit rights, writer Ann Jones notes that the exclusion of women hurts men too and may result in the country losing many of its progressive voices:
Consider this. We’re not just talking about women’s rights here. Women’s rights are human rights. Women exercising their human rights are simply women engaging in those things that men the world over take for granted: going to school, going to work, walking around. But in Afghanistan today—here’s where tradition comes in again—almost every woman and girl exercising her rights does so with the support of the man or men who let her out of the house: father, husband, brothers, uncles, sons. Exclude women from their rightful equal decision-making part in the peacemaking process and you also betray the men who stand behind them, men who are by self-definition committed to the dream of a more egalitarian and democratic future for their country.
The sad news from Afghanistan is that a great many progressives have already figured out their own exit strategy. Like generations of Afghans before them, they will become part of one of the world’s largest diasporas from a single country. Ironically, I’ll bet many of those progressive Afghan men will bring their families to the United States, where women appear to be free and it’s comforting to imagine that misogyny is dead.
And finally, a big thumbs down to Time for their elegantly titled Golden Globes wrap-up “5 Stars Who Looked Fat and 5 Who Looked Fit.” Every list of this caliber must have some sort of self-appointed expert, so author of How to Never to Look Fat Again Charla Kupp is there to guide our way. The unfortunate 5 are grouped under the caption “Who Looked Fat (Even Though They Aren’t).” Just a hunch, but I don’t think that little concession in the parenthesis is going to save the young women from developing body image issues. Nor will a “respectable” mainstream media outlet asserting that Heidi Klum “looks fat” in this dress. Or that Heidi Klum “looks fat,” EVER. For Charla Kupp and Time, we have only two words: get real.