ajnabieh: The text "My Marxist feminist dialective brings all the boys to the yard."   (Default)
First, the fun bit: I have an article in the new (well, earlier-this-week) issue of Transformative Works and Cultures, called Fannish discourse communities and the construction of gender in The X-Files. (That was the original subtitle; the original title is a quote from one of the posts I analyze, and I'll leave you to guess which one.) I've been told it's both accessible and interesting, so there's that. I haven't had a chance to read the rest of the issue yet, but I'm looking forward to Lori Hitchcock Morimoto's piece on fan subjectivities, Shannon Farley's piece on translation theory and fanfic, Craig Norris's piece on fan pilgrimages, and Juli J. Parrish's work on metaphors and meaning. Thanks to the editors who put the edition together--it was a very professional and helpful process throughout, and I appreciated it.

And, random other things from my life:

  • The rentrée/start of the semester is always exhausting. The exhaustion amount goes up when you're teaching new preps. It goes up again when you're at a new institution. Which probably explains why I want to collapse at the end of every work day, and why all I get done on my evening commute is stare blankly at my phone.

  • That being said, I adore my commute: one bus, usually not that crowded (I get on and off far enough on either end that I've always gotten a seat, though sometimes people have to stand), one block from my house, two blocks from my office. The downside: it only comes every 20 minutes, so there's often quite a wait. Luckily I have the timing worked out for the morning commute; I'm sure I'll get better at timing the afternoon commute eventually...

  • Tasks I have managed to master conducting in French: ordering coffee, pastry, or lunch from the really epically delicious café on the first floor of my building; asking for a book I had brought from the off-site facility in the library; introducing myself at a staff meeting. Tasks I have not mastered conducting in French: understanding the full content of a multi-hour staff meeting, most of which I don't have historical context for and sometimes conducted heavily in acronyms. Tasks I have not yet mastered but have shown improvement in: elevator/hallway small talk. It's getting there.

  • Elements of Canadianness I have shown improvement in: paying with a chip card (or even by tapping); being chatty and oversharing with random strangers (I'm a New Yorker, THIS IS VERY DIFFICULT). Elements of Canadianness I have not yet shown much improvement in: understanding exactly where on the milk bag to cut and how then to pour without spilling (I think the organic milk bags from Costco are bigger than our jug); apologizing for things that are someone else's fault; understanding what it means when my thermostat reads 19.

  • Though I don't yet know if I'll do anything with it, I started a tumblr, [tumblr.com profile] ajnabieh; I figure it might be another ethnographic space for future work, who knows. BUT, the actual fun thing is that I also created a side-tumblr, [tumblr.com profile] size16skinnyjeans, for my occasional outfit blogging thing. And maybe Thinking Thoughts About Clothes In The Academy. Who knows. If you can think of critical/feminist-y/academic-y fashion blogs I should follow, or things that might be relevant to my research interests, lemme know. Or just, you know, follow me and watch me reblog things...

  • I think that's it for the moment. How are y'all?
ajnabieh: The text "My Marxist feminist dialective brings all the boys to the yard."   (Default)
IMG_2219 IMG_2228 IMG_2218

IMG_2226 IMG_2224

Not the best photos, but here are some of the outfits I'm bringing with me to Cairo. (That mess behind me on the piano is the rest of the clothes. Although by now they've been tucked into my suitcase.) Packing for fieldwork is an interesting process; you have the constraints of a limited wardrobe, just like any trip, while also having to be prepared for multiple occasions and, usually, at least a few presentations of self. There may also be location-specific constraints. In my case, they were:

•It is going to be hot--around 90F/32C during the day, and 75F/23C at night. So I need to pack to stay cool...but also to keep from burning to a crisp (I burn fairly easily), and to go from sweltering-outside to air-conditioned-inside. (Pretty much, this is exactly like New York City at midsummer.)

•I'm going to have to look like a professional. While I don't have my whole interview schedule lined up, a part of it is going to be with professors, people involved in politics, and other people with whom I have to present myself as a similarly positioned professional.

•I can't always look like a professional. Some of my other interviews will be with activists, students, and other people who I'll be meeting in a personal, not professional capacity. You don't wear a suit to interview activists, not if you actually want them to talk to you. So both pairs of pants I brought can be worn more casually, and I'm bringing some more relaxed t-shirts as well.

