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The Underground Girls of Kabul: In Search of a Hidden Resistance in Afghanistan

Jenny Nordberg

Top 10 Best Quotes

“When one gender is so unwanted, so despised, and so suppressed in a place where daughters are expressly unwanted, perhaps both the body and the mind of a growing human can be expected to revolt against becoming a woman. And thus, perhaps, alter someone for good.”

“No group can be truly suppressed until its members are trained and convinced to suppress one another.”

“When I asked Afghans to describe to me the difference between men and women, over the years interesting responses came back. While Afghan men often begin to describe women as more sensitive, caring, and less physically capable than men, Afghan women tend to offer up only one difference, which had never entered my mind before. Want to take a second and guess what that one difference may be? Here is the answer: Regardless of who they are, whether they are rich or poor, educated or illiterate, Afghan women often describe the difference between men and women in just one word: freedom. As in: Men have it, women do not.”

“Someday in our future it may be possible for women everywhere not to be restricted to those roles society deems natural, God-given, or appropriately feminine. A woman will not need to be disguised as a man to go outside, to climb a tree, or to make money. She will not need to make an effort to resemble a man, or to think like one. Instead, she can speak a language that men will want to understand. She will be free to wear a suit or a skirt or something entirely different. She will not count as three-quarters of a man, and her testimony will not be worth half a man's. She will be recognized as someone's sister, mother, and daughter. And maybe, someday, her identity will not be confined to how she relates to a brother, a son, or a father. Instead, she will be recognized as an individual, whose life holds value only in itself.”

“France implemented a law in 1800 that said women could not wear pants; it was not formally removed until 2013.”

“Those who control life, and the bodies of women, control the money and hold the power. Women who are kept indoors, cannot make money and will not hold any power.”

“I believe most Afghan men, on an individual level, are far from extremist or fundamentalist. Hope rests with those men, who control what happens to their daughters. Behind every discreetly ambitious young Afghan woman with budding plans to take on the world, there is an interesting father. And in every successful grown woman who has managed to break new ground and do something women usually do not, there is a determined father, who is redefining honor and society by promoting his daughter. There will always be a small group of elite women with wealthy parents who can choose to go abroad or to take high positions in politics. They will certainly inspire others, but in order for significant numbers of women to take advantage of higher education and participate in the economy on a larger scale, it will take powerful men educating many other men”

“Dancing falls into the same category as poetry for a woman – it equals dreaming, which may inspire thoughts about such banned topics as love and desire.”

“Being born with power, as a boy, doesn’t necessarily spur innovation. But being born entirely without it forces innovation in women, who must learn to survive almost from the moment they are born. Afghan women do not need much well-intentioned training on that.”

“to most students, what sets little boys and girls apart is all exterior: pants versus skirts. That, and the knowledge that those with pants always come first.”

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Book Keywords:

dancing, women-s-rights, men, women, desire, love, bodies, money, banned, patriarchy, feminism, afghanistan, power, poetry, suppress, supression

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