They circled Him

2015

When I was in the eighth grade, there was a boy with me at school who was blond and fair-skinned. He was a grade younger than I was.
Wherever he went, the other students would harass him. He was absent a lot because of this. His father came in to complain more than once but to no avail.

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The Game

2017

I’m the boss.
Honestly, I used to get these negative thoughts;
Thoughts that are full of violence and rage.
It was as if I was waiting to explode and let everything out.
masculinity, social pressure

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It Ruined My Teenage Years

2019

I’m a boy and I’ve had gynecomastia (enlarged male breasts) ever since I was young.
I used to tell myself that it’s not a big deal,
And that it’s only a matter of years and it will go away.
Unfortunately, this ruined my teenage years.
body image, bullying, masculinity

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Eid Sacrifice

2019

I’m fat,
And I’ve always been bullied because of it.
People have told me things like:
“Are you sure you’re a man with those breasts of yours?”
“You’re as big as a bull now.
We’ll sacrifice you on Eid.”

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A Muslim Woman

2006

I’m passive, weak, uneducated.
Veiled from head to toe.
One of his four wives.
Work in the kitchen all day.
And spread my legs wide at night.
That’s what you think, right?

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Possibly a boy, possibly a girl

2018

I was subjected to derisive comments on an almost daily basis.
The one I got the most was a quote from one of Mohamed Saad’s movies: “Possibly a boy, possibly a girl”.
I got that practically every day.
At the beginning, I’d usually yell and fight with the person who said it.
Until one time, I got into a fight with a guy who made fun of my hair.
masculinity, bullying, gender violence, harassment, social stigma, the street

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Perks of Being a Girl

2015

Two days ago I went to get train tickets
I was standing in queue behind five people
5 minutes later, the five became nine
Five sweet girls came, and they went straight to the booth,
As if no one is standing
Everyone played stupid and didn’t say anything.

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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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A Muslim Woman

2006

I’m passive, weak, uneducated.
Veiled from head to toe.
One of his four wives.
Work in the kitchen all day.
And spread my legs wide at night.
That’s what you think, right?

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Remembering the Details

2016

I remember the pushing,
The kicking,
And the yelling.
I remember every time I said no,
And how he continued anyway.
At times,
I felt as if I were transforming into a pillow,
By the way he’d close his eyes,
And forget that I was even there.
It killed me.
gender violence; sexual violence; rape; masculinity; sex; sexuality

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