What does it take?

I had to laugh at these photos of brothers taking on an assault course challenge, labelled “If these flabby out of shape brothers can do it, so can you”. Only because I’ve watched this video of little kids taking on a similar challenge with far more ease and much less bravado. These little kids just get on with it:

True, we are in chilly England here, while the kids are in a nice warm, tropical climate. But, truth be told, we’re just weaklings. Over there children and sisters get stuck into obstacle courses without even questioning it: without all the reservations we spout about the role of women. In the rest of the world, women work just as hard as men, farming fields, cutting firewood, collecting crops. They’re strong.

Sometimes I get fed up with the way the UK Muslim community, both the men and the women, view Muslim women: that whole hidden pearl business, the soft-petalled rose. We have fictionalised both the Muslim woman and the Muslim man, creating unreal identities. The ideal Muslim woman / the ideal Muslim man: there’s no such thing. There’s just how we see ourselves and how we live our lives.

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