When white feminism, slut-shaming and racism intersect: The curious cases of Lou Doillon and Taylor Swift

A lot is happening in popular culture my dear people.

A lot of things I wouldn’t usually comment on, except that they reflect every day struggles I have with white feminism.

First off, let us start with Lou Doillon’s comments on the supposed vulgarity of artists such as Nicky Minaj or Beyonce. Long story short, French ‘celebrity’ Lou Doillon, has spent a good half of an interview with Spanish newspaper El Pais dissing Minaj and Beyoncé, dubbing them ‘vulgar’ and that feminism is not about parading in one’s underpants. After all, Doillon is the ‘first of her generation to be able to kick a man out of her house’ and ‘her grandmother didn’t fight for your right to parade in a G-string’.

First of all, I’m not exactly sure who appointed Ms Doillon Great Decider On All Things Feminist, but apparently when you’re white and over privileged you can self-appoint yourself to almost anything. I personally wouldn’t know, I’m an Arab woman, and thus spend half of my life apologizing about my hair and rebuffing exoticizing comments and looks.

Besides the grand authority with which these comments were delivered (that certain people might actually call arrogance), I’m left to ponder on why exactly did Doillon choose to mention Minaj and Beyoncé, two black women who, regardless of whether you agree or not with their vision of feminism, have done and are still doing quite a lot to question and reverse the usual stereotypes associated with the sexuality of women of colour. It’s interesting to note that Doillon’s comments were not made about Madonna or Britney Spears or Lady Gaga, artists who are also dancing in their underpants quite a lot, but chose to call out specifically these two women. It’s also very interesting that she herself chose to pose naked (something she is completely entitled to do, her body her choice) and most importantly enjoy the absence of slut-shaming, a courtesy she didn’t deem necessary to extend to Nicki Minaj and Beyoncé.

It might be interesting here to remind Ms Doillon, who is probably totally unaware of that fact, having lived all her life in a privileged white dominant bubble, that women of color, and especially black women, not only have to live with the hypersexualization all women have to bear, but also have to endure pervasive stereotypes that specifically consider their physical traits ‘vulgar’, their bodies inferior and disposable, and their sexuality ‘Jezebel-like’ and depraved.

Had Doillon got off her high self-righteous horse, she would have realized she was doing nothing more that reinforcing these stereotypes with her comments and thus helping to put down women who are already oppressed by racism and sexism, which, I’m sure you’ll agree, is not the best look for someone who deems herself feminist.

Besides, Doillon is also deeply wrong on another account: while her grandmother might not have fought for your right to dance in your underpants, other people’s grandmothers, mothers, sisters and their friends did and still are. To be a woman, to be able to enjoy one’s body and to be able to enjoy the sexuality you have chosen free of coercion, discrimination and violence is definitely not a vested right in any place of the world. We are indeed fighting for our right to free body expression, and we are indeed entitled to enjoy that right without any kind of slut shaming coming our way, be it from men, authorities, institutions or other women like Doillon. It would be good to remind Doillon that women’s liberation from the shackles of respectability start with her mother Jane Birkin’s mini skirt and continues with Nicki Minaj’s G-string, dancing and enjoying her life and body. If there is one thing to take from all of this controversy, is that maybe patriarchal beliefs and attitudes, regardless of their source, should stop policing women’s bodies and leave us to enjoy them in peace.

Another pop culture event that happened this week is the so-called feud between Taylor Swift and Nicki Minaj  (who’s apparently had an extremely busy week on the feminist front) on Twitter. Here, Minaj might have been sore about not being nominated for a VMA, who knows, but she raises an interesting point nevertheless regarding the lack of acknowledgment of the work of black artists, especially black women. It is indeed true that white thin bodies are glorified and erected as the norm all women should aspire to. When confronted by this tweet, Swift’s answer was to automatically make it about herself: ‘Oh but I love you, why are you doing this to me?’ Instead of acknowledging a dominant system she benefits from on a daily basis and position herself as a firm ally by calling this system out and choosing to opt out of these privileges, she chooses to bring the debate to an emotional, personal field where political debate get annihilated.

The take out from this week? Dear white ‘feminist sisters’: you don’t get to decide how women of color enjoy their lives and bodies. You don’t get to police us, you don’t get to shut our demands up by getting sugary and cuddly and telling us you love us.

We don’t want you to love us and carry on benefiting from systems that oppress us on a daily basis.

We want equality, equity and justice, and for this, we have to fight. And we are. And we will.

TV5 Monde Cover of Today’s March To Fight Rape

Link: TV5 Monde Cover of Today’s March To Fight Rape

Nasawiya featured on TV5 Monde News Click on the Liban Segment below the video to watch it 🙂

On the Dangers of Being a Writer in the Age of Technology

Writing comes more easily if you have something to say.  ~Sholem Asch

10:00 am 

Sits in front of computer, with notes and thoughts on progression of new novel. 

10:05 am 

Checks e-mail inboy n°1. Ooooohhh Goody! My ASOS parcel has been despatched! Now what about my Boohoo one? What? I have 25% off the new collection? 

No. I shall be strong. Write.  


5 notifications from Facebook. I have to check them, haven’t I? Not replying would be so rude. OOOOhhh Dina has tagged me! And Nadine has posted on Nasawiya!


Just lost 20 minutes writing utterly important comments on Facebook. This is just basic human decency.


Check e-mail inboy n°2. Maya has written to me! So what’s cooking Mayoush? Oh new illustration! I have to open it, save it, admire it, reply to Maya. After all, she’s gone through all the trouble of actually doing the illustration, and, as said before, I’m a decent person aren’t I?



Dina on GTalk!


Problem solving session with Dina, Best Friend. Couldn’t have possibly left her with her dilemna of glittery phone case VS vintage one. That would be absolutely against our very rigid and strong Friendship Code, and what’s more important, a novel or a friend? My point exactly.


I’m hungry, I wonder what’s for lunch…Oh what could I make for dinner tonight?


Marmiton.org, 750g.com and PtitChef really have the best recipes. I shall pick one, draft the grocery list, and then REALLY get into that novel. That Noha character really is lacking something. And I still need to deepen a bit Shirine’s past.


Grocery list done! NOW to business.






That really was a lovely lunch. My colleagues are so funny.And that salad!


Need to recheck emails. People should have replied to my Facebook posts by now. Oh I’ve been mentioned on Twitter!


Two replies. Right, to Business.


Those dresses really are lovely. And I do have 25% off them. Couldn’t hurt to have a closer look.

15:00 (Minus 60 Euros)

“Shirine était particulièrement songeuse…

What’s the word I’m looking for in French? Let’s go on wordreference.com for 2 seconds


Deeply entrenched in “10 Ways You’re Screwing Your Relationship”. Damn, I had no idea I was doing all that. In any case, these things are only designed to make 1) women buy more crappy books on the same subjects and 2) make us feel bad about ourselves


Browsing on Amazon.com. That reference to book reminded me, I want that book from Simone de Beauvoir, ohh look at that, they’re suggestion books I might like.

Well this one, and this one and this one.


Right, to business


” Shirine était particulièrement songeuse ce jour-là”.

Oh my Phone!


By the lake, with friends, eating ice cream.

After all, all this computer can’t be good for me. And I’ve written like… one sentence.

Tomorrow, no excuses, I’ll be glued to my novel!