Saturday, June 2

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back!

No, it's not a new dance routine.. It's the situation of women nowadays. For every step we take forward, we move two steps back.

Scene 1:
There was a time when Egyptian women had their position in every facet of life. Now, we are arguing basic things like women's work. The next thing you see is some crazy person coming out to say that a woman should breastfeed her male colleagues to be able to share the office with them! What kind of sick mind is this? Why are many clerks obsessed with women and sex?

Scene 2:
Not so long ago women used to go to college wearing miniskirts and sleeveless blouses without being subjected to any kind of harassment. They received due respect from everybody. They rode public transportation. They walked in the streets. They mingled healthily with their male colleagues. Nobody dared to criticise them even! Now, it is not enough that you dress moderately, you have to cover your hair too, and still expect to be harassed at any time, not only verbally, but physically also! And if you complain, it is always your fault. You encouraged him, you like being harassed. Why did you leave your home then?!!! OMG.. Sick, sick, sick!
Imagine how far from civilization we've gone!

Scene 3:
Successful girls received scholarships abroad and were allowed by their parents to travel and come back with MAs and PhDs. Ask your female professors at university, who didn't come from rich families, or families which were westernized. Now, girls will be so grateful if they are allowed to apply for graduate studies inside Egypt even. Imagine if she mentions travelling abroad! Talks about you will get too busy and you won't find time to get married! Or you won't find a man who agrees to have a wife who holds a higher degree than him!! No man will consider a girl who lived abroad on her own for 1 or more years! No man, no man, no man.. F*** this man!

One sorrowful scene after the other, we just keep moving backwards. Forget about women liberation movements, we're back to square one! How far do they want us to go? We reached the bottom, yet it's not enough.. They want us to dig our own graves!


Egypt Rose said...

Let me take a breath first……, this is exactly what I have been saying the last 4 years of my life, and I will keep saying it, till something change.

I’m sorry to tell you we are behind the humanity with 2332 years, that is when Aristotle come out with his inhumanity theory about women said that “ women are incomplete man” and “females contribute nothing substantial to generation; that they have fewer teeth than males; that they are less spirited than males; and that woman are analogous to eunuchs” !!!!!!!!

See it is 2332, what kills me that female them selves are fully happy with what they have now, staying home doing nothing but play the role of sex toy, by using it and put it either under the bed or in a very nice decorated shelve. This if she is soooooo lucky other men use it as toilet!!!!

Females should do something about that them selves, otherwise no one will ….

You know what, you give me a very good idea, you and I are both Egyptians but we are differ, why do not we write why we are so, maybe this can guide others to change as well.

Keep writing

The Alien said...

i totally agree with u, we r not going any forward but this is not about the women only, everything in this society is going backward

my mother used to go to faculty wearing miniskirts and sleeveless blouses, and all of her friends did too. when i asked her about that she said that this was what all the girls wear and it was normal. what is happening now is about politics and not about anything else.

i do have 2 friends of mine whome traveld to work abroad, i am realy proud of these girls. they did not care for people talking or anything, they did what they wanted and they r doing good there.

keep writing

Masria said...

بصراحة البوست ده عاجبني جدا
انا مقتنعة تقريبا بكل كلمة قلتيها
خصوصا حكاية اللبس دي,هتشل,عارفه في الاول كنت باقول,لا برضه البنت لازم تاخد بالها من لبسها عشان ما تجيبش لنفسها الكلام و كده,لحد ما شفت بعيني ما حدش قالي,واحد بيعاكس واحدة لابسة خمار,طيب دي المفروض تعمل ايه تاني يعني؟
و على حكاية التعليم بالخارج,تصوري واحدة جابت مجموع يدخلها طب القاهرة أو عين شمس,اهلها خلوها تدخل كلية تربية بالعافية عشان ما تعش في القاهرة لوحدها
بس بما إني باحاول اكون متفائلة ف هاقول,معلش,في أمل نخلي الوضع احسن في المستقبل,بس كل واحد يعمل اللي عليه,زي ما انت بتعملي كده

اجندا حمرا said...

