A very taboo topic in South Asian societies is the topic of masturbation. In fact, young brown girls and boys weren’t even told about masturbation, let alone have gotten the “sex talk.” There was no talk about periods, porn, masturbation, or sex. This is because we come from generations of brown families whose childhoods were spent being constrained as new generations came. However, times have changed. The 21st century brought in new ideas and challenged old ones. For south Asian families, this wasn’t a big deal to them even though they were living in a western country. Parents were still going to teach their kids what was taught to them because they didn’t want their children to become “westernized.”

We aren’t westernized. But now we know, we are aware. And being aware is the greatest gift anyone can have. Knowing about taboo things, studying them isn’t bad or “haram.” It’s an individual trying to learn about the culture and society. Anyways, how many Muslims behind closed doors watch porn or masturbate nowadays? It’s more than you think, trust me.

Muslim women around the world have been told what to do with their bodies for centuries. They have never been in control. They have never had the chance to be liberated. It feels me with so much happiness to say that that is finally changing. But the question is: why shouldn’t we masturbate? It is not stated in the Quran that Muslims cannot masturbate. However, Muslim mothers have still told their sons and daughters that they shouldn’t. As a Muslim woman myself, I would have liked it if somebody told me that I have the right to do whatever I want with my body when I was younger.

Watching porn or masturbating does not make you a bad person, nor a bad Muslim if that is your faith. You are in no way a burden to your family or a disgrace to Muslims if you are sexually liberated. And you definitely have the right to know what is happening to your body. Our bodies are designed the way they are for a reason. Getting “sexually aroused” or “turned on” is something I didn’t learn about until my senior year of high school. I mean, I didn’t know this “feeling” had a specific name until the 12th grade. I imagine this is how all young South Asians felt.

I first learned about masturbation from watching the tv show “Secret Life of the American Teenager.”

In one of the episodes, all the girls on the show learn about masturbating and immediately love it. Sitting on my bed, watching, knowing I would get in trouble for even watching a show like this, I got curious. I knew I couldn’t ask my mom, so I went to the internet. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw millions of articles titled “How to Masturbate” or “Why Masturbation is Good for you,” etc.

It was honestly like being introduced to a whole new world; 16-years-old me just couldn’t believe it.

From there on out, I have always been keen to be a supporter of Muslim men and women being liberated. My point is if we don’t talk about “taboo” topics in our society, nothing will change. You can still follow your faith and do the things you want to do. Religion isn’t suffocation, and neither is liberation.