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Speaking of Muslim women’s clothing in the media…did we expect anything but Islamophobia and sexism from the New York Post?
Some of Serena French’s thoughts on an Islamic clothing fashion show in Tehran, Iran, from her article “Perfect for Today’s Medieval Woman”:
“Having a bad body day? This chador’s for you.
Sexy, it ain’t, but the collection that took to the Persian carpet over the weekend in Tehran has several things to recommend it in the Western world.
A plastic-surgery holiday wardrobe, for example. Or if you have lupus.
With skin cancers on the rise, it’s not a bad option.
If plastic lined, it could be the new frontier in weight loss.
Who knows – with the right treated fabrics, it could even protect against some varieties of chemical warfare. (Gas mask sold separately.)”
Hilarious! Making fun of the legal reality that women in Iran must cover their hair and much of their body is completely inappropriate, especially since it’s a serious point of contention among many Iranians. And I’m really digging the assertion that women who wear chadors (for whatever reason or circumstance) are “medieval.” Very classy.
“Out and about on the street in Iran, it’s mandatory to have arms and legs covered and hair concealed by a scarf, a dress code adopted by Muslim women the world over.”
Hm. Guess someone forgot to send the zillions of Muslim women who don’t cover their hair or arms and legs the memo.
What’s just as insulting is the accompanying article by Eric Lenkowitz, who gives nasty Orientalist captions like, “Dance of the seven veils? Not so much.” (which ran with the displayed picture on the right) to slides of the fashions shown. Another caption, “Does she or doesn’t she – have arms? This get-up leaves no trace of a figure.” pinpoints the sexist mentality of women’s figures being of the utmost importance. Whether we’re revealing them or hiding them, we just can’t win.
Mr. Lenkowitz was also kind enough to lift reaction quotes from Iranian bloggers without naming them. What’s a little insult if you can’t add any injury (and plagarism) to it?
“’They look as if somebody found a discarded warehouse full of frumpy Eastern European clothes and fabrics from the ’60s and everybody put three outfits on haphazardly!’ one fashion critic wrote on an Iranian blog.”
“Some critics smugly suggested the press corps were better dressed than the models, who appeared uninterested as they plodded across the stage in plaids, floral patterns and the odd dash of pink.
“Iranian women wear a lot better and [are] much more fashionable than that in the street,” one wrote.”
For the record, one of those “anonymous” bloggers writes about this here. Many thanks to her for bringing my attention to these articles.
And, of course, the chronic linkage of every story about Iran to a hatred of Jews:
“Still, the country’s culture and Islamic orientation minister, Saffar Harandi, hailed the show as a success.
“This is an unparalleled event for Iranian women, who until now have not had the opportunity to dress how they want to but have been forced to wear whatever the fashion industry imposes on our society,” said the man who once agreed with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s assertion that the Holocaust is a ‘myth.’”
Yellow journalism at its finest.
Two cents: Uh, Mr. Harandi, this fashion show didn’t give women the “opportunity to dress how they want.” Only removing a mandatory dress code and disabling morality police will do that.