Jacquelyn Blain

Discourse Communities

Reading through Menzel’s article on discourse communities was really enlightening. I feel like I understand how to approach the discussion of identity in a broader sense. Prior to this, I never considered how many parts of me were linked to a discourse community. I realize that experience is identity, and that experience defines our roles in these discourse circles. 

The biggest discourse group I belong to is that of being a Muslim. More specifically, being a Muslim woman in the West. Muslim men and Muslim women have differing roles in Islam, but ultimately, we are equal as persons. It’s no secret how we are perceived in the media, and words cannot acutely describe the damaging effects it has had on our community. The issue isn’t equality (for us) as much as it is equity. When people think of Islam and Muslims, we have all the reason to believe that the one of the main things that are associated with us is the Hijab. The head covering is a dead giveaway on someone’s religious status. Now, I love wearing the hijab, as do many other Muslim women. But within the Western world, it is widely unfavorable— sometimes to a violent extent. Muslim men do not experience the affairs that come with wearing the hijab. It is their inexperience that causes a lack of understanding. Of course, we are still united, but not in every discussion. This discussion is particularly grueling, because what can you say to someone who could never know?

As a South Asian, our rich culture is important to us. Discussions of cultural appreciation and appropriation are wide and daily, as well as the perseveration of said culture. Many South Asian countries are underdeveloped due to colonization, so people have different ideas on how to approach stability in our community. It’s usually between the diaspora and mainlanders. Growing up, I never thought about my culture like that, so it took me some time to learn what’s required in these conversations before I could catch up. 

I’m a big comic book/manga reader. It’s actually amazing how many arguments people have over them. Topics like paneling and retroactive continuity are an everyday thing, and I still don’t understand a lot of it. 

1 Comment

  1. Jacquelyn Blain

    This is really interesting, especially since I saw your Padlet first. Now I understand what you’re wanting to do with “hijab” and it sounds good.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *