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Uppity Femalian Asks Endless Questions (AN Commentary)
Denying Women Rights
Maram Abdul Rahman • Al-Watan
From The Arab News
Why don’t we start from where others have left off? Why do we always have to reinvent the wheel every time? Why don’t we benefit from the experience of others, building on their successes and failures? These and other questions struck me when reading the numerous articles and comments about the recent announcement on municipality elections. All of the articles stated that the voting would be confined to men with no participation by us women. We have been told that women’s contributions, if any, can come through consultative committees, but even here we don’t know how long it will take for these committees to be established. Judging from past experience, this may take from 10 to 70 years or it may never take place. Examples of what I am talking about abound — women’s education, women’s identity cards and allowing women to attend Shoura Council sessions.
"Hey, I got your contribution right here... now get your fanny back in the kitchen and STFU!"
To be frank, after reading all the articles and comments, I wish the announcement had never been made. That at least would have guaranteed that everyone, male and female, was treated equally. The natural thing is to see news about elections being received with joy by everyone. For women like me, however, there was no such joy. We were told we would neither be part of the team that was going to contest the match nor among the fans in the stadium. Matches held in my country have only men as players, referees and fans.
"Oh no you don’t, that’s our male-bonding time!"
Why? Is it because Islam says so? This can’t be the case since the greatest adviser to the Prophet (peace be upon him) during his life was a woman; she was his wife Khadija, may Allah be pleased with her, who was also a great teacher for Muslims.
"Bitch! How dare you dredge up historical facts!"
Is it because people expect that problems would be caused by women’s participation in public life? This is an excuse widely used and is a distortion used to obscure the correct image of our religion.
"I told you to STFU! I’m calling your Imam..."
Will things remain unchanged, or will our children and grandchildren be able to debate the situation? Is it destiny that leads us into the same tangled mess everytime we find ourselves at a crossroads? Why do we first prohibit something and then begin discussing whether to allow it or not and how?
"Yes and Yes and Cuz it keeps everyone under our control! Sheesh, stupid woman!"
The announcement of elections coincided with practical steps being taken by a neighboring state which has given its women their political rights while for the past 40 years, we have done nothing but discuss the issue. It is sad to see countries that are not our equal in terms of historical, geographical, economic and religious influence moving ahead of us when it comes to women’s rights.
"Then don’t look! Phreakin meddlers..."
Are we being punished for being women? What have we done to deserve such treatment? Was there a woman among those who violated the sanctity of the Grand Mosque in the holy city of Makkah? Was there a woman among those who terrorized people in Riyadh and Alkhobar? Was there a woman among those who hijacked our country and its religion and tarnished the image of both?
Yes and Cuz you are wymyns and Who knows? and Prolly. Now shaddup!"
Are we witnessing the “Time of Ignorance” (the pre-Islamic era) when baby girls were buried alive by fathers who feared they would bring shame on the family? That time is far in the past thanks to the coming of Islam, which has illuminated the world and dissipated much of the darkness that engulfed the region.
"Questions, questions! If ya don’t remember your place we’ll bring back the Good Old Days! It wasn’t that long ago, Bitch!"

#33  As a slight adjunct to this topic: Does anyone know the Islamic and/or "Middle Eastern" cultural stance on abortion?
Is abortion legal or tolerated "over there"?
Posted by: Uncle Joe   2003-10-22 11:37:21 PM  

#32  In my neighborhood they've opened up "Tempura" - it's a combination Japanese restaurant/shelter for lightly battered women.

