Monthly Archives: March 2010

On Feminism

It is absolutely amazing being a woman, specially a somewhat beautiful woman,  the privileges you get just for being a good looking woman, for instance, if you’re a nice looking lady and you walk into a governmental institute you don’t have to stand in long lines to wait for your turn, grumpy cranky men smile and sign the papers you need, long boring processes become simple, you’re automatically the first person to be served. I love being a woman, all the attention, men holding doors for me, carrying luggage and groceries for me, allowing me to cross busy streets, change lanes, it is all just wonderful. A very important aspect of being a woman is that I always get to play the “I’m an emotional creature card” this particularly important in relationships, where I can be as rude, annoying, bitchy as I want because as my boyfriend would put it “honey, I was PMSing.. or honey, I’m a girl, sometimes I’m too emotional”..

I am a feminist in terms of equal rights, I do believe that men and women are equally capable of of carrying out stressful and complex tasks, I do believe that women have the right for proper education, self-expression, self-fulfillment, proper job and a good income. In Jordan, society and religion still consider women to be dependents, accordingly, a women and a man of the same educational background, experience and caliber would not get the same income because men are considered to be supporters, and women are supported by men. Another horrible example is the Islamic succession and inheritance law, where women are deprived of their deceased father’s inheritance if they do not have brothers, everything goes to the deceased man’s brothers and sisters, this made sense 1000 years ago since women were not equal to men, women were dependent on the men in their families, husbands, brothers, and uncles, 1000 years ago uncles were responsible for their nieces, but now they’re not, women are deprived of something that is basically theirs for no reason whatsoever. Succession and Inheritance law in Islam is a big and branching topic that I’ll be discussing in a different post.

I appose feminism in terms of girls dressing like boys, or women taking off their bras like this kid here who lived her life having to suffer and endure years of identity crisis and low self-esteem because she’s unable to embrace her true self, parents assume that they could shape what their children’s sexuality and orientations are but no they can’t, girls are different than boys, you can see it right from the start, studies show that when showing vehicle and doll photos to 18 months old boys and girls, most of the girls opted in for the dolls and the majority of boys chose the vehicle pictures, research suggests that differences between boys and girls are hardwired and evident right from the start. I do not at all believe that feminism and femininity are contradictions, you can be a beautiful, successful, nail-polished woman in high-heels who runs a very successful business.

Don’t get me wrong here, I do appreciate the somewhat open-minded community we live in, thank God I’m not a Saudi woman who has to wear head and eye veils and not allowed to talk, drive, walk, or even think. Thank God I’m not judged at work for being a woman, I’m not looked down upon, not mistreated, I do get out of these all-nighters at the office because I’m a woman. But this is not the case everywhere in Jordan, just a month ago a woman was stabbed to death by her brother because she enrolled in the lawyers association in Jordan, woman are still treated like they do not count, like they shouldn’t have descent jobs, and I think it all comes down to one thing, men are afraid of women, wherever you go, schools, universities, work, women are so much better than men, women are over-achievers, smarter, pay more attention to details, they are multitaskers, rational, and mostly motivated, I think the motivation goes back to the years of oppression our great grandmothers had to endure.

In order to have a community of empowered, capable, and strong women who fight oppression we need to educate women, give them jobs, provide them with family and marital counseling, teach them how to be role models, raise children; boys who respect women and treat them well, girls who value themselves, who are confident, strong and capable of carrying on the continuous fight for equal rights for men and women.