•I can't bring much. I'm traveling with one suitcase of a size that it technically fits in a carryon compartment, one very small duffel-bag-ish thing that'll actually be carryon, and my purse (which probably is larger than the duffel thing, all told). So, everything I bring has to do double duty.

•Local modesty norms. I'll say more about this below, but I had to make sure that the things I brought wouldn't make me look rude or inappropriate.

After going through this mental list and my closet a million times, here is what I settled on:

Read more... )

When I tell people I'm traveling to the Middle East for work, I always, always get questions about what I "can" wear. This is an interesting balance, because I do take the location into account when I pack, but it's also not quite like what my interlocutors mean.

modesty, identity, and fashion )

Well, I'm off to the airport in a few hours--wish me three on-time flights and no line at customs!
ajnabieh: Sign for a store reading "Hot Chick." (hot chick)
Today I started teaching Michael Warner's The Trouble With Normal, a queer argument against gay marriage and other campaigns for normalization in LGBT political life--and for the abolition of sexual shame, and its replacement with a sexual morality that is not moralizing. [Google Books (preview available); Wikipedia entry (has a good summary)]

So naturally it was drag day in class.

Photo on 2012-04-04 at 11.14

I also publicly held myself up as the "right" sort of gay: married, monogamous, breeding, highly educated, white, religious.

I even wear suits.

Photo on 2012-04-04 at 11.15 #2

After all, aren't all of my teaching outfits drag, of one kind or another?
ajnabieh: Sign for a store reading "Hot Chick." (hot chick)
My dearly beloved friend Jesús Chapa-Malacara, an art and portrait photographer, has just published a new project, Women/Bodies/Fashion. It combines images with words, in particular the words of nine women (with very different bodies and aesthetics) on fashion, bodies, and gender, with Jesús's own reflections on fashion photography as a form, and how to balance the technical, artistic, and ethical imperatives at work in the medium. (The photoshoot is technically NSFW, for topless ladies.)

I happened to be one of the models he used--that's me on the cover of the essay, my hairy and scarred legs, and me pedantically lecturing my best friend on how come he hasn't read William Gibson in the interview quotes. (He did not include any images of me making faces at fashion magazines during that portion of the photo shoot, for which I am reasonably grateful.) I'm also friends with one of the other models, and she looks fabulous, too. Head over there, and check it out.

(And if you're in the market for high-end children's/family portraiture, check out red light green light, his portraiture business.)
ajnabieh: The text "My Marxist feminist dialective brings all the boys to the yard."   (marxist feminist)
Has it really been that long? Well, my end of semester, like most academics', was packed. Once my grades were turned in, it didn't really get any easier, since I had to finish the final revisions on my dissertation and get it uploaded to ProQuest. However, that is now over--that's right, it's Dr. [personal profile] ajnabieh these days--and I don't have any papers to return until, ugh, Monday, so I guess I can spare a moment for the interwebs.

This semester's teaching is going well; both of my lecture courses are packed, and the students seem at least minimally engaged. (We'll see how they did on today's geography quiz, and on Friday's critical source analyses, I suppose!) I am realizing, slowly, that I can't expect undergraduate students to understand the whole breadth of things "the state" does already, so I have to, you know, explain what tax and divorce policy have to do with the politics of sex and gender (spoiler: everything), rather than them coming up with it on their own. My seminar was so small it almost got cancelled, but it's grown to a good size (5 students), and I'm quite excited to teach it.

My research is also headed in some interesting places--or at least I think they are! In particular, I've been experimenting with Storyful to organize and record data I'm collecting from Twitter on diaspora advocacy for revolutionary transitions in the Arab world. You can see the three Storyfuls I've published so far here; I think the one on Mohja Kahf is particularly interesting. As a corrollary to this, my interest in how we engage politically in online spaces, and what the methodological challenges to studying politics in digital worlds are, has only grown; so, you know, expect me to ramble about this at y'all at some point in the future. (Has anyone read any of the literature on digital ethnographies? Any suggestions?)

