Women Empower One Another

Listen up, women.

Who among us hasn’t suffered the sting of a woman’s snarky comment, an ickiness of mean-girl shunning or lie-spreading?

Whilst we are working towards changing the thinking towards women in our society, it is saddening to see women trying to tear each other down instead of lifting each other up. Obviously, not all women are like this and there are plenty of men guilty of the same behavior, but why do some of us (ie; women) feel the need to bring each other down?

From the time we’re little girls, we’re taught to compete. I need to be prettier, taller, smarter, my hair needs to be straighter, curlier, whatever it is. I need to get the better looking guy. I need to always be better than because we’re taught to come from a place of lack as women. – Sophia Nelson

Girls pitting themselves against each other in an imaginary competition is internalized misogyny where girls are being sexist toward others of their own gender. We hear so often about the injustices that women face in the society as a result of gender inequality or the stereotyped, but what we do not hear enough about are the injustices we are met with that originate from the hands of other women. This fictional competition and bizarre belief also leads to bullying via social exclusion, malicious rumors and whatnot.
So instead of doing this, slowly ease yourself off of comparing yourself to other girls. Not only will you be doing her a favor, but you’ll be helping yourself as well.

I am sure that many of you have found yourself in a situation where a fellow woman has put you down, a rumor has been spread about you, or you’ve been challenged in an aggressive or threatening way. Or perhaps, in a moment of weakness, you yourself have acted as the aggressor.
Mostly in our society, I see teenage girls fighting over boys! Ranging from school-bullying to psychical fights, it is common to see a girl tearing apart the self-esteem and reputation of another just for the sake of scoring a boy. When I say psychical fights, I do mean hardcore blows and punches. There’s a secondary school in Male’ which is famous for this. I have never set my foot in that place, but it’s a well known fact that the ‘boy-drama’ disrupts the education and well-being of several girls which causes them to leave and pursue their education elsewhere. And as these girls grow older, they come up with more aggressive ways to disrupt relationships and by that time, the consequences would have multiplied too. It is not at all worth to put down a fellow girl just for the sake of the opposite gender who probably is a fuckboy.

Regardless of the situation, the sad reality is, a huge deficit exists in the number of women that make it their personal goal to elevate other women instead of tear them down.

Yet we cannot afford to fall back into destructive ways. Women cannot become a truly unstoppable force for good unless we shake off an old shadow that holds us back and that is how harsh we can be to one another. When we hold one woman back, we hold all women back. And when we empower and support each other, we all go big. The world is calling for us to go big!

15472_10154816585445284_1298851902217666745_n

There’s a Wonder Woman inside every one of us. Let’s unleash her this year to better support one another.

Come on, women! We deserve better than this. We are better than this.

Muslim Feminist

The most radical movement in recent times which is revolutionizing the whole social structure and changing the entire basis of human relationships is the Feminist Movement; the drive for Women’s Liberation.

I identify myself as feminist who proudly associates with the “f-word,” along with being a practicing Muslim. Is it possible to be a Muslim and a feminist? Well, of course. Islam and Feminism does not contradict in terms and can work hand-in-hand.

Most of the conflicts between Islam and modern women’s rights attributes to culture rather than the actual religion. Much of what is followed today is the interpretation of a group of scholars dating back hundreds of years, rather than the literal teachings of Allah. The Qur’an is a complex and dense book so that even the act of translation involves interpretation. Reinterpretation of the text is a controversial issue, but there are some interesting attempts by female scholars to challenge accepted wisdom not by deviating from the Qur’an, but by returning to it. This is a religion which unleashed tolerance and equality at a time where girls were being buried alive simply for their gender. A time when slavery was an accepted reality, Islam evoked the freeing of a slave among the best actions a human could take. So at a time when equal rights between tribes are/was unthinkable, let alone between men and women, the Qur’an would constantly reinforce this notion of equality.

Yet gender discrimination is one of the most ill-founded allegations used to discredit Islam. There are several popular myths which perpetuate this gross stereotype.

  • “Islam practices Female Genital Mutilation.”
    There is no evidence to corroborate this from within Islam.

