When I decided to take off my hijab 2 years ago, My dad beat me continuously with a plastic chair until it was broken on my body. He burnt my books and called me a “whore”. Yes I have a violent father! and thanks to him I am emotionally and psychologically unstable. I have severe panic and anxiety attacks. I don’t sleep well. I have bruises, scares and small burns all over my body which I am not ashamed of, but quite the contrary, I am proud of them. They remind me that once I stood out for my freedom. I fought when it was much easier to surrender and I bullied back!. I agree that the damage is unrecoverable but hey I did survive!
Women around the world suffer every single day from domestic abuse, gender discrimination, verbal and sexual harassment, FGM, compulsory virginity tests and early marriage. All we pray for everyday is to eventually get back home safely and “in one piece”.
So this is message is for men, STOP OBJECTIFYING women. Our bodies are OUR bodies. STOP TREATING us as if we are your dependents. We are a whole stand-out independent “human beings” similarly as you .
I know that men specifically in the Arab world are born with a privilege. A privilege of “Manhood” which is fixed in their subconscious without even realizing. This privilege makes them lower our potentials, treat us as a property, as a thing! and always judge us.
In the Arab world, the length of your skirt, being a smoker or not and how loud your laugh is, these three meaningless, ridiculous and superficial things make them question your behaviors and moreover call you a “slut”!
In some part of the world there is a woman fighting fiercely to keep her hijab. and in another part there is a woman who struggles to be even a “woman”, to reassign her sex and finally live in the body that she really belongs to and another woman wants to wear a bikini without being raped. And the truth is they are ALL worth fighting for .They are all worthy. They all should be honored and respected no matter what their religion, race, sexual orientation, skin’s color, size and social values are!
TO COVER UP OR TO STRIP is our choice, our freedom, our body and our life . And it’s NONE of your business.
“Representation of the world, like the world itself, is the work of men; they describe it from their own point of view, which they confuse with absolute truth.” (1)
“If the feminine issue is so absurd, is because the male’s arrogance made it a discussion” (2)
1,2 : Simone de Beauvoir, The second sex, France 1949