A few notes and quotes from "Dreams of Trespass"

Mostly regarding islamic feminism and women’s rights in general.

From Dreams of Trespass: Tales of a Harem Girlhood By Fatima Mernissi

– Regarding those “women who [ally] themselves with men [and their msgynist philosophies] as being responsible for women’s suffering…these women are more dangerous then men…because physically they look just like [other women]…but they are really wolves posing as sheep”

– “[Fate] and happiness…how to escape the first and pursue the second…[women’s] solidarity, many [agree is] key to both”

-“[The] problem with [(most) arabic/islamic] women today [in the middle east and N.Africa] is that they are powerless…[and] powerlessness stems from ignorance, and a lack of education”.

– The main thing for the powerless is to have a dream…[true], a dream alone, without the bargaining power to go with it, does not transform the world or make the walls vanish, but it does help you keep ahold of dignity.”

Dignity is to have a dream, a strong one, which gives you a vision, a world
where you have a place, where whatever it is you have to contribute makes a

You are in a harem[restricted/controlled] when the world does not [think it needs] you.

You are in a harem when what you can contribute does not [seem to] make a difference.

You are in a harem when what you do [men think] is useless.

You are in a harem when the planet swirls around, with you buried up to your neck in scorn and neglect.

Only one person can change that situation and make the planet go around the other way, and that is you[emphasis mine].

If you stand up against scorn, and dream of a different world, the planet’s direction will be altered.

But what you need to avoid at all costs, is to let the scorn around you get inside.

When a woman starts thinking she is nothing, the little sparrows cry.

Who can defend [those sparrows] on the terrace, if no one has the vision of a world without slingshots?

Mothers should tell [their] little girls…about the importance of dreams [and hope]…[they] give a sense of direction…you need to have a vision. [Can] you distinguish amoung all the wishes, the cravings which beseiged you, and find the one on which you ought to focus, the important dream which [gives] you vision? [The] key dream [will] emerge and bloom within, and then, from the intense pleasure it [gives to] you, you [will] know that it [is a] genuine little treasure which [will] give you direction and light…[you’ll] be able to transform people [from these dreams of freedom].

– “[Gender seperation] creates an enormous gap in understanding. ‘Men do not understand women…and women do not understand men…[the] cosmic frontier indicates the line of power, because wherever threre is a frontier, there are two kinds of creatures walking on [this] earth, the powerful on one side and the powerless on the other” Where do you stand? “If you cant get out [are restrained, held back due to your sex] you are on the powerless side” Is that where you want to be? Do the “impossible”, stand up for yourself and for those who cannot stand up for themselves. It is your right. Make it happen!

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