Review Detail

Kids Fiction 1338
Far from Oppressive...
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0
I truly enjoyed this book, not just because of the lovely illustrations, depicting the colorful and mysterious ways women in West Africa adorn themselves with the malafa, but also because of the message: the malafa is not seen as oppressive to most women who wear them. What we in the West view as oppressive, they view in many different, beautiful ways: expressive, mysterious, belonging, and as a sign of faith, not simply modesty.

Lately I have been exploring philosophically how our culture's feminist ideals sometimes contradict themselves: if a woman is supposed to have choices, and we are to celebrate her choices, why must we continually label those choices that we ourselves may ethnocentrically view as "oppressive" as being forced upon women by "patriarchy," instead of acknowledging that we may not know the entire story, and we may not see the deeper reasons why women live and dress in ways very different from our own? If we are so enlightened and are supposed to be tolerant of different viewpoints, why not a viewpoint that admires and respects the malafa and other modes of dress like it? Yes, to some women the burqa, malafa, and other modest dress is, factually, oppressive. But as the author portrays, it can be an expression of faith and a symbol of coming of age.

I, for one, appreciated this more tolerant message and found the author's story inspiring: after living with women in their culture, she adopted a more rounded viewpoint and saw how she herself was projecting oppression onto women who do not feel oppressed at all. The book is a great way to talk about faith, dress, freedom and religion with your children, especially girls. Some may not like it, but I was happy to have received this thoughtful picture book.
Report this review Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

Comments

Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Daniela and the Pirate Girls
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
Who hasn’t heard of the legendary vessel, the Black Croc!...
Child of Galaxies
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Your body was made from the stuff of the stars,...
Shy Ones
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
He's not the type to stand out. In fact, unless...
You Brought Me the Ocean
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
The voices that shaped LGBTQ Young Adult literature, Lambda Award-Winning...
The Most Dangerous Place on Earth
 
2.0
 
0.0 (0)
In an idyllic community of wealthy California families, new teacher...
Slamdown Town
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Ollie and his older brother, Hollis, have wrestling in their...
The Speed of Starlight: An Exploration of Physics, Sound, Light, and Space
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A contemporary exploration of physics, light, and sound told through...
1,000 Facts About Ancient Egypt
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Mummies, pyramids, pharaohs, King Tut! Kids everywhere are fascinated by...
Pumpkinheads
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Deja and Josiah are seasonal best friends. ...
Ragweed and Poppy
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
The first new book about Poppy in more than ten...
Burn
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
On a cold Sunday evening in early 1957, Sarah Dewhurst...
The Right Place
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
A squirrel wakes from hibernation feeling something is wrong with...
I'm Sorry!
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The perfect story for teaching young children the importance of...
Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
New York Times bestselling author Laurie Halse Anderson (Speak, Shout)...
The Archer at Dawn (The Tiger at Midnight, #2)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Romantic intrigue and electric action fill the gripping sequel to...
The Jewel Thief
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A lush, slow-burn romance set in 17th century France,...

Latest Member Reviews

Crave
 
4.3
"After the death of her parents, Grace comes to an Alaskan boarding school. Once there, she senses something is 'off'..."
You Brought Me the Ocean
 
3.7
"YOU BROUGHT ME THE OCEAN is a graphic novel of the origin story for Aqualad. Jake is 17 and living..."
The Most Dangerous Place on Earth
 
2.0
" I received a free copy from the publisher through Netgalley. The Most Dangerous Place on Earth centers around a..."
Pumpkinheads
 
4.7
"I am pretty new to graphic novels so when I won a copy of 'Pumpkin Heads' on GoodReads I was..."
Burn
 
3.7
"BURN imagines a world that is just like ours, except that dragons exist. Dragons have been around for longer than..."
Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed
 
5.0
"WONDER WOMAN: TEMPEST TOSSED is a fantastic new story featuring Diana coming into her own. She has been raised among..."
The Archer at Dawn (The Tiger at Midnight, #2)
 
5.0
"THE ARCHER AT DAWN is a fantastic sequel in the THE TIGER AT MIDNIGHT trilogy. This second book picks up..."
My Calamity Jane
 
5.0
"What worked: This is a fun paranormal twist on historical figures set in the Wild West of 1876. I loved..."
Where Dreams Descend
 
5.0
"FEEDBACK This book was everything I wanted and more. It begins with Kallia and her performance. It quickly descends into..."
The State of Us
 
5.0
"THE STATE OF US is a really fantastic YA contemporary romance that follows the children of two political rivals. Dean's..."
Live Like Legends
 
5.0
"LIVE LIKE LEGENDS is an absolutely fantastic YA fantasy romance. We follow Kalista, who is a princess born to be..."
Blood Countess (Lady Slayers)
 
4.3
"Visually, this book is a gorgeous work of art, splattered with blood from cover to cover. For those familiar with..."
Like Sisters on the Homefront
 
4.7
"Top 3 reasons to read LIKE SISTERS ON THE HOMEFRONT: 1.) The characters- Gayle, a NYC girl sent to..."
Daphne and Velma: The Vanishing Girl
 
3.7
"Daphne Blake and Velma Dinkley are opposites. Daphne is popular, traditionally pretty, and sociable. Velma prefers books and information to..."
Felix Ever After
 
5.0
"Felix has never been in love, but he wants to be. He wants the experience of opening your heart, having..."
The Sullivan Sisters
 
5.0
"Eileen, Claire, and Murphy Sullivan used to be close. They had their special traditions, their shared laughs, and their shared..."
The Summer of Impossibilities
 
3.7
"THE SUMMER OF IMPOSSIBILITIES is a YA contemporary about friendship in the vein of THE SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS...."
Tarnished Are the Stars
 
4.3
"FEEDBACK I actually really enjoyed this story. The beginning was a little confusing because there wasn’t too much explanation of..."
The Bitterwine Oath
 
3.3
"San Solano, Texas is not only known for its Southern charm but also gruesome murders that took place fifty..."
Wicked Saints: A Novel (Something Dark and Holy, #1)
 
5.0
"FEEDBACK When I first heard about this book I thought it was interesting. Then I saw all the hype..."