My first blog post was full of errors: of growth and transitioning

Oh here you are. Welcome to Day 2 of the #WinterABC2020 Writing Challenge for African bloggers, I also might be doing better than I thought I would. The topic for today is why do you blog, basically the purpose of your blog.

So let’s get started …

If I were you, I would not read my first blog post. Until recently I still go back to it to edit because of how terrible it was. On the other hand, that post is an amalgamation of the truest words I have ever written. I remember how someone read it and said that I sounded angry. And that is exactly what it was. I was full of rage, of anger, of the realization that all voices are valid and were needed to fight oppression and debunk stereotypes.

I started blogging in 2018, right when I was concluding my two years internship at the American Corner Banjul which also qualifies for two years of consuming stories and realities of women that I had not yet processed. One afternoon during one of my shifts, it was also around the time I was assaulted in a public vehicle, I opened WordPress, typed, and published. No proofreading, no edits, just the words as they had come to my head.

If you read the About page of my blog — yes I migrated to Medium recently and use both Wordpress and Medium because I think both sites have great stuff to offer -, you will notice that it does not exactly describe what I blog about now. Over the last two years, I have written about Islam and women, culture, sex and sexuality, sexism, and rape, all of which come from places of personal experience.

My goal of consistently writing about women in Islam has not changed, I still read, write (maybe not so often) and talk about issues that Muslim women face when it comes to their human rights, health rights, and fair treatment in a Muslim dominated society such as The Gambia. Yet, it is so difficult to explore a topic such as Islam and women because of the inaccessibility of resources. Yesterday, I came across a post for a conference call to discuss this issue but I could not register because it was paid. As I also mentioned in my first blog, it reminds me of how resources and access to this topic are difficult, which should not be the case because there is already a problem of erasure and concealment of Muslim women in history.

While I navigate this barrier and, to unlearn and relearn many things as a Muslim woman, the purpose of my blog is clear. It is to start conversations, it’s for expression, and like I briefly mentioned in my article for GenderIT.org, it is about intersectionality as a Muslim, black woman and feminist living in the Global South, and all the experiences that these bring and mean for me.

For the many women and girls who have been silenced and who may find themselves again in my sentences of anger, and rage toward the oppression of women.

The goal is also to inspire, something I am not a fan of, but this is also a part of it. For the many women and girls who have been silenced and who may find themselves again in my sentences of anger and rage toward the oppression of women. To write, to explore the meanings of so many things, to redefine what it means to be a woman, to journey as a community of women, and to disrupt through words and art.

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