The burqa existed long before the Taliban, worn by Pashtun women to mark “the symbolic separation of men’s and women’s domains.” Although it could be argued that this reinforces patriarchal ideas of women belonging at home, we must remember that many saw the burqa as a “liberating invention”.
I remember my father telling me that I must not see the world from the perspective of a man, but from my own perspective which will only develop once I venture out into the world.
The inevitable comparison between the ‘real me’ and the ‘retouched me’ emerges. Of course, the natural image can never live up to what has been designed as a beauty mask.
Asma Lamrabet offers a motivational reading of religious history where God repeatedly upholds the equality of women who are made of the same stuff as men. That’s a great place to start a conversation on how power is balanced between men and women within Islam.
The knowledge that once upon an Islamic empire, in a golden city of wisdom, walked a woman who wove law and algebra together with utmost perfection that her history couldn’t be completely obliterated gives us hope that what once was, could definitely be again, and perhaps has started to become.
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.
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.
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.