I have been wanting to write for some time, but have been unsure exactly what it is I need to say. The words I noted down on the piece of paper on my desk seem to have derived from particular moments and feelings. They say ‘isolation’, ‘alienation of violence’ and there’s a drawing of circles around a dot. Something that I know all those things … Continue reading To believe it is worth it anyway
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?
The 8 pm train from London Kings Cross to Leeds is pretty quiet. I see a few exhausted people like myself, who I presume – from the bedraggled placards they still clutch – have also spent the day protesting Donald Trump’s visit to the UK. I sit down heavily and sink lower into my seat when I notice two men with ‘Make America Great Again’ … Continue reading Everyone “Loves” a Muslim on a March, but Who Loves Us on the Train Home?
I had the privilege of being aided to travel to the USA (the southwest) for the past month in order to perform poetry, give talks and facilitate some workshops. It was an unexpected opportunity and one I saw as a real blessing and chance to expand my understandings and perceptions of the world. However, the USA threw me. I thought I knew what to expect … Continue reading Not Great Yet: reflections on a month in the USA
Over a month ago I read a line that I haven’t been able to get out of my head ever since. It was in the context of being on the receiving end of racial microaggressions – those off-hand comments that say you don’t belong, jokes that lay bare your dehumanisation, questions that make assumptions about you. The line was this: “I hated not being able … Continue reading The pain of not being able to hurt you the way you hurt me
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
A friend of mine once told me that one of the things she most respected about her partner was her ability to say, ‘I don’t know’. ‘I don’t know’ was the humility to admit her lack of knowledge and to acknowledge that some things just had not been thought through yet. It deserved respect because it was rare, indeed, it is rare to hear those … Continue reading Not Everything has (or needs) a Feminist Explanation