Jihadi Kitty

October 3, 2006 by
Filed under: (s)Hit Parade, Area 51 

When not documenting dog shit, I set aside time to tackle some of life’s more vexatious questions. The list of questions laid before me is quite long and includes:

  • Where is the goddamn remote?
  • Why can’t my husband put his used panties in the dirty laundry hamper?
  • What did I do to deserve this?
  • Why doesn’t Sanrio make a Islamic fundamentalist Hello Kitty doll? I have seen French Hello Kitties, Brazilian Hello Kitties, even Hello Kitties dressed up like The Statue of Liberty, but alas, there was no gun-toting, Koran-quoting, burqa-wearing Hello Kitty to be found anywhere…

Until today.

I decided that if such a doll didn’t exist, it should, and set forth with my 20+ years sewing experience to make this happen.

Jihadi Kitty

In case you are wondering: yes, she does have a gun.

Miss Heather


9 Comments on Jihadi Kitty

  1. leadglass on Tue, 5th Dec 2006 11:36 pm
  2. I wants the jihadi kitty. i wants it.

  3. missheather on Wed, 6th Dec 2006 12:15 am
  4. I likes you leadglass, I do. Perhaps I could make A Jihadi Kitty for you. Otherwise, if you see Gwen Paltrow could you give her a kick in the crotch for me? That uppity twat pisses my ass off.

  5. ayrenstar on Wed, 25th Jul 2007 10:48 am

  7. Joseph Shahadi on Tue, 30th Nov 2010 1:10 am
  8. I know this is old now but I have to ask, why would you write this?

    “Why doesn’t Sanrio make a (sic) Islamic fundamentalist Hello Kitty doll? […] alas, there was no gun-toting, Koran-quoting, burqa-wearing Hello Kitty to be found anywhere…”

    Okay, so the whole Islamic= fundamentalist= gun-toting= Koran-quoting= burqa-wearing thing you have going on here is ten kinds of racist and Islamophobic, but whatever. You haven’t provided any reason for me to think you’d care about that. So okay.

    But… you do care about women, right? At least in the abstract? Do you understand that stuff like this does not exist in a vacuum, especially now? “Jokes” like this that dehumanize women who cover have real consequences for them. Does that have any meaning for you at all? Covered women are walking targets in post-9/11 New York, how can you not know that?

    I know, I know, I get it: Swiftian “satire” blah blah blah. But your joke doesn’t even make sense: covering is cultural, not religious so a very religious Muslim woman might not cover while a more casual observer might, depending on where she is from. And instances where covered women have committed terrorist acts (which are few and far between) have been political, not religious at all. When I read stuff like this–written by white girls–I can’t help but think that you don’t really care about those women because you think they are a little bit less human than you are.

    I read your commenting policy (an admirable concern for free speech, good for you) and I followed it because I wanted the opportunity to ask you directly: why do you think the joke of your little toy is more important than the lives of actual, flesh and blood women?

  9. missheather on Tue, 30th Nov 2010 10:08 am
  10. You are reading way too much into this. It is satire. Something (along with a sense of humor) which seems to been lost after 9/11.

  11. Joseph Shahadi on Tue, 30th Nov 2010 4:51 pm
  12. @missheather
    Well, it’s kind of hard to keep a sense of humor when people spend all day thinking up creative ways to kill you.

    Forgive me, but I don’t think you understand what satire means, especially since you have repeatedly name-checked Jonathan Swift, even linking to his work. But Swift’s A Modest Proposal was satirical because he supported the the Irish struggle against English colonialism. So his “proposal” (that the Irish sell their own children to the rich for food) was an extreme version of the *opposite* of what he believed… and it was designed to mock the English authorities. Your “toy” isn’t satire because what you believe is completely unclear. What is it you think you are satirizing? The fact that women who dress differently from you exist? So what?

