Someone Else…

Driving…I can’t because of my eyesight- a question of peripheral vision and perception. And I am blind as a bat at night…but in the KSA it is prohibited for women to drive;  not by law but by fatwas of religious scholars. Why???

As always, and this is a pet peeve of mine; it all boils down to sex! Will somebody please tell me why any activity of a woman is tied to sex??? One non-Muslim once told me she believed we were sex-deprived ala Victorian Age mode where so many strict rules only ended up opening a Pandora’s box of sexual depravity, a prostitution boom and all manner of disease as a result- all of this while keeping a facade of total respectability. Strait-laced Victorians turned sexual fiends…and hysterical women Freud style.

Is that where we are going; because a discussion on hijab eventually in quick manner turns into a discussion of detaining the depraved thoughts of men when they see women; therefore it is the woman’s responsibility to help him avoid those thoughts and disappear Saint Augustine style! Well excuse me; where is the man’s responsibility of getting his damned eyes fixed to the ground!??!! Why don’t men go to a therapist if they are so inclined to rant and rave at the sight of a woman- maybe they have a fixation that needs resolution! And since when are women to carry the brunt, responsibility, and outcome of a man’s actions- are not men responsible for their own actions?

What I see is that men are boys allowed to play until death; while women have to be responsible even for the other’s actions- yet in Islam, Allah SWT has stated that on the Day of Judgment none will be responsible for the other’s actions- each will pay according to their actions, intentions, outcomes…So where is this business of the female responsible for all that happens in the world coming from?

I am not a legal scholar; nor lawyer- but common sense dictates that somewhere in the education of men and women many Muslim men, if not all, receive an education that allows them to play rather than work responsibly- by that I mean they go about life always pointing to the women as the reason they do badly- but never the cause of why they do good.

Education in the Muslim world to me is lacking big time- like my lack of eyesight; Muslims in various countries of the Middle East for example lack depth perception. To them it is all black and white no shades of gray. So the whole issue of intentions is really moot because intentions are in the gray realm- they vary from moment to moment; are subject to a whole host of variables and factors and can be layered. That means your mind must be capable of judgment of details and subtleties- which I see sorely lacking in Muslims even when Islam commands us to see clearly and think!!!

But when you have quarter educated men burning schools in Afghanistan where the opportunity to enlighten is lost for every burnt book; you wonder how long will it last before we propel ourselves into, not the Dark Ages, but the Stone Age? At the rate our populations are growing and the rate they are NOT being educated we will one day be a majority of idiots let alone cave dwellers!

Can someone tell me how they expect a woman to be end-all-of-all things and responsible for not only her actions (which grow limited by the day if some people get their way) but for others if she is not properly educated? And I mean all parts of an education- the one at home where she learns to cook, clean, wash, plan for contingencies properly; the one in school proper where she not only learns the facts of the world past and present but also learns to socially navigate the playground; the one at work where she learns to deal with adults (hopefully) in proper context; to the one that prepares her to not only think outside the box but create a bigger box so she can later on juggle work, home, marriage, children, etc.

What I see is that women are kept as harem girls without the fringe benefits. Locked up, away from the society of men; because you can’t call it just plain Society- these women only receive what is allotted to them without perception. They are to look beautiful for their husbands; in some parts of the Muslim world the home is also to be kept beautiful; and in some others they add rearing the children properly to the mix. But you do this without outside stimulus. Do something without the necessary tools and you are bound to ruin the soup; the car; the house; your life!

Harems dictate, at least from what I have read, that all is provided for you… all you do all day is lounge around- someone else will cook, clean, help you dress, take care of the children you bear… while you have someone massaging you, painting henna on your hands and body so you can look pristine for the owner of the harem. Well, this is interesting…because who are these someone else’s doing the work? And how many Muslim men can actually afford a harem nowadays?

If this is for protection- protection from whom? The ogling, sex-depraved men who were never taught manners that hunt the streets in packs; acting like men and AND women in the way they hold hands, shoulders, and waists while openly showing their affection to their “Friend”? I once told my husband that for a male society that is so homophobic- they sure had a lot of homosexual tendencies! I mean in the US such open displays of affection between men still gets a bad rap- get a room! Yet in many Arab countries it is disgustingly apparent and not thought of as bad. While showing affection for your wife is a cardinal offense! Go figure!

And women are brainwashed into believing this is all normal! And if not brainwashed they are beaten, burnt; locked away- for their own good…sick!

In Islam, as my mind processes it, the rules are made in context according to the situation. That we are all responsible for our actions because the caveat is that we are taught to think, analyze, and act according to our understanding of what is needed for any particular situation. We are not in a religion of priests; yet we allow scholars, whose education is dubious at best and who are under the influence of cultures and traditions to name a few influences, to serve as intermediates in our religion and our daily life. That is more power than any priest yet.

So where are we going, to hell in a waste basket? Because for every woman who rocks the cradle improperly; and for every man that feels he needs to remain in the cradle because mommy put him there, we will continue to deteriorate and never come up to scratch. We will continue to be left behind- then of course it is another excuse for the men to say that its the woman’s fault- never reaching our full potential because the level of full potential has been taken away.

Some will even say that all we have to do is pray all day- then who goes to work; who pays the bills; who cleans; who studies; who lives the life Allah SWT gave us as a test of our Faith???!!!

Someone else!


2 Responses to “Someone Else…”

  1. 1 basbousa
    August 19, 2008 at 10:42 am

    This post is well written and brave. Keep up the good work!

  2. 2 INAL
    August 19, 2008 at 11:56 pm

    Thank you my dear, thank you reading… 🙂

    By the way, I hope you don’t feel I have over stepped by boundaries on my last comment in your blog- I really love all the fun things you bring to us and I don’t want others to in some way stop you from bringing color, life and dreams to the hijab fashion- if I did I truly apologize.

    Later girl…

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