What else? Not much. Oh, I have a bunch of images stacked up for posts, both about food, because, well, what else do I write about? And, if you're at all interested in good indie music from the Middle East and North Africa, Mideast Tunes has been providing the soundtrack to my work life lately. I can particularly recommend Hana Malhas, who has a lovely singer-songwriter vibe in both Arabic and English, and Meen, a hip and funky combo with a lot of energy in their songs. They also seem to highlight metal music from the region, so, if that's your bag, there's plenty there for you!

And with that, I leave you--with fashion posts. Since trivial!fashion!blogging is, really, what I excel at.

professorial fashion, or lack thereof )
ajnabieh: The text "My Marxist feminist dialective brings all the boys to the yard."   (awda times square)
I have a Real Substantive Post brewing, but before I got it done, I thought I'd pop my head in and wave. Hello! I am back from the abyss! Er, by which I apparently mean Twitter?

Life is settling in here; we're into our second week of classes (which means I'm located somewhere between Dr. Koshary, who's been teaching for three-four weeks already, and Tenured Radical, for whom the first day of school was Labor Day--though Labor Day was a school day here as well!), and my students are doing well, although they demonstrate a shocking inability to remember Moldova is in Europe and Suriname is in South America (yes, today was geography quiz day). My family is enjoying having a little more space, having relocated from a 2-bedroom apartment which we shared with a roommate to a 3.5 bedroom house complete with full attic, basement, and other assorted accountrements. (Fun fact: our furniture we brought from the other house? Basically fills this one.) I'm enjoying living somewhere with easy proximity to locally grown produce, and busily putting things up for the winter. (Lots of broccoli. Lots of lots of broccoli. Anybody got advice for what I should do with sugar plums?) And I'm really, really, really loving having an office to myself, a ten-minute walk from my house. Really. Words cannot even describe.

So, until I'm back, two quick teaching-fashion outfits for you. The first is the first day of school, when I had no teaching but wanted to look presentable for students. The second is today's teaching outfit.

First day of school!

Sixty Degrees in September?

I didn't manage to photograph my favorite outfit of last week: black pants/jacket, blue and white striped button down, blue and grey striped tie), but I will tell you that, as I taught my last class wearing it, jacket off, sleeves rolled up, chalk dust on my tie, I thought: damn, I wish the official school photographer were here. I look awesome.
ajnabieh: Sign for a store reading "Hot Chick." (hot chick)
The reason I've been off the grid, and am only sporadically going to be around for the next 3-4 weeks, is a fabulous one: I recently accepted a (n extremely awesome) position as a visiting instructor at Hobart and William Smith colleges, and am currently packing up everything I own in preparation for moving to Western New York, in addition to trying to finish the next (and last?) draft of my dissertation before we leave.  So, despite the fact that it's Ramadan, Islamophobia has taken a massive turn for the stupid as hell lately (surprise surprise), there are terrifying massacres in Syria, Egyptian activists just left Tahrir again, and Libya is in a protracted state of civil war, I'm probably not going to be saying anything smart (or not-smart) about it. These are some quick hits before I put my head back in my work.

The one place I will be with regularity is twitter, where I am [twitter.com profile] ajnabieh.  95% of my tweets are either retweets or things I'm reading, since I'm not collecting super fascinating data at the moment (and I save tweeting about lunch for Facebook).  If people are interested in a regular link spam from me, I'm more than happy to do a daily or weekly twitter-import.

I wanted to signal boost is the Fast for Yemen being sponsored by Yemen Peace News.  Yemen, along with the Sudan, are the only Arab countries on the list of least developed countries; Yemen is also in the midst of a political crisis/revolution (depends who you ask).  Food aid is desperately needed.  Ramadan is, traditionally, a season for giving and for feasting as much as fasting--G. Willow Wilson on twitter called it "Eat, Pray, Don't Eat,"--and this project calls for people, Muslim and non-Muslim, to remember Yemen during this time.  I haven't fasted yet, but I know I'll be giving, probably fasting a little, and certainly making du'as for Yemen this month.

