Men are going to write things to explain me, and y’all have to accept that.

This past week I’ve received numerous emails linking me to an article written by Rajbir Singh Judge that cites a vignette I drafted with the claim, in the fluid language of academic objectivity, that my desire to pray without a barrier is dishonest and selfish. A telling excerpt is this quote from the article,

“Rather than engage in contestations and reasoning about the Islamic tradition with the Aunties, who exist as serious repositories of knowledge through their extensive networks (which, in turn, could put into question TFF’s certainty), the individual takes precedence and is always already correct in breaking deemed barriers.”

The quote is telling not only because my entire website is dedicated to engaging in “contestations and reasoning about the Islamic tradition.” I already know he’s never visited, because the article cites the guest post on Orbala‘s blog instead of the vignette here. He has never sifted through my writing, but I don’t care for him to read it either. Rather, what is also telling about this excerpt is that, like the entire article, it relies on a sympathetic premise–examining the role of aunties compassionately and investigating their portrayal–in order to villainize younger women, whose arguments, positions, and desires it dismisses.

In fact, the article cites only younger women as the supposed “critics”. If the author were genuine in his exploration, he would have discussed young men’s dismissive attitudes towards aunties, or the uncles who create the oppressive structures which in turn necessitate some of the intrusive behaviors of aunties. Lots of young Muslim women have written about this delicate position of aunties before; in fact, everyone is fascinated with this article because it masquerades as considerate toward a population that is criticized for sexist and often racist reasons… except that, men like the one who wrote this article are exacerbating those reasons by pressing into an “older vs younger woman” dynamic and essentially pitting women against each other in some fantastical theory.

The author treats the piece as a standalone, which is fair, even despite his clear lack of research into what conversations we Islamic feminists have amongst each other, because it does to a certain extent stand alone. But it is not a standalone. It is in fact, part of my thesis, which mentions auntie amina wadud on several occasions, including in this particular vignette itself. In any draft of this piece, the “inquisitiveness, vibrancy and irrepressibility” of aunties is neither incompatible with nor undesirable to our individualism as the article alleges, but the author seems to specialize in south asia and the modern middle east, which against the Islamic tradition leaves out the inclusion of our black leaders. The characterization of my mother–who isn’t an auntie to me but is an auntie to the community, which seems to not occur to the author–as lying “in order to elude their questions” rather than tentatively stepping through complex and nuanced dynamics is already a meaningful observational omission.

If you want to read the full excerpt–you’ve all seen it anyway–I’ve imaged it below.

This is all greatly amusing to me, but for those of you who appear distressed, I assure you it is only expected for men to mischaracterize young women in order to preserve the integrity of tradition under a guise of credibility.

Those of you who’ve pointed out how unqualified the writer is have received some responses simultaneously admitting the author isn’t familiar with engagements in Islamic feminism and emphasizing the dismissal of the auntie nonetheless. Of course the obvious issue with this is that the examples in the article “supporting” its core observations are inaccurate. Needing so desperately to deliver a point as to invent scenarios demonstrates a weakness in the argument, and it’s bad writing. But that was already clear in its investigation of caricatures by reducing younger women to caricatures.

We Object to Performative, Anti-Black Misuses of the Terms “Intersectionality” and “White Feminism” in the Non-Black Muslim Community

by Inas Hyatt and TFF

Non-black Muslims often (mis)appropriate the terms “intersectionality” and “white feminism” to the detriment of black Muslim women. This appropriation ranges from coopting the theory of intersectionality to defend Muslim men who threaten or deflect from Muslim women accusing them of assault, to sidetracking from the migrant slave trade by introducing the subject of western imperialism (or white feminism) in Arab nations.

Most recently, non-black Muslims have appallingly claimed that the Libyan slave trade cannot be criticized without including discussions about western imperialism—a call only black victims positioned in the crossfire are equipped to make—employing the very language of black feminists against black feminists and in order to detract from black issues.

Non-black Muslims who assert that excluding critiques of colonialism against the Libyan slave trade would be “imperialist” or “white feminist” coopt the theory of white feminism in order to excuse anti-black racism in the Muslim community. How are non-black Muslims equipped to deem themselves as free of responsibility in anti-blackness, much less do so using black feminist scholarship?

Black women, who coined the term white feminism and introduced explorations of its patterns, routinely and paradoxically confront accusations from men of color that their fight for women’s rights is sourced from white women.