    According to UNICEF, Ethiopia and Nigeria total 43.7 million out of 125 million FGM cases in the 29 countries studied. That is two of the oldest Christian states already counting for 35% of victims. FGM is evidently rooted in central African culture. It is a regional practice, not a religious one.
  • “Muslim women are not allowed to receive an education.”
    Islam encourages education and the pursuit of knowledge.

    “[20:114] And say: My Lord increase me in knowledge.”
    Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 74: “Seeking knowledge is mandatory for every Muslim.”
    In fact, this notion of education is so strong in Islam that Muslims are required to question the Qur’an itself. “[38:29] … (They) may ponder over its Verses, and that those of understanding would be reminded.”
    It is desirable for women seek answers that honor their faith, gender and maintaining their dignity whilst excelling in helping society and those around them.
  • “A wife at home has no right to any property, financial security, or to work. if she asks for a divorce, she must return her dowry and has no rights.”
    Islam respects a woman’s right to financial security. 1,300 years ago, Islam clarified a woman’s right to own property, work, and further material entitlements for the sake of independence. Women are entitled to a limitless personal dowry upon marriage, irrevocable in divorce or disagreement. This is in contrast to many Asian cultures where men receive the dowry. A woman also has the right to keep her last name, property she owned prior to marriage, and any income earned during marriage. Her property is recognized as hers alone rather than for the household or for the man. The Prophet’s first wife and the first woman to accept Islam, Khadijah RA, was a businesswoman who was one of the wealthiest in Arabia. If a divorcee has children, she is entitled to child support. “[2:231] When you divorce women, and they reach their prescribed term, then retain them in kindness and retain them not for injury so that you transgress (the limits)…”
  • “Women are overlooked. They have no say nor importance in Islam. If they dare to interject, they will be criminalized.”
    To disregard a woman in Islam is to disregard the consideration given to them through Islam. More than half of Islam comes from a woman. Aisha (RA) narrated over two thousand Hadith which consists the major source of guidance for Muslims and is noted for teaching eminent scholars. No other major religion ordains a female as an authority used to cite religious virtues. To say women should not “dare to interject”, when 1.5 billion Muslims across the world look to a woman’s work in guidance of their faith, is neither logical nor sane.
  • “Showing disrespect to a woman is fine as a man’s status is higher than her.”
    The Qur’an explicitly refutes this countless times.

    “[3:195] Their Lord responded to them: “I never fail to reward any worker among you for any work you do, be you male or female, you are equal to one another.”
    “[4:124] As for those who lead a righteous life, male or female, while believing, they enter Paradise; without the slightest injustice.”
    “[49:13] O’ People, we created you from the same male and female, and rendered you distinct peoples and tribes, that you may recognize one another.”

So by saying that “Islam and feminism cannot co-exist”, you are handing a victory to that conservative faction. People need to rethink this idea of Islamic Feminism as an oxymoron. It is only through establishing that identity and stability that self-respect can be achieved and a more healthy climate for both Muslim men and Muslim women will emerge.

While world religions squabbled over vilifying women for the “Original Sin,” Islam stepped in and said both man and woman were responsible, they were both forgiven, and they are both equal. Therefore, instead of a religion which oppresses women in material matters, Islam seeks to safeguard and empower them. This, in the end, is what Islamic Feminism is about.

Sensation Seeking

Why do humans always find pleasure in seeking the extreme in most aspects? Why can’t they be contented within the safe zone or living in balance? I too, am guilty of seeking the top notch thrill in some that I do. I suppose this turns back to dualism theory. Positive/negative, for/against, up/down, left/right, man/woman, win/loss and extending to humans brain/heart, intellect/mind. We always think in terms of 2 possible outcomes. Typically either our mind takes one position and brain says reverse. We decide in favor of one or the other, close the matter.

For instance, while eating. Most people often tend to go for the spiciest of all dishes and find pleasure in the pain of pungent spices.  As tempting as it may seem on the menu, it never disappoints us once it’s dissolved in our taste buds as well. Capsaicin, the chemical behind hotness, causes your brain to literally think your tongue is on fire. Despite the awful aftermath of spicy food, admit it, we do enjoy the mouth burning sensations of spicy food. It gives us monetary pleasure and excitement as we fight back the tears and urge to gobble down cubes of ice. Seize the moment, and indulge ourselves in the spicy self-torture for the quick thrill. Masochistic? Haha.

