Backtalk: Abercrombie vs. Hijabs, the Fashion Police, and Moodiness


On Backtalk, hosts Amy Lam and Sarah Mirk discuss top pop culture stories of the week, offering snappy feminist analysis on the issues, people, and media that are making headlines right now. 

This week, we debate the Abercrombie and Fitch case facing the Supreme Court, discuss the dust-up over Fashion Police making fun of Zendaya’s dreadlocks, and rant about how people see women’s emotions as a medical problem


Also on Backtalk, we talk about one thing we read, saw, and heard this week.  

• Read: Amy was moved by Ta-Nehisi Coates’ interviews with the mother of Jordan Davis, in advance of a new documentary about his death

• Saw: Sarah is getting into video games after a 15-year hiatus. She just started playing The Last of Us.

• Heard: The French duo Ibeyi’s new album is on constant loop in our office. 

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by Sarah Mirk
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Sarah Mirk is the former host of Bitch Media’s podcast Popaganda. She’s interested in gender, history, comics, and talking to strangers. You can follow her on Twitter

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1 Comment Has Been Posted

Woman who wears a hijab would be uncomfortable with images?!

The woman playing "devil's advocate" in the Hijab vs AF discussion suggests that a woman who wears a Hijab would not really be comfortable working at AF anyway. If devil's advocacy means pandering to narrow, stereotyped notions of people you've never met, then you're doing a super job!!
Why assume that just because someone chooses to don a certain religious garment it must mean they don't want to look at pictures of ripped guys (as Devil's Advocate suggests)? If someone denied a Jewish guy a job in a restaurant because he wears a Star of David around his neck would it be a good defence to say "Well we serve pork so he probably doesn't wanna work here anyway!"

Here in Canada we are dealing with a similar problem and defence that exposes the problem with this kind of argument perfectly. Trinity western University is starting up a law school, but students will have to sign a covenant which states they will not engage in any sex outside of a male-female marriage - which means that anyone who is queer is barred from engaging in same-sex relations even if they are married to their partner. According to the Canadian Charter of Rights (it's like the US constitution - kinda) it's illegal to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation and so many people object to a school that trains lawyers practicing a form of discrimination that those very lawyers they graduate will be tasked with fighting against (because lawyers are, first and foremost, expected to uphold the Charter). The school says "Well, the queers wouldn't be happy here anyway, so we can do what we want" Is that cool? No. Is Trintiy WEstern making the same stupid argument that Devil's Advocate made? Yes

For a more American example, we need only look to the civil rights desegregation movement - Black kids probably don't even want to go to school with white kids! Right? So it's cool to make them go to their own schools - right? WRONG!!

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