Yes, it’s Possible to write about Somali Womanhood without Trauma P*rn

Yes, it is possible to write about Somali womanhood without trauma p*rn. It takes creativity, originality, and courage. When I launched GabarIskuFilan, I was aware of the harmful tropes regarding Somali womanhood. I knew people were expecting my blog to be exactly like the others. I would focus intently on moralizing survival and justifying oppressive practices. I would reduce my womanhood to genitalia. I would internalize beliefs about Somali womanhood that were misogynistic, cruel and apathetic. I would find myself in a perpetual loop of dehumanizing stories that were void of critical thinking, data, and personal insight. For nearly 30 years, we’ve come to expect Somali womanhood to be inundated with martyrdom, self-sacrifice, and suffering. Now, it’s time for a paradigm shift.

I’ve been blogging about Somali womanhood for an entire year without perpetuating harmful and reductive stereotypes. I’ve written about solo travel, the gender/racial wage gap, financial freedom, eldest immigrant daughter guilt and important lessons I’ve learned in my 20’s so far. I’ve connected with women across the African diaspora who resonate with my experiences. I’ve initiated conversations that weren’t happening publicly. It has been incredibly humanizing to write about my story without the male gaze. Envisioning myself living a self-determined life without oppressive guilt is why I started GabarIskuFilan. I am actively unlearning damaging stories, imagery, and teachings I’ve been told were normal my entire life.

I’ve received so many DM’s from my readers yet the sentiments remain the same: Thank you for writing about something else. The demand for stories that are not about refugee horrors, FGM, religious dogma, or trauma bonding is high. Yet, most media about Somali womanhood remain unchanged. We need new and refreshing stories about womanhood because these story-lines are outdated. Cycles are incredibly difficult to break including the ones we’ve internalized to be indicative of womanhood. Womanhood is not a monolith. Our experiences are shaped by access, socioeconomic status, religion, citizenship, race, and gender. My personal testimony is rooted in my desire to be free of oppression, guilt, and suffering.

I am very excited about where GabarIskuFilan will take me. I’ve invested a lot into cultivating a narrative outside these dominant frameworks. I will continue providing terminology, data, and insightful commentary because sharing these concepts has been humanizing and restorative to my life. Connecting with women whose paths to liberation mirror my own has been a blessing. I look forward to inspiring a new generation of Somali feminists. I plan to continue documenting a radical shift in how we approach Somali womanhood because we desperately need it. Our revival is happening now.

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