    Actually, given the whole “Islamic= fundamentalist= gun-toting= Koran-quoting= burqa-wearing” blah-di-blah (and your description of people who objected to it as “hilarious”) your intention isn’t mysterious, it’s just not what you say it is. This is just garden variety racism, not Swiftian satire. Your insistence that it isn’t–given the fairly respectful arguments to the contrary from people who frankly know more about Islam and/or satire than you do, is odd. Look, one of the things that white people do when confronted with their racism (whether it is intentional or not) is to demand that the people who are the focus of it “lighten up” because it is “only a joke.” Nuh-uh. Take the hint already: this is not okay.

    Like I said, stuff like this doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Just because you are Brooklyn hipster doesn’t make the effect on Muslim women any different from anything a Fox pundit might say. And the end point of that dehumanizing rhetoric is violence against women. Is that what you intended?

  13. missheather on Tue, 30th Nov 2010 5:17 pm
  14. I would say, given your “issues” with this piece that this work of art is a smashing success. Inasmuch as you dislike it (and that is what your diatribes basically come down to) you keep thinking (or at least commenting about it).

    What I find above all the most compelling is that you call me (among other things) an Islamophobe and berate me for not being sensitive to woman, etc., but on the other see fit to call me “a Brooklyn hipster”. Pardon me, but your pot just called my kettle black. If you dislike this piece (and it is clear you do) just state so and move on. Do not insult me or my intelligence. I have afforded you that courtesy.

  15. Joseph Shahadi on Tue, 30th Nov 2010 6:36 pm
  16. I didn’t realize, given the themes of your site, that being called a “Brooklyn hipster” was such an insult. Okay, point taken.

    But I haven’t written any “diatribes”, and I haven’t “berated” you. (You feel “berated”? Interesting. That was not my intention.) I was just curious about the thinking that went behind the production of this toy. So I asked. I thought maybe you might answer, but you didn’t. In your commenting policy (yay, free speech!) you write, “If you disagree with anything I have posted, wish to correct something I might have overlooked and/or fudged; or simply want to chime in I’m all for it. In fact, I encourage this.” So I felt encouraged to point out that your toy and the way you describe it is pretty racist and isn’t really a satire, even though you keep calling it that.

    I am not trying to insult your intelligence here, but there are only so many nice ways to let someone know that they are being racist and justifying it by repeatedly name checking a concept that they clearly don’t understand. Know what I mean?

    So let me try this in the most straightforward way I possibly can:

    What are you satirizing with your Jihadi Kitty toy? I am genuinely curious.

  17. missheather on Tue, 30th Nov 2010 7:11 pm
  18. You wrote: So I felt encouraged to point out that your toy and the way you describe it is pretty racist and isn’t really a satire, even though you keep calling it that.

    That is your opinion and you are entitled to it. Once again: your reaction to this piece (which I will remind you is a doll) is pretty much what this item was designed to do: make light of peoples’ ignorance and fear. The copy (which you seem to above all take issue with) is very much tongue in cheek. You have failed to pick up on this. I have always believed that the best way to fight racism, ignorance and/or things which really scare us as human beings is laughter. This enables us to approach very difficult subjects in such a manner that people will open up (as opposed to feeling like they are being lectured to). Humor exorcises our demons. In the case of this object (and I am keeping it very simple) I am making light of commercialism, ignorance, fear and extremism (and the latter most cuts all ways) in a very absurd manner. Let’s face facts: dressing up a Hello Kitty doll in a burka is absurd. Placing a bow (Hello Kitty’s hallmark trait) on a burka is very silly. Offering to outfit a doll with a fake suicide bomb is both absurd and grotesque— but given we are talking about a doll here (as opposed to the real human beings who engage in this activity) this too can be laughed at.

    The sad realty is this: save for a very small percentage of people we are all oppressed. I do not see it as a matter of race. It is a matter of economics. The sooner we as human beings begin to understand this— and learn to laugh together— the better.

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