-LOL, good one.
Posted by: Jarhead   2003-10-22 4:20:10 PM  

#31  In my neighborhood they've opened up "Tempura" - it's a combination Japanese restaurant/shelter for lightly battered women.

lighten up Phillip

Posted by: Frank G   2003-10-22 3:39:40 PM  

#30  Oh, and his handle should be Outlaw. I hope he stops by.
Posted by: Lucky   2003-10-22 1:05:04 PM  

#29  Hey, this is great. I just told my 'poem reading' cousin about this site to help him understand what this war is about. He's of the opinion that Haliburton needed more cash. I also told him to have his facts straight before he adds that crap to the comments.
Posted by: Lucky   2003-10-22 12:47:01 PM  

#28  When talking about casual comments and toleration I'm meaning the general attitude of people in my area
Posted by: Philip L. Terry II   2003-10-22 12:14:30 PM  

#27  Y'know, comments threads like that, through mostly OT, are what make me wish for a "revert back to full comments" option when one has to browse thru 35+ articles and 200+ comments. Apart from peeks at various backgrounds, it all adds up to a picture of the USA quite different from the mainstream media clichés. And there is a voyeuristic thrill too. Hummm...
Oh, and wimmen are our equal, mostly. Many are much more intelligent than me, I'd even say.
Posted by: A real Anonymous   2003-10-22 11:42:33 AM  

#26  To JFM being Part Cherokee from sides of the family what more can be said derogatory about being Mixed race when many groups from all sides believe I have no right To exist And being overweight I,ve experienced plenty of these casual comments to know their effect
Posted by: Philip L. Terry II   2003-10-22 11:36:33 AM  

#25  Causal comments shows how tolerant the nation is getting with this issue
Posted by: Philip L. Terry II 2003-10-22 10:46:58 AM

Phillip, I KNOW that you won't believe me today, since you're very likely new here. But if you'll just hang on for a few days, you will soon learn what others have already said: Rantburgers PASSIONATELY believe in equal rights, fair treatment, etc. The "casual comments" that you (temporarily I hope) object to here are the outgrowth of watching the Bill Clintons of the world use flowery language PRETENDING that he's a defender of women ALL-THE-WHILE sexually harassing each and every one that he could corner.

Yes, we're "rude" (if one follows the politically correct definition). Yes, we're "crude" (ditto). But you will NOT find any Rantburgers who believe in anything other than the complete and total equality of the sexes--PERIOD. Sit back, watch, and in a day or two or three you'll be agreeing with me!
Posted by: Flaming Sword   2003-10-22 11:27:56 AM  

#24  To SW about the Genteel tea sipping social circle comment where the heck are you coming from I learned my values mainly from my Dad who was a acoholic shortly before He met my Mom.He also served a full tour of duty as A Navy Seaman during the Vietnam War which also included The Ticonderoga during The Gulf Of Tonkin Incident plus also being a fervent Republican and NRA supporter.Working 35 years as a blue collar worker without losing much His formidable temper,Finally dieing of cancer while only caring for Mom's well being.During all these things He was humble but could take on anyone at any time
Posted by: Philip L. Terry II   2003-10-22 11:26:18 AM  

#23  Mr Philip

It seems you have a little problem at understanding the situation of women. I suggest you do the following: have someone make you casual remarks and jokes about you: this is the situation of the western woman, then have him beat you, enslave you and remove a highly sensitive part of your individual.

The thing I find the more repugnant about moral relativism and "no war" types is that at the end the victims, the true victims, are abandonned to their fate of opression, torture and death in order to please the little egos of some firstworld mama boys.
Posted by: JFM   2003-10-22 11:25:37 AM  

#22  SW - Tanx. You want that in 10s, 20s or 50s? Ben Franklins are just so inconvenient at the Taco Bell drive-thru, y'know? BTW, I really miss TB, among other addictions. I'm straight, now, but looking forward to returning to my bad habits - assuming you guys turn the job market around! Things not be looking so good, yet.
Posted by: .com   2003-10-22 10:47:36 AM  

#21  Causal comments shows how tolerant the nation is getting with this issue
Posted by: Philip L. Terry II   2003-10-22 10:46:58 AM  

#20  "Casual comments that treat abuse as a joke that are more frequant in every day conversation the increase of attacks and disregard of Women and the general lack of true punishment for this type and other abuse"

Philip, to equate casual comments (no matter how common) with the way women are treated in most of the Islamic world (honor killings, sanctioned beatings, virtual slavery) is the most sickening form of moral relativity. By making such a claim you diminish the abuse these women suffer far more than any casual comments possibly could. Get a thicker skin and take off the blinders.
Posted by: Yank   2003-10-22 10:42:14 AM  

#19  Mr. Terry: Rantburg is not a genteel tea-sipping social circle holding our cups just so with our little pinkies pointed in the air. It's occasionally crude, sometimes rude, and generally dripping with sarcasm, wit and a fair bit of cynicism. If you can't handle these things, perhaps you'd be better off somewhere else. No, no, I'm not censoring you, I'm giving you advice. dot-com isn't about to change his ways, and I'd be pissed unhappy if he did.

