At some point in my sessions, I decided to show up only mindlessly, registering my displeasure by scowling and asking fewer questions. I reached this decision after the diminutive counsellor had said “Husbands forcing themselves on their wives is not rape”. I had afterwards asked him to define rape. He was angry at my audacity. He did not appreciate being questioned.
I always say, “each country holds a piece of you waiting to be discovered, and travelling is the key.” All 24 countries I either lived in or visited for a short period have exposed new personality traits in me.
My decision is to not let him walk all over me anymore. My decision is to be free. My decision is to be happy. My decision is to erase him from my life. My decision is to free myself from the judgements of his family and him. My decision is clear now more than ever. This is the best decision that I took for myself in my life.
Çambel’s intellectual capacity had always been running in front of her academic identity as an archaeologist. She may have written fewer publications than many, but has left behind monumental institutions, trajectories in managing, and, more significantly, a generation inspired by her vision.
As a brown woman in a traditional South Asian Muslim home, there was much I bristled against almost constantly. The unacknowledged labour was not just expected but demanded from me. The requirement to keep my mouth shut in deference even if an older person, especially a man, was disrespectful, discriminatory, or just plain wrong in their frequent pontification.
We are tired and angry that men use our labour to prop themselves up in positions of influence and leadership. We are angry that our voices keep getting silenced. We are angry that our feedback and calls for accountability are continually ignored.
Women need not be held to the unrealistic standards of the Ideal Muslimah, who by the way, is a fictional character with roots not unrelated to passive misogyny. The Ideal Islamic culture is not one of cancel culture, but one of constant repentance and improvement.
Obviously a child with pink glittery heels is not going to want to go outdoors and jump in puddles and catch ladybirds in the garden, be it a boy or a girl. Put boys in those shoes and see how many are suddenly not running around anymore. Put girls in good shoes and see how many are no longer playing with Barbies and cooking with a toy kitchen set.
It is at socials like these, where exclusion towards Muslims is often heightened, with drinking culture being mostly to blame. In the corporate field, it is no surprise that drinking is the primary way teams socialise. It boosts staff morale, strengthens personal relationships and in some cases, even gives employees a deeper insight into the business and clientele itself. But for non-drinkers like myself, these occasions are approached with dread. I sometimes feel my seniors are closer to the other juniors in our team as they regularly join them for after-work drinks, whereas I do not. Consequently, causing me to worry that my career progression will be negatively impacted.