Dear Fantasia
well my dear your post can be divided into so many points like u did into so many scenes
about that person who gave this fatwa about breastfeeding the woman to her male colleagues..well im sure u know he used a referance from a hadith and it was a strong hadith and so many people belive in it but they always say it was put only according to a situation in the past so when someone comes nowadays and say this fatwa ..he cant be blamed cause he is working according to a hadith
im not saying the fatwa he gave a cool one but im just trying to tell u what he was thinking when he gave it

it is what society brought men to belive my dear that women r only sex machines ,u can always turn on the tv on one of the so many programs about questions and answers regarding religion and u will find the majority of the questions revolving around the bedroom and stuff like that and sometimes people ask silly questions i cant belive they dont know their answers till now but really people and males in general r so obssessed with their tools

in scene 2 u talked about how women in the past used to go to clubs and schools as well as uni with minskirts without being harrassed like nowadays
actually i dont know why harrassments increased nowadays
it is not a must that women who wear veils r not subjected to harrassment ,i even watch sometimes monakabat being watched and harrassed this is something very interesting cause they did so to get away from male harrassments and still they get it seems males cant stop this and when u express disgust they say why u r leaving your home better to stay there

women r regarded as being fetna they dont regard men as so and i dont know why

men dont cover their hair while praying but women have to cover it what kind of contradiction in this???

even like u said there is no egyptian man will agree that his wife be holding a higher degree than him ,he will feel less than her and this is because he doesnt have self confidence enough
they just wnat women to be always inferior to them so they can treat her anyway they want
a very strong post ,thank u for it :-)

Eyad Harfoush said...

Dear Fantasia and others,
I do agree that women had been back several steps by the effect of the EASTERN WIND came to Egypt since 1970s. Yet, it is not a standalone phenomenon, but a part of deterioration complex syndrome, it came to us, and was increasing by time since 70s and till now, came from Saudi Wahhabi poisonous ideology, it came with the vaginal perception of women, penile and economic perception of manhood, together with limiting all personality attributes to the religious element (normally it should be only a personality element) and with setting materialistic values as a mono-value. Yet, the picture is not absolute black, there is something to be done about that.

Miss Egyptiana "Trapped Soul" said...

i agree with egypt rose ... all the women who have insight, who are different must write, and let their words fill the dark space we live in ... twinkle like littel suns to inspire others.

and as eyad said, there is something that can be done... it is not totally black .. and to start we need to look at the reasons behind .. and the different means to empower women to become independant

Fantasia said...

egypt rose:
I totally agree with you. I believe our society prefers to live in the distant past. They can't see how this is ruining their lives or the future of their country and their children.
Writing about what made us think the way we do is an excellent idea. Yet I fear that instead of making our experiences available for others for inspirations we may turn things into a personal thing. I mean that the way a mentality is shaped has to do with personal experience, and some may see our talk just in this limited sense, without caring to use it for inspiration to change. That's why we have to be careful in the way we yield our experiences.
But it is a wonderful idea. Thank you for it.

Fantasia said...

the alien:
Good luck to your female friends. This is good news to hear. Unfortunately not so many girls dare to do what they did.
Yes, the whole society is moving backwards, but women are the crushed victims in this process. They are getting more and more marginalized and weakened. So they face the problems of society as a whole, and they face extra injustice for being women.
Your mother's story is the same as the majority of our mothers. My mother's old photos are the most beautiful thing I've seen. I couldn't believe those photos were taken in Egypt, and in Cairo University. Look at Cairo University now! My mother gave me the same answer, which is actually more of a question than an answer. Then what happened? Why was it normal back then and a shameful thing now? Why were morals much better inspite of the fact that all women wore revealing clothes?

Fantasia said...

Thanks for giving me hope and encouragement to go on.
The example you mentioned is very common nowadays. They even caught a man who only harrassed women who wore face veils. He confessed that they made him so curious and that all of them were terrified of him and that made it easier for him to go on with what he wanted to do. Of course people would say he is just a psycho and it's just one case. But in a society like ours when one case reaches police, this means there are hundreds more. Cause you know how girls just shut up about these things.

Fantasia said...

