What to say when people ask you about having kids
After well over a year of people asking me if my husband and I are planning to have kids (and we’re not because my doctor advised me to not have children because it would literally put my life at risk), I have finally found what to say:
Aunty: “Are you and your husband planning/trying to have children?”
Me: “We have plans, but of course Allah has a plan as well.”
That usually shuts them up, as it gives the illusion that you’re trying to have children (“We have plans”) when in fact you’re stating that you have plans of an unspecified nature, which includes the plan to not have children.
It also ends a lot of follow-up questions because you state at the end that Allah has plans as well.
(Feel free to use this whenever necessary and regardless of whether or not you’re trying to have children, because it nips a lot of horrible advice (often made with a good intention) in the bud. No one wants to sit and listen to a good-hearted Aunty tell you to stop eating onions because it’s making you less fertile, believe me!)
Something about marriage I had to learn the hard way
Your husband is not a reflection of you. If he screws something up, the only person responsible for that is him. I don’t care what your mother tells you or what your friends think. This notion that a woman is somehow answerable if her husband does something stupid is ridiculous and it just reinforces the patriarchal belief that a woman’s success lies solely on her abilities as a wife and mother. Offer advice when appropriate, but at the end of the day let him be human (and of course be there to help him clean up the mess). You would demand nothing less from him.
Note: I’m not saying be a doormat, remain in an abusive situation, or remain in a relationship that just isn’t working despite trying to fix it. If he’s a strong man, you shouldn’t have to be a doormat – only weak men want their women to be spineless creatures. And obviously if you’re in an abusive relationship do whatever you need to do to protect yourself, including leaving. Don’t confuse a sociopath with a strong man. Finally, divorce is there for a reason. If you’re absolutely miserable despite trying to work things out, that’s why there’s khul’a.
It’s outrageous how society has assigned meaning and value to the female body and experience as it relates to men - you’re valuable if men seek you, you’re not if you’ve been “touched”. This isn’t rooted in anything. You’re more than what’s between your legs or the words that come out of their mouths. More than your beauty and more than your body. And what’s sad is that I shouldn’t have to say this, yet I could say this forever and still not deconstruct some of the ideas that have been drilled into our minds as women. ‘Izza comes from Allah swt and not from how a patriarchal society constructs your value.
The FBI has been able to covertly activate a computer’s camera — without triggering the light that lets users know it is recording — for several years, and has used that technique mainly in terrorism cases or the most serious criminal investigations, said Marcus Thomas, former assistant director of the FBI’s Operational Technology Division in Quantico, now on the advisory board of Subsentio, a firm that helps telecommunications carriers comply with federal wiretap statutes.