Practical Feminism with Fatemeh Fakhraie

Profile pic of Fatemeh Fakhraie. It shows her from the chest up and she is standing up against a pink wall.
Fatemeh Fakhraie

Fatemeh Fakhraie is an editor, author, and blogger who writes about issues from her perspective as an Iranian-American Muslim woman.

In 2007, Fakhraie started Muslimah Media Watch, now part of Patheos. From MMW’s site: “Muslimah Media Watch is a forum where we, as Muslim women, can critique how our images appear in the media and popular culture. Although we are of different nationalities, sects, races, etc., we have something important in common: we’re tired of seeing ourselves portrayed by the media in ways that are one-dimensional and misleading. This is a space where, from a Muslim feminist perspective, we can speak up for ourselves.” There are currently 15 regular contributors. MMW is on Facebook and Twitter (@MMWtweets).

Fakhraie is also the author of Effects of Socioeconomic Status on Hijab Styles in Urban Iranian Women and contributor to the anthology I Speak for Myself.

You can find some of Fakhraie’s writing and more information about her at her site. She is also on Twitter (@fatemehf).

1. Why did you start Muslimah Media Watch?

I started MMW because I felt left out of Muslim discussions as a feminist and left out of feminist discussions as a Muslim. So I decided to create a place where I could blend these identities with my love of media criticism.

2. What has been your most effective tool for connecting to other activists?

At first it was Facebook groups, then it became Twitter. These tools are evolving all the time!

3. What are one or two pressing issues that you wish people were paying more attention to? Why?

They’re big-picture issues rather than specific. The most frustrating things are often the refusal of others to examine their own privilege and frames of reference and contrast that with the bigger picture. This is why westerners often can’t get past the idea of hijab in predominantly Muslim countries, while ignoring the (more important) issues to women in these countries, like unequal divorce laws or the inability of a mother to pass her citizenship to her children.

4. I’m not sure where you are located but we like to ask people what is they love about the physical/geographical place in which they practice their activism. So, how would answer that?

My activism is online, and what I love about that is that it’s slowly making the world smaller.

But what I love about living in the Pacific  Northwest is the lush green and the closeness of the ocean.

5. Favorite under-the-radar writer and/or blog.

The always-excellent analysis of a good friend and ally, Jehanzeb Dar:

This is part of an on-going series of interviews with activists around the world who are putting their feminism into practice.

If you have any suggestions of people we should interview (including yourself), please write us at flyover[at]flyoverfeminism[dot]com.

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