Next up, movies. The horror genre is the top most viewed sort of movies. What kind of a psychopath voluntarily submits him/herself to terror? It’s the aftermath of the movie which appeals us. This is called the excitation transfer process. When people watch frightening films, their heart rate, blood pressure and respiration increases. After the film is over, this physiological arousal lingers. Any positive emotions you experience are intensified so instead of focusing on the fright you felt during the film, you recall having a great time and you’ll want to come back for more. Moreover, some people are simply wired to enjoy high levels of physiological arousal and adrenaline rush. Not surprisingly, these individuals also love roller coasters.

Then there’s cold temperatures on the list. How many times have you turned down the heat of your air conditioner especially at night and woke up with your teeth clattering, or in the worst case scenario, catch a fever next morning? I’m guilty. I sleep better when it is cold in the room and I am toasty warm under a thick blanket.
“The more so, I say, because truly to enjoy bodily warmth, some small part of you must be cold, for there is no quality in this world that is not what it is merely by contrast. Nothing exists in itself. If you flatter yourself that you are all over comfortable, and have been so a long time, then you cannot be said to be comfortable any more. But if, like Queequeg and me in the bed, the tip of your nose or the crown of your head be slightly chilled, why then, indeed, in the general consciousness you feel most delightfully and unmistakably warm. For this reason a sleeping apartment should never be furnished with a fire, which is one of the luxurious discomforts of the rich. For the height of this sort of deliciousness is to have nothing but the blanket between you and your snugness and the cold of the outer air. Then there you lie like the one warm spark in the heart of an arctic crystal.” –Moby Dick

There are several other sensations that the human body can read only as pure torment. Homo sapiens were the only group of early hominids to emigrate over the entire world, which entailed great risk, so I think humans as a species are characterized by novelty and intensity-seeking and this must have been an adaptive trait.

Simplicity

“Keep it simple,” is an often heard phrase in our daily lives. Seldom does one realize that this 6 lettered word contains a lot of weight. Simplicity may sound like a narrow standard, as simple as it may be to spell and pronounce, but opting the ‘simple method’ can hoard us from a lot of tricky situations. But as human beings, we just have this innate ability to ramp up everything to the next level. Previously, I’ve written an article regarding how we tend to complicate the simplest aspects; refer to it here

At the beginning of “Walden,” Henry David Thoreau makes a concise case against the complexity of modern life. “Our life is frittered away by detail. An honest man has hardly need to count more than his ten fingers, or in extreme cases he may add his ten toes, and lump the rest. Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!” he writes. “Let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand; instead of a million count half a dozen, and keep your accounts on your thumb-nail….Simplify, simplify.

That was the 19th century, though, and we live in the 21st. In a typical day, we encounter numerous moments when we are delayed, frustrated or confused by complexity. For instance, it is innovation’s biggest paradox; we demand more and more from the stuff in our lives. More features, more function, more power and yet we also increasingly demand that it be easy to use. We live with this conundrum every day. Since a young age we’re taught to simplify algebraic equations, and in return, solving the whole calculation becomes less complicated. Make it a simple formula to your life by cutting out all the negative portions and complications. This would indeed make the life a garden of simplicity.

What’s the simple solution for the complications we face diurnally?

Keeping it simple doesn’t mean you’ll have zero clutter and zero complications. You’re a part of the world, not a secluded monk. You have possessions, electronics, distractions, and occasional hectics. But for the cynics who might say that in this modern world there’s no way of achieving simplicity, there are really only two steps to simplifying.

  1. Identify what’s most important to you.
  2. Eliminate as much as you possibly can of everything else.

It means getting rid of the clutter, and eliminating all but the essential, so you are left with only that which gives you value. So yeah, it’s as simple as that if you apply this concept to all areas of your life.

Types of people on Facebook

You, yes you! You know you’re guilty of these.

The ‘In Love’ Couple
These people rub their relationship on our faces. Daily posts tagging the significant other and infesting our homepage with their lovey dovey drama. An occasional appreciation post wouldn’t hurt, but everyday selfies of you guys snogging each other and posts on how tightly he holds you while you’ve got a hard stool stuck in your rectum? No. Just no. We wouldn’t want to see that. It doesn’t turn us on.

