Raised as a Dutch woman in a mostly white family, I have always considered feminism a natural part of my life. A belief in which I was sure of, and on that didn’t need much further analysis. After meeting lots of inspiring women of color — and especially some strong Muslim feminists — however, I realized my own image of feminism had been too narrow.
A few years ago I started teaching in a Dutch high school, and this made me even more aware of the importance of inclusive daily representation. Looking online for images for my lessons, but also for things to wear and carry, just made me more frustrated.
What do you do when you are not satisfied with images of women and general female representation? Being the crafty girl that I am, I decided I could make it myself! I crafted myself a better image, slung it around my shoulders, and stuck it on the web.
I bought a bunch of erasers, and drew different female hairdos on them. Then I used a small linoleum-cutter to take away the excess eraser. And, tada! My very own fabric stamps!
I'm knitting Easter bunnies for my daughters and nephews this year. I decided that rather than get each kid a new stuffed bunny each year... Read more
With some patience and a free Saturday afternoon, I made my first ‘inclusive feminist’ printed fabrics. Later I turned these into a number of bags. Now I can always carry a more inclusive representation over my shoulders wherever I go.
Comments on I crafted, and carry, my own inclusive representation of feminism
My initial thought was that you might stamp these on top of printed media where there is not enough diversity represented.
*stamp* Now this fashion spread has a hijabi in it.
*stamp* This medical advert now has a female surgeon.
*stamp* Let’s make this a lesbian wedding shoot.
Obviously it wouldn’t make the change, but might make someone think “Hang on – why DON’T we see more of this?”
Great idea! People in my town have been putting stickers on big public adverts, when they think the pictures are sexist, but not to complain about the lack of diversity.
love this… do you have an etsy shop?
Guest post written by Sacha
High school teacher, weekend seamstress, home cook/baker and feminist. I live in the beautiful city of Utrecht, the Netherlands, with my husband.
Don’t know if it’s always been up there, but apparently yes!
very cool.. thank you!
These are lovely! And such a great idea! Feminism is totally so much more than we first expect!
This is amazing!
Hello. Lovely bag. It would be really interesting to hear more about the Muslim feminists you speak of and your relationship with them. I’m from an arab background on my father’s side and get very frustrated about how few Western feminist voices there focusing on problems faced by women in Muslim majority countries/communities. It would be very interesting to hear your thoughts. (Btw as a side note you’d be surprised how many arab women didn’t cover their heads just a generation ago compared to today). Thank you xxx
Hi Hana, during my MA in Religious Studies in Amsterdam I wrote my thesis on Muslim Feminists in the Netherlands and for that I interviewed very interesting women. One of my fellow students was muslim, and she was very helpful and open to me. Before that I spent half a year in Istanbul, which is an amazingly diverse city and it opened my eyes to all the different forms of Islam.
You might find this amazing project of interest to you:http://www.muslimahmediawatch.org/ . It’s primarily Muslim feminist writers located in North America and Europe.
*high fives* Fellow Dutch homie! 😀
What a cool bag! And yay for inclusive feminism.