As @delafro_ aptly tweeted, “The whole ‘black women got feminism from white women’ bullshit is a great way to your ass beat by me. I don’t play that shit. You will not credit white women for black women’s intellectual work. I will make you eat your words.”

Yet somehow, even while borrowing liberally from black feminist theory, non-black Muslims continue to reproduce the very conditions against which black feminist theories contend.

Intersectionality Doesn’t Mean Deflecting from Black Issues to Uphold Your Intersections

When anti-blackness in Arab nations results in the enslavement and sale of migrant workers in Libya, non-black Muslims deflect from anti-blackness in Arab nations to the international events that destabilized Libya. To avoid responsibility, it is popular to cite the overthrow of Gaddafi—a known serial rapist who enslaved girls in macabre rape chambers—as underwriting the migrant slave trade.

“The same Gaddafi who devastatingly contributed to the Ugandan-Tanzanian war, supported Mengistu and literally tried to annex part of Chad is being re-written as a protector of African peoples? Lemme sit this one out for the sake of my blood pressure,” tweets Momtaza Mehri. “Framing recent events in Libya as post-revolution crises is beyond disingenuous. During the revolution itself Africans from Somali migrant workers to Tuareg tribes were being rounded up and accused of being mercenaries.”

The poet continues, “I vividly remember Somali websites interviewing migrant workers who were afraid to leave their homes for fear of being hunted down in newly ‘liberated’ areas. This isn’t news to many of us. Italian government been striking deals with Libyan war criminals in the promise that they will ‘aggressively’ stem the flow of migrants. Turning ships back or kidnapping those on board. They don’t care as long as they don’t reach Italy.”

This reflex to hold imperialism accountable at the expense of centering the issue of Arab anti-blackness is, enragingly enough, poorly attributed by non-black Muslims as falsely in the interest of intersectionality, as theorized by Kimberlé Crenshaw.

In the words of Keji Daodu, “Arab racism and anti blackness was flourishing before any western imperialism. Bringing it up is just deflection.” The same non-black Muslims who were initially purporting that “MuslimLivesMatter” (which in itself fails to acknowledge black Muslims) are once again coopting intersectionality to alleviate themselves of accountability.

Deflecting to western imperialism when discussing the Libyan slave trade is just “[non-black] Muslim lives matter” in different words.

Anti-Blackness Through the Exclusion of Black Women

A few months ago, a video circulated on the Internet of a light-skinned woman praying while donning a bikini on the beach. The woman’s race was ambiguous, but the popular position of Muslim men on the matter was not: the woman was not only wrong and in need of correcting, but she was to be belittled for her perceived “immodesty” with a sexist contempt toward feminine “frivolity”—instead of a credible one toward cultural appropriation.

But in a small group dedicated specifically for women of color, one of our writers, Inas, was suspicious of the nature of the criticisms aimed at the woman by non-black women of color in the group. The woman’s race and ethnicity had never been confirmed. There was no approximation of her racial identity. There was the question of why she was being recorded and mocked. But instead of focusing on cultural appropriation, most of the non-black women were adopting the angle of modesty without considering that the yardstick used for appropriate hijab was anti-black.

It was not enough, of course, that the woman was evidently filmed without her knowledge and the video circulated to deride her. Few pointed out that it could be commendable that she was in a bikini on the beach and in the mindset to pray in a busy and crowded space. Muslim men were slut-shaming the woman rather than bringing to light that if it had been a brown and/or a black woman, her harassment wouldn’t have merely stopped at a viral video—she could have been physically attacked or even killed by onlookers.

The criticism directed at the woman was instead about Islamic respectability politics, which consistently races against the perception of black Muslims to exclude them. It was part of Arabs and Desis feeling as though they “own” Islam as part of their culture. This outlook always extends to employing intersectionality against black women, who are not seen as part of Islamic cultures/community.

Arabs and Desi Muslims need to stop with their we-own-Islam. The attitude is supremely selective of the things that anger Arab and Desi Muslims. And it’s hollow when they never come and support black Muslims.

In response to calls to be inclusive of women falling outside of mainstream, colonialist parameters of modesty were retorts of, “Sure, let’s all pray at the masjid with our tits and vaginas out.” (The woman praying in a bikini, just as a reminder, was at the beach, where onlookers would except to see women in swimsuits.) They didn’t recognize that their language was duplicating sexist ideas of modesty. Asking to critique ideas of modesty in the group were met with accusations of white feminism. How is asking to mind whether critiques were exclusionary of BIWoC white feminism, when white feminism is non-intersectional?

