Maria Fyodorovna, second wife of Pavel I., when a Grand Duchess
As she turned seventeen, Sophia-Dorothey was tall, buxom, and rosy-cheeked, with a lovely complexion and a sunny disposition. Strong and tender, thoughtful and naive, she had been brought up with German reserve and a distrust of French “levity” and had been taught to believe that in a woman, family virtues were to be valued above all. At the time her name was suggested in St. Petersburg, she was nominally engaged to the Prince of Darmstadt … whose advances and proposals she had received with indifference. Before matters could proceed, the prince had to be convinced to give up his proposal. Her great-uncle Frederick the Great offered to handle the matter himseld, and did so with such diplomacy that the young prince acquiesced and plans were drawn up for Paul and Princess Dorothea to meet in Berlin. …
Paul was attracted to the young princess from the first, and a few days after they met wrote to his mother: “I have found my fiancée … she is pretty, tall, well built, not shy: she answers questions intelligently and promptly and it is already clear to me that she had made herself felt in my heart and is not without feelings for me.” … On July 15, Sophia-Dorothey wrote to her friend Lanele: “I am quite pleased, more than pleased. I have never been so happy; the Grand Duke is extraordinarily kind and has all the right qualities. I flatter myself with the hope that my fiancé loves me; this makes me very, very happy.”
The protection and elevation of the Black women in the Nation was always in the forefront with women holding key positions of leadership and influence. During the early days of Islam, it was women like Mother Clara Muhammad and others who kept the movement afloat and functioning. Mother Clara Muhammad was the First Lady of the Nation Of Islam and wife of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad. She was born Clara Evans on November 4, 1899, in Cordele, Georgia to Quarters and Mary Lou Evans. Clara, her two brothers, and two sisters, grew up on their parents’ ranch. They attended public school and worked in the fields. Clara’s mother’s family, the Thomases, were known for their good Samaritan characteristics and their quest and support for education. These traits helped shape the great woman that Clara became.
At the age of 17, Clara married Elijah Poole. She experienced firsthand the injustices of the Jim Crow South. By the time of the Great Depression in 1929, Clara, her husband, and their two small children joined millions in the Great Migration from the southern states to the Midwest. They took up residence in Detroit, Michigan. Hard times persisted up North as they struggled to support their growing family without full-time employment. Mother Clara described in a 1967 Muhammad Speaks article,“With five children, there were times we didn’t have a piece of bread in the house, nor heat, water or even sufficient wearing apparel. My husband would walk the streets looking for a job daily but would come home with no job. I would go out and try to help him, but with five children I could not work steadily. However, I was successful when I went door to door, asking for work.” Mother Clara, therefore, experienced the common reality of black women working as domestic servants in white homes where their humanity was insulted with scant wages and the risk of sexual violence. It made sense, that she found Master Fard Muhammad’s teachings of race and economic advancement attractive when she heard it from a friend in 1931: “My girlfriend told me there’s a man who’s saying some things about our people… .We once dressed in long flowing cloth and we were royal.” Upon her friend’s invitation to meet Master Fard Muhammad, her first thought was her husband, who was haunted by hopelessness and despair. “Maybe this might help my husband,” she prayed. Elijah agreed to attend the next meeting, which proved miraculous as it marked the beginnings of a great relationship between Master Fard Muhammad and Elijah Muhammad that paved the way for the Nation of Islam. According to Imam W. D. Mohammed,“When the meeting was over, as they were walking out, my father told my mother, ‘Clara, when you go back home, we gon’ have to throw all the pork out of the ice box.’ Now that’s what one lecture, one speech did.”
For three and a half years Master Fard taught and groomed Elijah to be the leader of the newly-formed Nation of Islam. Clara was her husband’s first convert and best follower. As the Nation of Islam grew, so did Clara Muhammad’s contribution. During the early stages of the NOI’s development, Clara and her family endured many trying events. In 1931, Mother Clara took a courageous stand for the right to educate her children in her home when homeschooling was illegal. She refused to enroll her children in public school saying she would rather die first. As a result, she and her husband were charged with contributing to the delinquency of minors. Her brave stance against a truant officer paved the way for the establishment of the largest private elementary school system for Black children in the United States of America, Muhammad University of Islam (MUI).
Mother Clara Muhammad with her husband, The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, and sons.
