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Logo by Sheyam Ghieth
FEMINIST GIANT is two today!
First I begin with thanks.
To Samiha Hossain, whose twice-weekly curations of global feminist resistance remind us that feminism is vital and transnational and must be truly intersectional. In her Global Roundup—from the articles she includes to the communities she highlights—Samiha gives a masterclass in exactly that kind of feminism, that we most need today.
Thank you to Hiba Moustafa who has translated into Arabic several of my essays on issues that patriarchy deems "taboo,” thus ensuring that they are available in both of my languages.
Thank you to Sheyam Ghieth whose logo continues to thrill me.
Thank you to all who subscribe, read and share FEMINIST GIANT!. It is free to subscribe and will always be free—no paywall or ads—because feminism, feminist news and views, should be accessible to all.
Thank you to all who have chosen paid subscriptions: you help me to keep FEMINIST GIANT free, while also paying my bills, paying Sheyam Ghieth for her art, paying Samiha Hossain for her excellent roundups, and paying Hiba Moustafa for her invaluable translations.
And now some achievements. During the past year,:
-I have introduced Arabic-language translations to make my writing available to more readers.
-I have included audio versions of several of my essays to make my writing more accessible to more people
-I have launched Feminist Book Club in collaboration with The Strand Book Store. Thank you Sabir Sultan, former events director at the iconic book shop, for agreeing to co-produce the book club with FEMINIST GIANT. We have had two events so far, the third is on Sept. 13, and the fourth on Oct. 20 will be our first book launch!
And some reflection.
I thought cutting my ties altogether to mainstream/legacy media and publishing my own work required courage, but it turns out that being free to write what I want and when I want instigated within me the constant refrain: How brave can I be?
Who knew that getting what you want required you to be brave?!
There are some things I've written after which I thought "That's the bravest I'll ever be!" And then it doesn't feel enough. It's as if I've outgrown the bravery. What once felt brave, was now insufficient.
How brave can I be?
How brave must I be? How brave do I want to be? Is it a choice? And is being brave the same as being dangerous?
When you're bilingual, sometimes one side of you is braver than other. You say in one language what you (think you) can't in the other.
Over the past two years of writing what I want when I want, I've written things I once thought I never would and it became important to ensure that my bravery spoke both of my languages.
I published my essay Abortion is Normal on September 28, 2021, the day that marks Safe Abortion Day. It can be hard to write about abortion in any language. I wanted to ensure my essay was available in both English and Arabic. And thanks to Hiba Moustafa, that essay is published in both of my languages.
Thank you for supporting my constant refrain: how brave can I be? And thank you for supporting my challenge to myself in both of my languages.
Love and solidarity!
And FUCK THE PATRIARCHY!
Mona Eltahawy is a feminist author, commentator and disruptor of patriarchy. She is editing an anthology on menopause called Bloody Hell! And Other Stories: Adventures in Menopause from Across the Personal and Political Spectrum. Her first book Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution (2015) targeted patriarchy in the Middle East and North Africa and her second The Seven Necessary Sins For Women and Girls (2019) took her disruption worldwide. It is now available in Ireland and the UK. Her commentary has appeared in media around the world and she makes video essays and writes a newsletter as FEMINIST GIANT.
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