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Aisha Sultan’96

The Write Way

By Donna Parker

As home and family editor, as well as the Dirty Laundry columnist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Aisha Sultan, who received her bachelor’s degrees in sociology and international studies in 1996, invites input from parents “struggling to raise decent, thoughtful kids.”  There is never a lack of response on her parenting blog, Parents Talk Back, especially when she tackles controversial issues that “touch a nerve with readers.”

Here is an excerpt from Aisha’s Dirty Laundry column published May 17:

            I could have sworn that the McDonald’s clerk did not ask me if I wanted a McSkank with my daughter’s Happy Meal, but sure enough, when we opened the toy inside, there she was……”My Scene Barbie” Roller Girl looked ready for a night of action with her micro-miniskirt and midriff-baring top showing off her hard plastic cleavage.

            …We still have the power to turn off, boycott, and disengage from media that denigrate girls. Children cannot be raised in a bubble, of course, but they must be given tools to understand the sexual media soup surrounding them.

            Until we start doing something about it (The Lolita Effect), we’ll keep finding hookers in our Happy Meals.

“One of my top concerns for both my 5-year-old daughter and 3-year-old son is the over sexualized culture in which we live,” says this devoted parent who is also the president of a local moms’ group called the Wings Foundation of St. Louis.

“Wings is a service group in which moms and their children take on different projects each month to give back to their community.  The group just raised $10,000 collecting Pennies for Peace to build schools in Pakistan.”

“We staged an art exhibition at a local gallery and kids produced pictures that showed what they love about their own schools.”

Aisha also works through local mosques, helping organize clothing drives for refugees.  In her “spare time” she’s on the local Trinity alumni chapter board, for which she helped organize one of Trinity Scholars on the Road events.

“Trinity’s small size allowed me to take leadership roles in various organizations from which I gained valuable real-life experience.  Whether I was working as a reporter and news editor at the Trinitonian or planning spring break trips for TUVAC, I was learning skills that have helped me throughout life.”

Specifically, Aisha cites Sussan Siavoshi, department of political science, who “got me interested in the world beyond my own small sphere.  She was so compassionate and opened my eyes to larger issues.”

“Michael Kearl, department of sociology and anthropology, who taught my first sociology class, introduced me to analytical and critical thinking, as well as how to construct an argument.  David Lesch, department of history, helped me create a study abroad program in Egypt.”

“I never envisioned while at Trinity that I would be enjoying my life’s work so much.  I truly believe if you continuously strive to improve your craft and don’t let your life or talent become stagnant that you’ll create an engaging life's work.”

You may contact Aisha at asultan@post-dispatch.com.