“I need non-Black people to stop using our words unless it is needed,” as Dr. Chandra tweets. “Stop stop stop. It is grating. Like don’t say something is on point. Don’t say yaaaaas. Don’t refer to everything as intersectional. Stop it.  You don’t sound cool. We are not a cool thing you put on.” She continues, responding to an inquiry, “It’s Black women theorized based on Black women’s experiences and so people should be conscientious about not including Black women when they use it.”

The argument that we need to critique ideas of modesty, modesty that was brought about by colonization, is not white feminist. It is appropriation of black feminist terminology to leave out black women from Muslim communities, who are never seen as part of the Muslim community.

Responses to “why can’t we focus on her cultural appropriation rather than slut-shaming her?” were met with a “because she’s a white woman!” from non-black, Arab and Desi people of color—resulting in critiquing whiteness in explicitly anti-black ways.

When non-black Muslims apply the theories that black women have constructed for black communities to non-black Muslim men who perpetuate an “ownership” of Islam, it’s at the exclusion of black culture, and is at its core astoundingly anti-black and an appropriation of black feminism. It silences the arguments of BIWoC in the name of protecting non-black Muslim men.

Non-Black Muslims Appropriate Black Feminism to Uphold Patriarchy

As Zoha Batool Khan stated in the thread regarding the woman praying in her bikini, “You’re trying to palm off your internalized misogyny as a critique of white supremacy. You’re just policing Muslim women. If you had lashed out at this saying white women can get away with this but people of color can’t, because they’re sexualized so much as women of color, I would have still been willing to listen. Your whole argument is based off the assumption that women-of-color would just never do this, a blanket statement that many women of color in this very thread are countering, which is internalized benevolent sexism, the idea that they’re ‘too good’ or ‘too smart’ to fall outside your ideas of correctness and respectability. You’re deliberately stripping fellow women of color of autonomy and reinforcing men of color’s inaccurate interpretations of modesty and ~muslim-ness~ for them onto women of color, under the guise of laughing at a white woman.”

Men of color consistently sacrifice BIWoC when pretending to talk about about “white women” (or, in the case of aforementioned video, women they at least perceive as white). They criticize white women only when the “offending action” also applies to BIWoC, like praying in bikinis or …period art. Men of color seem to never critique white femininity when it’s baking cookies for the police; why would they, when it means they can’t take BIWoC down with white women?

Ever since black feminists coined the term “white feminism” for black communities, non-black people of color have opportunely been using it as a thinly veiled attempt to be misogynistic against women of color, and non-black women of color have been using it explicitly to undo the work of black women every time they mischaracterize it in order to silence theories of BIWoC.

We have no time for this particular brand of bullshit. Applying the theories that black women have constructed for black communities to non-black Muslim men who perpetuate an “ownership” of Islam at the exclusion of black people, is at its core astoundingly anti-black, and an appropriation of black feminism.

Non-Black Muslims Disguise “Divisive” as “Dichotomized”

Non-black Muslim women reproduce a sex/race opposition, one incompatible with the lived experiences of women of color, by mischaracterizing the work of women of color who center experiences of BIWoC rather than men of color as “white feminist”—the very term coined by black feminists to describe this exact dismissal of intersectionality in favor of dichotomized perspectives.

In her groundbreaking article, Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex, Kimberlé Crenshaw references the legislative history in a court case that failed to account for the experiences of black women as unique experiences in their own right, describing that the court had “apparently concluded that Congress either did not contemplate that Black women could be discriminated against as ‘Black women’ or did not intend to protect them when such discrimination occurred. The court’s refusal in DeGraffenreid to acknowledge that Black women encounter combined race and sex discrimination implies that the boundaries of sex and race discrimination doctrine are defined respectively by white women’s and Black men’s experiences. Under this view, Black women are protected only to the extent that their experiences coincide with those of either of the two groups.’”

