Beautiful girl, you are not welcome here

This story was narrated to a Not Your Body writer by a female Somali human rights activist who requested anonymity for safety reasons.

“I attended a meeting for my work and was seated in the front of a room full of people, preparing to listen to a presentation. My country is conservative so of course I was covered up from head to toe. A man came up to me and told me to go all the way to the back of the room.

‘Why?’, I asked him. ‘I came here first. Why should I give up this spot?’

‘You are a beautiful woman’, he said. ‘And you are distracting the men’.

I was so very mad.

‘No’, I told him.

‘You must go’, he insisted. ‘You will distract everyone’.

‘No’, I repeated. ‘I am NOT going to move from this seat. Good luck’.

Defeated, he left me alone.

hijab

“I resent the fact that I and other women have to make a living out of our bodies so we can have a life”

 

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