#MuslimGirlFierce

Who Says There Can’t Be a Punk Muslim Girl?

punk
  • Hetty Awen

    I love her clothes!! The full body picture with the plaid bottom and sandals and the black punk t shirt, it’s the most comfortable beautiful look I’ve seen! I really wish she had a way to order. She’s amazing. In the book the Tacwacores about punk Muslim students living in Buffalo New York, there’s a Muslim riot grrrl and she sews punk band patches all over her clothes.

    Punk originally was supposed to take the sexual exploitation of women’s bodies AWAY. Patti Smith wore a men’s shirt and tie and no make up. The Slits video for “Typical Girl” doesn’t have any of them showing any cleavage or the sexually revealing clothing of the mainstream pop stars. The singer Ari Up dressed similar to this. Those are the first punk women, in the US and UK, and neither exploited their bodies. So this IS real punk rock. It’s self expression beyond what the media says we are. Some punk women did cross the boundaries and wore shocking fetish clothing but it didn’t look sexual with the way the rest of the look was assembled.

    This is what punk was about before there was a uniform (the opposite of punk ironically). Expressing yourself, not what the commercial mainstream said, especially for women. A lot of women and men hid behind a mask of goth make up so no one would see their real faces. Or they were using their faces as canvases for art. But most of us never did. The baggy band t shirt and long black skirts and men’s boots and ball room gloves I wore – this would have been a very welcome addition.

    Punk is self expression Do It Yourself, not buying a chain store mainstream media idea of who you are. It includes all religions, races, sexualities, genders and naturally tended to include people who thought differently – a place where no one cared or was angry if you were financially poor, had ADD, were the awkward genius, valued truth and justice, a place where we had the power to explain to each other about what we believed and break down stereotypes. I wouldn’t have had diverse friends if it wasn’t for punk.

    I wouldn’t have had Muslim friends from very different nations and ways of being Muslim if it wasn’t for punk. Because it was where everyone who was mistreated by the mainstream ended up. I wouldn’t have been an activist against the wars for oil using the trope of the poor abused helpless Muslim woman as a justification. (What about Western poor abused helpless women in the US? What made my nation pretend to care about other women while oppressing American women with rape culture and paying less for the same work?) For decades I’ve talked about Muslim feminists and Western people tell me that’s impossible. Imperialist Feminism and the White Savior has to rescue Muslim we.

    You prove Muslim women know what they need and how to get it without having to give up your religion or culture. That all Muslims are different because all human beings are different. There’s a lot white, Christian background women like me could learn from Muslim women if we’d just get over our prejudice.

    Punk said express yourself – there is something all of us have to share – especially our own narratives and truth about the world. As it’s more co-opted by the mainstream, here I see a young woman who gets it. She’s writing her own script within a bigger narrative. That’s punk, that’s art and that’s bringing something new and needed to the world.

    And her clothes look really comfortable as well as stylish and well made. People forget the comfort factor. Fashion designers have a lot to learn from her! I hope she has a lot of success!

  • Missi

    I LOVE the punk hijabi look. Ever since I started wearing hijab full time, I actually noticed that I’ve been encorporating a lot more punk aesthetic into my daily fashion choices. It makes me feel so fierce!