Women like us // Eman Khalid
They don’t write books about women like us. Daughters of depressed mothers. The girls whose father have left them at an early age so they went looking for love in other men trying to fill the void their parent had left. They don’t write books about women of color. The women who are told to put off their ambitions and goals so they could find potential suitors. The women who aren’t allowed to dream big dreams because, at the end of the day, all that matters is the color of their skin, the weight of their body, the number of dishes she can cook. And God forbid if she has had any affairs in the past. Because who would accept a wife or a daughter in law who has slept with countless men and is a non-virgin. Even if she has repented from God and changed herself. Even if she has moved on from her past mistakes. They will bring up her past, again and again, and again. Reminding her of the girl she used to be.
They don’t write books about women like us. Who grew up within the four walls of their homes clueless of the things that happen out in the real world. The women who are queens of their own worlds. The women who are broken but don’t show it. They are good at hiding their sorrow with a smile. The women who are so strong yet so fragile. They don’t write books about women like us. Who stay in abusive marriages for the sake of their children and families. The women who marry a man they don’t love just to make their parents happy.
The women who bear abuse at the hands of their family members on a daily basis but still manage to show kindness to every person they meet. They don’t write books about women like us. The women who are killed in the name of honor at the hands of their brothers, fathers or uncles. The women who, despite being oppressed and locked in the dungeons of their homes, dare to dream big. The women who break free from the shackles set by the society and traditions.
The women who travel, live, read, write, dance, play sports. They don’t write books about women like us. A woman whose dream is to travel the world by herself without the consent of a man. A woman who wishes to earn a lot of money and stand on her own two feet without being dependent on a man for financial support.
They don’t write books about women like us. That’s why I will. I want to write about women like us, women who possess skin like the color of the earth. I want to write about hope. I want to create strong female characters. The women who fight for their dreams. The women who aren’t afraid to live the kind of life they want. The women who are strong enough to walk away from abusive marriages and relationships. I want to write about indestructible women. Because I am tired of reading books in which women like us are viewed as timid and weak.
You possess strength in you far more than you could ever imagine. You made it this far. You can go further too. Don’t let anyone’s opinion of you, keep you from achieving your dreams. You just have to have faith. You are not that frail woman they show on every other book or tv show. You are Athena, the goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, law, and justice. You are Katniss Everdeen, the girl who took the place of her sister in the hunger games and won. You are Elizabeth Bennet who is strong and intelligent, yet bewitching in a completely feminine way. You are Alice who went down the rabbit hole and had a tea party with the mad hatter.
You are Malala Yousefzai, the woman who was shot by the Taliban but still stood up for the right of education of young girls. You are Anne Frank, the girl who hid behind the books shelf and wrote oceans of pages in her diary. Do you know what was common in all of these women? They had faith and courage. They weren’t special. They were ordinary women like you and me. They just had the bravery to pursue their passions and dreams. Trust me, a little bravery with a little bit of hope can go a long way.
They don’t write books about women like us. But, I will. So that the world could know about the feelings we feel, the dreams we dream and the ache that we hold in our hearts. And that ache makes us beautiful. Because despite going through storms alone, we made it. We’re alive. We’re breathing. And I think that is one of the greatest accomplishments ever.