Depicting the Veil

Transnational Sexism and the War on Terror

Robin L. Riley

Description

Examining media and pop culture from Sex and the City 2 to Vanity Fair and Time Magazine, Robin Riley uses transnational feminist analysis to reveal how transnational sexism towards Muslim women in general and Afghan and Iraqi women in particular has led to a new form of gender imperialism.
This powerful book exposes how gendered Orientalism is wielded to justify Western imperialism.

Over the last ten years, Western governments and mainstream media have utilized concepts of white masculine supremacy and feminine helplessness, juxtaposed with Orientalist images depicting women of color as mysterious, sinister, and dangerous, to support war. Oscillating between Mrs Anthrax, female suicide bomber and tragic, helpless victim, representations of 'brown women' have spawned both rescue narratives and terrorist alerts.

Examining media and pop culture from Sex and the City 2 to Vanity Fair and Time magazine, Robin Riley uses transnational feminist analysis to reveal how this kind of transnational sexism towards Muslim women in general and Afghan and Iraqi women in particular has led to a new form of gender imperialism.

Author Bio

Robin Lee Riley is an assistant professor in the Women's and Gender Studies Department, Syracuse University.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • 1. Rescuing Afghan women
  • 2. 'Real housewives': married to the enemy
  • 3. 'Where are the women?': Muslim women's visibility and invisibility
  • 4. We are all soldiers now: deploying Western women
  • 5. This is what liberation looks like

Reviews

'Riley frames her analysis of the ways Western media depict the "veil" around the valuable concept of transnational sexism, which diffuses into American politics and popular culture racist and sexist stereotypes about Muslim women. This unquestioned "knowledge" has helped to sustain support for brutal US imperialist wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.'
Eric Hooglund, Middle East Critique

'Robin Riley is going to make a lot of us uncomfortable. That's the good news! Her careful investigation of the myriad ways in which US media have constructed diverse Iraqi and Afghan women reveals how we ourselves, especially readers and viewers in North America, can become complicit in transnational sexism.'
Cynthia Enloe, author of Nimo's War, Emma's War: Making Feminist Sense of the Iraq War

'Robin Riley dissects the transnational sexism that structures transnational Orientalism with its global militarism. In this process she unveils the Western mind and exposes the possibility of a de-racialized future for women in Afghanistan and Iraq. This is an important read for anyone who seeks to inhibit the use of misogyny for imperial purposes and wishes to keep the next US war from happening.'
Zillah Eisenstein, Ithaca College

Details

Publication Date: 12 September 2013
192 pages

Product ISBNs: Paperback: 9781780321288
Hardback: 9781780321295
eBook ePub: 9781780325132
eBook PDF: 9781780325125
eBook Kindle: 9781780325088

Part of the following digital collection

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