Living in the Middle East, one can’t help but empathize with the plight of women. From birth, a girl is bombarded with a set of social projections that suppress her talents, clip her dreams, and channel her energy to the servitude of the domestic sphere. If she has been lucky to have loving parents who have encouraged her to pursue her dreams, she is rarely lucky when she is entrapped by a man who puts out that feisty desire. The world weeps when another budding female artist, writer, doctor, philosopher, traveler, and dreamer withers out of existence.
Because of the widespread control of patriarchal forces, even literature about women is suffused with instructions on how to provide domestic bliss to husbands and children. Have you ever paused to ponder how Rapunzel and Sleeping Beauty are enjoying their captivities by waiting for a prince to make them feel complete and fulfilled? Or how about the recent examples of women flocking the malls in flimsy abayas, glittering in jewels, and arched with heels simply to lure a man’s heart? Why can’t a woman attract a man with her intellect, virtuousness, and inner beauty anymore? Strong women who refuse such directives are immediately shunned as deviant.
After being told she is defective, a woman is encouraged to be “perfect”. – Carol Pearson and Katherine Pope in The Female Hero in American and British Literature
It is an ironic misunderstanding since, deep within the crevices of our souls, we all seek unconditional love, trust, and appreciation best found in the institution of marriage. However, this ‘ideal’ has been twisted to a deformed version of subjugation and servitude rather than acknowledgement of woman as an irreplaceable part of the family. Being a mother is a thankless job and only noble spirits recognize this. It is the mother who anxiously awaits nine months to give birth to a child (while enduring unbearable pain) for the simple reason to shower him/her with love and blessings. It is the mother who nurtures her children with positive thoughts and fills them with beautiful projections of the lives they are going to have. It is the mother who is the chef, the chauffeur, the doctor, the psychiatrist, the matron, the playmate, the teacher, and the friend. All these occupations synergize into one angelic form of a mother.
So, yes, we womenfolk would gladly do our parts in the happy family image. Yet, that doesn’t mean that is the only role that should be ascribed to us, for we are also beings with souls, intellects, and bodies. All at once, we yearn for soft caresses from our partners, and we desire to have a heated debate on politics, and we want to open our wings and soar. Like any living being, with the right nurturance, a woman can be liberated from the chains within her to convert that doubt into a belief that she is worthwhile and that she deserves a chance to elevate to her true identity, for that is what life is all about: a journey to self-actualization. Though her capacities are latent today, they will explode tomorrow with their beautiful rainbow colors and make the world a better place.
To all the women out there, celebrate and support each other.
To all the men, your Prophet Mohammed (Peace be upon him) said that the best amongst you is the best to his family. So, remove the mask of tyranny and love us endlessly. You will see wonders when you do.
A flower can take your breath away. You could either see it utterly beautiful or just focus on its thorns
Don’t condition young girls to seek approval by physical beauty and ignore intellect and virtue
Bring out the individual beauty of each woman instead of creating lifeless puppets out of them
One of the best feminist works I’ve read