A Temporary Farewell

I don’t know how long I will be gone—it can be anytime between two weeks to two months. Considering I keep doing this lately, I’m going to estimate the latter and just accept that I need to take that time.

–During which, the site will remain public for your perusal. I received a few very beautiful messages regarding its status as private the last time, and I haven’t been able to respond to them yet but intend to do so soon. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my writing, and for writing to me. I just—well I just can’t imagine anyone would ever feel any assurance from my writing, and I feel so moved, and I figured the least I could is provide an explanation for my absence this time.

So here is a little note. Mostly, I just have a few things I need to finish. The good news is that I will still be writing for you whenever I feel the urge—you just won’t see it here until I return. (That takes off the anxiety I feel to continue updating frequently when I’m too occupied.) So when I do come back—inshaAllah, I’ll have a couple of things ready.

I will still be tweeting and checking my messages of course. While I’m gone, I’ll leave you some links to amazing, insightful posts. At some point most of these were tweeted, but I really really love them. So, in case you missed them:

Jadey writes about women capitalizing on local inventions and why it’s so important and effective as opposed to traditional colonialist charity.

Chally writes about how men weaponize laughter. (Okay seriously, just go read everything Chally Kacelnik has ever written.)

Here’s a stunning retelling of The Ramayana by Clarisse Thorn, from the perspective of Sita. The storytelling does have religious significance for some, so approach respectfully and remain aware of your parameters.

An article on the dynamics of conflict between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

And female imams in China, where this true tradition remains largely undisturbed by patriarchal infringements.

I will see you soon, and will miss you.

SO. This is awkward…

Dear Everyone Who Requested Access to the Site While it was Private,

I wasn’t checking the email account associated with this website–so I didn’t know you’d requested access! I apologize. I was not ignoring you. I didn’t think anyone would send a request! So I figured there was nothing to check. I’ll make note to continue to check my inbox while the site is private in the future.

In other news I am glad to be back!

xXx Nahida

the fatal feminist

The title of this site is a play on the femme fatale. And a reclamation.

The femme fatale is nearly always a deadly feminist. Naturally in stories constructed by patriarchal societies she is ultimately destroyed by her own sexuality. Because how dare she seize control of her own sexuality and weaponize it against men… only men can weaponize women’s sexuality that isn’t even theirs to weaponize!

But not this time.

The femme fatale, the real woman and not the one created by patriarchy, is neither devious nor self-objectifying without necessity of survival. She is affectionate in the realm of truth, knowledgeable of herself and wholesome in her approach, she loves women, and feels deeply, laughs often.

And that is why she is fatal.


Nahida, you have not been writing. Did you think you could just post a couple of entries involving pictures of badass women holding guns and provocative poetry, and we wouldn’t notice you haven’t actually been writing? Tried to pull a fast one, did you? I AM ON TO YOU, WOMAN!

Well in my defense it is finals week; of course, that is a shoddy defense (shhh!), considering I don’t really study. I have tried. But I daydream every fifteen minutes. So it’s not that I don’t have time to post… it’s that if I spend time writing instead of studying, which I am not going to do anyway, I will feel anxious thinking I could be studying. Even though I won’t anyway. It’s all very complicated. Not really.

But I assure you I have been working hard! Here is proof:

Pictured: Your author fastidiously clasping her hands over a textbook.

Not pictured: Aforementioned textbook. Suspiciously.

Why does your author have a dreamy expression on her face, as though she is thinking of sea monsters instead of classes? Do not ask her. She will lie.

I will return in less than a fortnight! *kiss*

The lipstick in the banner

Since months ago I’ve received a couple of emails that were all like “What color IS that?”, as well as a comment inquiring as to where I found an orange-based red lipstick (since both luxury brands and drugstore brands mostly carry blue-based reds) when I indignantly posted a photograph after someone had the audacity to tell me I shouldn’t be wearing red lipstick in the mosque. Unfortunately I didn’t see how incredibly perfect this lipstick was until it was discontinued, and I could not for the life of me find a replacement.

If your veins are green through your skin (as opposed to blue), your skintone is classified as “warm”, and rumor has it an orange-based red lipstick is better suited for you. Most lipsticks are blue-based and consequently look horrendously garish on my skin, and the ones that are orange-based are either bright neon (fabulous or yikes depending on your taste) or have either deeper wine or earthier brick and burgundy tones. The only lipstick I’ve found that comes close to being exactly on mark resembling the discontinued lipstick in color is Revlon’s #006, “Really Red,” but that one’s a matte. And while I love the velvety look of a matte red lip, there was something strangely alluring about the soft sultry supple finish of this lipstick, even when blotted to look matte.

The lipstick in the banner is by L’Oréal Paris, and it’s a satin finish—it’s also inspired by Penelope Cruz, who has an olive skintone like yours truly. When I purchased it, I hadn’t yet discovered that L’Oréal tested its products on animals, and once I did, I never repurchased it again. When I heard they planned to no longer test on animals starting 2012, I looked for the lipstick but found it had been discontinued.

I think it’s still available through outlets online. So if you’re interested in acquiring it here’s what to look for:

It’s a black tube, rimmed with gold, and (allegedly) Penelope Cruz’s signature. It’s gold inside when opened.

And there’s the color. I’ve begun to use it sparingly. It’s number 320 “Penelope’s red”, and was released as part of a collection. The rest of the collection (Colour Riche Star Secrets Lipcolour) is still available, so it’s… seemingly random that 320 has been discontinued. Swatched on my skin:

(Is it totally weird that there are more pictures of my hands on this blog than my face?)

I’m sorry it’s gone. I thought it was a total marketing sham that makeup brands have so many nuanced shades of the same color (to convince women that each one has a different effect on them, when really—who can tell the difference?), but I honestly haven’t found anything like this shade of lipstick—even when I marched into Sephora and handed the tube to a makeup artist to find a match. There was no matching color, and while others are alright nothing brightens my skin like this. Even shades that resembled it on my hand were drastically different in effect on my lips.

Anyway, hope you’re all having a wonderful weekend.