Black Women's Empowerment

The New, NEW Black Woman: Ayaan Hirsi Ali

The New, NEW Black woman is politically aware, socially conscious, and deeply committed to any cause that she professes to support. How many women can you think of who are more passionately committed to their beliefs than Ayaan Hirsi Ali? In 1992, Hirsi Ali, a Somali woman by birth fled to the Netherlands–and didn’t speak a word of Dutch–to avoid an arranged marriage. She was eventually granted asyum and became a Dutch citizen. Despite her humble beginnings on Dutch soil, Ayaan was eventually elected to the House of Representatives, becoming an MP.

Hirsi Ali grew up in a family where her father had multiple wives and the Muslim culture that she grew up immersed in was, according to her, dismissive of women in general and negligent to their health and well-being in particular. Ayaan underwent female circumcision as a child and has become a vocal critic of female circumcision and all forms of genital cutting done to girls.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s dedication to what she believes in can never be doubted. In 2004, Dutch director and friend of Ayaan’s Theo van Gogh was murdered in the streets, a letter stuck to his body claiming that Hirsi Ali was next. What could have caused an act as evil as the assassination of van Gogh? He had directed the controversial movie Submission, a movie that Ayaan wrote the screenplay to, which depicted the oppression of women under Islam in stark visual form. A weaker woman would have been broken by the death of her friend, the ensuing controversy, and the danger to her own life. Hirsi Ali remained defiant and continued to speak out for the rights of girls and women and against the oppression she believes women endure under Islam.

Ayaan found love with world-famous historian Niall Ferguson. The two married in late 2011 while Ayaan was pregnant with their first child.

Ayaan is woman who has never failed to speak truth to power, and in the end she snagged the handsome suitor who put a ring on it before the baby was born; I can’t help but to respect her hustle.

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