Why You Must Read Nimko Ali's Book: What We're Told Not To Talk About (But We're Going To Anyway)
An essential read for everyone, and I genuinely mean EVERYONE.
Nimko Ali's book "What We're Told Not To Talk About (But We're Going To Anyway)" is a powerful tribute to women and our bodies.
It's a brave book that tells the stories of 42 incredible women and their unique experiences.
Everyone should read this book.
As a woman, if you read Ali's work, you'll feel inspired and empowered. But as a man, you might be able to grasp what it's like for women to live in a world designed to suppress us and control us.
What is Nimko Ali's Book About?
Ali writes about our first period, losing our virginity, orgasms, abortion, breastfeeding, giving birth, infertility, miscarriage, and menopause.
Each story is strong and captivating. Each story represents the several challenges we face as women because we are born with a vagina.
I cried and cried. I felt angry, sad, and grateful.
I felt grateful because I wasn't forced into marriage or motherhood. Grateful because I don't have endometriosis. Grateful because my period didn't mean I had to leave my family. Grateful because I didn't give birth in a refugee camp. Grateful I have access to healthcare and contraceptives.
I love this book, and it's one of the best feminist books I've ever read.
This book will make you feel.
Some of the stories stayed with me for days. I still think about Ayaan, who was torn apart by childbirth. She gave birth in a village with no access to medical care. She suffered from a fourth-degree vaginal tear.
For several years, Ayaan lived with an obstetric fistula and incontinence. Her family shunned her when she was not at fault for what had happened to her.
I think about Laura, who suffered from genital mutilation when she was young. When her husband-to-be found out about it, he broke off the engagement. Laura told Ali that "the pain of FGM for me has not really been physical. It is emotional and mental".
Female genital mutilation, FGM, is a human rights violation.
In a report by Unicef, data from 30 countries shows that 200 million girls and women alive today have experienced genital mutilation.
Ali writes, "girls are cut because of strong, deeply rooted beliefs about FGM being a rite of passage and a condition of marriage." Cutting girls puts their lives at risk.
I felt incredibly close to women I will probably never meet. There's great power in sharing our stories.
We Should We Be Talking More About Our Bodies
Was your period taboo while you were growing up? Do you openly talk about your period? No? Maybe you should start.
We have nothing, NOTHING, to be ashamed of. Menstruation is part of a woman’s life.
What about orgasms? How honest are you with your partner about them?
Did you know that 1 in 10 women have endometriosis? And did you also know that it’s tough to get diagnosed because doctors dismiss women’s pain?
We must normalize talking about our bodies and the dozens of changes we go through.
We should be talking about how the pill affects women’s bodies and their well-being. Why does the responsibility of preventing pregnancy fall on us?
There’s a lot we need to be talking about. A lot.
Nimko Ali's book has inspired me to talk more about my body and share my experiences.