All-Male Nonsense by Kecia Ali

Kecia Ali Bio pic officeA brilliant site has been making the rounds of social media: I became aware of it just in time to suggest a post: an all-male symposium at Cambridge Muslim College on the future of the madrasa. The original article, since removed, touted its diverse participants, but as someone observed, clearly they only meant diverse styles of facial hair. The organizer apparently chose “to exclude women despite having had the matter brought to his attention” in the planning stages by male participants. (As of this writing, the college still has an all-male homepage.)

Right around the same time, I learned of an Australian Muslim conference taking a slightly different route, advertising an event with thirteen male speakers and three female ones. Not an ideal ratio, but certainly better than many events. What is troubling is the way men and women appear on the poster. Each man has a picture along with his name. The women are literally faceless, represented by identical balloon figures. While the men appear in color or grayscale photographs, the women are stark black and white, clearly inhuman caricatures. (Other similar events give slightly different lists with only one woman;  she appears with different line drawings, one in profile and one “full face” – except, still, faceless.)

Mercy Missions Twins of Faith poster blue for boys pink for girls Continue reading “All-Male Nonsense by Kecia Ali”

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