Tag: Women

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The Crown Weighs Heavy

I try and not look into the mirror too much lately.

To be exact, I try and not to see much of my reflection. When I clean up nicely and take a look at her, I see the girl that is far hidden from the world, and I am not talking about fake-face or wearing a mask like in one of those gloomy girl’s diary. My problem is simple.

It’s all physical.

What the world gets to see of me is always the me that is stripped out from my physical appearance. What I wear and how I dress forces people to judge me for who I am, personality and intelligence wise. They don’t see how baby doll dresses look when they hug my tiny figures. They don’t see the way my hair falls into a fair frame around my square jaw that sparks a fair amount of attractiveness.

Sometimes I want the world to see.

At times, I wish the world can see that I have so much more going on for me other than loose tops and long skirt. That I, too, have what the world standardize as ‘beauty’. I hate myself for even letting these thoughts crawl and get underneath my skin, and I hate that I allow myself to feel good when us girls play dress-up and I hear compliments when I wear sleeveless dresses that falls just above the knee.

I am never this self-conscious before. I am always proud with how I can feel good about myself without long locks and short skirts. These thoughts are dangerous place in the corner of my mind. I didn’t need this negativity now of all time, and so  I went into the salon without a second thought to get a drastic haircut.

I wanted to be ugly. Different. Something that makes me not want to show myself into the world.

I didn’t get to do it in the end.

At home, I stared into the reflection in the mirror some more.

Maybe I can post just one photo without Hijab. 

Maybe I can take off my Hijab at school and roll my sleeves for a day and see how people reacts.

Maybe people will see me different then if I dress like everyone else.

These thoughts pass through my mind in a frequent amount that I broke down and right down cried. God must be so upset with me right now. I don’t want to take off my Hijab. I can’t take it off after wearing it for so long.

I am so lucky, I try to tell myself. There are plenty of girls who wish they have the same courage to do what I am considering leaving behind. I am so lucky that I am taught to keep my honor and decency only to those who deserve it, I tell myself each time. Don’t let them get to me, I chant. Why do I have to be pressured to please the world when I can keep things to only those who matters and deserving, who won’t judge, and will see me first for who I am despite my physical appearance?

I am currently not in a good place with myself.

My environment and the people in my social ring don’t make things easier.

I try and tell myself beauty comes in all sort of different ways. If there are people who see bikini as an empowering clothing, then there must be people who see non-revealing clothes empowering as well.

I tell myself  that those whose views of beauty are different from mine are simply taught differently and have different beliefs on beauty.

People are just different that way, I tell myself.

I will believe this one day.

Respect Should Be For Men As Well

I am all for feminism, at a certain degree. I believe in women being able to stand in an equal ground with man. I believe in women having the freedom to do anything as much as men do. It’s a guilty pleasure to see women in a successful, strong, overpowering position.

However, I need to draw the line in where I hate to see women degrading men in doing so. The reason why I brought this topic up at all is because I see couples around me in which the women feel it is okay to degrade men, both in public and in social media. The moment I decided I want to become a wife, I always believed the proper manner I need to act as a soulmate is to first and foremost respect my other half. If I am dissatisfied or unhappy, it will be something to discuss behind closed doors and not for everyone to see.

If my husband has a flaw, it will be something that he and I fix together.

So it surprised me when I found out not all women feel this way. I find certain girls badmouthing their partners on social media, to their friends, humiliating their partners’ pride in the process. I was too curious to let it go despite it not being my business. I approached a friend of mine, male, and asked him if he knew all the things his partner writes online about him.

“Yeah, but I stopped caring about it.”

The other day, a friend also said, “If she’s angry with me, she usually calls me nasty names.”

I was baffled, “And you let her?”

He shrugged, showing indifference.

It broke my heart that males have come to accept these treatments. They weren’t supposed to be okay. Girlfriend or not, they should feel obliged to stand up for themselves. Just like how abusing women is wrong, the same need to be said about men. To me, it wasn’t about gender anymore. Degrading someone was generally wrong and supposed to be looked upon.

So maybe the renaissance era isn’t too bad now, considering the ladies in that time respected their husbands to the fullest.

Here’s to respect

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World Hijab Day

raise your glass 
to certain pride
a journey of
Muslim women

struggled, we have
for bravery
the hardship of
us believers

so here is to
the struggling us
the prideful us
all kinds of girls

to girls who laugh
in light-weight dress
who dance around
in the meadow

to girls who try
even in jeans
who do their best
to understand

to girls who wish
for said courage
but are not yet
ready to try

to those who can’t
see themselves change
you made your choice
no, we don’t judge

let’s honor this
in your comfort
to your belief
and your freedom

the first day of
February
I celebrate
World Hijab Day

In celebration to
World Hijab Day 2016

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Four Kinds of Women in a Man’s Life

I like to think that a man has four kinds of women in his life.
The has been, the now, the wannabe, and the happy ending.

The has been represent the past.

This is the first girl that he ever touches, ever loves, and the never will be. This girl has that ability to make a boy the man he will be in the future. The has been will always be the bittersweet memory for both the girl and the boy, because despite how much they carved their heart and sworn it for each other, they are far too young for romance, and thus the boy who’s now turned into a man will crave for something more.

