Sunday, 5 June 2011

the right to be me, the right to be free

this is a post of links to stuff by awesome women of colour. the first is a clip by rangimarie turuki rose peri, who speaks about being yourself & celebrating yourself. i particularly love the bit where she says:

in my world i'm perfect, i'm beautiful. so beautiful that all waters want to reflect my image.

wouldn't be so absolutely wonderful if we could all feel that way about ourselves all the time? there's absolutely no reason we shouldn't except for the constant messages around trying to convince us that we're lacking in some way. anyway, here's the whole clip, entitled "the right to be me":

second is a piece by diana abu-jaber, in response to author v s naipaul's comment "I read a piece of writing and within a paragraph or two I know whether it is by a woman or not. I think [it is] unequal to me." the response is pretty powerful & here's an excerpt:

But what worries me more is your comment that that women write with "sentimentality, the narrow view of the world," because, "inevitably for a woman, she is not a complete master of a house, so that comes over in her writing too."

Your use of the word "master," is chilling. My father's family is from a part of the world that has been colonized and conquered many times over. For many Jordanians, education and literacy has come in the form of British schools and the English language: but can anyone claim that the colonized subject is the master of his or her own home?

My Palestinian grandmother, who was most decidedly the master of her house, amassed a great library: She collected books, some written in Arabic, many in English. But she told me that one of the best authors she knew of was a poet, a Bedouin woman named Hanan.

Hanan recited her poetry: she didn't know how to read and write, but she knew how to observe, detail and describe her experience. She knew how to feel deeply and then how to convey those feelings so they kindled within the minds of the listeners.

Perhaps, Naipaul, that is what you mean when you said women write with "sentimentality." Though it seems to me that this kind of sentiment would not be such a terrible thing.

and finally, i just love this image from the facebook page supporting manal alsharif (the saudi woman who was jailed for almost two weeks for the act of filming herself driving & putting the clip up on you-tube):

the image has the tagline "“The secret of happiness is freedom. The secret of freedom is courage.” certainly plenty of courage being shown in this fight, and across the arab world as people continue to die for the right to be free.

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