The nurse looked me up and down and asked about my last period. I responded that it had been recent and regular and that I wasn’t there about a reproductive issue but rather a potential stomach bug. “Mmm hmmm,” she responded, with more than a hint of dubiousness in her voice, and said, “Take this cup, pee into it and bring it back to me. We’ll run a pregnancy test.” I stared back at her. “I’m not pregnant!” She responded, “Well, we’ll see about that. Is that your mum outside? Young girls like you are always coming in like this.”
The skewed portrayal that dominates narratives about Muslim women in mainstream international media continues to sustain an atmosphere of misinformation, where donning a hijab leads society to promptly place you in a box labelled ‘Oppressed’. Taking matters into their own hands are these two certainly not silent U.S.-based Muslim women who’re doing what they can – with hijab firmly in place – to undo the dangerous stereotyping that mires the image of Muslim women of colour.
I long for much more than a greater representation of brown women. I long for a complete overhaul of the racial, gendered, and economic systems that structure our suffering.
But I also long for representation of all people, including brown women, who are in love, who are loveable, and who are — in the absence of love — lonely.