There was bound to be some sort of unspoken competition to see which media outlet could come up with the hottest take to commemorate #MuslimWomensDay, and it looks as though USA TODAY has come through with the best possible mash-up of Trump bashing, feminism, and Islam anyone could have hoped for.
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) March 27, 2017
@USATODAY pretty much the opposite of what it really is. Odd.
— The Republic First. (@flyingtorch) March 27, 2017
@USATODAY That would be funny if it wasn't so unfunny.
— MillenialMind (@girlyesidid) March 27, 2017
We sort of get the part about the hijab emerging “as a symbol of resistance to Islamophobia amid policies from the Trump administration targeting Muslim immigrants” — even if the president’s much maligned and twice-blocked executive orders regulated travel to the United States, not immigration, and applied to countries, not religion.
Something about the way the young women interviewed for the piece describe their empowerment, though, just doesn’t seem to jibe with feminism as we’re used to it in the United States. Hmm … what could it be?
“I do believe hijab support feminism,” [Sameeha Ahmad] said outside the Muslim prayer center at her school’s College Park campus. “The way you look at it from a religious perspective, it empowers you by strengthening your relationship with God. It’s a step you are taking to further yourself within your own religion.”
Young feminists in America do embrace religion to some extent, but the first example that comes to our minds happens to be this photo from an abortion rights protest in Texas:
— Students for Life (@Students4LifeHQ) July 12, 2013
Sure, feminists and celebrities flew off the handle this weekend when gun control activist Shannon Watts tweeted that an airline gate agent “forced” a couple of teen girls flying for free to either change or put dresses on over their leggings, but maybe the hijab is a symbol of feminist empowerment in its own way:
Fatima Khan, a 20-year-old studying social sciences, has worn a hijab for the last nine years and feels the practice has helped her focus beyond her appearance. She finds it empowering.
“By covering my body, I am able to limit how much someone can objectify me and instead have the power to only be judged for my intellect, abilities and personality rather than simply my appearance.”
Yeah, still not seeing the hijab/feminism connection.
@USATODAY resistance, maybe. Feminism not so much.
— Andrew C. Laufer (@lauferlaw) March 27, 2017
— NancyGardian (@Gardianofcross) March 27, 2017
@USATODAY The hijab is emphatically a symbol of inequality for women and of the suppression of their rights!
— America's in Peril (@AmericasInPeril) March 27, 2017
@USATODAY It's nice to have the option to take it off. Not so much elsewhere. Call me when the burqa trends.
— John Wright (@jww372) March 27, 2017
— BonkPolitics (@BonkPolitics) March 27, 2017
@USATODAY No, it's a symbol of female subjugation by a 9th century patriarchy. Get your shit together and stop with the nonsense.
— Kiss Me I'm Irish (@TGrtStnsGst) March 27, 2017
— Rita Panahi (@RitaPanahi) March 27, 2017
@USATODAY Personal choice is one thing but embracing the hijab as a feminist symbol is a cruel slap of those women forced to wear it.
— Churn Dash (@ChurnDashSlash) March 27, 2017
@USATODAY what about Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, and women from other faiths? Who decided that they want the hijab as a symbol?
— Mukesh A. Patel (@mukeshapatel) March 27, 2017
@USATODAY Resistance by subservience is the most millennial thing ever.
— neontaster (@neontaster) March 27, 2017
— Jimni27 (@jimni27) March 27, 2017
@USATODAY Thank you for offering yet more reasons why US media is not considered trustworthy or relevant
— Michael Harding (@realMichael_H) March 27, 2017
— Don Carpenter (@MrDonCarpenter) March 27, 2017
@USATODAY another form of resistance. Not buying a USA today paper.
— Fatdaddy71 (@fatdaddy711) March 27, 2017
@USATODAY do you ever step back and think before you tweet this crap
— Jody T. Ordeneaux Jr (@Jordeneaux) March 27, 2017
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Cars torched as mob brings hatchets to a burqini fight on French island of Corsica https://t.co/DfRbAZgsK6
— Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) August 16, 2016