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14 September 2006

Laila, A Call for Comments

After seeing all those Laila related posts, I - as well as many other Men - feel that Women here in Egypt and may be the whole world as well have some problems. They feel that there is a discrimination against them. They feel that the society doesn't treat them fairly. But the point is that we do not know what we are supposed to do, and what actions and attitudes we have to change. Also the Lailas are just telling individual stories, which are not easily generalized. So, I need all the Leilas to participate it this post, and tell us frankly the stuff that piss them off, and what are the points that they think we have to change. And then after understanding these points, it is going to be easier for us to argue with them and even change those points that we are going to be convinced with.
P.S. Please, we would like you to make it just direct points. A list of points such as, "we would like you to do so and so", and "stop doing so and so".

بعد رؤية المدونات المتعلقة بموضوع ليلي ، أنا - وكذلك العديد من الرجال - نرى ان المراه هنا في مصر و ربما في كل العالم كذلك عندها بعض المشاكل. وتري ان هناك تمييز ضدها. و ان المجتمع يعاملها معاملة فيها ظلم لها. لكن النقطه المهمه هي اننا لا نعرف ما هي هذه المشاكل ، و ما هي النقاظ والمواقف التي تريد لها أن تتغير. كما أن الليلات تحكي قصص فردية فقط ، و لا يمكن تعميمها. لذلك نحتاج من كل كل ليلى علي أن تشارك و تقول بصراحه الأشياء التي تضايقهم ، وما هي النقاط التي تعتقد انها يجب ان تتغير. وبعد فهم هذه النقاط سيكون من السهل علينا ان نتناقش معهم فيها بل و نغيرها لو إقتنعنا بها.
يرجي ، ان تكون التعليقات في صورة نقاط مباشره فقط. قاءمه من النقاط ، مثل "نود منكم فعل كذا و كذا" ، و "الاقلاع عن كذا و كذا".
ملحوظة: تمت الإستعانة بجوجل لعمل الترجمة العربة لذلك أعتذر على ردائتها

One Final Note: Dear Lailas, please try to talk to us in our language, in order to be able to help you. Make it clear and just to the point.

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  1. I guess it's like u said some of the stories r not easily here it goes...
    The problem:
    1-The possessive mentality
    2-The superior mentality
    3-Selectivity when it comes to religion
    The solution:
    1-Stop listening to u grandparents
    2-Have a brain surgery
    Well it’s a very complicated issue...I tend to get extreme discussing it but recently (believe it or not) am developing a new-old theory ...

  2. I'm sure that my knowledge of what it's like for women in Egypt must be a little dated but I think if anything things have gone backwards in Egypt. My Aunts seemed to have alot more freedom that we have now.
    Why is this? Well this maybe incorrect but I think it's all because of a mis-interpretation of religion at the expense of education.
    With the Islamic Reawakening, people seem to be going back to the idea that women should be meek, mild and inexpressive, that their religious duty is simply child-rearing.
    I'm pretty sure that this is incorrect and in no way part of Islam. should stop listening to imported Saudi Wahabbi ideas which are just cultural and return to proper Islamic ideals or indeed simply to Egyptian culture which, I think, is alot more permissive.

  3. html
    عقلية عملية منظمة ، و في نفس الوقت عقلية رجل - و ان كان رجل يحاول أن يكون نافعا و مخلصا -

    لكن يا عزيزي ما يُفسد الأمر أن المرأة من كوكب آخر ، و نادرا ما ستجد من يمكنها فعل ذلك

    فاعلية ما تقوله يمكنها الحدوث في حالة واحدة : أن يحاول الرجل استخلاص ما تريده المرأة من كلماتها الكثيرة المتناثرة التي لا تشكل طلبا مباشرا قدر ما تشكل رغبة في البوح و المشاركة

    و المرأة بالذات ، لا تستطيع فعل ما تراه غير جيد في الرجل أحيانا : أريد أن تفعل كذا و كذا و كذا ، و تكف عن فعل كيت و كيت و كيت

    و صدقني لو فعلت
    لو استطاعت و فعلت
    لشعرتم بالملل و التقيد و الضيق
    كما نشعر نحن

  4. @Sharks, Thanks for participating. About The possessive mentality I thought it is a mutual thing, but with respect to the superior I think you are right. Finally, brain surgery, huh !?

