Keep Ya Head Up

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Maybe our narrator, Allah, and all of the other Utopians in Ahmed Towfik’s Utopia should give a listen to Tupac. He said it best: “I wonder why we take from our women/ Why we rape our women — do we hate our women? / I think it’s time to kill for our women/ Time to heal our women, be real to our women.” However, this might be too much to ask for from men that come from a society that don’t value women whatsoever.

 

Allah uses women for sex and goes as far to say he “no longer [knows] if the girl is a turn-on or not since they all look alike down to the last detail” (9). He uses sex to demonstrate his power, as he rapes women (like Safiya, Gaber’s sister) and even thinks these women should feel honored that a “man” like him has any interest in women that are “nothing” (131). He believes he’s a gift to women, when in reality he’s every woman’s nightmare.

 

The sad thing about this fictional character living in a fictional world is that this sort of rape culture can be found in our very own reality. Every day women are raped by men for a variety reasons, or for just no reason at all as well. If it’s not the physical act of rape, it’s joking about rape. Songs about rape. Songs about disrespecting women. Rape culture is talked about so wildly now that it’s crazy to even think about how bad it actually is.

 

This is the world we live in today—a world that doesn’t respect women; that jokes about hurting women. A world where women are told that what they’re wearing and how drunk they are justifiable reasons as to why they deserved to be raped.

 

With men like Allah wandering around in the every day world, it’s hard to have faith that one day this sort of rape culture will cease to exist. We’re all fed up, but the only thing we can do is keep our head up.

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