Home / Opinion and Issues/ “Be a woman!”

“Be a woman!”

Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Friday, 15 March 2019 00:00



By Humeira Ahmed

Sunday family breakfasts are a tradition when it comes to my family. In our Muslim Memon community, breakfast is a blend of palette-tingling curries, savoury eggs, rotis and sides of pickled vegetables. 

One morning, my mother’s legendary savoury eggs were being devoured, when suddenly Papa let out a shriek. I turned to see him furiously blowing on his fingers. He took a seat at the table and refused to take out the bread stuck in the toaster as his fingers got burnt in the attempt. 

I was about to go to his assistance, when a thought struck me. I sat back down and said, “Be a woman, Papa.” My nine-year-old brother, looking bewildered, said, “Isn’t it ‘be a man’?” 

If women can do simple tasks such as taking out the toast from the scorching hot toaster without complaining of burnt fingers, why identify strength as a masculine trait? 

In this socio-political climate, where women’s rights are upheld as being of paramount importance and #metoo is trending, this was my very own stance vis-à-vis the men in my family. 

In our family of four, ‘Be a woman, Papa,” a throwaway line said on an ordinary Sunday morning, is now an anthem of equal strength and weakness. It is not just about empowering women by highlighting our strengths, but also an acknowledgment that men being sensitive or fearful is not unnatural. It articulates what is truly important to me. Everyone should be respected and accepted for who they truly are. 

(The writer, 18, is a student of Colombo International School.)

Share This Article

Facebook Twitter


1. All comments will be moderated by the Daily FT Web Editor.

2. Comments that are abusive, obscene, incendiary, defamatory or irrelevant will not be published.

3. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.

4. Kindly use a genuine email ID and provide your name.

5. Spamming the comments section under different user names may result in being blacklisted.


Today's Columnists

Tawheed is not a misdeed but dirtied by the extreme

Saturday, 25 May 2019

A singular and specific victim of the whole macabre incident of the 21 April Easter Sunday bombings by terrorists in Sri Lanka from a standpoint of Muslims was the maligning, tarnishing and distorting of a term indispensable, necessitous and fundamen

17 things ‘Avengers: Endgame’ teaches us about the state of our superheroes

Friday, 24 May 2019

Art imitates life. Even movies do. Maybe especially so. In these lean times, there’s nothing like a little laughter to stop the press, stem the blood pressure, ease that stress in life. So here goes. Trust you’ll take these tongue-in-cheek. Or pe

Sri Lanka needs urgent surgery!

Friday, 24 May 2019

Sri Lanka was on the slippery slope of a serious crisis, heading for a great disaster of the State, even before the outbreak of Easter Sunday attacks. Now, in the aftermath of the ruthless Easter Sunday attacks, the country’s crisis has become exac

Mangala, Monks, Mangala Sutta and Marx

Friday, 24 May 2019

In the Buddhist belief system, ‘Mangala’ means a ‘blessing’. In the abstract ‘Mangala’ denotes an ‘auspicious sign’. In the ‘Mangala Sutta’, the Buddha has enumerated 38 of the highest blessings that we must or should be guided b

Columnists More