Naked Face and Bare Feet: Language and the Body

by Atifa Othman _ There I was, bare feet and naked face, drenched in salty sweat after a 1-hour workout. I was a regular at that gym and I always tried to make it a point to look approachable and friendly. I never had a problem frequenting exercise spaces on my own (apart from the…

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What Happens When Your Body Is Not Your Own

by Aria Ridzuan My body is not my own. Growing up in a Malay Muslim household, it took me a while before I realized that my body was not my own. Since young, my body has been policed by everyone around me; my self-worth reduced to my physical appearance as though I had nothing else…

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Editor’s Letter: Body Image

This editor’s letter is guest-written by Nurul Huda Rashid _ Pertumbuhan tubuhku / Seeds & the Soil   I was in primary school when I was made aware of the darkness of my skin. Its hairiness was identified as ‘gorilla’ and  I was told that I could never be as beautiful as a ‘Malay’ girl. The…

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Knowing What We Know: The Education Of Young Girls

by Zubaida Ali _ Now that I am in my mid-fifties and expecting the birth of my first grand-daughter, I ponder at the thought of how she will receive her education in life. Not the academic education that will surely be given to her but the passing on of cultural knowledge such as beliefs and…

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Editor’s Letter: Sexuality

Cover Your Eyes! I watched Titanic for the first time at home with my parents. Jack and Rose are running, a respectable bourgeois lady and working-class man, away from the assistant of her insufferable, arrogant fiance. Rose with her tight ginger curls free from the usual chignon with her wild glittering eyes. Leonardo still baby-faced…

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A Story of How She Died

by Raudah Abdul Rashid _ [content warning for partner abuse and violence] Her name was *Siti Ainun. This is a story of how she died. Siti was a 20-year old woman who learnt from a young age to be independent, to rely on herself. As a quiet child growing up amongst siblings and step-siblings, Siti…

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Editor’s Letter: Marriage

by Diana Rahim _ My mum loves to point out the actor Khairudin Saharom every time he appears on TV. Each time she’ll not-so-subtly say something like “Isn’t he handsome? And he’s smart too, you know…” She even found his Instagram account and suggested that I follow him and leave a comment on a picture…

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