I go to hug my little sister at the kitchen table and suddenly we’re both crying. I cradle her in my arms as wordless sobs wrack through her. I know that there are other girls, so many other girls, across this country feeling the way she is right now. I know because I did, and I hurt because even though I did she still seems … Continue reading On brown girls learning to be Self AND Other
This post is an original-format one, by which I mean I am writing to find out how I feel. This is my blog and always was. I know everybody likes me at my ‘dissecting Islamophobia’, and I don’t ask you to love me at my ‘exploring sadness’, but I will not suppress it for you. To be honest my mind has been in many other … Continue reading Iron-rod necks & blackberries
Today I was interviewed for a Radio 4 documentary that will most probably come out in a way that doesn’t reflect my full feelings. It is being made by Sayeeda Warsi whose politics and complicity in structural violence as a Conservative party member, former Cabinet minister and House of Lords peer, I ardently oppose. She asked me questions about myself and my views and I … Continue reading What does it mean to be a Muslim woman?
I do not know if I will be satisfied with this post at its end or if it will even provide any insights or answers at all, but it is something I must write to work through thoughts which have been scratching at me recently. Last week I got into a discussion about the question of “the future”, in fact, I feel that over the … Continue reading When do we get to exist beyond “re-“?
EDIT: disclaimer that this is from my perspective in Britain and primarily about rhetoric here and in other Western European/North American contexts. The hijab, burqa, burkini, FGM, ‘honour killings’ and ‘forced marriages’ are familiar tropes when it comes to thinking about migration and Islam in ‘the West’. Their prevalence represents the slippage between ‘women’s rights’ and questions of national borders and religion, reflecting the way … Continue reading Why are we obsessed with Muslim women?
This post is based off a discussion I led this week on ‘Decolonising Feminism’. *** When we think of feminism we tend to think of the suffragettes and suffragists asking for the vote and political rights in late 1890s and 1900s Britain. We then follow that up with the 1960s ‘sexual revolution’ which saw issues to do with sexuality, sex and bodies come to the … Continue reading Decolonising Feminism
Disagreement is good, it is powerful, and in many ways it is a vital tool in helping to unlearn our unquestioned positions on things. In disagreement with a friend this week I realised that it had been a long time since someone close to me had seriously asked me to reconsider some of my standard assumptions. I realised that the comfort and safety that I have found … Continue reading Allowing for Allies
Sparked by an encounter abroad on holiday, I’ve begun to consider a phenomenon which has actually been a pattern of experience in my life. Whilst on its own not overly remarkable, when I consider how many times this specific encounter has taken place… it gets me thinking. So I’m walking down a street or round a store or anywhere in a public space and a … Continue reading Racialised Patriarchies
The burden of being ‘different’ is felt by all who are, I’m sure. But sometimes I think I have underestimated that burden itself. Sometimes I have not realised the significance of my brown face and covered hair, my actions and my words. The significance to those around me, not all, but many. What I mean is that sometimes when you are the only example of … Continue reading The Responsibility of Representation