And a side project.  Academichic, the one fashion blog I read, is closing up shop for very good reasons.  But this got me thinking about how much I wish there were more people online talking about fashion and personal aesthetics and similar things with a queer feminist/politically radical sensibility.  So, if anyone either knows people having these conversations, or, say, would be interested in trying to develop a group blog covering this ground, let me know.  I've got a lot of new teaching outfits to overanalyze for the sake of Internet feminism this fall.  I'm just saying.
ajnabieh: The text "My Marxist feminist dialective brings all the boys to the yard."   (dressing my best)
I think of myself as reasonably well sartorially stocked for formal professional occasions: I've got a black suit, I've got a bunch of suit separates and blouses and things like that.  Plus, you know, I'm a grad student, how many suits do I need However, I just encountered a fashion challenge that my closet was unequipped for: what to wear for a high formality professional event held in the heat of the summer.

This was the conclusion I reached.

summer suit 2

I have to admit, it took me a long time to be convinced by the short sleeved blazer.  It felt...just wrong, somehow.  Blazers have SLEEVES.  This is in their nature! Anything else is a violation of their natural rights as blazers! Why don't I just wear a vest if I'm going to violate all that is good and right in business attire?!?!

After many rounds of trial and error, however, I reconciled myself to the outfit, because of the clear truth that my arms are freakin' fierce.  Might as well show it off.

summer suit 3
again with the toddler photobombing

The neckline on this top is a new one for me: what do you think? I felt very covered up, but I liked the shape it made, both in the blazer and out of it.

(And let's not talk about my pink manicured fingernails.  I still have some cognitive dissonance over that.)

What do you think about summer business wear?  Is it all about fabric, or cut, or color for you? How do you summer-ize an outfit?
ajnabieh: The text "My Marxist feminist dialective brings all the boys to the yard."   (dressing my best)
It's Dress Your Best time again over at Academichic! For those who weren't around last year, this is a blog challenge to think of your fashion sense as not concealing your faults, but as celebrating the great things about your body--an attempt to reorient one's thinking about the body and fashion from negative to positive. I'm always a fan of playing, and hope I'll have at least a couple of outfits to post. (You can read my posts from last year here.)

Anyway, this is an outfit I wore to a coffee meeting a week or so back, when it was meltingly hot in NYC:

dyb 2011: #1

I have no idea where any of the items came from originally. But I wanted to talk about my love of the knee-length skirt, because of how much it shows off my legs. I'm a little sensitive about them, because my legs are asymetrical and visibly scarred. I had extensive leg surgery as an adolescent, a total of three different operations, on both legs and hips. Although many of my scars are perfectly straight, the one on the front of my left leg most certainly is not, and is dark enough in several places that it is visible unless I use cover-up makeup on it. (I can sometimes even see it through stockings.) Also as a result of my surgery, my muscles on the left leg don't lay precisely where the muscles on my right leg lay. I also have a limp which only really gets noticeable when I'm tired or injured. The appearance of my legs was, for a long time, a source of stress for me, and I wore long pants to cover them, or even used concealer on the dark parts of my scars.

I'm looking at my legs different these days: I can walk. I can walk, and I have strong, muscular legs that carry me around my city. My surgeon said that his goal for me, after surgery, was to be able to run for a bus. I can do that; I can run across the street when the light starts changing before I get to the corner and damn if I'm waiting another five minutes. I can stand on the subway, usually, at least. And so, if I realize my knees and ankles are going out a good ten years before they should, because of the stress and strain they've undergone; or if I get asked, again, if I did something to my leg; or if I've got these long scars written down my skin, I've stopped minding, and I've started being proud. They're my legs, and I earned them. And when there comes a day again when I need assistance to walk--and I have no illusions that I'll make the rest of my life unassisted, not on these legs--well, then. They're still going to be my legs.

dyb 2001: 1

The other comment I have here is on my sunglasses. Aviator frames are new to me; I never thought I could wear them. I think I thought that because I associated them with my dad; he wore both aviator glasses for regular wear, and aviator sunglasses, for as long as I can remember. In fact, these are his sunglasses, which he forgot at my house last summer when he came up to visit.

I'm wearing them now because my dad passed away, quite suddenly, in May. I look better in these glasses than I thought I would, but I think I'd be wearing them regardless.
ajnabieh: Sign for a store reading "Hot Chick." (hot chick)
hat tip to Muslimah Media Watch for their piece about this, and spurring me to write these thoughts down.