Clara Muhammad took on the enormous task of carrying the organization while her husband was fleeing a death plot. She and other Muslim sisters conducted the affairs of the Nation as the men followed their leader, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, to jail rather than join an unjust war for America. While Elijah Muhammad was on the run, Mother Clara was an irresistible force of inspiration and moral courage for Muhammad’s ministers and followers, encouraging them to continue the work of Nation building via regular meetings and recruiting throughout the duration of Elijah Muhammad’s absence. For many years Clara served as her husband’s liaison to the NOI, delivering both written and verbal instructions to the lead minister in Chicago, while her husband was imprisoned for draft evasion. If it were not for mother Clara, the Nation of Islam could have been disintegrated without the leadership of a woman with vision, faith, and resourcefulness. She held The Nation together and her family together. During his incarceration, Elijah Muhammad was a model prisoner and was allowed to teach his fellow inmates about Islam but his request for a Qur’an was denied. Mother Clara copied on paper English translations of verses of the Qur’an and brought them to her husband! Thanks to her courageous devotion, the Nation of Islam survived and prison inmates enjoy access to the Qur’an.
Once Elijah Muhammad returned to his family and the movement began to thrive, Sister Clara Muhammad’s influence reached further. She had pioneered the NOI’s primary and secondary independent schools, established on a national scale by the 1950s. This was unprecedented in both black and Muslim communities. The Nation’s school system, instituted by Master Fard Muhammad, was given the lofty title, “The University of Islam.” The first classes were in Clara Muhammad’s home, and she was the first teacher. Mother Clara Muhammad served as the exemplar of feminine virtues instilled in MGT & GCC, short for Muslim Girls Training and General Civilization Class. The girls
of the NOI were scorned for wearing long dresses when it wasn’t
fashionable and every Muslim Woman in America owes a debt of gratitude
to Mother Clara Muhammad.
Mother Clara Muhammad in her MGT & GCC pin.
The noble stature and virtuous path carved out for the Muslim woman by this meek and majestic woman, as she gave a beacon of light and graceful examples to the followers of The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, as she sought the restoration of the Black Woman as Queen of the Universe cannot be reduced. In her deeply moving, quiet way, Mother Clara Muhammad set a sterling national standard for all Black women to follow. She recreated the very definitions of devotion, righteousness, honorable, zealous, and good works that sustained Elijah Muhammad during those early, burdensome years of the Nation Of Islam when the Muslims were despised by their confused brothers and sisters and persecuted by their enemy. Mother Clara Muhammad in her modesty and filled with inner spiritual purpose and an undying vision of a great Black Nation anchored by and bent upon bringing true Freedom, Justice, and Equality, was a warrior and great companion of her husband. She never trembled before the tremendous opposition that was set before her. She manifested a new path for the Black Women of America. Mother Clara Muhammad remained greatly devoted to Allah, her husband, her family, to the Nation, and to the Muslim schools. She was the strongest and most courageous and dedicated woman of her time. She upheld a posture of grace, modesty, righteousness, kindness, and dignity and her example was unparalleled by most women of her day. Her spirit still lives on today.
Silly little sketch from one of the last chapters which was quite entertaining to write.
Maria’s chill attitude, when confronted with Dores’ accusations of being Laurence’s and Annalise’s spy (as well as a… mmmh, how to say it in a nice way? …a ‘woman of easy virtue‘ :P) is a level of self-confidence I seriously aspire to achieve. No fucks were given lmao.
Gehrman, on the other hand, will have some explaining to do…
Do you see Martha as a mother figure like you see George as a father figure?
“Mme Washington is an exceptional woman of virtue and spirit. I believe I respect her too dearly to call her ‘mother.’ Every occasion I have had to spend time in conversation with her as been a delight and she never ceases to make every effort to ensure my comfort and ease in her home. With Gal. Washington, there has been formed between us the relationship of a father with a trusted son. I believe we both admire and…dare I say…fear his wife’s all-knowing eye. Another point: I did not know my own father, but I remember my mother. It is impossible to replace one’s true mother with another. That being said, I call my wife’s mother, Mme de Noailles, my mother.”
Woud you be willing to expand on the tag where it says that fat phobia isn't a thing, and that it's misygnony? I would really appreciate hearing what you have to say about it.
gladly! sorry for the delay in responding!
fat people are not institutionally oppressed, as in they as a class do not face institutionalized violence, lack of access to resources, loss of rights, or any other elements that one would see in the oppression of a people. they are not, as a class, oppressed either individually or by a particular class. they are not denied housing, prevented from working, deprived of equal access to a legal system, etc. on basis of being fat.
however, it can’t be denied that fat people do face individual difficulties, and those individual difficulties follow specific patterns along other class lines. fat women, for instance, are not only considered less valuable and less attractive, but they are bullied for being fat. entire systems of media and advertisement target them not only as the butts of jokes, but as markets to be manipulated and exploited. this takes a very real psychological and often physical toll (cosmetic surgery and eating disorder rates rise every year among fat women, and overweight women report high anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders). this is because the difficulties they face is not from being fat, but from being fat women.
in a society where women’s value is defined by their sexual appeal, fat women are valued less (the reason that when people hear a fat woman was assaulted, they say she was lucky). in a society where women’s worth is defined by their appearance, fat women are expected to perform femininity to a higher standard (the reason that fat woman in shorts and a t shirt isn’t ‘casual’ but ‘lazy’). in a society where women are expected to be attractive and alluring in order to be deemed human, fat women will be expected to spend extra money and time on makeup, clothes, and more.