Intersectionality is a theory of oppression. By refusing to acknowledge that non-black Muslim men are in fact not at the intersections of race and sex, non-black Muslim women deliberately choose to misunderstand intersectionality in its entirety. Treating black, indigenous, and/or Muslim women of color as white colonizers or associating them with whiteness implicitly enforces a separation between sex and race. This pattern of association is due to a misappropriation and blatant misunderstanding of intersectionality by non-black people of color to privilege the experiences of men as somehow qualified to discern the experiences of women of color, and at the cost of dismissing the intellectual work black women.

It is especially telling these these sentiments about white feminism arose in response to an article dealing specifically with Muslim men’s lack of knowledge in how to navigate the issue of sexual assault, and one that relied heavily on bell hooks. In the interests of protecting non-black men, the age-old patriarchal arguments that women of color are being divisive were dressed up to be disguised as the application of intersectionality against sex/race dichotomies in response.

Non-black Muslim women who practice anti-blackness rebrand “you’re being divisive” as “you are dichotomizing sex and race” to disguise misogyny as intersectionality. They celebrate the achievements of men of color while characterizing women of color who celebrate achievements of white women as celebrators of white supremacy.

The work of black women cannot be used to give passes to non-black men of color, particularly when this gross misapplication of intersectionality is to the detriment of black women and used instead to further the point that Muslim men of color should be exempt from criticism through a malicious misuse of black feminist theory.

Stop Misusing the Images and Voices of Black Women to the Benefit the Non-Black Muslim Community

Non-black Muslims consistently use black images, voices, and cultures in order to prop themselves up, sometimes under the façade of “allyship.” In an incredulous thread, Mona Haydar tweeted, “The flag of Muhammad, messenger and beloved of The Divine was Black. For the Muslims out there who are engaged in racism, colorism etc—know that YOUR rasūl loved blackness, honored and esteemed it in the faces of those who did not. Even those in his own family.”

It’s bad enough when non-black Muslims tokenize Bilal; concluding that the Prophet had love for black people due to the color of his flag is beyond dehumanizing. But it all falls into character of what non-black Muslims do. As @atribecalledmoe put it, “The only time Muslims know Bilal (RA) is when they need to deflect or derail a conversation directly addressing their country’s anti-blackness/racism. I’m sick of people using his name as a distraction.”

Between these disingenuous gestures to alluding to the black experience (“you can’t take down the master’s house with the master’s tools”) in order liberate non-black Muslims, nothing is done about those actual experiences, from appropriation to slavery. Instead, all our non-black “religious leaders” care about is glorifying the Arab slave trade to differentiate it from chattel slavery. The reality of the Libyan slave market is why they’re self-absorbed, dangerous, and wrong.

“How can you talk about the Libyan slave trade without discussing western imperialism and the invasion of Libya?” non-black Muslims ask, holding black feminists hostage through a misappropriation of Kimberlé Crenshaw’s work.

“Have you heard of intersectionality?” is a popular mantra for Desi and Arab women when they want you to go easy on non-black Muslim men—they do this as though bell hooks hadn’t dedicated entire books to critiquing the prioritization of oppressions that affect men—the very same men who are anti-black in turn. It is, subsequently, an anti-black mantra in this usage, hollow, entitled, and, in its essence, extremely performative.

The purpose of asking anyone if she has heard of intersectionality should be to curb her anti-blackness, not to use intersectionality as a prop to hold up non-black Muslim men and boast the speaker’s poor familiarity with black feminist theory. If you have to point a BIWoC in the direction of intersectionality when she is centering BIWoC, you don’t understand it.

In other words, leave the work of black women TO THE USE OF black women. Black women have worked hard. Non-black, anti-black Muslim communities cannot adopt the struggle of black women as a means to advance non-black, anti-black agendas.

Inas Hyatt is a femme anti-black-muslim activist. A bay native, she loves spending her time enjoying slam poetry and writing a little on the side. She is over anti-blackness in the muslim community and has no time for fake ass wanna be black muslim bros who feel comfortable using the n-word but have a deep fear and hate of black people.

You have the right to bear children.

You have the right to bear children. No one may enter your body and alter the state of your existence with an entitled twist of cold medical instruments. If you are impoverished, you have the right to bear children. If you are disabled, you have the right to bear children. If you are of color, you have the right to bear children. If you are transgender, if you are intersex, if you are not heterosexual, if you are diaspora embodied, if you are ill, if you cannot read this, you have the right to bear children. You have the right to bear children in a country that is not yours. You have the right to bear children who may “burden” society for 18 years. You have the right to bear children of men who resemble you. You have the right to bear children of men whose hearts have been crushed by the weight of distress. You have the right to bear children of women in male bodies. You have the right to bear children you cannot afford. You have the right to bear children who are disabled, of color, transgender, like you. You have the right to bear children. You have the right to love, and you have the right to bear children.