OH AND if one of these couples break up, they make sure that everyone else on their friend list goes into a deep depression just like them by reading those heart wrenching statuses and posts they update and share. DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW ANNOYING THAT IS? I’m not sure whether I should like your depressing posts or not because;
a) it could mean that I am enjoying the fact that you both broke up OR
b) here, take my like. I sympathize you.

The Religious Scholars
“In the name of God, I log into Facebook.”

Every post they share, every status they update, every link they click is religion oriented. Sure, you’re truly a blessing to yourself but you don’t have to go around criticizing the less religious oriented people. HARAM SISTER, REMOVE THIS PROVOCATIVE POST. ASTAGFIRULLAH BROTHER, HOW DARE YOU LIKE HER SELFIE? Please, just give us a break. We’re just a bunch of youngsters having fun on Facebook so you don’t necessarily have to declare jihad on us. I’m totally not going to hell by commenting on a selfie posted by the guy next door.

The Selfie Kings and Queens
Do I need to elaborate more on this? One or two shots of yourself are fine, but bombarding our home-feed with selfies every hour is narcissistic to say the least. We saw your face 15 minutes ago, and yes, we still remember what you look like.

The Philosophers
Visiting the profiles of these people is like getting an encyclopedia chucked at your face. The sole purpose of these learned people is to educate people through social media by posting HUGE posts, combined with statistical numerals and uber facts. Make it a bit presentable. Then perhaps we might consider engaging ourselves in your pool of knowledge.

The Current Affairs Section
These people seem to know EVERYTHING and it is VERY CREEPY. Ranging from the date Obama first met Michelle to the date your grandma had her last orgasm, they know it all. I have no idea how they gather all these information and keep updating their statuses every 5 minutes. Their profiles serve as an alternative to online newspapers.

The Ranters
I am guilty of this.

When we come across something that stirs our interest or annoys the crap out of us, we feel the need to log into Facebook and post an enormous status about it. Why? Because it makes us feel good. Venting our excitement or frustrations on social media at the most intense moments makes us feel good, and knowing that there are some people out there who would read it makes us feel good. Read my rant. Does it make you feel good?

The Lyrical People
These people speak lyrics. It’s like they have got all the playlists from 1990 onward stored in their brains and if you ever say something to them, they would go all Beyoncé or Wiz Khalifa on you. Also, most of their statuses consists of song lyrics and they got a song on their mind to match their mood. Dutifully, they do insert a music symbol at the end.

The Party Animals
The party don’t start til’ I walk in….

A party in town? These people would be present. No one can throw a party without them showing up. According to them, even a baby shower is a ‘party’. And they make sure they take numerous selfies with their eyes half closed and tongues sticking out like yeah get high on zamzam and party til’ fajr, man.

The Offensive People
You’re insecure. We get it. But you don’t have to be a bitch about it. You don’t have to go around posting hateful comments like “gaaaaay” on adorable posts. And if I comment on your picture, I expect a nice “thank you” rather than a “gulhen noolhey.” That’s very rude.

The Thugs
They’re the chosen ones. The thug life chose them. These people think that adding “and shit” at the end of their statuses makes anything they say sound thug. For example; “I was playing with my bubbles and shit.” Their posts are all about rebelling and doing all sorts of thug shit. OH AND you will find a marijuana leaf and rasta colors on one of their profile pictures.

The Goody Two Shoes
These people tries to be as good and “clean” as humanly possible. They are more often than not a staunch conservative and takes pride in their virginity and their practice of asceticism. Of course they would NEVER consider smoking, drinking, doing drugs, or having any physical contact with the opposite sex beyond holding hands or perhaps a peck on the cheek. They can be nice to an extent but eventually begins to reprimand us about our “sinful” lifestyle and just becomes a pest.

Members of the Royal Family
A vast number of royals are scattered all over Facebook and they have become a menace to their nation due to being unable to locate them and this results in loss of royal bloodline. Please report to your nations immediately.