And then he meets the now.

In all honesty, I pity the now(s). They will talk about her, compare her with the has been, and make a bet on her relationship with him. Rumor has it, no one likes her. What do you see from her? They ask. It’s this one mistake that will never last long. The now grown man knows it, the now(s) knows it, and so does everybody at school. The man claims to love her, but even he can’t fool himself. It’s only a countdown until the now(s) makes peace with that knowledge and set him free.

Then we have the wannabe—

—the girl who loves him and asks God to keep him safe. She doesn’t ask the stars for his heart, oh no. Who he’s with is her last concern. All she asks is for him to find love, be it to himself or to others. She asks him to find his happiness, to forgive and to laugh. She brings out his darkest soul to life and loves him nonetheless. She loves both the boy he was and the man he’s become, and she only asks him to find his joy in life, that’s all.

Finally, we have the happy ending.

To the man, it is the place of love, of warmth, and of joy. To the rest, it is nothing but a story of what could have been.

When I Found Out It’s Not Our Job as Women to Dream

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Living today in this era where women are glorified honestly hallucinates me into thinking that women actually has the chance to go as big as men do. It’s all out there, with Emma Watson demanding for equality with He for She campaign, and take a look at Ellen DeGeneres! She’s a strong, working woman who has it all. So I thought, what makes women different with men in terms of dreaming big to be on top?

Inside this hallucination I lived in, I damn well forgot one crucial thing.

I wouldn’t have remembered what it was if my mother didn’t sit me down after dinner last night. Like always, I expected a normal chit chat about homework, friends, boys, and et cetera, and it was a nice conversation for a while.

She said, “So I looked up in the internet about the jobs that you can get if you want to take either International Law or International Relation in university later.”

I was a sophomore, this was a regular topic. She always reminded me that I need to decide early of what I want to do in the future once I graduated High School.

I nodded, telling her to keep going.

She continued, “You see, you can’t be a major player in the business since you’re not going to be able to travel around.”

I processed the sentence.

So she was assuming I wasn’t planning to spend my youth helping people around the world and make difference.  That wasn’t the plan. I honestly did plan on traveling my ass off, go wherever I was needed, and leave my family behind for good causes. Once I’m done with helping the hungry children, I’ll come back home to my awaiting family and husband and spend time with them until I’m assigned to go to other place.

So I asked her, “What if I choose to become a major player?”

She considered it. “I thought you said you wanted to settle down early?”

That was when it hit me.

I didn’t need her to explain how it won’t work out between raising children and chasing my dream. It was apparent I had to choose either one. It was like two different path laid out ahead of me, and I felt so angry so suddenly at once. I didn’t want to get to the point where I feel absolute hate to the fate that was chosen for me, but it was still irritating nonetheless.

I have always wanted to raise children early. Hell, my timeline says I need to get married at twenty if I wanted to have a child by twenty one. What I forgot was, I also had a different timeline that says I was to graduate university with top marks at twenty, have a job contract with a big organization that works for good cause right after, and then I wait for the next term to start my Master degree.

So I didn’t need her to tell me how overwhelming things can get if I was so determined on having it all, except…

“Well, why don’t I marry a guy who works for the same cause as I do? That way, I get to be in the same region as him if we were to be assigned outside the country. A diplomat once came into my school and told me about this, he said married couples would be arranged in places that are not very far from one another,” I informed her. That’s must be a good plan.

She nodded, but I knew I was fighting a losing battle against my mother. She always has a rebuttal prepared. “That’s only works if you get a good guy from that department who wants to marry you under that condition. But what if he’s an architect or some big company’s manager?”

What she said was the truth. I didn’t like it, but I know what is right when I hear it. It irked me so much to the point I could’ve cried that night. I am a woman. I was to be a mother one day, and looking for income would not be my main responsibility. My children would be what I have to focus on 24/7.

So where’s my dream going to go with that knowledge in mind?

It pained me so much. I’ve always wanted to get out there, help the suffering people, make speeches, and inspire people with my words. Despite what I am capable of, I’ve always wanted to work for the people and not sitting flat on my bum in front of a computer in some company.

How am I supposed to do that if I want to have children?

I considered waiting, but even that only lasted for five minutes. Who in their right mind would want to marry an old lady in their thirties? No, cross that thought.

At the end of the day, I didn’t reach any conclusion. I wasn’t willing to throw my dreams away and look for some other job that I won’t be interested with. The thought of not doing anything and completely depending on my husband in the favor of looking after my children was unfavorable in every way, but I wasn’t also going to have my children and husband move to different places every three or four years.

“Be realistic,” is what my mother told me. “Your responsibility is not to work, you have a husband for that. Your job as a woman is to look after the children you’re going to have one day.”

I understood that, but what I also hear from the sentence was, “You have a whole life written out for you. It’s not your job as a woman to dream.”

I understood that alright.

Still, I didn’t like it one bit.

To all working mothers out there, raise your glass. I aspire to be you.

 

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