My heart goes out to all the Muslim families in Christchurch, New Zealand who are now suffering in the wake of yesterday’s horrific tragedy. I can only imagine how it must feel to see armed police in front of every house of worship in your neighborhood that is dedicated to your faith. Know that there are people all over the world standing in solidarity with you, of all beliefs and no belief. This tragedy will not be forgotten.
Congratulations to Ilhan Omar, Democratic Representative for Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District, and to Rashida Tlaib, Democratic Representative for my own state of Michigan’s 13th Congressional District, for their historic achievement of becoming the first Muslim Americans ever to be elected to Congress! I’m glad Muslim women and girls here in the States have two strong new role models they can now look up to. Here’s wishing all the best for Representatives Omar and Tlaib as they work with the rest of Congress to keep America from totally going down the crapper. (All of us here in Detroit are rooting for you, Rashida!)
This is a heart-wrenching story about what life is like for Rohingya Muslim women in Bangladesh. Many are rape victims and are often blamed by their own husbands and families for somehow allowing themselves to be “tainted.” Some of them are so scared of what will happen or be done to them that they try to hide their pregnancies for as long as they can, putting themselves at severe medical risk. And quite a few of them feel completely alienated from the unborn children growing in their wombs. I can’t even imagine the horror of being forced to carry some rapist’s baby to term, or to feel that your own body does not belong to you. And if you think it’s bad enough that grown women are made to deal with this bullshit, many of these girls aren’t even teenagers yet.
If there’s one thing that men have consistently failed to understand throughout history, it’s that women have always had it much harder than us. This is even true at the reproductive level. All males have to do is ejaculate; once that’s done, we’re free to go back into the wild and find other mates to canoodle with. Women, on the other hand, have to menstruate, lactate, and carry babies in their bellies for nine whole months. And then there are all the cultural associations that go along with this. In cultures that are especially patriarchal, menstruation is treated as something disgusting and shameful; a woman is considered less valuable if she miscarries or can’t have children; and if she is raped, it is her own fault for not running away fast enough. It is the apotheosis of stupidity and backwardness that any population should think this way about its mothers, sisters, wives, and/or daughters.