30 March 2021
by Shamayel Shalizi
A Bibi Haji Walks Into A Bar: How Afghan Men in the West Need to Grow Some Balls and Stop Fetishising Their Own Women.
Afghan men in the West, stop being manipulated by the White man and Orientalising and fetishising your own people. How much longer are you gonna grovel at the feet of the White man? How much longer are you gonna allow yourself to be manipulated by the White man and play to his little war narratives?
I’m sick of people, especially Afghan men in the West, attaching my “liberation” as a woman to what I’m wearing. This is white feminism. Being treated as sub-human as a woman has nothing to do with my legs showing.
In Afghanistan or in the U.K., I, as a woman, am a second-class citizen. When people hear I grew up in Kabul, the Orientalising, Islamophobia, and fetishising begins: “But what did you wear?” Pants and a t-shirt, why is that your primary focus? Do you know that I could wear a headscarf in Kabul or in Paris and still be subjected to the same degradation? Often times worse in the Western countries because White men see me as sub-human not just for my womanhood, but also because of my skin colour and ethnicity.
Do you know that most brown women do not attach all their rights to how much of their mid-riff they can show? Everyone should be allowed to wear whatever they want but as of now, under white global hetero-patriarchy, that is not possible for women. While I might not wear a mini-skirt on the streets of Kabul, when I do wear a mini-skirt in the streets of an imperial core city, I only see more blatantly how unliberated I am. I have been cat-called at, touched, grabbed, harassed, followed, and even violently sexually assaulted while wearing a mini-skirt. So, tell me, how exactly am I “more free” in the White West?
To position Afghan women as unliberated because they aren’t as "lucky" as American women in walking around with their legs bare and getting raped in the street is absolutely insane. To think that anywhere in the world has “free” women is also equally insane. As an American woman, it is more dangerous to be the wife of an American man, than to fight in Afghanistan*.
We are not free until we are all free. Until white women stop being killed by their partners at the rate of one homicide every three days we are not all free. Do not measure freedom with arbitrary markers, if white supremacy still exists, if capitalism still exists, then fear not- Afghan women are just as oppressed as American women, only the visuals differ. If you are a non-white woman in the West and my words do not resonate, I’d highly suggest looking up “neo-colonialism” and “intersectional feminism”.
*Citations (each sentence is a hyperlink for their citations)