the obstacles and consequences that fat women suffer for being fat are very real, but they happen because they are specifically fat women. ‘fatphobia’ isn’t a specific difficulty, it’s another method by which the patriarchy controls and polices women’s appearances in order to manipulate their societal worth.
if fatphobia was its own form of oppression, someone would noticeably and institutionally gain from not being fat. while you can generally say that yes, thin people may have it easier, if you look at it in the context of misogyny we realize that thin women have it easier because they conform to the mainstream narrative of what an attractive woman is, not just by virtue of being thin. in addition, there are noticeable and important exceptions. for instance, thinness itself is not always a privilege, and is used to hypersexualize women as pedophile culture grows and rises, especially for groups like Asian women, who are additionally marginalized and sexualized.
fatphobia is a facet of misogyny, not its own form of oppression. it’s a tool to control women, and thinking that it’s its own form of oppression can come too close to ignoring the role of the patriarchy and misogyny
For those who can’t wrap their mind around the fact that The Devil is not evil in the TV series Lucifer, here’s how it goes. He’s not The Biblical Devil. He’s more like a rebellious adolescent
Angel who had to rule the repentant sinners and one day he got bored and quit, moving to Earth and opening a nightclub. The original storyline for this is covered in the Sandman comics Season of Mists.
the spin-off Lucifer comics it was revealed that he was given Hell as a present so he could
have his own domain free from his Father’s control but his own broody mood made it a dark and miserable
place. The realm was psychically controlled by his own feelings and mood. In other words, Lucifer had issues. This is why he sees a therapist in the show.
During the TV series he falls in love with a human woman and slowly learns human virtues. He’s not buying souls or secretly planning to hurt anyone and his emotions in the show are not “faked” contrary to some idiotic Youtube comments by people who insist “the Real Lucifer would never act like that and doesn’t love anyone!”
This isn’t the Biblical Lucifer. Instead in the TV show you have a sexually promiscuous, emotionally immature, panasexual angel who values free will and has a personal code against ever lying, no matter the circumstance. He doesn’t view humans as “beneath him” (as some idiot who doesn’t understand the show but decided to ‘explain” it once said). In fact he loves humans. That’s why he’d rather be on Earth than in Hell or Heaven.
He has Father issues but it’s very much implied that the God that is his Father still loves him and ultimately wants him happy (and perhaps a bit more emotionally stable).
And that’s Lucifer in a nutshell.
He originally came from a continuity shared by The Sandman and American Gods.
Let’s engage in a critical analysis of Emma Watson speech given at the UN to raise awareness of the HeforShe Campaign.
I want to start of by saying that I think it is WONDERFUL that her speech has gained so much support and love internationally; it is also so wonderful that her speech has inspired so many, particularly those who were on the fence about feminism; not to mention that it might have made a large number of people to think twice or start considering how they can support gender equality. Pragmatically it is a good thing. It was a speech targeted towards men, which the HeforShe campaign represents. Please do not confuse this as an attack on Emma Watson, but rather a critique of a politicized, pre-packaged, delivery of a feminist speech.
But this space, The Middle Eastern Feminist, is a critical space for women of colour who face oppression across racial, class, gender, and religious boundaries- none of which Emma Watson represents or lives on a daily basis. By being critical and highlighting the problematic nature of Emma Watson’s speech and her as a political agent, white feminists on the page can gain more insight of the ways in which women of colour feel silenced and misrepresented by such powerful feminist figures who speak for them. As such, Emma Watson does not speak to me, for me or represent me!
As a woman of colour the speech was VERY problematic for a number of reasons:
1) Emma made no effort to acknowledge her IMMENSE privileges. For instance, she is a very young, VERY attractive, VERY successful, White, able bodied, cis gendered, heterosexual, thin privileged woman whose net worth exceeds 60 MILLION DOLLARS!!!
2) She spoke of and about women of colour in a detrimental way. For instance, she spoke of her disappointment at being called bossy when she wanted to lead and direct plays when she was 8. We acknowledge the negative impacts of such social values on young girls and their self-worth. But for MILLIONS of other 8 year olds across the world, they face the prospect of being forced into child marriages or giving birth, going hungry so that the boys in the family can be fed, having to become carers and carry the burden of supporting and helping their mothers and essentially never experiencing a childhood. This is not to say that white women’s experiences are not relevant or important. Feminism is important everywhere, but it is too often white privileged feminists who are given a voice to express their values; and it is too often the 8 year old child brides whose voices are lost. Instead, it is the stunningly beautiful, poised, well-spoken actress who speaks about her experience as if merely speaking of the child brides experiences is enough to give justice to the experiences of a child. Too often it is privileged women who speak of cultural practices that they have little awareness or experience of.