While visiting my parents a few weeks back, I caught a bit of the coverage ABC (an American broadcast TV network) is doing on Islam in the US. I was really fine until they got Pamela Geller on there, and then I started squirming and muttering at the TV, until my wife was generous and took me away to watch the past week's Modern Family on her iPad, thus saving my parents from having to listen to me yell.

Apparently a later bit of the series involved a reporter, Bianna Golodryga, wearing the hijab in a number of cities around the country. (I think you can watch the video here, but I haven't. Warning for comments that look exactly like you'd expect.) Now, the practice of non-Muslim women wearing hijab and other Muslim coverings to "experience what Muslim women do" is not new; it goes back to Lady Montagu (Wikipedia entry, her letters on Project Gutenberg), and it pops up with regularity (see this recent column by Naomi Wolf). But I first experienced it in the heady post-9/11 days of liberal and progressive communities in the US (particularly university-based ones). I was a sophomore in college, a double major in political science and gender studies in the process of building a specialization in Middle Eastern politics, so I was, shall we say, attentive to these discourses. And when I started to see calls for non-Muslim women to wear hijab in solidarity with Muslim-American women who were being harassed for covering, I got...suspicious.

That suspicion has lasted until today. I profoundly dislike when non-Muslim women wear hijab in an attempt to experience what Muslim women experience when they wear it, or even in an attempt to be in solidarity with Muslim women who wear it. My reasons for this are largely philosophical, and I know that many Muslim women are absolutely fine with it. But I want to try to think through why this practice bothers me so much, and what I think is so problematic about it.

Thing One: It's Appropriative

Some muhajjabat (women who cover) believe that the wearing of a headcover is mandated by God; some feel more comfortable covering their hair because of cultural tradition or the environment in which they live or were raised; some wear it because it marks them as (an observant) Muslim in the eyes of others. But no matter what the basic reasons for wearing it, a woman who wears hijab becomes a symbol of the Muslim community, and is consistently visibly identified as a Muslim by other. The hijab is a mark of identity, particularly in the context of religious minority women in North American and Europe.

To wear that mark of identity without holding that identity trivializes what it means. It snaps up the signs of that identity and does not, necessarily, require any shift of perspective in the wearer; it strips them of their meaning (which strikes me as an act of profound symbolic violence), and gives them an empty and moveable content. It's taking what is someone else's.

But here I should pause, and say two things. The first is that none of the muhajjabat who I've talked to about this practice object to it. Most think it's meaningless, but others will say, "Maybe they'll learn something." (And those who think it's an injunction on all women and a proper way to be modest believe it's an unallayed good.) So clearly the appropriative element of it isn't a huge concern to all of the people whose practice is being appropriated.

And, second, frequently these acts of hijab drag are done with content: they're an attempt to learn what Muslim women who cover experience, or to be in solidarity with them. This isn't hipsters wearing headdresses; this is a political act. So should I give up my squickiness about it? I'm not yet convinced, because of thing two.

Thing Two: Drag Does Not Make You Other

The queer student group I helped run as an undergraduate did semesterly 'drag days' during Pride Week and Coming Out Week. They were a ton of fun; I have many fond memories of applying mascara to my scarce lip hair, going shopping for ace bandages, borrowing my best friend's clothes, and filling unlubricated condoms with dollar-store hair gel (much more comfortable than a rolled tube sock, let me tell you). At a post-drag-day conversation one year, someone said that they really hoped that those who had participated had taken their experience and really thought about what it meant to be a trans student on our campus.

My only reaction was, "Oh hell no."

I didn't learn anything about what it's like being trans on my campus by crossdressing for a day. I wasn't physically threatened when I attempted to enter women's bathrooms; nobody hollered anything offensive at me; when people talked about me as a woman wearing a fake mustache (nobody was looking at my crotch, sadface), it didn't hurt me to be called a woman; I didn't have to contest my housing assignment or the name on my ID, not once. I did get a sense for how my body felt when trying to perform a sort of masculinity, and learned that I liked it--but I performed all sorts of masculinity in college, from wearing ties at Model UN conferences to making jokes about dating a woman who went to our traditional "sister college." And none of them taught me what it was like to be a trans man, or a trans woman, for that matter.

