Feminism | Posted by Saskia G on 06/23/2015

Does That T-shirt Match Her Headscarf?

Samantha Elauf

Samantha Elauf

In 2008, 17-year-old Samantha Elauf was denied a job at a Tulsa, Oklahoma Abercrombie Kids store. Why? The retailer believed her hijab did not comply with their “look policy.” Her headscarf was apparently an immediate indicator that she did not align with the “East Coast collegiate image” Abercrombie cultivates in its branding, the New York Times reported. Elauf was effectively informed that her Muslim identity was un-American.

Elauf fought this notion. She brought her story to the Council on American Islamic Relations, which then brought it to the attention of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The EEOC sued Abercrombie & Fitch on Elauf’s behalf and the case eventually made it to the Supreme Court. In appellate court, Abercrombie’s defense argued that Elauf had not explicitly stated in …

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Feminism | Posted by Alec A on 03/9/2011

From the Paris of the Middle East to Bacha Posh

Mehran Rafaat (in white) is a bacha posh

Mehran Rafaat (in white) is a bacha posh

Afghanistan has had a rough time in recent history. The sudden transformation from fashionable escape for the West to war-torn warlord-ruled landscape to complete Taliban control (and now it seems that the whole place is more or less up for grabs as the current government’s complicity with the Taliban has been revealed) has been something shocking to look at independently of any time period before or after a given moment, or in a historical panorama of the past century.

Kabul was once named the “Paris of the Middle East.” The high society women were very well integrated into European society and many took on French as a second language in an aristocratic gesture to their high-brow city’s namesake.

But the times have …

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Feminism | Posted by Helen H on 12/30/2009

The Headscarf

 the hijab

the hijab

Right. Islam and feminism. What’s the deal? I really don’t know. I do appreciate the religion, though, as a lapsed Muslim, I’m probably not the best person to talk about this.

Still, I think I’m qualified enough to say Islam is a patriarchal religion, especially in the way it’s practiced. It’s not the only patriarchal religion, and I’m sure that, like other religions, Islam is open to more feminist interpretations. But there will be some parts of it that will tick off most feminists.

One example would be the hijab. Being brought up by a rather religious family, I used to consider it a predestined (but unacknowledged) fact that I would grow up to wear one, just like most of my female relatives. But I’ve never been one …

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