In this blog post: What it is like to be a Muslim woman, and why we know what freedom is (and you may not), "Marwa" talks about what it was like to finally experience total freedom, for the first time ever. Fascinating read. I don't think we fully understand what it's like to live in constant, unmitigated fear. She takes you there.
I have keys.
When I first moved to the United States eleven months ago, it took me several weeks to grasp this bit of information.
I have keys.
I have keys to my own front door and I can open this front door and walk down the street whenever I want to.
I can walk down the street without being watched through the windows and without anyone calling my parents and telling them I am roaming loose on the street.
I can walk down the street, sit down on a bench under a tree, and eat an iced cream cone. Then I can stand up and walk back home.
There will be nobody waiting for me at my house to ask me where I have been, refuse to let me in, call me a liar, and use my walk as renewed incentive to rifle through all of my possessions for proof that I am doing something wrong.
Because the simple desire to take a walk cannot but hide something deviant.
Because there is no good reason why a woman should want to walk down the street just to walk, and expose herself to the questioning and predatory eyes of the neighbors and strange men.
I have keys to my front door, now, and I can open my front door and walk down the street whenever I want to.
Read the rest of her essay on her blog Between a Veil and a Dark Place.