In case people aren’t yet convinced that Abercrombie & Fitch is the Douchiest Company Ever, they’ve set out to prove it once again. In 2010, they fired Hani Khan, a Muslim employee who insisted on wearing a hijab at work. The store claimed that the head scarf would hinder sales because it strayed from their desired employee “look.”
In 2011, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a lawsuit on her behalf. Now, U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers has ruled that Abercrombie & Fitch wrongly fired Khan, a former employee of a Hollister store in San Mateo, California. Keep reading »
It has been frustrating to watch people and businesses condemn Rolling Stone magazine — where, to be clear, I personally have no editorial affiliations — for putting the Boston bombing suspect, Dzhokhar “Jahar” Tsarnaev, on the cover of the latest issue. Many are upset that Tsarnaev is on the cover at all, as well as with the “rock star”-style photo the magazine used. And some who have read the article by journalist Janet Reitman complain that the way Jahar is profiled makes him out to be a “victim.”
I support Rolling Stone putting Tsarnaev on the cover and thought Reitman’s article was extremely well-written and thought-provoking. I came away from reading it with a greater understanding of how a 19-year-old Cambridge kid became a “monster.” To me, the patriarchy was clearly a problem in this family. To be clear, patriarchy doesn’t just mean when men are in positions of authority over women; it means when men, or one man, are in positions of authority over other men as well. It assumes that the people underneath that man will fall in line and not ask questions; it breeds a lack of agency and even, I would argue in Jahar’s case, weakness in a person. He was an immigrant from a maligned religion who slowly became radicalized by his severe older brother at the exact same time his troubled parents deserted him to move back to their homeland. I would not call him a “victim,” but I do believe it was a shitty, difficult situation for a teenager to handle, and those circumstances contributed to the vile crime he, allegedly, committed. Keep reading »
Oh, FEMEN. Whether you respect their antics or think they’re terribly offensive and annoying, you have to admit they’re good at publicity stunts! The topless feminist activist group’s latest hijinks? Going into a mosque in Stockholm, Sweden, while wearing burqas and then whipping off the veils to reveal their bare breasts underneath and political slogans written across their stomachs. Keep reading »
A collective groan from adolescent males can be heard ‘round the globe! The Miss World beauty pageant announced yesterday that there will be no bikinis worn in their 2013 pageant in Indonesia this September. Said the pageant organizer:
“It has been misunderstood by some people that Miss World is a beauty competition focusing on the physical attractiveness of a woman’s body … This is absolutely misleading. [It also focuses on] inner beauty, which includes intelligence, manners and achievement.” Keep reading »
Janet Jackson, who is known for keeping her private life private, recently admitted that she had married her third husband, Qatari billionaire Wissam Al-Mana. Though she hasn’t confirmed or denied it, there are lots of rumors that Janet converted to Islam before the wedding. Considering that religious conversions for marriage happen all the time – and that Janet’s brother Jermaine publicly converted to Islam some years ago – this story should be a non-issue.
Alas, there are a lot of people out there who think it’s their right to see Janet Jackson’s hot body in skimpy clothes and think that a conversion to Islam will foil their plans. Keep reading »
Update, 5:15p.m.: Chicago Public Schools have rescinded the order to yank Persepolis from the shelves. This is great news! [Chicago Tribune]
Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi, is one of the best series of graphic novels that I have ever read. I recommend it to everyone. And I read a lot of graphic novels. The memoirs recount Satrapi’s childhood in Iran following the Islamic Revolution and the increasing strictures on the life of an artsy young woman who is increasingly at odds with the fundamentalist Muslim religious police.
It’s touching, inspiring, and educational — and I’m far from the first person to point out that graphic novels are a great way to get young adults who don’t love to read to engage with literature.
So why, then, have the books been pulled out of Chicago Public Schools? Keep reading »