There are certain sorts of experiences that you cannot have for yourself. You have observe the edges of them, you can watch other people having them, you can listen to other people's stories about them, you can draw analogies between experiences you've had and ones that others describe. But you cannot just acquire them. I have been a racial minority in my neighborhood, but that does not teach me what it means to be a person of color in a white community. I have passed for a biological parent, but I will never know what it is like to have been pregnant and have given birth, to have that sort of a connection to a child. I have worn hijab, but I will never know what it is like to be a Muslim woman who covers for religious or personal or cultural reasons. That's not accessible to me, not without a series of changes of identity that aren't likely for me, not at this point in my life.

The way I can know what Muslim women who cover experience is by asking them, and then by listening. If the only way you will believe that muhajjabat experience discrimination is by wearing hijab and being discriminated against yourself, then you're calling all muhajjabat liars. You're refusing to admit that they may have an experience you cannot have. You're assuming that they can't be trusted to report on what has happened to them; you're arguing that their impressions and feelings about their experiences are probably exaggerations or misconceptions or paranoia or lies.

I'm glad of the times I've worn hijab. They have taught me something; that having a piece of cloth wrapped around my head changes the way I hold my neck; that if the scarf isn't secured with pins or tight knots, I'm constantly monitoring it, and it becomes difficult to take interview notes; that other women are compassionate, and will tuck flyaway hairs back under your scarf so as not to embarrass you. But they haven't taught me anything about being a muhajjaba, because I'm not.

This is one of those uncomfortable parts about choosing to make yourself an ally to communities you're not a part of, particularly when there's a clear privilege differential between you and them. You have to accept, and become comfortable, with not knowing some things through direct experience, with knowing that you'll have gaps. So as much as the non-opposition of the muslimahs I've spoken with has nudged me along towards being less dismissive of hijab drag, I still oppose it from my position as an ally activist and academic. I don't want us to forget that we are not in the communities we're working with, no matter how long we're there. We have to get used to being uncomfortable, not to forget that we should be.

So if you feel called to participate in hijab drag as an act of solidarity, and checking in with the muslimahs around you suggests none of them would take offense, do it. But don't be presumptuous about what you'll learn. And maybe you didn't need to wear the scarf to do it.
ajnabieh: The text "My Marxist feminist dialective brings all the boys to the yard."   (dressing my best)
I'm a little late finishing up Dress Your Best Week. However, I did have some photos and thoughts I wanted to post, so might as well get them up. The ladies of Academichic have posted some really great guides (here and here) to what was posted last week; I recommend you check them out, if you've got an interest. (And thanks again for hosting!)

Anyway, here is my outfit from Wednesday, May 12

reception outfit

Blazer: Banana Republic
Graphic tee: hand-me-down
Belt: Macy's
Jeans: thrifted
Shoes: vintage, from my mother-in-law (I told you she was an endless font of shoe-y goodness)

Celebrating The Rest of the University, and My Wedding Anniversary )


I spent most of the rest of the week and weekend dressed like a slob, because I was on vacation: a roadtrip to Western Massachusetts, and then my wife's reunion. This involved some adventuring in the wilderness:


zomg water

But I did have one day when I had to dress up: for Ivy Day. I'll admit, I have more warm and fuzzy feelings about Smith than I do about Yale. Some of it is that it's a women's college, which means there's a feeling of solidarity and support for your fellow members of the community that isn't there at co-ed schools; some of it is that Yale is kind of a big giant semi-evil behemoth; some of it is that I didn't go to Smith, so all my memories of it are of having fun on weekends with my wife and her friends. But Ivy Day is my favorite of all Smith traditions: you march through a long cordon of awesome women (and, especially in the more recent classes, more than a few awesome men), and everyone cheers for each other.

Here are me, my wife, our friend, and Mr. X on Ivy Day:

ivy day

On me:

Blazer: Banana Republic
Shirt: Ann Taylor, hand-me-down
Skirt: Thrifted
Shoes: Vintage, from my mother-in-law

On Mr. X:

Shirt: GAP Kids
Pants: Thrifted

On my wife (L):
Everything's thrifted (we basically cleaned out our Goodwill; who owns this much white?

On our friend (R):
I have no idea, but the tights are mine! And, hey, I don't think she returned them...

Oh, and my friend, while asking not to be identified, did want me to relay that her hometown has some serious issues.

