Freedom from the Forbidden

All things gender and Islam. No bigotry is allowed in this feminist territory. #DeathToPatriarchy

stop using the word shame

What It’s Like Being a Pashtun Woman on Social Media – Story 5: inappropriate messages from “respected” figures

Continuing our series on Pashtun women’s experiences with social media / what it’s like being a Pashtun woman on good ol’ internet. (The other stories are linked at the bottom of this post. Please be sure to read the Introduction to the series! I’m afraid someone brilliant is going to rise up and say, “But it’s not just Pashtun women who face these problems! Why are you targeting Pashtun men […]

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What It’s Like Being a Pashtun Woman on Social Media – Story 4: when men send you porn to try to silence you

Continuing our series on Pashtun women’s experiences with social media / what it’s like being a Pashtun woman on good ol’ internet. (The other stories are linked at the bottom of this post. PLEASE read the Introduction to the series so you understand why I choose to focus on Pashtuns and not on other people. No, harassment and intimidation have no race, I know that.) Note that one of the […]

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What It’s Like Being a Pashtun Woman on Social Media – Story 1: intimidation, indecent photos, and threats of no-husband-for-you

The firs story in the series of being a (Pashtun) woman on the Internet. (Be sure to read this, folks – I’m afraid someone brilliant is going to come up and say, “But it’s not just Pashtun women who face these problems! Why are you targeting Pashtun men as harassers only?!” Because you didn’t read.) The following person shall remain anonymous. Whatever I am sharing has been approved by her. […]

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Hypocritical Expectations of Women: how patriarchy devalues women’s private parts – menstruation and public breastfeeding

Pre-script: I actually had no intentions of writing about menstruation any time soon on my blog, although I’ve thought about doing so, as I discussed here. But being disgusted with the way that Instagram responded to Rupi Kaur’s photo of a menstruating woman, I decided to do this. If anyone’s disgusted by it, shame on them.

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The Privilege of Sexy Talk – and the expectation to remain faceless on Pashtun social media

In November 2014, while at a panel on authority and Muslim women bloggers at the AAR Conference (dang, I never wrote about that on this blog, did I? Oops. k, no more promises then), I discovered something about myself: Whenever I am inspired and feel empowered, I want to write something provocative. Provocative in the religious and cultural, especially Pashtun cultural, senses. And the moment I realized this, I felt […]

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How Not to Respond When You Hear an Imam is Sexually Abusing People

Just to clarify: the title of this post is referring not to survivers of sexual abuse but to those who hear about sexual abuse. The following are some things *not* to say when you learn that a Qur’an teacher, an imam, or other religious community leader is sexually abusing people. The post below is specifically in response to the recent sexual abuse by the Chicago imam, who — let’s all […]

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A Message for the “hOjabis” Facebook Group Admins

If you are a member of this FB group I’m talking about below, I urge you to re-think your values. If you have ever used the word “hojabi” to refer to a woman whose hijab style you don’t approve of, with the excuse that it’s “un-Islamic,” I urge you, too, to re-think your values and re-evaluate your relationship with the divine and with fellow humans. You’re doing harm to yourself […]

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Responses to the Sexual Abuse Post – Part 1

I’d first like to thank people for the immense support in response to the sexual abuse post I wrote a couple of weeks ago on how my Qur’an teacher sexually abused girls in my elementary school. I honestly didn’t expect the kind of support the post received, so I think just by at least willing to hear/read something like this and then openly condemn the culprit (in my case, the […]

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