Each year on 8th March the search results for “International Men’s Day” spikes the highest as compared to the rest of the year, because “some men re:most of them” only seem to remember themselves when they feel threatened the most.
It is a sad and ironic truth, but a truth nonetheless.
International women’s day should be the one day when we all come together and use our privilege to raise our voices for those cannot. Be it women, children, minorities, and all other important segments of our society.
But no! This is day where everyone suddenly remembers the religion, the “inappropriateness” of such a march, the “indecency” it promotes or the just a waste of time the entire conundrum is.
Before you get lost in the meaningless noise which does nothing but anger and consume you, divert your mind and resources to read and learn about what it actually means to be a woman who has to take rights by force!
Whether this century or the previous one, I’m sure that the female authors that I’m mentioning below will give you food for thought.
To think over what ideas and opinions to form from the polarizing opinions that are being thrown around and about regarding women’s day, and the Aurat March.
Here goes the list:
- Believing Women in Islam by Dr. Asma Barlas
This is an exciting book that uses texts from the Quran, Ahadiths, Sunnah and Shariah, and dissects how they are being misused for misogynistic agendas.
The author has researched extensively and I wouldn’t have recommended it if I didn’t know people of knowledge and scholarship that have read and promoted this book as well.
Nonetheless this has been on my to read list for a long long time. And hopefully soon I will post a review about this as well!
- Pakistan for Women by Maliha Abdi
I had been following Maliha long before she published her book, when she announced the project I knew I had to back up such a great initiative.
It is a collection of one page of biographies of Pakistan Women and their accomplishments in all sorts of fields. From Fatima Jinnah, Bilquis Edhi, Nergis Mavalvala, Tanzeela Qambrani, Zenith Irfan and many other women have been featured and I loved every page.
- A Room of Ones Own and Three Guineas by Virginia Woolf
These are two essay by Virginia Woolf – a remarkable author from the 20th century – who quite beautifully portrayed how important it is for a woman to be financially independent in order to write. And in my opinion, in order to be successful in everything else as well.
- Circe by Madeline Miller
Now to give you a little fiction after three non-fictional reads…
Circe was one of my top favourite books that I read last year.
It is a Greek Mythology retelling from a woman’s perspective. It focuses on Circe the daughter of Helios, and we follow her journey as she finds her own place in the world of toxic Greek gods and goddesses.
I cannot rave enough about this book. The storytelling is beautiful, you’re captivated within the first 10 pages. I did post a review on it. Read it here.
- The Sensational Life and Death of Qandeel Baloch by Sanam Mehar
As a Pakistani you must have heard the name of Qandeel Baloch, her Facebook videos, her scandalous videos with politicians and then her death at the hands of her own brother.
Baloch’s death put everyone in a quandary as she was hated by the masses but her death was a tragedy.
To answer the many questions around her death, and then to raise many you never even thought of, Sanam Maher will make you question a ton regarding society and cultural norms.
- Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Lastly, I present to you Jane Eyre, the fictional feminist character out of a Victorian Gothic Romance. A woman after my own heart. What a story. What a journey. Read my review here.
If you have never read a Classic book before, please read this one. if you’re not rooting for her by the end of it, at least she’ll haunt you with her integrity, grit, and perseverance to achieve independence.
- The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir
I have yet to read this book, but I know for a fact that this has the power to shake your inner beliefs and misguided opinions you have about feminism, women, men, and will inspire and provoke you.
As a French author, she researched and wrote a book on the mistreatment of women throughout history and like Woolf was one of the most important and influential author from the 20th century.
And that is all.
I am sure there are books that are more engaging and stimulating but in my limited reading life, this is what I could come up with for you all.
Hope you enjoy.
And never let that fire within you extinguish.