I had fun doing this! (And thanks to [personal profile] sofiaviolet who joined me.) I do have thinky thoughts on dressing for fieldwork and dressing for teaching, which I'll probably haul out in a couple weeks, when I'm stressing about my writing and in a bad mood.
ajnabieh: The text "My Marxist feminist dialective brings all the boys to the yard."   (dressing my best)
This week, I'm participating in Dress Your Best week, a week of fashion blogging to celebrate your best features, rather than camoflage your worst. It's about celebrating your body and your sense of style; that's something I can get behind.

Although, like many people, I have insecurities and anxieties about my body, for this week I'm going to be positive, even aggressively so. I'd appreciate it if my readers would act in kind; body-snarking will not be well-tolerated.

On to the first set of outfits:

mom jeans #1

Outfit one:

Blue notch-collared t-shirt: hand-me-down
Grey Cable-Knit Cardigan: GAP Outlet
Belt: Macy's
Jeans: hand-me-down
Pink leather flip-flops: vintage, from my mother-in-law

(On Mr. X: onesie, Target; pants, GAP Kids)

mom jeans #2

Outfit two:

Lilac ribbed long-sleeved shirt: hand-me-down
Corduroy Blazer: vintage, from my father-in-law
Jeans: hand-me-down
Belt: Ann Taylor (Outlet?)
Scarf: vintage, from my mother-in-law
Shoes (not pictured): Vegan Saucony Jazz in Black/Oatmeal (I love these shoes, but sadly, they wear out very easily--they've had a tear in the toe since about three months into owning them. Sadface.)

(On Mr. X: sweatshirt, Hanna Anderssen; pants, GAP Kids; sneakers, Merrill)

This is me in my mom jeans.

The concept of mom jeans, the patriarchy, and the political use of problematic symbols )

Actual notes on the outfit, including minimal-effort principles for looking less like a schlub while wearing one's mom jeans )
ajnabieh: Sign for a store reading "Hot Chick." (hot chick)
I'd like to thank the folks who've thrown some paid time and points my way! I'm very much looking forward to being able to play around with DW's shiny advanced features. Plus, OMG infinity icons.

I am thinking about participating in Dress Your Best Week, which is a fashion-blogging thing where bloggers highlight their best body parts, in an attempt to move away from fashion as being about "hiding problem areas." I think this is a really great, body-positive, feminist thing to do, and I'm up for doing it if any of my regular readers would be interested in seeing some outfits I put together.  Some things about me that may influence whether you are interested in seeing how I dress:
  • I'm not terribly fashion-forward.  In fact, I'm fairly fashion-backward, plus committed to a Quaker aesthetic of simplicity, though not in a dogmatic way.
  • Most days I don't actually put together orchestrated outfits--but luckily, next week I'll be on a road trip and having to interact with people, so I'll be giving a smidge more thought than usual.  Otherwise, you'd mostly just be seeing gardening-and-playing-with-baby clothes.
  • I'm on the heavy side (which is an issue I'd want to devote some processing to).
  • My major struggles when assembling outfits are a) the juncture between my soft-butch aesthetic and my hourglass figure and b) my tendency towards performative drag in my clothing choices.

Poll #3038 Would you be interested?
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 9

Would you be interested in fashion posts from me next week?

View Answers

7 (87.5%)

1 (12.5%)

Are there any particular things that would interest you for me to post about w/r/t fashion and things?

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Dressing for the classroom
4 (50.0%)

Dressing for fieldwork in communities outside your own
6 (75.0%)

Parenthood and clothing choices (i.e., "In Defense of Mom Jeans")
4 (50.0%)

Performing gender (from a non-trans person's perspective)
6 (75.0%)

Questions of size
4 (50.0%)

Something else I'll mention in comments
0 (0.0%)

Are there fashion blogs/feminist blogs/whatever on the subject of anything related to what I've mentioned you'd recommend to me in advance of my posting on the subject?

View Answers

Yes, and I will post in comments
1 (25.0%)

Yes, and I will message you
0 (0.0%)

I think you're perfectly capable of doing enough research on your own, and don't you have grading to do?
3 (75.0%)


ajnabieh: The text "My Marxist feminist dialective brings all the boys to the yard."   (Default)
Ajnabieh - The Foreigner

March 2016

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