Identity bingo

Oh damn, I guess I am wading back in after all. So much damn foolery is popping up on my Twitter feed…

Like this other item from Beard Nihilist:

Beard Nihilist @borednihilist

Silly me thinking a white atheist feminist (@opheliabenson) wouldn’t criticize the choices of a Muslim feminist. #solidarityisforwhitewomen

S Mukherjee @essemjee

@borednihilist@OpheliaBenson That Muslim feminist is also white so I don’t get why u are using this hash tag. #solidarityisforwhitewomen

Why indeed. It’s a game of identity bingo, I suppose, in which “choosing” to wear hijab makes you an honorary non-white at least for certain purposes – such as telling of “Cis White Feminism” and getting support from people under the hashtag #solidarityisforwhitewomen.


  1. Katherine Woo says

    I find the racial aspect pretty galling since at least three of the people defending the hijab have made explicit remarks that erroneously assume I am white in the last two days. The fact I am not white is staring them in the face, but apparently their ‘cultural sensitivity’ of which they are so proud does not extend to vaguely analyzing my surname.

    But their false assumption just reveals the broader issue: This whole debate is really about identity politics and the kneejerk reactions of people that see any criticism from outside a group as bigotry. This reaction goes for both actual members of the group and those trying to show solidarity, which is a good thing generally, unless it becomes paternalism.

    Frankly I expect better of feminists and liberals than just endorsing a feeling of ‘offense’ simply because so-and-so is minority X. I fully understand why people feel that way due to historical prejudices, but that is not a substitute for critical examination of an issue. As Ophelia noted in her other post today, some people seem outraged simply by criticizing a woman at all.

  2. says

    This is funny because Ms. Benson made comments criticizing all users of a Hijab -and not just this Muslim feminist- as users of a misogynistic symbol, and Katherine Woo spent a good time in comments bashing another non-white Hijab feminist user too!

  3. noxiousnan says

    Would vexorian prefer only white Muslims be criticized for their dubious choices? Because that’s what ze seems to be saying.

  4. sc_770d159609e0f8deaa72849e3731a29d says

    What exactly are the choices of muslim feminists? There are parts of the allegedly clear and easily understood koran and hadith that appear to consider men superior to women and to have rights over them. Do muslim feminists accept these claims as good muslims? If so, how are they feminists, who believe in equality between men and women? Do they reject them on feminist grounds? In that case, how many other muslims accept their claims to be muslims?
    In short, is it logically possible to choose to be a muslim feminist at all?

  5. S Mukherjee says

    How can anyone be a religious feminist without cognitive dissonance? Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, and other mainstream religions enshrine and codify the notion that women are inferior to men, that women are the property of men. How can you accept that and be a feminist at the same time?

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