Saturday, March 8, 2014

Week 5

I waited til today to make my post because I wanted to publish on Women's Day. EXMNA compiled powerful testimonies from their women members about how they viewed their self worth and self image in an Islamic country of family and it was published today. I will post a few very moving quotes from the publication:

“When I was Muslim, I was called a “whore” or a “slut” from around the age of 10 for wanting to a classmate’s birthday party or stay at school past 3 pm to do after school activities. I didn’t even understand what sex was, and I thought of myself as a whore for wanting to do certain normal things. That means every time I had a thought in my head about wanting to attend a sleepover with my friends or join the soccer team at school and wear the shorts that came along with the uniform, I thought of myself as a whore. That’s very, very powerful.” – Taslima

"I need not feel shame. I had never thought of it consciously prior to leaving Islam, but as a woman I always sat with some shame – of my body and my voice, for example. I was always learning to hide myself. I could not be too outspoken, too bold. I am still struggling to let myself speak. And I still find myself thinking I am a burden. But I have lost so much shame. I realized there is no reason to hide myself. For who? For a man? For all men? Why? I refuse.” – Noura

"As a Muslim girl, one of the most traumatic experiences, that troubled my heart, nearly broke my spirit, made me ashamed of my female body, my female self, was that notorious saying of Muhammad standing on the footsteps of hell and proclaiming that most of the screams, and burning flesh were that of women. I asked my 12 year old self, what is it about women that makes her more deceitful, more disloyal to her god and his messenger than her brothers? Why did I have to be born within such a lascivious group? What a curse! Why does god damn some for eternity and endlessly reward others?” – Nandi

"Ten years ago, I thought of my body as a dirty, unfortunate vessel that just didn’t seem as perfect as that of a man. My mother used to shame me every time my period would come around. Even after I was disowned, I would shy away from my boyfriends and tuck away that dirty, bloody little secret. But recently, I've come to cherish the sheer beauty and complexity of the female human body.” – Maha

"I wear bright colors and let the skin drink those delicious, warm rays of the sun. No longer are the days that I fear that my father would punish me for wearing short sleeved shirts." – Maha 

Find the entire post here:

These posts were so moving. Even though (thankfully) I didn't have to endure these awful feelings, I know people who did and still do to this day. I am so happy that these women are more empowered and independent today and that they live a happy, fulfilling and free life. I am also very happy for all the support they give and receive to/from one another. Reading and writing these testimonials have been very therapeutic for everyone involved.  

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