The day I felt ashamed of calling myself feminist!!

To (especially) all the modern day/keyboard/borderline feminists (Or however you'd like to address yourself), and then everybody else, I highly encourage you all to read the book "I am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced". IT IS A MUST READ. I shall tell you why in just a moment.

I still remember the day I bought this book. It was not so long ago when I took a walk down to Barnes and Nobles and was just browsing around the aisles when I came across this book. Something about the little girl's face grabbed my attention and the look of innocence compelled me to buy it. When checking it out with the cashier, little did I know about all the ordeal that this young soul had to go through and the impact that would leave on me. 

I know I have never done book review before, so please ignore my amateurism. The book (non-fiction) is about Nurjood Ali, a girl who was forced by her father to get married at the age of 9. The struggle that she went through after getting married will make your stomach churn and tear up your eyes. At such a tender age, she is married off to a guy who is three times older than she is. [While reading the book, I had a picture of monster in my mind every time this guy would be mentioned.] The guy and his family members (mostly his mother) make her life a living hell until one day she just decides she can't take it anymore and runs away from her home to the court to seek justice. 

Looking at the title or flipping through few pages will make it seem like the story is straight up obvious. Well, in a way it is, but what stands out most is this little girl's strength which makes this book a must-read! I can never imagine being in her place and deciding to just run away one day to seek justice by myself. Kudos to her. Also to her lawyer Shada Nasser for never leaving her side and helping her get the justice she deserved. This world needs more strong females like Nujood to bring an end to the domestic violence that women face.

I spent many sleepless nights after reading this book. I would just stare at the ceiling and think about Nujood. I really want to meet this girl in person to just observe her, or hear her speak, or even give her a tight hug. This girl is an epitome of strength. In my opinion, this story is a tight slap to all the modern day feminists, including myself, who think feminism has come a long way. (No offense). By that, I am not tying to include all the feminists in the world. But most of us do think we have taken a leap forward when it comes to feminism.

Yes, many women in different corners of the world have come a long way. We have freedom to speech, vote, etc etc and we have fought all along to be able to lead a normal life. But how about millions of other women/females like Nujood who are struggling for their basic human rights? If we go and ask them if they think feminism has come a long way, I am sure they will have a different opinion. I am not saying we should overlook all the positives and focus on the negatives. That is not the message I'm trying to convey. All I am trying to say is, if you are a feminist, you don't get to be fully satisfied by only looking at the progress that women in your community/nation are making. Feminism should include everyone regardless of any boundaries. If even 10 girls/women are going through the struggle that Nujood had to go through, then feminism is still where we started from. There are women who are still treated like possessions. There are women who are still dying or living a horrible life in the name of dowry or various such absurd reasons. There are women who are still deprived of education and married off so young. Just because we are a little ahead in the race doesn't mean we leave the weak ones behind and run towards the finish line.

I know everything is easier said than done. My life just felt meaningless after reading the book. While there are some women living such a horrible life because of their gender, I am spending my time worrying about whether the purse that I am carrying matches the shoes that I am wearing. It's sad that I have not been able to do anything for these women and my reason being, "I don't have enough expertise on it." I just wish I could borrow some of the strength from Nujood and give up on all the luxury that I have access to and impute on my part in making this world a better place for all women.

As the saying goes, "Never say never", I am still hopeful that someday I will also have the strength like Nujood, to run away and hail that life-changing cab which helped her reach the freedom that she deserved.


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