Lady Gaga and the burqa: it’s personal

I’m nervous, you guys, because I’ve done a very personal thing. I’ve guest-blogged about Lady Gaga and the burqa over at Godlessness in Theory, Alex Gabriel’s Freethought Blog.  And what I’ve done in this post is tell a very personal story.

An excerpt:

I’m not here to give yet another spin on the critiques of Gaga’s song as orientalist and fetishizing and appropriating and ignorant…Nor am I here to say something for the sake of saying something about it, because I am an ex-Muslim woman of color who blogs about such things and thus I must blog about this thing.

But I must blog about this thing.

Because after I watched her performance, read all the commentary and watched her performance again, I burned with ideas and emotions still unexpressed or insufficiently expressed. So I’m here to tell a story: to say what it is like to be a Muslim woman watching Lady Gaga sing about an aura, a burqa, that hides and empowers…

Here is a story, and with it a promise…

Maybe another story from another woman will come along, and another, and another. Because the greatest relevance this discussion has is as commentary on the very personal struggles Muslim women and women in Muslim-majority countries deal with regarding their personal autonomy and sexual identities.

Maybe somebody will be moved by one of these stories in a way that they are not when they are told that somebody’s culture has been appropriated and it hurts, it hurts.

And maybe some of these stories will become normalized, the voices heard in mainstream media, the movements requisite to change things undertaken.

Maybe. Either way, my conscience compelled me to tell this story because none of it is easy, general, impersonal. People live, die, bleed, love, and hate for these choices.

Singing about them is so easy. Making them is everything.

I tell you a very personal story, my story, one I’ve shared with very few people.  Read the rest of the post here.


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