She Called Me Woman ~ Azeenarh Mohammed

She Called Me Woman


This book is a collection of personal narratives from queer Nigerian women. First of all, I want to say I am so impressed with the subject matter. Queer Nigerian women are sharing their stories in this book, and they are not shying away from difficult subject matter. They are sharing their rapes, forced marriages, assault, and more in these pages. These women are inspiring, because reading their stories, I feel as though so many of them have forgiven those that have wronged them, even if they haven’t forgiven that their society does not respect them enough to give them the rights they deserve.

Some of the personal narratives are streamlined and effective at story telling. Others felt to me as if they were jumping around to different traumatic moments in one of their lives. This is my greatest trouble with this book, and what made it difficult to keep reading at times. Part of it I feel has to do with the confusion around their own identities as well as confusion around the society rules and standards. Nonetheless, streamlining these narratives into more purposeful presentations of their story might go a long way to opening the eyes of those who are not willing to slog through confusing story lines.

Clearly its message of hope for queer Nigerian women is bold. I would like to see more books of this variety given more attention. These women are presenting a voice that is not often heard, but their voices are somewhat lost in the confusing timeline of their stories. I appreciate that this gives reading material to other women who are experiencing similar issues in their lives. I can’t imagine what it must feel like to feel so alone as a queer woman, without any stories about people like you. Furthermore, it’s amazing that it’s being published in other countries, that these stories are being shared across borders so we can learn through 30 personal narratives what it might be like to live a day in the life of queer Nigerian women.

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