Men and I

2008

When I’m alone, pondering my rejection of this rotten, patriarchal world, I wonder if my opinions truly are extreme.
I mean, so what if my uncle divorced his wife five times?
And what's wrong with my other uncle being married to three women at the same time?
And why is it a big deal that my aunt was once beaten up with a pair of flip flops for refusing to make a cup of tea for her
husband, who was lazing in front of the TV watching a football match while she was busy scrubbing the bathroom floor?

FULL STORY

I Knew He Was Cheating on Me

2017

I got married after 6 years of being in love.
During that time,
I found out he was cheating on me with the live-in maid,
Who took care of his mother.
I confronted him at first,
but he denied it.

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Unlived Childhood

2017

I didn’t have a childhood.
My mother burdened me with responsibilities very early on.
Women here work on the farm,
Milk the cows,
And feed the birds.
My mother would set off to do these things,
And when she’d come back,
She’d hit me.
“Why didn’t you make dinner?”
domestic violence; gender violence; sexual violence; physical violence; parents; child marriage; divorce; work

FULL STORY

I Swallow My Tears

2017

If, while baba was beating me, I cried, he’d hit me again for crying.
“If you cry, you’ll get hit. Men don’t cry”, he’d tell me.
Whenever he beat me, my main concern was to not cry.

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17 Years of Marriage

2017

My story isn’t about physical or emotional abuse.
I got married when I was 21 years old.
He was the first man I ever spoke to.
That’s how we were raised.
I took very good care of myself.

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When My Uncle Hit Me

2017

One incident I remember the most,
Is when my maternal uncle hit me because of my mother.
My mother is not an easy going woman.
My uncle’s wife was insulting my mother in her presence.
I tried to talk back,
But my mother told me not to.
I couldn’t stay quiet,
So I asked my uncle’s wife,
“Why are you insulting my mother?”
domestic violence, physical violence, parents, social pressure

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He beat her out of love

2017

She was kicked and pulled by the hair at 2:00 pm in public.
He thought she was lacking in discipline.
For the longest time, she thought this was an act of love.
When she started to fight back and defend herself, he would beat her even harder.

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A Dress for Eid

2017

I had a recurring dream when I was young,
That my mother wasn’t actually my mother,
And that my father was married to another woman,
Who looked exactly like my mother.
I don’t know why I kept having this dream.
Maybe because my mother was very hard on me,
And my father was kind.
Everyone used to say that he spoiled me.
But I didn’t see it that way.
He used to shout all the time,
And my mother used to hit me,
So I’d grow up to be a proper housewife.

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A Life of Hardship

2017

My father never treated me as if I were worthy of respect.
This has led to many hardships in my life.
I used to love him so much.
He married another woman when I was 13.
I felt lost then.
I was broken.

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Don’t Be Surprised

2017

Why hit me for peeing myself,
When she could’ve tried to figure out why I was struggling with it?
Why hit me for putting on lipstick as a child,
When she could’ve just told me not to?
Why hit me with belts, cables and shoes,
When she could’ve reasoned with me?

FULL STORY
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