A woman speaks

sillouette of a woman

By Ashna Shareff:

They want me to believe that everything in my life is about them, and nothing is about I.

Imagine how it feels to be surrounded by many, yet to be secluded and lonely. Imagine how it feels to be silent, when a voice in your heart shouts a hundred words, yet still is heard by none.

I invite you to imagine all this happening to you while going through this journey. This recalls a story that many young Kurdish girls share in common.

They look at me, because they marvel the beauty and softness that they see in me. They love keeping their eyes on me and they love observing every move and step I take, because they can’t find explanations of why I move in certain ways and take certain steps in my life. They want to see what they want to see in me. They want to listen to what they want to hear. They always expect me to do what they want me to do, and if I don’t, they despise, ignore me, and often hate me, without allowing me to explain why I do certain things only.

When I am in trouble, most likely, they turn their back to me. When I am a victim, they disgrace me. Yet, when I am sad, they blame me. If it happens that I am happy, they think I am in love. If I fall in love, they attempt to convince me that love is dishonor. If I don’t love, they name me a stone, a hard heart and judge me as if I am not in favor of my own nature as a woman.

They expect me to work. If I don’t work, they force me and if I work, they over-use me, without giving me much in return. They teach me certain tasks so I merely do what they want me to do, keeping me away from what I love or like to do. And when I ask them to do something for me, they sneer and, every so often, laugh at me. They make me feel smaller whenever they tell me that I am different without giving me a sensible justification of why am I so different!

When I try to give my outlook about life, they tell me I don’t know much about it. And when I attempt to experience life, they tell me I might put myself at risk if I experience it. When I dream, they under-estimate my dreams. And more importantly, when I have nothing to do, except to read and learn about life, they start to question materials I read; because they fear the fact that reading will make me think.

They don’t want me to think, since thinking will open my eyes and unlock my potential to strive and move on to a recovered life. They realize, changing my life will cost them safety and comfort. They just want me to believe that everything in my life is about them and nothing is about me.

But, now it’s my time to speak up. It’s my time to tell them, that I am no longer theirs. I no longer belong to them and am no longer their property. It’s my time to show them who I am and what I am capable of in my life. But before I do all that, I want them to walk a mile in my shoes. I do not want to repeat what they have done to me; I only want them to think a bit of me.

I want to show them how it feels to be seen in the shadow of others, how it feels to have no identity. I want them to think about all the awful thoughts that I had in mind about me, when I was theirs. I want them to hear all the judgments and the erroneous words I have heard, that I didn’t dwell on, yet couldn’t do much about. I want them to see, feel, and think of the real I, not the false picture they have in their mind about me.

I want to be “I”, just a woman, simply a human.

Ashna Shareff, freelance writer. Graduate of university of Kurdistan-Hawler, majored in politics and International Relations, with a great passion for Kurdish rights and humanitarian missions. She lives in  Erbil, Kurdistan region. 

Copyright © 2011 Kurdistantribune.com


7 Responses to A woman speaks
  1. haval
    January 24, 2012 | 23:03

    Excellent article. Kurdistan Tribune should publish more like this.

  2. Kuvan Bamarny
    January 25, 2012 | 03:01

    As a mature ,knowledgable person ,you are free to be whoever you want to be.You are free to live the way you want.You can make your own choices about your life.You can travel byyourself.You can love whoever you love.You can have sex with whoever you want.nobody should stop you and stand in your way because it is your life and you have the absolute right to mke your own choices.However ,I personaliy believe that none of us poeple whether it be a man or a women ,can have an absolute freedom and do whatever we feel like to do,because our choices are mostly effected by external forces such as family , the loved once ,friends or new cultures ,media ,public ,school,workplace environment etc.Therefore we human as a memeber of society are alwayes some how dependent on external forces that effects our choices of living.
    However freedom , does have a limit which is “do whatever you like as long as it doesnt violate the right of other “I ,as a man ,personaly believe that women are equal men and have the right to everything she deserves just like men but she has also duties to fullfil because life is not only about freedom,pleasure , benefits and rights.
    see, here is the problem ,ristricting freedom of women by men has nothing to do with religion.It is a culture problem.It is a product of jealousy, false pride and mistrust of some men about women.some men are jealous and selfish want to own the woman and just use her for sex.It is a retarted mentality.However ,there are some other reasons as well for a family to ristrict the freedom of thier young children. Somtimes it becomes the matter of concern though. In general I believe that women are equal to men and must be free just as men are. However , I believe it is partly about women herself as well because usually an honest , loyal woman is trustd easier then a selfish ,player woman that does suspicious activities.I guess it is all about being fair and honest with each other.

  3. Bêwar
    January 25, 2012 | 06:19

    this is a priceless article!

  4. Mohammed
    January 25, 2012 | 06:52

    I am speechless.. it’s a brilliant Article. Well done.

  5. Haval
    January 26, 2012 | 08:11

    Ashna’s writing and feeling the geniune of the kurdish woman she suffer in the hand on the society dominanted by man.she express the isolation of the woman to the whole society,to extend how ignorant that society.

  6. Binar
    January 26, 2012 | 13:05

    It is so true. well done

  7. Farah
    December 19, 2012 | 04:26

    Excellent article and beautifully articulated. this article speaks for so many kurdish women who are unfortunately are treated in these manners simply because they are woman

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