Posts Tagged ‘taslima nasreen’


Taslima Nasreen
“all about WOMEN”
(buy via chelCpress or Amazon)

“A physician, a writer, a radical feminist, human rights activist and a secular humanist,” Taslima Nasreen made herself known to me at the 2006 Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival, where she read, among other pieces, “The Poem of Sabita.” Immediately after hearing this poet speak this particular work, I knew that her writing was both important and heartfelt…a rare combination.

Those who know me from the broad and blatantly false, over-exaggerated, and completely (99%) anecdotal observations/faux realizations heard at parties or, likewise, have read some of my own poems, know me to be, well, particularly hard on women as a sex pertaining to their psychological and behavioral flaws, but people who know me a tad more deeply know I am a feminist at heart (just one with an ill-timed and loose-mouthed sense of humour).

The problem with feminism in the United States today is that its enforcers are tasked with sweating the small stuff, the remainder. The blatant, rule-based (you can’t vote, write, own/inherit property, etc.) barriers have been broken by the first and second waves of feminism while the third/current wave faces battles against the subconscious, unconscious, and habitual ways in which society keeps women under glass. No easy task indeed, and something that requires the self-same vigilant effort that makes those charged with such work seem like the proverbial nagging wife. Sadly, though, the majority of women living here today seem to have largely forgotten, or take for granted, the trials encountered by their foremothers just a generation or two ago and what it means to be able to enjoy what degrees of freedom they do have.

Taslima Nasreen is a complete smack in the face to such complacency. Iconic, she serves as a reminder that not everywhere offers an environment where men and women get along so famously as they do in the US and other areas of the world. She is from Pakistan, and if you want to know where she’s coming from, check out her biography. If you want to know why her poetry is as powerful as it is important, please continue reading:

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Admittedly, it is an outright shame I only went for one day, but the poetry and conversations encountered in that one day were enough to make me, a gluttinuous gobbler of poetry, overwhelmed. Highlight included the humour of Coleman Barks, the discovery of poets Matthea Harvey and Taha Muhammad Ali, and the intensity of Taslima Nasreen.

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