I Am Me

To the lady who, out of ‘care’, said I shouldn’t be wasting my time on ‘fighting, sticks and swords’ because it’s not something a girl should be doing – thank you for your care, but I do not need your permission to do the things I love. If me empowering myself is something that is strange to your social norms for what ‘girl’s should and shouldn’t be doing’, then I’m happy to be the one who shakes your world.

To the misogynist who smiled and oh-so confidently said that my love for the sciences is only a fad, and that my academic and industrial experiences in the fields of space systems, aerospace engineering and astrophysics were only ‘decorative’ – I do not need your approval to carry on with my interests in these fields, or to feel a sense of worth in my accomplishments. Oh, also, for someone who so happily put it down to ‘a girl being given the easy route’, I went through more hardships to get to where I am than you can probably comprehend. I am proud of the work I have done in these fields.
(P.S. In one of your recent posts, you made a HUGE blunder in your calculation of a Schwarzschild radius by using 2c instead of c^2 – just thought I’d point that out, not that ‘I’ know anything about astrophysics though, right?)

To the person who said that my hijab doesn’t reflect my ‘British’ culture – I do not need your approval or your permission upon how I dress. I am from an incredibly varied background and sit on a line between many cultures. I have the freedom do dress how I like since my hijab isn’t out to offend anyone. Is it going to jump off my head and strangle you?
If I want to dress like a Jedi, then I will. If I chose to wear a panda outfit, good on me. If I, as I normally do, ‘compliment’ my martial arts uniform with something that represents my belief and who I am, then I will do so. Don’t worry, it will match and I will rock that look.

Most of all… to the media that seems to have created a new stereotype of what ‘modern’ Muslim women should be like – the ones who should jump to apologize for every act of terrorism or crime that has nothing to do with them, the ones who need to prove themselves in their community as an adequate British civilian by trying harder than the rest, and the ones who have to drape their national colours over their heads – I do NOT need your permission or approval to live. What you have done is create a new set of rules of “how you can be more British and integrate with society” for a large group of people who are ALREADY a part of society. YOU demonize them, then command them to behave in a certain way to ‘re-integrate’ into the world they were already living normally in.
The colour of my skin, the clothes that I wear or my cultural background is not a reason to create a new set of rules for me if I’m already living peacefully just like everyone else.

As long as I’m not hurting anyone, I will exist as I wish to exist, do what I want to do and be who I want to be.
If that scares you, guess what? I don’t need your permission for any of that, so get used to it.

Stop putting people in boxes.



(Photograph by Linda Macpherson)


11 thoughts on “I Am Me

  1. I was reading down my feeds and while I don’t know much about you, I thought this is an incredible and empowering piece of writing for people whose look may cause stereotypes. Good for you. I look forward to reading more of your powerful words.

    • My apologies for my delayed reply, Damien, I’ve not been on my blog very much as of late =(

      Thank you so much for your incredibly kind comment =)

      It’s unfortunate that anyone should feel that they have to defend themselves in such a manner in the first place over something as harmless as their clothing or appearance, but I guess our voices are sometimes our best armour,

      Thank you for visiting my humble little page ^-^

  2. Stumbled across a share of photos of you on FB, read the article interview you did with the martial arts geek guy, and took great delight in sharing your words and story with my daughter.
    I like you. The polite feisty intelligence, the soul seeker, scientist, and the artist. The world needs more of that.
    Be well.

  3. I can barely find the words for how this post makes me feel… At the moment in my country (Middle-Europe, part of EU Hungary, mind you!) some male politicians and government-sponsored musicans keep going on about how a women’s most prestigeous duty is not to earn as much as men and to have kids and how the feminine principle is the most fulfilled by raising kids.
    This… This all has only very light ties with your blog… But as a girl, who will for sure want to have kids one day but feels totally unsafe and unsupported doing so for years now, and, moreover, feels offended and harrassed by men who have no idea about me, or being a girl, a women whatsoever but telling me and hundreds, thousands of adult human beings what is good for us and how we should (must?) behave…
    I am thankful for this blogpost in so many ways.
    Thank you, Naziyah.
    Even when I am sure what I want and how I will behave no matter what – such words give me support and nudge me to keep going forward in a way I ffel right.
    Thank you, again, and a hundred times.

  4. Reading your post here, reminded me of this. Do read it if you haven’t.


    I don’t need to tell you this for you are already reminding yourself and doing it already. XD

    Do keep up with the great work with doing what you love. Sometimes when we do these things, it does and can inspire others to do the same.

    Take good care and hope to meet you someday.

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