3) I want feminist leaders to be women who have lived the lives of the most oppressed, most marginalized elements of society. I am sorry to say, but Emma Watson is a deeply privileged woman who is a member of the global social elite. Her privileges allowed her the opportunity to have the privilege of speaking at the UN forum. Her privileges continue to demarcate her from the deeply oppressed- those she speaks for and about, but who remain unseen and unheard. This hardly helps to humanize the silent victims.
4) Her presentation and delivery was widely deemed to be wonderful, ground-breaking, passionate and concerned. And no doubt she felt those words deeply. Yet, her quivering voice, her ultra-femininity, her stunning looks, her exceptionally groomed appearances served to cater to male audiences and gaze, by appeasing them that here is a stunning, fragile, young feminist who is not a lesbian, not hairy, not ugly, not a spinster, not loud and angry and threatening- making a heartfelt, feminine, genuine, empathetic and non-aggressive request, a plea almost, to the male audiences. This defeats EVERYTHING that we have been trying to do by saying that we do not owe society to be pretty, to be soft spoken, to gently request in a feminine quivering voice, rather than demand power, demand liberation, demand human rights! It caters to everything that the patriarchy has conditioned us to believe, that we can have a voice so long as we aren’t too loud; or that we will be taken more seriously if we are conventionally attractive. Emma Watson is inadvertently and unwittingly reforging the mould that we have worked so hard as feminists to break and challenge; THIS is why it is essential that feminist leaders are aware of the long, proud and incredibly successful history of feminist work, activism and academia- she failed to realize that she was standing on the shoulders of giants.
5) Following the above, the speech and the presentation, the political agent that is Emma Watson delivered a very bubblegummy, hollywoody, male gaze catering, soft, liberal feminist ideal, one that was not challenging or threatening to the patriarchy.
6) I find it disturbing that as a woman of colour we are expected to display a high degree of deference and gratitude to Emma Watson, a white privileged woman- a woman whose life and experiences bears ZERO resemblance to our lives.
7) What would have been “ground-breaking”, “mind-blowing” and “revolutionary”, was having a child bride from Myanmar, or a women who might have escaped an honour killing or a woman who has been maimed by acid attacks because she refused a suitor, or a woman of colour, a woman who had legitimacy by virtue of her long commitment to feminism as opposed to just her popularity as an actress, or her level of attractiveness or enunciation skills, speak at the UN forum instead. I want a woman who grew up in Africa, who speaks with a broken English but speaks of the need to help stop child marriages because she has seen too many of her sisters forced into marriage at the age of 8,9 or 10 when many girls like her should be challenging her peers to lead and direct a play. I want a polyglot that learned to speak several languages because she was a refugee and a child of war. I am not interested in beautiful women who speak to me about the need to save a million girls in that continent over there, about a life and experiences she could only be paid to imagine in her movie roles. I wanted a woman to speak to me with a quivering voice born of carrying an unheard story and of injustices that can never be unseen.
8) there was also a vague passing comment about challenging the gender binary, there was little to no effort to challenge the cis gendered, heteronormative structure. Ignoring some of the most marginalized groups in the world is hardly revolutionary or ground-breaking.
A/N: Well, I believe this is the end. All the parts together are 12,000 words. That’s crazy long, guys. I was going to end this with some smut but I don’t know…I just felt like this was the place to end it. Tell me what you think guys! Feedback keeps me making more things, and seeing as this is where I thought this series should end the only way I would be able to add something would be if one of you gave me an idea. This has been a seriously long undertaking, I’m almost sad to see it end. Thanks for reading!
Sometimes people leave irrelevant walls of text on your posts and 9 times out of ten you just ignore them. This one isn’t intentionally mean or anything but might have missed the point. It was left on my Wonder Woman photos in response to a sweetheart saying I was the best Wonder Woman. Which was very kind and encouraging–there are so many amazing Wonder Women out there and I’m just happy to get to be Wonder Woman sometimes :) Anyway, the comment in question:
“With the right virtue, personality, approach (toward the ideal), the right sense of freedom and the inalienable ‘rite’ to it, a decent job to buy certain fabrics, supplies, and a hand at tailoring, any woman can be the Princess of Themyscira. BELIEVE IT.”
When I made all 3 of my Wonder Woman costumes, I had no job. So scratch that part off the list.
None of the Wondy costumes I made required more than a couple hours of hand sewing. Some of the best Wonder Women and Wonder Men I know don’t sew either. A hand at tailoring? Not required.
I don’t know what the right ’personality, approach (toward the ideal), the right sense of freedom etc’ is from this person’s point of view, but what I do know from reading Wonder Woman comic books is that anyone can be Wonder Woman. Period. You don’t have to meet someone else’s standards. You want to be Wonder Woman? DO IT.