The Women’s March that Welcomed the Hijab as a sign of Dissidence: Pink, Rainbows, and an American-flag Hijab


  • Roaa Ali University of Birmingham


Photographs of Muslim women wearing the American flag as hijab – or headscarf –were abundant in the media coverage of the Women’s March. These pictures were not meant to signify difference or controversy; they were rather embraced as a sign of collective activism against a newly elected president, seen by many as divisive and autocratic. Although the politics of dress concerning Muslim women, who wear the hijab or other religious identifier, has been particularly problematic of late, the recent Women’s March embraced its hijab-wearing women as part of a defiant inclusive collective. The blend of pink “pussy hats”, rainbow flags, and the different-coloured hijabs presented a united subversive narrative to that of Trump: Despite our differences, we unite to defend each other’s existence and rights. The Women’s March converted the individual markers of “otherness” into signifiers of affinity in a protest against all forms of injustice. 

Author Biography

Roaa Ali, University of Birmingham

Roaa Ali completed her PhD at the Department of Drama and Theatre Arts at the University of Birmingham, The United Kingdom. Her thesis, “Arab American Drama Post 9/11: Cultural Discourses of an Othered Identity,” investigates the representation of ethnic minorities in post 9/11 American cultural scene and theatre. She taught at the University of Birmingham. Her thesis is expected to be published as a monograph by Palgrave Macmillan.



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