Muslim, queer, feminist: it’s as complicated as it sounds.

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days like crazy paving

blog post cover photo me: muslim no matter how I dress.

There are three aspects of my identity that really can’t be untangled from each other:

I am a queer woman.

I am a feminist.

And I believe that there is no god but Allah, and that Muhammad is Allah’s messenger.

Yeah, it’s the third one that usually gets the record-scratch reaction.

I was raised Muslim, but in my teens, I became severely disillusioned with the faith. Having finished reading the Qur’an in English for the first time, I started to fully appreciate just how easy it was for people to twist and re-interpret the book to serve their own needs. I realised my father had been doing that to me for years, with his rules that he swore came “from God” and his restrictions on my behaviour that were all part of me being a good Muslim girl. Cover yourself so men don’t…

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africa, where the colors don’t fade

Keep awareness of global issues, and travel! Make a difference and use your gifts to do so!

In A Search of Balance

You know how they say you leave your heart in Africa? How this wildly contrasting place gets to you and you keep revisiting your steps, toying with the idea of going back? How you find yourself looking around your home afterwards and wondering how people take so many things for granted, forgetting to enjoy the little things that make their day? Well, they were right.

It’s very hard to put in words what this place does to you (and I’m not the best of writers anyway), but you can’t just ease back effortlessly into your old life and habits. It changes you a bit, as cliche as it may sound, especially if you give into the experience and life instead of gliding on the surface. It’s enough to see the genuine smiles on the little kids’ faces who are eager to talk to you or the richness of colors and…

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Bad Feminism

Worth the read

Claire Lehmann

“Pop-feminism,” as a movement, valorises feelings above reason, cynicism above hope. It has regressed to a point where anything at all, no matter how irrational or how narcissistic, can be celebrated as ‘feminist’.

Articles such as: I Look Down On Young Women With Husbands And Kids And I’m Not Sorryor How Accepting Leggings as Pants Made Me a Better Feminist are shared wide and far on social media as feminist political statements.

Anyone can identify as a “feminist”. Even men who openly admit to domestic violence, such as Hugo Schwyzer. There are no boundaries, no benchmarks and no standards to which feminism will hold itself accountable.

It was not meant to be like this. In 1792, Mary Wollstonecraft publishedThe Vindication of the Rights of Women. Her basic hypothesis was that women are capable of reason; just as men are. Yet because women are denied a…

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Video

Frontline : Generation Like

Explore the powerful influence of social media with PBS’s Frontline on today’s youth, and how others are using this influence. From commercial interests to creating positive influences in the world, there is a myriad ways that social media affects the life of youth, and even those who don’t integrate with social media. Check it out. It is well worth the time and a video EVERYONE should see!

The Indie Sci-Fi Revolution

I’ve always wanted to be a writer, but felt it was out of my reach. Now, I’m not so sure … If I’m one of those few who has the ability to devote time to this worthy endeavor, and the true talent to back it up. It works in my head, but….

Damien Walter

In late 2012 Hugh Howey was an unknown writer of science fiction, even to most dedicated science fiction readers. And yet he had sold over 250,000 books, optioned film rights to the legendary Ridley Scott, and agreed a six figure book deal with major publisher Simon & Schuster. All this before his dystopian sci-fi novel had even, in traditional terms, been published.

Howey has gone on to become the poster boy for a small but quickly growing band of sci-fi and fantasy authors who are independently publishing their own books, and making a small fortune in the process. These ‘indie authors’ are surfing the crest of a wave driven by the rise of the e-book, the smartphone and the Amazon Kindle. And the popularity of the sci-fi & fantasy genres is putting them at the cutting edge of the revolution.

Sci-fi and fantasy writers have always had an air…

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The Problem With Little White Girls (and Boys): Why I Stopped Being a Voluntourist

Excellent read. Want to provide assistance abroad? Read this first and consider how you can beat help those you want to help!

Pippa Biddle

White people aren’t told that the color of their skin is a problem very often. We sail through police check points, don’t garner sideways glances in affluent neighborhoods, and are generally understood to be predispositioned for success based on a physical characteristic (the color of our skin) we have little control over beyond sunscreen and tanning oil.

After six years of working in and traveling through a number of different countries where white people are in the numerical minority, I’ve come to realize that there is one place being white is not only a hindrance, but negative –  most of the developing world.

Removing rocks from buckets of beans in Tanzania. Removing rocks from buckets of beans in Tanzania.

In high school, I travelled to Tanzania as part of a school trip. There were 14 white girls, 1 black girl who, to her frustration, was called white by almost everyone we met in Tanzania, and a few teachers/chaperones…

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Arizona Pizzeria Protests Anti-Gay Bill By Refusing To Serve Lawmakers

I kinda like this form of non-violent protest. Not sure about the longer term implications, but I like the variety of ways people are protesting these anti-gay laws … it’s like segregation is trying to make a come-back.

NewsFeed

An Arizona eatery has taken a stand against a controversial new bill — one that allows business to deny service to gays in the name of religious freedom — by in turn exercising its right to deny service to lawmakers in the name of equality.

Rocco’s Little Chicago Pizzeria in Tucson posted a sign in its window that reads, “We reserve the right to refuse service to Arizona legislators.” The restaurant then posted a photo of the sign on its Facebook page, where it’s racked up more than 20,000 likes.

“I was appalled by the Senate passing the law,” the restaurant’s owner, Rocco DiGrazia, told the Arizona Daily Star. “The sentiment is that any expansion of discrimination is gonna hurt everybody and open the doors for more.”

DiGrazia said several of his regular customers are gay, along with some of his waitstaff. “Why discriminate against anybody?” he said. “I’m just trying to…

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Walter Ong on Romanticism and Technology

L.M. Sacasas

The following excerpts are taken from an article by Walter Ong titled, “Romantic Difference and Technology.” The essay can be found in Ong’s Rhetoric, Romance, and Technology: Studies in the Interaction of Expression and Culture.

Ong opens by highlighting the lasting significance of the Romantic movement:

“Romanticism has not been a transient phenomenon. Most and perhaps even all literary and artistic, not to mention scientific, movements since the romantic movement appear to have been only further varieties of romanticism, each in its own way.”

He follows by characterizing subsequent literary and cultural movements as variations of romanticism:

“Early Victorian is attenuated romantic, late Victorian is recuperated romantic, fed on Darwin, Marx, and Comte, the American frontier and the American Adam are primitivist romantic, imagism and much other modern poetry is symbolist romantic, existentialism is super-charged or all-out romantic, programmatic black literature is alien-selfhood romantic, and beatnik and hippie performance…

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