    @Arima, "religious duty is simply child-rearing", Ok, I am totally with you here, and as you said it is not the religion, but those who want to interpret the religion they way thay want it to be.

    @Sha3'af, If you really want us to understand our problems and help you solving them, then you'd better talk to us in our language, talk to us in the way that we easilty understand.

  5. You know the problem is pretty bad when even my Egyptiam aunt tells me NOT to marry an Egyptian man. While in Egypt I had a friend i've known since I was a kid propose marriage not that I was interested. One of our other buddies a judge gave me this advice. Do not marry an Egyptian man period. No matter how progressive they may seem in the beginning they tend to revert and change once you're married.

    I see what friends and family go through and it amazes me. It's like dealing with old school latino men. The sexism, and attitudes are maddening!
    The thing that I see here and saw out in Egypt is simple, respect. Men have to realize that women have a right to their lives, and that they have feelings. They are more than walking wombs, and maids.

  6. This is long, in fact it has part I, II, and III, but I think it is very clear. It is even written by a guy so maybe is more accessible, and plus, I know it is hard for men to hear past anger, or what they perceive as overly personal stories, anecdotes, or incoherence.

    The points are:

    - believe and support women
    - get involved
    - educate yourself

    then for applying to your personal life,

    - refuse to abuse women
    - call out other men
    - acknowledge feminism

    and political

    - respect women-only space
    - Avoid co-opting
    - Step aside

    I hope that is helpful, I think parts of it might not be, or might be things you have already thought about (such as not abusing women, which we hope is obvious...!) but other parts might not have occurred to you.

  7. I keep thinking about what you said here:

    "tell us frankly the stuff that piss them off, and what are the points that they think we have to change"

    This is harder to do than you would think, for so many reasons. Isn't it clear to you that when women do tell frankly, there is often backlash and hostility, and personal attacks on her rationality, coherence, character, anger, or what she is doing wrong, rather than listening to the points made? Not to mention denial and defensiveness from men. On a personal level this happens, and it is *risky*. It is easier, when a man who knows you asks, "So do you feel the effects of sexism?' to say "Oh, it's all okay" because there are rewards for doing so. And it also can quickly affect one's professional life to be identified as feminist, even the most mild and reasonable feminist concerns expressed.

    You ask for information, as if there have been no Egyptian feminists speaking up ever before. But even from the U.S. from my own relative ignorance about your country, I know the names of Egyptian feminists and that since the early 1900s your country has had very strong feminist discussion and politics! Huda Sha'rawi and Ceza Nabarawi, etc. And so many more! I think that it might not be the personal responsibility of these blogging women to educate you and all men... when there are many sources out there. Organizations and magazines. Though every generation is new and different with different problems to face. But, isn't it clearly wrong to put the responsibility on them to explain it in your language, and if you can't understand, it is their fault and deficiency? Why is that? Why can't you make the effort to understand their language, if it comes out in personal stories?

    I am only saying all this to you in order to honor your good intentions, and I hope it doesn't offend.



  8. @Mia, you said that "Men have to realize that women have a right to their lives, and that they have feelings. They are more than walking wombs, and maids". Let me be frank with you, yes there are some men who have such attitude towards woemn, but it is really hard to generalize it on all of us. It sounds like a stereotype more than a general attitude.

    @Liz, yes we have to listen to women's problem, but I think women have to speak first for us to listen to them. Look, may be it is a problem with m family, where - i belive - women are treated well, and that's why I can't see many of the problems you are talking about. Also, I wanted the bloggeresses to stop telling individual stories, simply coz it's not always the case. About those feminists we read about in books, they are talking about their own age, and their own problems, which are not there anymore. That's I am looking forward fot the current bloggeresses to enligten us and continue their granmothers' role.