Superheroes in the Streets
Muslim Women Activists and Protest in the Digital Age
How female Muslim activists have heroically raised physical and digital protest banners
The icon of the female protester and her alter-ego, the female superhero, fills screens in the news, in theaters, and in digital spaces. The female protester who is Muslim, though, has been subject to a legacy of discrimination. Superheroes in the Streets: Muslim Women Activists and Protest in the Digital Age follows the stories of both famous and grassroots Muslim female protestors, bringing careful attention to protest modes and online national icons.
US Muslim women have long navigated public and digital spaces aware of the complex and nuanced histories that trail them. Given the pervasive influence of mainstream feminism, Muslim women activists are often made out to be damsels in distress. Even when mass media turns its attention to the activism of Muslim women, persistence of these false narratives demeans their culture and hypersexualizes their bodies.
Following the stories of US Muslim women activists, author Kimberly Wedeven Segall shows how they have been reinventing the streets and remaking racialized codifications. Segall highlights their creativity in crafting protest media of posters, rap rally songs, and digital images of superheroes, carving public spaces into inclusive and digital territories. Each chapter teases apart the complexities of public banners and digital activism.
"Muslim women play an important part in American activism but are rarely depicted in positions of power. Superheroes in the Streets points directly to the diminished reputation of those women activists and highlights exactly why their stories matter, especially in the digital world."- Sara Shaban, author of Iranian Feminism and Transnational Ethics in Media Discourse
"Segall has done an astounding job of mining various disciplinary archives and putting them in conversation with one another. Superheroes in the Streets is a commendable study of icons and superheroes as they relate to the activism of Muslim American women."- Hussein Rashid, coeditor of Ms. Marvel's America: No Normal and coexecutive producer of “The Secret History of Muslims in America”