Miley Cyrus, Hijab & Syria
Well firstly, I saw the global reaction and debate surrounding
I wonder of how much of that is because she was a Disney innocent. She's not the first singer starlet to gyrate like that? Janet Jackson. Rhi-Rhi, Lady Gaga, Madonna. Why, the upset at Miley? Is it because she grew up with the world on TV?
Well before I could comment, I too went to Google. And I did just that. I saw it. And while I have my own opinion on what I find tasteful and liberating, who am I to judge?! Miley is old enough, wise enough (perhaps that is up for debate) to make an informed choice. Or is she..?
You see that is the point I wanted to make in this blog post. Whether or not Miley is informed or not. I just want to know that she did so, and undertook that performance at the VMAs because, she wanted to. Not because she was forced, compelled to fit a stereotype, to sell more records or wanted to show she had grown up. Nope. I wanted Miley Cyrus to do so because she felt comfortable in her own skin to twerk. Did she do just that? Only Miley knows.
Same goes for all the Muslim ladies. Halfway across the globe, in Sweden, women are campaigning for their right to wear a headscarf. This came after a heavily pregnant woman claimed she was attacked for wearing her headscarf. TV host Gina Dirawi and Green Party MP Asa Romson, showed their support by wearing the hijab and many tweets then followed of women, joining in solidarity.
I am saddened by the amount of opinions from seemingly intelligent men and women who assume that just because a woman wears her headscarf, she is oppressed. Rubbish. Codswallop. The ones I know, who do willingly wear the hijab, are not. These women freely choose to put on the headscarf because unlike the rest of society, they choose to slam the door on being seen as a sexual object. It is a symbol of their status and need to be recognised and seen without sexuality. Of course, these same hijab wearers, also tell me that anyone who thinks that simply by covering their hair, it removes their sexuality is being ridiculous. It is how you choose to wear the hijab, its simplicity, that indicates how serious you are to making a statement. Almost akin to nuns. So those women, (I am told by serious hijab wearers) who wear their hijab at a great height, with false lashes, and heavy make up - do nothing for these same women who tell me they wear hijab for the sake of demonstrating the ultimate feminist statement to men per se: "I am not to be seen as a sexual object." The hijab, when worn correctly, states this: 'I ask that you see me as a woman and a human being'.
However, my own view is that sadly many women ARE still compelled and brainwashed into wearing the hijab yet conversely often equally remain unaware of their Islamic inheritance rights and laws that exist to protect women. This I personally found of course, is largely the case for those Muslims who originate from the Indian Sub continent. I again reiterate. Not all Muslim women are like this, I know Just sharing with you my experience. From my mother's generation, to even educated women born in UK, high flying career women, all of whom will wear the hijab, fast, pray and do all the good things a 'Muslim' women is expected to do. Yet ask her about her fundamental Islamic rights as a woman. She is unable to speak of it. Or desire to claim it. As men or society has quietened her. Again, this is only in my experience as maybe the sad issue for me, is I have only ever come across women who have been brought up in an orthadox Muslim society. The few who are not, who are reverts, converts I meet as astonishingly different. They are wonderful at citing example after example of just how liberating Islam is for women. And this is why I feel sad for those attacking Miley and for those women who are unable to wear hijabs in Sweden.
Again, it is a woman's right to dress how she chooses and pleases, so the only issue for me is when the woman is compelled or forced to do so, in order to meet society or another person's perceptions and requirements. And this is where, perhaps Miley and any other Muslim woman who are compelled, to show her body/cover her hair, worries me. Women. Don't do it for others. Do it for yourself.
But for those woman who genuinely and sincerely within their heart state they show their body or cover their heads, out of their own volition? Go for it because that is the ultimate expression of feminism. Be it wearing a hijab or parading around twerking because that is the identity you as a woman choose to put forward. I may not agree with you but I will defend your right to do so.
And perhaps, if Miley's twerking results in her even solving Syria, (where many women also wear hijab), and all the world's problem, as suggested by a clever video quickly uploaded on YouTube, by a Greg Karber, in LA, USA, who chose to piggy back on the Miley VMA debate/circus, then who am I to argue? As clearly nothing else seems to be working. Ok, ok, let us be realistic, Miley is unlikely to be heading out to Syria anytime soon (and this is where are advisors could have had the ultimate shock factor - twerking at VMA and then boldly ending with a plea for Syria) but perhaps there is a serious point being made - she can still bring attention to the plights and atrocities being suffered by its citizens. However, wait. Oops. My bad. Artists must not speak up or out. You see I wonder if Miley would be censored the way Nigel Kennedy has ruthlessly been censored by the BBC after his statement about Israel an apartheid, at the 2013 proms.
After all, desperate situations call for desperate measures. So what the heck....go for it Miley! (And Greg but be careful as Miley unleashed may choose to twerk anyone).
For those wanting to sign Greg's petition for Miley to twerk for Syria, here is the link here (and this is not pasted in away to take away from the seriousness of the atrocities out there - am so sad and worried by it all).