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Thursday, April 27, 2006

I'm just a girl

It's no big secret that I'm a feminist, and my first push into feminism was a song.

Ironically enough, I had completely forgotten about that song until I found a cassette today under the front seat of my car, and as Mood FM was playing sappy music (I can't tolerate sappy music for the life of me), I popped it into my cassette player only to find out that it is a collection of my favorite No Doubt songs. Within a few minutes, I found myself listening preplexed to a song I know so well, a song that, back in 1996, pushed me into the first step of becoming who I am today.

Take this pink ribbon off my eyes
I'm exposed, and it's no big surprise
Don't you think I know exactly where I stand?
This world is forcing me to hold your hand
'Cause I'm just a girl, little 'ol me
Don't let me out of your sight
I'm just a girl, all pretty and petite
So don't let me have any rights
The moment that I step outside
So many reasons for me to run and hide
I can't do the little things I hold so dear
'Cause it's all those little things that I fear
'Cause I'm just a girl I'd rather not be
'Cause they won't let me drive late at night
I'm just a girl, guess I'm some kind of freak
'Cause they all sit and stare with their eyes
I'm just a girl, take a good look at me
Just your typical prototype
I'm just a girl in the world...
That's all that you'll let me be!
I'm just a girl, living in captivity
Your rule of thumb makes me worry some
I'm just a girl, what's my destiny?
What I've succumbed to Is making me numb
I'm just a girl, my apologies
What I've become is so burdensome
I'm just a girl, lucky me
Twiddle-dum there's no comparison
Oh...I've had it up to here!

Ahh... Those words make me shiver.

It's funny being a feminist in a country where the majority of the populace are mostly machismo pigs. A few days ago, I was having this really heated debate with a few guys about the role of women in society as well as their rights. Our main debate points were the following:

1) I believe with a severe passion that young females should be provided with equal oppurtunities as their male counterparts so that when the day comes when they need to decide whether to become housewives or working women, they have free will in the sense where they are fully aware of their options and the consequences of their decisions. The guys thought that it is a woman's god-given duty to sit at home, cook, clean, and take care of children, "I wouldn't mind if my wife works before we have children, but as soon as we do, I would not get married to someone who wouldn't stay at home to take care of them."
I say, toz. I respect a woman who is herself first and foremost, rather than a mother, a housewife, and a childbearer.

2) I believe that religious rules are mostly outdated. I'll end this point here.

3) I am very much against gender roles. I do not think that it is a woman's god-given duty to cook, clean, and raise, nor is it a man's god-given-duty to provide for the household. A couple may switch roles if it makes them more comfortable. Of course, I'm always attacked severely in regards to this point, "Ba6al zalameh ili bog3od bil beit." It always makes me say, "Mish fahmeh ya3ni, 3eib 3al zalameh yo2-3od bil beit o mish 3eib 3al wa7deh?"
I personally am not willing to be in a relationship where I do not make my own money or at least participate in the budget of maintaining the relationship and all that may involve it including a house, children, and so on and so forth (this is where people usually jump in and scream "With a degree in fine arts?!" Yes, mish 3ajebkom?)

Naturally, after an hour-long debate, the conclusion these guys reached was hilarious- "Roba, you know what happens to women like you? They never get married."

Hehe, I found that absolutely amusing! It's ironic how people think it is more appropriate to be unsatisfied, unhappy, and married than satisfied, successful, and unmarried.

Finally, a story and a question. A while ago, one of my male friends told me with an extra bout of confidence that he would never be with a woman who is smarter or as smart as he is, because as a man and like every other man, he thinks a woman slightly dumber is "easier to manage". I was shocked silly to hear that, especially as he was someone I respected. When I expressed my shock and offense, he simply said, "Come on, Roba, admit it, wouldn't you want to be with a man who is smarter than you? Women like that."

Double whammy. According to this friend, men like dumber women and women like smarter men. Now, I'm posing this question to everyone- what do you think? Do you agree with this person?

Question open to both genders. I would really appreciate honesty, I wouldn't bite anyone I promise.

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