And once they have been birthed, your children have the right to exist.

#ENDForcedSterilization

State of Israel Devises Ethnic Cleansing of Ethiopian Jews and Palestinians

Ayelet Shaked is a parliament member and lawmaker in Israel, the settler state built on Palestinian land, who remarked that all Palestinian mothers “have to die and their houses should be demolished so that they cannot bear any more terrorists,” appearing unaware that her agenda and occupation of Palestinian land breeds the “terrorists” intent on re-securing their homes and human rights. Although Shaked supposedly represents only the politically far-right of Israel, the rest of the occupying state actualizes her vision, as more than 425 Palestinian citizens have been killed and over 3,000 are injured. At least 100 of these are “terrorist” children.

At Shifa Hospital, a girl who looked about 9 was brought into the emergency room and laid on a gurney, blood soaking the shoulder of her shirt. Motionless and barely alive, she stared at the ceiling, her mouth open. There was no relative with her to give her name. The medical staff stood quietly around her. Every now and then, they checked her vital signs, until it was time. They covered her with a white sheet, and she was gone. A few moments later, a new patient lay on the gurney.

On the side of the occupiers, 18 soldiers are killed, and 2 citizens.

Basically sums up your author's position.
Basically sums up your author’s position.

The tactics of the occupiers to target women to prevent the birth of children are unsurprising, given both the widespread implementation of ethnic cleansing throughout the history of any illegal occupation as well as Israel’s obsession of producing a nation of non-black Jewish citizens in order to maintain the majority. Not only have Bedouin women been aware for decades of the shifty atmosphere,

But the hospital also inspires troubling rumors, the most alarming of which involves a general distrust of Caesarean sections owing to fears of un-consented sterilization. Other rumors suggest that hospitals “use Bedouin women’s placentas for all kinds of experiments and even sell them.”

but these “rumors” are supported as Israeli officials admit that Ethiopian Jewish immigrants are forcibly sterilized. The immigrants themselves have verified this claim.

“They told me if you don’t take the shot, we won’t give you a ticket, so I took the shot, but I didn’t know that it would prevent pregnancies. I didn’t know,” one woman told RT correspondent Paula Slier.

The vaccination, Depo-Provera, forcibly sterilized 13,000 impoverished women, half of whom were black, in the U.S. state of Georgia as a cruel human experiment during which several of the women were unaware that their bodies were being used for immoral scientific advancement. A great many of them died. Consequently, white women were provided with safe methods of birth control.

The same injection has been forcibly used for several years on Ethiopian women in the settler state, a strategic method to curb a population it views as inferior. Forced sterilization, under the guise of “birth control” campaigns, has been paraded by several United States organizations (as well as employed in US-backed Israel) throughout non-white countries, carried out by even reputably benevolent organizations, such as the Peace Corps. As Frances M. Beal writes in “Double Jeopardy: To Be Black and Female,” “[…]what the authorities in charge of these programs refer to as “birth control” is in fact nothing but a method of outright surgical genocide.[…] Under these circumstances, it is understandable why certain countries view the Peace Corps not as a benevolent project, not as evidence of America’s concern for underdeveloped areas, but rather as a threat to their very existence. This program could more aptly be named the Death Corps.” In the United States, Beal notes, “Threatened with the cut-off of relief funds, some Black welfare women have been forced to accept this sterilization procedure in exchange for a continuation of welfare benefits.”

Following suite after its unrelenting sponsor the United States, the Israeli settlers of Palestine have denied Ethiopian Jewish women relief (apparently you’re not promised the Promised Land by God if you’re black?) unless they accept a vaccine that will sterilize them. In traditional Judaism, sterilization is illegal.

Imitating the Appearances of People of Color

I’ve been thinking about appropriation–not just cultural appropriation, but of a variation of appropriation that is equally if not just a little more sinister: the appropriation of appearance. This is something that is bodily, involves policing the autonomy itself of women of color, and results in valuing the woman wearing the imitation more than the woman whose body inspired it.

