wood turtle is about sharing experiences in Islamic and Muslim feminism(s), modern motherhood and just about anything else that’s on my mind or in the news.
I’m a believing Muslim, a woman and a feminist. This means that I believe in the tenants of Islam, I am concerned with issues affecting women in relation to my religion, world culture and in general — and I believe that much of religion has been interpreted, written, commanded, used, abused, and seen through the male lens.
Feminism is an intrinsic part of Islam as much as patriarchy. Islam teaches equality, but it was revealed to pagan Arabs in “a language they would understand.” That language was predominantly male-centric, and has since been used by men (and women) to help promote patriarchy and oppressive realities for women. Which is why I also believe that it is necessary to have continued feminist readings and interpretations of the Qur’an.
I’m frankly a little tired of the majority of the Western world not understanding Islam and Muslims — especially considering the events of the past decade. But I’m also a little tired of some Muslims not understanding the West and of being terrified of Western concepts — especially considering Muslims have lived in the West for at least a century and is creating a unique expressions of Islam within western contexts.
A Muslim Feminist should not be an oxymoron. So this blog is also about dispelling myths and stereotypes from both sides.
I have two baby girls — Eryn and Ivy — and I’d like to bring them up without these hangups. So I write about them. A lot.
As for the name “wood turtle”: One day I saw that Eryn loved looking at a wood turtle doorstop we have in the second bedroom. I moved the turtle closer to her and in a deep turtle voice said, “Hello Eryn”. She laughed. She laughs every time she sees the turtle.
If you’ve ever heard a baby laugh, you will understand the power of the wood turtle.
After weeks of crying, sleeplessness, sore nipples, mind-numbing in-law politics, battling through post-partum baby blues, the sound of a baby laughing is like glass shattering. The world stops. Your heart leaps. Silence ensues. And a smile shines across the universe.