Agency is easily overlooked if you actively erase it

Via Muslimah Media Watch comes a lesson in how not to advocate for women’s rights. This ad is from Germany’s International Human Rights campaign.
Poster showing a woman in a burqa among trash bags
The text translates to: “Oppressed women are easily overlooked. Please support us in the fight for their rights.”

As Jos wrote the other day about France’s ban on the full face veil, which went into effect this week, “It seems to me we have a lot easier time seeing -isms in a cultural context different from our own, and a lot harder time seeing agency.

It seems the folks who created this ad not only have a hard time seeing agency but actually went out of their way to erase it as thoroughly as possible and then stomp on it some more. And then equated women who wear the burqa with bags of trash. Literally.

“Please support us in the fight for their rights?” Please shove your support up your ass and get out of the way. Pretty sure Muslim women around the globe are too busy fighting for their own rights to deal with this paternalistic bullshit.

New Orleans, LA

Maya Dusenbery is an Executive Director in charge of Editorial at Feministing. Maya has previously worked at NARAL Pro-Choice New York and the National Institute for Reproductive Health and was a fellow at Mother Jones magazine. She graduated with a B.A. from Carleton College in 2008. A Minnesota native, she currently lives, writes, edits, and bakes bread in Atlanta, Georgia.

Maya Dusenbery is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Editorial.

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