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Muslim Women Tweet to British PM David Cameron


#TraditionallySubmissive hashtag takes off on Twitter

#TraditionallySubmissive hashtag takes off on Twitter


This is What’s Trending Today…

Last week, British Prime Minister David Cameron announced a plan that would require women immigrants to learn English within 30 months of arriving in Great Britain.

The plan targets Muslim women joining their husbands already in Britain. Cameron said his plan would help Muslim women immigrants who spend most of their time at home. He said the plan would help them feel less socially isolated.

A government source told the media that “David knows that the traditional submissiveness of Muslim women is a sensitive issue.” Submissiveness is a willingness to obey, or submit to, someone else.

Some British Muslim women were offended by the comment. They responded on social media with humor and sarcasm. Sarcasm is the use of words that mean the opposite of what you really want to say.

Mashable.com reported that British author and activist Shelina Janmohamed created the hashtag #traditionallysubmissive. She tweeted sarcastic responses to Prime Minister Cameron.

In one tweet, she wrote: “I bought a sportscar and published a book (in English and 8 other languages.) I must be doing this wrong. #traditionallysubmissive.

Throughout the weekend, more than 30,000 tweets with the hashtag were sent to David Cameron’s Twitter account.

Women tweeted #traditionallysubmissive along with a photo of them holding a sign that listed their accomplishments and life experiences.

The hashtag highlighted examples of Muslim women’s independence and their lack of submissiveness.

Many of the women listed their university degrees, professional goals, athletic interests, and a long list of languages they speak fluently -- including English.

Twitter user Mamana Beelah wrote: @David Cameron, I speak 4 languages, how many do you speak? #traditionallysubmissive.”

And Twitter user Asmaam wrote: “My mother was so #traditionallysubmissive she left home to go to med school in 1960s Pakistan. Thanks to her, I’m a journalist and a professor.”

And that’s What’s Trending Today.

I’m Ashley Thompson.

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Words in This Story

isolated - adj. separate from others​

submissiveness - n. the willingness to obey someone else; the act of conforming to the authority of others

sensitive - adj. likely to cause people to become upset

sarcasm - n. the use of words that mean the opposite of what you really want to say especially in order to insult someone, to show irritation, or to be funny

accomplishment - n. something successfully done or achieved

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