“I don’t work, I’m a princess.”
Firstly, you think princesses be chilling all the time? Wrong. They got shitloads of royal duties to deal with.
Secondly, even if you were a princess, God forbid, you would make a nasty one. No work, spending the state’s money?
Thirdly, no prince charming is going to want your lazy ass.

The Picture Owners
I don’t understand the concept of picture-owning. How do I own someone’s profile picture? Do I call dibs on it? Do I need to pay a remuneration? Is paperwork required? Is it a complicated process?

The Diaries
Excuse me, you’re in the wrong neighborhood. This is Facebook, not your personal diary. These people are victims of the phenomenon where one over shares feelings and meaningless details about life on Facebook. So just remember when you log on to Facebook and the “What’s on your mind?” status bar is staring you in the face, please know that we really don’t want to know the unnecessary details of your life which does not fascinate us.

The People Who Feel
-feeling food
What? I get it you’re hungry but FEELING FOOD? Really? Don’t you mean you’re craving food? These people violate the option provided to state emotions.

The Inspirational Caption-ers
“wow girl, that’s a mighty fine booty you got there!”
Picture caption: “To dream by night is to escape your life.”

TELL ME HOW IS THAT CAPTION OF ANY RELEVANCE TO YOUR BOOTY?
These people post poems and supposedly thought-provoking quotes as captions. I have no idea how an Outfit of The Day  photo relates to a deep-sounding quote like “Life is love” but stop it. I just want to see your outfit photos and your misleading captions are deterring me from doing so.
May your inspirational quotes inspire you to do something else rather than sitting on Facebook all day annoying the shit out of people with your stupid quotes.

Then there are cool and fun people like me. You’re truly honored to be listed as my friend on Facebook.

Interests

There have been several challenges going about on Facebook and I got round to solve just one of them, the one which listed 20 facts about oneself. I thought of working out two more to post here for the sake of updating my blog haha. So here you go!

 20 Facts About Me

  1. Feminist rants are my craft.
  2. I’d like to pursue Law as a career.
  3. I have two younger sisters, Eana and Eva.
  4. The best book I’ve read so far is The Da Vinci Code.
  5. I’ve got a woman crush on Fine.
  6. I converse about social imbroglios a lot.
  7. I’ve loved and lost.
  8. Obsessed with the color blue.
  9. Lana Del Rey is my queen.
  10. Waving away humility, I pen down that I aim to reside abroad.
  11. I don’t blindly follow, ergo I question aspects of life.
  12. I don’t display my full face on social media because I do not want to do so, simple.
  13. My sentiments tend to get biased during a colloquy.
  14. I’m attracted to au fait and erudite men.
  15. Cats disgust me, ew fleas.
  16. Reading and writing are mainly my avocational activities.
  17. I am petite.
  18. I have a vivid memory for reminiscing.
  19. I cannot tolerate a ridiculous fashion statement.
  20. Stop judging me I am a nice person hello?????


The Book Challenge

In this challenge, one must list 10 books that have stayed with you for life. Rule is to not contemplate too much and list the first ten that have touched you in some way.

I have listed the more impressive of the books I’ve read with an honesty in listing books I genuinely loved. This list endeavors to reflect world literature, which fascinates me. 🙂

  1. The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
  2. Fifty Shades trilogy; 50 Shades of Grey, 50 Shades Darker and 50 Shades Freed – E. L. James
  3. Harry Potter series – J.K. Rowling
  4. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
  5. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
  6. The Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger
  7. The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
  8. Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
  9. Don’t You Forget About Me – Alexandra Potter
  10. Little Women – Louisa May Alcott


The Song Challenge

I’ve listed 10 songs which has affected me mostly in my life. I listen to all genres.

  1. Taking Back My Love – Enrique Iglesias
  2. Never Let Me Go – Lana Del Rey
  3. Limbo – Daddy Yankee
  4. I Need You – Marc Anthony
  5. Sleeping Child – Michael Learns to Rock
  6. Secret –  The Pierces
  7. The Diary of JaneBreaking Benjamin
  8. All I Ever Wanted – Bass Hunter
  9. One More Night – Maroon 5
  10. All We Are – OneRepublic

Oh Rilu, where art thou? #FindMoyameehaa

I refer to him as Rilube.