There is, in other words, a kind of appropriation that is merged with white supremacist ideals of beauty, and how, in order to remain the standard, these ideals have relied heavily on disparaging physical features of people of color that are otherwise “objectively” attractive. For example, the first thing that comes to mind are caricatures of black women’s/men’s lips as drawn by racist white artists. Because these lips are stereotyped to be fuller, they’ve been exaggerated in political and cultural cartoons/”art” to ridicule the entire black race.

But fuller lips are more appealing. And as a feature, they are not just appealing on women; they’re equally as appealing on men. I would even be so brazen as to argue that people who are attracted to men tend to prefer full lips on men–if not for the aesthetic, for the sensation. It’s bizarre then that this was one of the features chosen to be mocked. To be a little more impudent, I would go so far as to allege that it’s jealousy.

There’s historical evidence for this being a petulant act of jealousy. The hair of women of color, which tends to be thicker, more voluminous & abundant, and has the ability to hold a variety of styles with less effort, is constantly under attack as “frizzy”, “unkempt,” and altogether “unprofessional.” Consequently women of color are compelled to change our hair, sometimes at devastating (financial and personal) costs. And because most salons charge extra (typically an extra $10) to the list of provided services for women with “more hair,” not measured only in length but thickness (read: mostly just women of color) we’re not just driven to appeal to white standards of beauty but simultaneously discouraged from “raising our statuses” with these additional costs. But as Cassandre explains, black women were banned in the 1800s from showing their hair in public–not because it was unsightly but because it was too attractive:

Apparently, women of color were wearing their hair in such fabulous ways, adding jewels and feathers to their high hairdos and walking around with such beauty and pride that it was obscuring their status. This was very threatening to the social stability (read: white population) of the area at the time. The law was meant to distinguish women of color from their white counterparts and to minimize their beauty.

While women of color are discouraged from wearing their hair without flattening, thinning, chemically treating, or otherwise travelling great lengths to force it to comply with the settled string-yness of white hair, white women meanwhile seek out all means possible to thicken their hair–because, of course, white people quietly know what is actually attractive, and a function of institutionalized racism is convincing women of color that they aren’t, while white women transform themselves to have these very features. The shelves of any store selling shampoo are lined with products promising to provide volume. It doesn’t stop at hair either, of course–the descendants of white artists who parodied the lips of black men and women in outrageously racist cartoons are the first clients for lip injections that imitate the very feature they publicly disparage.

Black women have constellations in their hair.
(Click images for source.)
Black women have constellations in their hair.
Black women have constellations in their hair.

And a woman (most likely a white one) might angrily and defensively claim that I’m stretching it by including this, but, I kid you not, a white woman once tackled me in a drug store because I had picked up the last jet black mascara.

She was blonde.

So were her eyelashes. I was 17 at the time and aghast at the fact that I had just been tackled. Why do blonde women insist that their eyelashes have to be full and voluminous and jet black? Stunned as she flew out of nowhere into my vision and pried the mascara from my hands, I cried, “That doesn’t even match your hair!” It was a cruel thing to say, I realize. But by the mercy of all that is heavenly, she just, like, physically assaulted me. For mascara.

It’s characteristic of both women and men of color to have fuller and longer eyelashes, but that’s something desirable, that isn’t as prominent as hair or lips, and is thus never attributed to race. There’s a lot about “the problems with Asian hair” or “the problems with Black hair” but never about “the problems with white eyelashes.” White people, you’ve got to stop tackling me at Rite Aid with your eyelash issues, seriously.

She's a threat alright. Who wouldn't want to look like that?
She’s a threat alright. Who wouldn’t want to look like that?

One of the (obvious) reasons it’s so irritating that white people will often reply with, “But light skinned women tan their skin all the time!” in response to black women bleaching their skin and using harmful lightness creams is that a white woman who has tanned her skin to be the same color as a woman of color’s natural skin will be valued more highly for her beauty–even though it’s only an imitation. I don’t mean to sound all, “But are they REAL?” about this, but it’s a clear and disturbing indication of how harmful cultural appropriation, especially when it comes to appearance, is when a white woman attempts to thicken her hair, tan her skin, inject her lips, and assault a woman of color for her eyelashes and still walk out considered more beautiful. This phenomenon has all of the symptoms of a kind of appropriation: when these features/customs are worn/practiced by a white person, it’s “stylish, worldly, and beautiful”; otherwise, it’s something that needs to be altered and suppressed at all costs.