Wonderful comment.. You said everything I meant to say in this post. This obsession with women as the embodiment of sex is causing society to view its women as flesh that should be covered. Although the problem is not in women, but in the way they see women and deal with them. So covering women will never be the solution as long as the false ideas remain the same. On the contrary, this creates a more severe obsession, because by agreeing to conform to these demands you are proving the ideas behind them more. So when you allow yourself to walk in a black tent, you are presenting yourself as a wrapped piece of meat waiting for its consumer. That's why this way of dressing has had the opposite effect. Instead of making women harrassment-proofed, they increased harrassment in the streets, not to talk about public transportation!
And about this breastfeeding thing.. well.. I have lots of things to say about the hadith that it was based on. I avoid involving religion in my posts, although I know that most of the false ideas we suffer from claim to have a religious basis. Yet, I prefer to show how logically and morally those ideas are false, without proving the misuse of religion behind them. I also see that all women, muslims and christians, are subjected to the same problems. Although of course I see that muslim women are in a worse position.
Thanks for stirring up ideas.

Fantasia said...

I believe the part of the problem which you discussed already came to fill a gap created by the fracture of the 67 war in the region. People's faith in their abilities and collective dignity were strongly shaken. Some forces saw in this a golden opportunity to spread this Wahhabi thought and other fundamentalist approaches. I see that the soil in Egypt was already prapared to receive such poisonous seeds. Yet, I believe our history and civilization should have proven to be stronger in defending us against this attack. And if there is a generation that wasn't strong enough to rebuild its self-esteem and block the way towards this deterioration, then our generation must take a more positive attitude.

Fantasia said...

Thanks for your insights and positivism. I haven't lost hope yet. That's why I write and I have faith that my call will have its audience. It is a difficult task, but not impossible. Only when we join forces that we will have enough strength to bring about change. That's why I need you and every single voice who possess this awareness and who care to do something about the current situation.

اجندا حمرا said...

Dear fantasia
thankx for the nice compliment dear:-)
i feel pain when i see how society treats woman as u said my dear like a piece of meat just a flesh,a body meant for fullfilling desires and that's it:(
u said it right dear the problem is not in women ,but it is in the way they regard women and deal with them according to this
when a man sees a girl in the street wearing something tight they start harrassing her ,men think those girls wearing tight clothes r cheap ,easy girls sometimes maybe they r but sometimes they r not ,the prob is that men always look at shallow things like clothes and decide the girl is good or bad according to them and sure u heard about men disguising as monakabat to meet their married lovers ,such people give el nekab or el hijab bad names but on the surface it is something that shows how religious the person wearing it is
belive me my dear regarding involving religion in our posts i agree with u,i tend to not involve religion in my posts because it is and still a sensitive issue
i agree with u my dear problems women facing is not restricted to a certain religion
it is directed to the women in general whether she is muslim,christian or jewish
thankx for your wonderful add my dear:-)

Fantasia said...

Again it is this destorted vision that makes society give a piece of cloth this false value that doesn't exist. The piece of cloth will never plant morals or act as a shield against harassment. But the false view that men and society as a whole have gives this piece of cloth all the magical powers which make the one who wears it (as hijab or niqab) an angel who is out of men's reach. They are happy with this illusion cause it simplifies things to a degree which saves them the effort of thinking and analysing different social factors.

اجندا حمرا said...

that's what i always say not the cloth not the religion which will plant morals within people ,we should seek the goodness within ourselves and search for it by ourselves
but in a shallow society like ours ,they always look upon that piece of cloth as if it is the shield from bad morals and bad behaviour and sometimes when i ask a girl r u happy about your hijab and why u r wearing it
she says im not comfortable with it but all of my friends wearing it so i dont wanna feel like an outcast or my family made me wear it
u can never force someone to do something against their will but unfortunately in our society that piece of cloth is being forced upon some girls and when u dig into the real reason u will find it away from the original reason it was made for
people should learn to say no to things they dont want or dont feel comfortable doin
we shouldnt be afraid of being an outcast if we r doin something not the majority doin

"When I dare to be powerful - to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid" - Audre Lorde