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Diana and BeyondWhite Femininity, National Identity, and Contemporary Media Culture$
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Raka Shome

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780252038730

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252038730.001.0001

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White Femininity and Transnational Masculinit(ies)

White Femininity and Transnational Masculinit(ies)

Desire and the “Muslim Man”

(p.150) 5. White Femininity and Transnational Masculinit(ies)
Diana and Beyond

Raka Shome

University of Illinois Press

This chapter explores the relationship between white (national) femininity and transnational masculinities, particularly Muslim men, in the context of the Diana phenomenon. More specifically, it considers how mediated images of Muslim masculinity are often secured in relation to images of white women. Before discussing the Muslim men–white women dialectic, the chapter provides an overview of the British national context of the 1990s with regard to Muslims. It then examines how sexuality, sexual relations, and mental perversity function as optics through which the Muslim male is depicted in relation to white women in the Diana phenomenon and popular culture at large, paying attention to the dichotomy of the “good Muslim/bad Muslim.” Given white femininity's role in guarding and preserving racialized borders of the nation, the chapter also analyzes how the nation manages the racialized and nationalized anxieties caused by threats to that role. It shows that contemporary visual structures in the West often give meaning to Muslim men through the structure of white femininity.

Keywords:   transnational masculinities, Muslim men, Diana phenomenon, Muslim masculinity, white women, Muslims, sexuality, sexual relations, white femininity

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