I like to think that I am much more than a visibly Muslim woman, that my individuality sets me apart from all my fellow human beings and that I am independent in my thoughts from the community to which I supposedly belong. I don’t feel like I have the responsibility or the ability to represent a diverse community united by faith through the fictional stories I write.
Not so long ago, I would not have felt the absolute necessity of calling myself a Muslim or trying to assert my membership in the global Muslim community, because back home where the majority of people are Muslim, whether they are practitioners or practitioners or not, I did not need to defend an identity that is not necessarily under permanent surveillance.
Living in America as a visibly Muslim woman has been an interesting and empowering experience for me as a woman who today would proudly call herself a feminist and who has gained enough knowledge from reading the history of the movement to know that her choice to wear a head-scarf is not anti-feminist.
It is thanks to the long fight that the first feminists waged that women were able to obtain their fundamental human rights. For the first time in history, being a woman was not just an afterthought, being a woman no longer meant being a secondary character in human history. Women made a conscious choice to be part of history, they took to the streets and protested against what was once the norm, and they challenged the status quo in the western world. But as the movement grew and gained more supporters, it slowly became the white women’s movement instead of the all women’s movement. Black women in America have decided to create a new branch of feminism, which is called feminism after being basically abandoned by their “allies”.
Back when women in the West protested against patriarchy and shouted slogans like “The personal is political”, women in the South were still under colonial rule. Not only was the indigenous woman of the Global South concerned with her own sorrows as a woman somehow condemned to obey patriarchal and oppressive social norms, but she also had a duty to her homeland and her people. . She hid weapons under her haik in Algeria, she spent long, boring days listening to the enemy while disguised as a nanny or babysitter in French-occupied Somalia and Djibouti, she fought in she alone an entire army in British-occupied India, and she joined popular protests in Morocco condemning the exile of the country’s rightful leader and she received her fair share of violence and public humiliation from the French soldiers. The indigenous woman was constantly under the scrutiny of a foreign gaze at a time when imperialism was at its peak, that is to say, the gaze of the colonizer. The colonized world has never been the same even after the creation of independent states from previous colonies. Even in our modern “post-colonial” world, the Indigenous woman still fights for her right to be seen as something more than a white man’s exotic vacation, more than fertile ground to be conquered or seized.
Yet, while the bravery of early feminists in the Western world was and still is applauded, women in the Global South are somehow still seen as weak and fragile creatures in need of saving. This is a moral and ethical paradox that should raise questions among people who claim to be true allies of women around the world in their struggle for liberation.
For women in the Global South, feminism is liberation from all oppressive systems. It is the true solidarity that unites women from different backgrounds, the bond between a group of women full of hope and optimism who all speak the language of reason. These women are not afraid to challenge social norms and expectations, they thrive in different fields, and in doing so, they seek to inspire the next generation of courageous women who were once little girls haunted by self-doubt. same. Feminism for women in the Global South is not a social media trend or a viral marketing scheme used by greedy corporations that exploit women while claiming to empower them. Our feminism is intersectional, it does not applaud murderous regimes or promote war and destruction. It is not a tool to spread propaganda and manufacture people’s consent to war, nor an instrument used to secure cultural hegemony.
Our feminism is global. It’s for all women, not against them.