Recently many attempts have been made to ridicule Muslim women by auctioning them on the app with derogatory terms. It’s disgusting to see the hate and objectification manifesting evermore. But the most important thing to notice is the eternal use of shame to silence the voice of women.
These constant attempts to ridicule Muslim women are an attack on their expression and political participation to discourage women from having a voice.
Auctioning women is not new to human civilisation; the origin of auctions can be traced back to approximately 500 BC in ancient Greece when women were auctioned off for marriage.
That’s why even when the world is ending and people are on a spaceship fleeing earth, the clickbait-journalist boyfriend slut-shames his ex.
According to Bell Hooks, “Shaming is one of the deepest tools of imperialist, white supremacist, capitalist patriarchy because shame produces trauma and trauma often produces paralysis.”
V D Savarkar, in his work, esteems to use “rape” as a political tool to communicate future Muslim conquerors to dare not think of molestation of Hindu women.
Sulli Deals and now the Bulli Bai app is surely an attempt of using shame to stop women from shaping public discourses by voicing independent and assertive politics.
But, unfortunately, there has been a rise in trolling and abusing Muslim women after the whole anti-CAA-NRC protest, which was bejewelled by a fearless assertion of the intersectionality of identities.
And one can’t help but draw the relation between an assertion of rights, identity and vehement infringement of that by the extremists.
With our prime minister validating hate mongers by giving them a follow back, attempts like Sulli Deals are part of the same ecosystem of hate, bigotry and toxic masculinity that characterise extremist politics.
This constant attempt to shame or ridicule Muslim women proves how much the right-wing extremist is scared of women, especially opinionated women.
Brené Brown, probably the foremost researcher of shame right now, explains that “messages of shame are organised around gender”. I can’t help but think about the outpour that a headline like “Muslim men auctioned online over an app with derogatory terms” would have stirred.
With men claiming most of the public spaces to themselves, there are very few left for women to feel safe and express themselves without restraint, online being one. Trolling and intimidating them is one of the easiest ways to exclude them from online spaces.
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Muslim women have layers of marginalisation and eliminating them seems to look like rolling a boulder up a hill. Assaults like this are battered with dissonance. On the one hand, they have right-wing extremists ridiculing them, and on the other hand, they have Muslim fundamentalists blaming women for such assaults.
But one thing that is surely corroborated by the constant effort to “lessen or intimidate” women is that whatever they are doing, they are doing it right. These consecutive efforts reflect the fear of right-wing extremists for articulated, opinionated, independent women from the minority community.
This reminds me of an African saying, “One who causes others misfortune, also teaches them wisdom.” Attempts like this will do less harm than good. Now that we know what we’re doing is affecting you, we’re simply gonna *100.
Women of the world, Assemble.