Ahmed Rilwan Abdulla, also known as Moyameehaa is a son, brother, uncle, friend, a journalist, a writer, an artist, a poet and a strong advocate of human rights who has been missing since 8th August 2014.

I met this young man 9 years ago and since then we have managed to uphold a close-knit companionship. My first reminiscence with Rilu was when I had him say “kalhusai, kirusai” in order to get a clearer sight of his two silver false teeth. The moment I discovered that Boulevard of Broken Dreams by Green Day was one of the songs which topped his playlist, I knew we would get along fairly well. And we did, every passing day.

I used to hear from him diurnally, but it’s been more than a month since I last heard from. My highlight of the day was him chanting “GOODO MORNONGO EMU EMU EMU” at the break of dawn. “Emu, why are you so cute?” is a rhetorical question he usually throws in my way. Oh how I crave to see, once again his handsome face, his pouts when he’s being adamant, his merry laughter when he’s delighted. How pleasant would it be if he’s still here. Sleep and wake up to his texts.

Enduring his complains and whines was also a regular part of my day. I swear, he comes up with the most pointless grumbles and I would have a hard time convincing him otherwise. The last day we talked, he complained of having a huge tummy and was upset because mine’s flat. “Life’s not fair on me,” he said. So what, even if your tummy is huge? We have seen what’s inside, Rilu. A placid soul, and we have fallen in love with that.

Driving around Male’ pinning his ears on Nusrat music and stopping by Bodu Magu to have a joospetty is his leisure pursuit. He would devour the whole joospetty till the last sip as if it’s a sacred drink, and often tell me off for my lack of interest in joospetty. It was more amusing to watch him have it with passion, hehe. Afterwards, he would roll a tobacco cigarette with aptitude and puff out clouds of smoke.

Though he refers to himself as Moyameehaa, he’s very much sane and well balanced. In fact, he’s one of the most lucid people I’ve met. He knew what he was up to, okay? A freethinker, who used to cogitate on aspects of life. He questioned, and perceived answers. He was inclined to form his own opinions rather than depend upon authority which exhibited boldness of speculation; skeptical of authority. He never lost his morality. Mad, mad society. When a man goes missing, priority must be given to find him rather than pondering over his religious stances. And that too, using the minimal facts you’ve got. If you don’t know Rilu well, don’t give yourself the ability to judge him.

His words coerced them. Threats from the ignorant and criminal, not the plagiarisms of the envious, is the sincerest form of flattery for an author. Journalists are frequently subjected to such threats, intimidation and attacks, but that’s no reason for the rest of us to forfeit and seal our lips and pens. We have responsibilities as citizens to our community. Raise your voice, shout it aloud, don’t hold back. FIND MOYAMEEHAA!

Government bodies need to take this matter into serious consideration as this is a menace to the media freedom. We’re fretting over a missing person, not a missing tooth. It was disheartening to have noticed that silence from the President when questioned, signals that Maldives is apathetic when a citizen’s whereabouts are unknown.

But what’s preventing the family and friends from gathering more information about the fate of their loved one? I assume, political rivalries among the political forces have contributed to ensuring that this issue has remained on the back-burner. Keeping demanding for up to date elucidation from MvPolice! We don’t want Rilu in our hearts only, we want him present here with us as well. When he’s not around, the whole world seems depopulated.

I miss him and, I need him to come back as soon as possible. He never failed to cheer me up when I was feeling low, he slapped me back to my senses whenever I headed astray. He was there for me when numerous people bowed out. He assured me that he would be here for me, ALWAYS. I can never get enough of his humor and merry laughter. He made me laugh so hard that tears rolled down my cheeks. Now, I’m left to shed tears of devastation for him. Please stay safe Rilu, where ever you are. Please, help us find Moyameehaa.

A poem for Rilu. This shall be the first rhyme he reads when he comes back.

A poem for Rilu. This shall be the first rhyme he reads when he comes back.

Do you feel isolated, frustrated and helpless that you are not doing enough to help further to #FindMoyameehaa? If so, please visit http://findmoyameehaa.com, sign the avaaz petition to the Maldives Government on http://goo.gl/n3jYxb. Let the police and the government know you want a thorough investigation. Call your MP, ask them to hold the police accountable for their investigation.

dsd