As to the treatment of women, you'd have to search far and wide to find a group of men who would treat women better with more equality and more respect than the denizens of Rantburg. We got it, we understand, and we're pissed unhappy that certain parts of the world don't get it.

To -- don't change, buddy, don't change.
Posted by: Steve White   2003-10-22 10:41:08 AM  

#18  Bulldog--An excellent point. I also want to note that our consulting practice here in Pittsburgh was recently bought out by another company. We're becoming a separate company under them, however, and our appointed president will be a woman. Without being a "minority"-owned small business, we can't bid on state projects.
Posted by: Dar   2003-10-22 10:40:48 AM  

#17  Well, some British men certinaly feel as though the state's idea of parental rights makes some sexes more equal than others:

Organisers of a rally to support fathers' rights are expecting 1,000 people to join them in central London on Wednesday. The rally ... has been organised to highlight the plight of fathers and grandparents who have been separated from their children by the family courts. The group believes judges and policy makers usually act in the mother's best interest.

There's nothing very funny about state prejudice against fathers.
Posted by: Bulldog   2003-10-22 10:30:00 AM  

#16  Casual comments that treat abuse as a joke that are more frequant in every day conversation the increase of attacks and disregard of Women and the general lack of true punishment for this type and other abuse
Posted by: Philip L. Terry II   2003-10-22 10:17:28 AM  

#15  Phillip--What's happening to women here that has you saddened and enraged? I'm curious, because in my opinion women have more power and options than ever before.
Posted by: Dar   2003-10-22 10:10:04 AM  

#14  I will do that.To the point at hand I'm also sadden and enraged about what happens to Women both here and abroad.Becuase from what I have read and occasionally see and hear it has gotten worse over the past few years worldwide.And it's a problem that should be annilated out of society
Posted by: Philip L. Terry II   2003-10-22 9:56:06 AM  

#13  LH - Ha! Are you sure? You've been pretty heavy on the "hawk" and light in the "liberal", lately... ;->

Phillip - Skip over "the trash", please. No apology needed - this is open discussion and we can agree, or disagree, or agree to disagree. No harm, insult, or problem. I like honesty, even when it hurts me - no other way to improve myself. ;-)
Posted by: .com   2003-10-22 9:34:59 AM  

#12  To .com sir,I'm not wagging my finger against you but against myself because for many years I struggled with this problem we are talking about and still do. So if You don't mind please not mix trash with otherwise sound comments And I personally apologize If I offended You
Posted by: Philip L. Terry II   2003-10-22 9:26:58 AM  

#11  My name is not Paul Wolfowitz.
Posted by: liberalhawk   2003-10-22 9:15:38 AM  

#10  This all started for me on my very first day in Saudi back in '92 when I "met" a bunch of kids waiting for their school bus outside my apartment building in Al Khobar. Over the span of 14 months I became "friends" with them and saw the transformation of one of the girls from a regular kid full of life and giggles into a ninja (aka MOB - Moving Black Object) - fully veiled and wearing an abaya. Life and laughter gone from her eyes, she was soon to be cut off from going to school - but they did let her finish that school year. I wanted to stuff her into a steamer trunk and ship her out of that hell to Merika. One day, she just wasn't there, anymore.

