There I was, casually browsing through my fashion & beauty dominated twitter timeline when out of the blue, a completely unrelated hashtag catches my eye:
Some of these tweets, it was almost as if they were written for or about me. I thought that I was alone in feeling like I don’t belong anywhere. Men try to oppress me because I’m a woman, Muslims try to oppress me because I don’t fit in with their views of what a Muslim ought to be, Indians & Pakistanis oppress me because I don’t look like a proper ‘desi’ girl and white people expect me to be anti-Muslim because I don’t fit the stereotypes. Naturally you begin to feel like oppression is your whole life and wonder how long you can keep trying to fight off narrow-minded bigots. Sure, fighting off one set of bigots isn’t so difficult, but to fight off four sets? Give me a break!
Anyway, some of the tweets that were appearing on my timeline reached out of my phone, gripped a hold of my heart and pulled me right in:
I could go on for days listing all of the tweets that touched me, but the main point for me is that from such humble beginnings this hashtag completely exploded. As it turns out, my husband just happened to be Twitter-friends with the woman who started it all off: Noorulann Shahid aka @yxxnghippie! The tag itself brought Muslim feminists out of the woodwork and gave us a platform to air the grievances and daily difficulties we face. It showed us all that even though it often feels like it, we are not alone in our fight for fairness and equality. It gave us hope that we can each make a difference.
The problem is, like all good hashtags, it was a flash in the pan. Ok, admittedly it was quite a long flash in the pan, being that it went viral for a couple of weeks but it was clear that Muslim feminists of all shapes, sizes, colours and genders needed a place to keep this momentum going. It’s our hope that this blog and twitter feed will allow us to do just that. Those that seek to oppress us will be expecting the heat to die down eventually, but we can’t allow that to happen under any circumstances.
This is the birth of a new movement. A movement where Muslims, Non-Muslims, Men & Women will all come together to campaign and crusade for fairness in an unfair world.
So I’ll round off this first post with a quote from Rebecca West:
“I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat.”