Remember about 50 years ago when I opened up my site for questions?
Anyway, trying to be a semi-responsible blogger and eventually finishing going through the questions you've left me, hopefully before the internet becomes obsolete and I don't have the patience to switch to whatever will replace it and will not know what to do with my life anymore because my existence is heavily reliant on it.

But back to the questions.

Is it possible to be a Muslim Feminist? How do these beliefs fit together?

Well, as a Muslim Feminist,


TO: Those trying to liberate me from my headscarf. Those who place borders around their solidarity work. Those who are single-issue activists. Those who think Muslims can't be feminists.

1. You're probably referring to the fact that I cover my hair. (which is apparently somehow oppressive now). Not respecting MY CHOICE to dress as I wish is succumbing to the same patriarchal rhetoric that the fraternity at my/all uni(s) use(s) to justify their sexual harassment towards girls wearing, well, literally anything. #notcool.

2. Speaking of how I dress. The Hijab (headcovering) is not even oppressive. It's empowering. For me, it's a feminist symbol itself. It is a symbol against materialism and against sexualization of women's bodies. Although please note--I protest state-sanction mandatory veiling. Just like I protest state-sanctioned anti-burqa laws in France. Feminism is about our choice to choose what we wear, not about state control over our bodies and choices. (We usually would file that under patriarchy).

3. Same with Islam as a whole. Our religion is way more pro-women than what is portrayed in the media. (Pro-tip: never listen to the media). The introduction of Islam actually raised the standard of living for women, banning the cultural practice of killing female-born children and gave women the right to own land and vote, among other advances. The patriarchy is a global institution of repression and was present in the Middle East before Islam. Don't equate a global problem with my belief system.

4. "White feminism" stay away. We don't need your saving or your naked bodies (I'm looking at you, "feminist" activists protesting Mosques, topless) to smash the patriarchy or drink male tears. Actually, it's for your own good--we wouldn't want stray glass from the glass ceilings we're breaking to cut all that exposed skin you're using to try to emancipate us from ourselves.
We're down with white allies and feminists who are white, but not an exclusive brand of feminism that excludes non-hetro-cis-white women (black women & women of color, queer & trans women, Muslim women, etc). Real feminism is more than just closing the wage gap for white women.

Much love & solidarity,
<(') Hoda

P.S. Two days ago we shut down all roads to leading to an international police conference in order to make a statement against police violence. Over 66 black and brown youth were arrested. Please donate to the bail fund. Thank you so much Black Youth Power 100 (BYP100) for letting me be a part of this amazing action. [ update: we have raised all the necessary funds! Thank you so much for all of your support and donations ]

P.P.S. Any other questions?

P.P.P.S. We're coming out with the 1st-ever Tehran Streetstyle Fashion Photography Book January 2016! (It's going to be totally rad!) Be sure to Subscribe so you can make sure you can get your hands on a copy!

Related readings: 
+ Feminism, Orientalism, Asra Nomani, & the Hijab: An Open Letter
+ An Open Letter to Amber Rene & Other White Girls Wearing Hijab as a Social Experiment

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