As with all heartfelt issues, it was personal - and now I offer no quarter to these assholes. And Phillip, if you wag your finger at me again, I'll come thru Yellville when I return to the US and break it off. They are assholes. And yes, it's true of anyone so blind, no matter who nor where it happens. Islam just has the market more or less cornered, at the moment. BTW, you can put Phillip (or whatever you choose) in your responses (type into the Your Name box) instead of the default Anonymous before you hit Submit. ;-)

JFM - you are absolutely correct about the first few years being crucial and an accurate indicator of future health or problems. As for keeping them stupid, constantly pregnant, clitorectomies, no separate identity papers and utterly dependent - including financially, honor killings - the whole panoply of Islamic cruelty toward women, I look forward to the day when these topics are on the OIC Agenda, instead of Joooos Running The World, and "Study science and technology - so we can have bombs, too!" idiocy. ;-)
Posted by: .com   2003-10-22 9:11:26 AM  

#9  The Arab problem is worse than simply discarding half their brain power: the three or four first years atre crucial for the future intellectual
performance of the child (and in no small part for his future health) and it is women who do
99% of the care at these ages so the quality of
those women is crucial for the development of the child. In Muslim countries, and specially in fundamentalist ones, they do their utmost for having their women being as uneducated and stupid as possible (in addition for giving them second-rate medical care thus ensuring birth

One of mathematics greatest geniuses was Evariste Galois: until the age of 18 he didn't attend the
school: he was educated by his mother. You won't
find any Galois between muslims.

Posted by: JFM   2003-10-22 8:43:17 AM  

#8  My own feelings as stated above is abuse of women both physicaly verbally and mentally is a abomination to God and mankind not just by Islamists but by all other cultures
Posted by: Anonymous   2003-10-22 8:43:16 AM  

#7  Even if it's a sore point with you.By useing such language you verify men who you oppose quite correctly in this matter which is a abomination.As for my name someday you can come to Yellville and find it
Posted by: Anonymous   2003-10-22 8:23:20 AM  

#6  Oooo, you're a sneaky one. Now I feel bad - I, too, (believe it or not) was raised by such good people and to uphold such worthy ideals. I guess in my 50+ years I've devolved into a crusty old cynic - and I'll almost admit I've lost my way in the process. Sigh. Okay, back to the topic of Islam's treatment of women...
Posted by: .com   2003-10-22 8:21:06 AM  

#5  Okay, Philip L. Terry II Yellville,Arkansas - good for you. The only form of apology you'll get from me is that you didn't know that this is a sore point with me. I emphasized the male stupidity and innate inbred bias to sharpen the point.

On numerous occasions, I debated my Saudi "friends" (all male of course) about their treatment of women. The show-stopper was when I would ask them how they expected to compete in the world when they throw away half of their brainpower at birth. Only one twit ever tried to reason past that. He suggested that, since this had been their custom and society for so many generations, Saudi women were now less intelligent. I almost choked with laughter and responded that, if anything, the opposite was more likely true. Attempts to suppress such things invariably lead to a more canny approach - and I wouldn't be surprised at all to find that Saudi women were not only still very intelligent, but much smarter in hiding it to avoid censure and in manipulating their dull droll husbands. Long history in this topic for me... but you couldn't know that.

As for you, if you want it done differently, Philip L. Terry II Yellville,Arkansas, then post articles yourself. Meanwhile, thank you oh so very very much for your comments and congratulations on your ability to stand up on your hind legs and bray that you are Philip L. Terry II Yellville,Arkansas. [golf clap] This may, or may not, be true.
Posted by: .com   2003-10-22 8:05:35 AM  

#4  To .com sir, I was trained by both My Father And Mother to show respect in both word and deed even when it concerns my enemies so forgive me
Posted by: Anonymous   2003-10-22 7:51:59 AM  

#3  My name is Philip L. Terry II Yellville,Arkansas and my grip on reality is fine
Posted by: Anonymous   2003-10-22 7:38:24 AM  

#2  Epithets? Get a grip - and a name, coward. If you're so easily distracted then your grip is tenuous, indeed.
Posted by: .com   2003-10-22 7:35:22 AM  

#1  Nice sarcasm but it could have been done without the epithets which almost destroy the point being put across
Posted by: Anonymous   2003-10-22 7:25:09 AM