Shameless – Amina Bile, Sofia Nesrine Srour & Nancy Herz

Norwegian title: Skamløs

Hello book friends!

I’m again wandering into somewhat foreign book territory. I figured that even though I’m on vacation it’s still healthy to keep the brain entertained in new ways. This book has also been all over my Instagram for a while and this one also touches upon important topics, like negative social control.

My dear

Who’s being told that you must be quiet and not take up too much space

Who doesn’t get to have the friends you prefer, choose your own education or workplace

Who never comes of age or get to be in charge of your own life

Who’s being told that crushing on somebody is a sin

Who must live a double life in fear and with a bad conscience

Who gets shamed to wear, not wear, and take off your hijab

Who gets called names like ‘immigrantshit’, ‘nigger’, ‘shameless’, and ‘infidel’

Who are told that racism and social control isn’t a problem

Who must carry the honour of the family

Who doesn’t get to control your own body

Who has experienced abuse and gets told that its your fault

Who must live with the fact that your hymen defines your worth

My dear who doesn’t get to be free.

This book is for you.

Shameless is a result of the movement known as “The Shameless Girls” started by the book’s authors. The book’s main topic is negative social control in minority groups, presented through other topics that become troublesome due to the negative social control these girls all have experienced. One of my main interests is discussed in this book and I highly appreciated that! I’ve been curious about how this topic is viewed in other cultures and I got some answers by reading this book. I’m not gonna tell you though, you’ll have to read the book yourself 🙂

Shameless is a debate in book form which is an interesting way to write a book. I have to admit that I didn’t understand this until I was 1/3 into it, haha. Each new topic starts out with an excerpt and a chat between the girls and their different perspectives on the topic they wish to shed light upon. First, this is a great book for acquiring new knowledge. I have to say I learned a lot about my fellow countrymen and their beliefs. This makes me wonder why I didn’t learn anything about this while I was at school? Isn’t this useful knowledge for our youngsters growing up today? I hope the curriculum has changed somewhat since I was in school, although I have my doubts.

Second, I think a lot of the things these girls point out in their book is easy to forget for non-Muslims, for example, the fact that a lot of the women wearing a hijab chooses it for themselves and is not forced by anybody. This leads me to another important thing this book proves – that there are nuances of strictness within Islam as well as Christianity. This I knew, but it was interesting to get these nuances presented by people who believe in the Islamic faith and who didn’t always agree amongst themselves, instead of people who just think they know. I believe that non-Muslim people need this reminder from time to time because I think we’re good at «forgetting» facts like this.

I have to say that I love the language used in this book! It is so modern and funny, and it’s in tune with the way young people talk today! The authors are 19, 23, and 24, so its not a surprise that their language follow the slang of today’s society, but the fact that they’ve used it in their book as well makes it even more relatable for the readers, at least the younger ones, but it probably makes it more fun to read for a bit older readers.

Liberation and transformation are keywords in this book, and it’s a rewarding read for non-minority boys and girls. Grownups will also probably benefit immensely by reading this book. It brings perspective to our modern society, and the topics these girls raise might still be unknown to a lot of people living in our modern world today. If you’re looking for an enlightening read this summer then I highly recommend Shameless! Hopefully, you’ll learn something new, and this read will give you new input on the society you live in today.

Published: 2017

Genre: Nonfiction

Theme: Shame, religion, minority groups, women rights

– The Book Reader

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