09 March 2011

The Revolution Will Be Gender Specific Because God Said So*

Today is International Women's Day, a fact that finally sank in after hearing it reported on both radio and television news.  I confess, I knew of it, but not much about it.  What struck me the most, partly in hindsight, about the day is how too many seem to have forgotten or had never acknowledged that women are not property, are not inferior simply by accident of birth.  They deserve to have a say over their destinies, their political and social fabrics...their culture and basic human rights.

Why is this so hard for some to understand?

I watched a news report from Egypt, post-"revolution", on demonstrators gathered in Tahrir Square to demand that women be given a bigger voice and equal rights in this, the new Egypt.  So what happened?

They were harassed and attacked by groups of men.  You know, the men who helped overthrow Mubarak and help bring democracy to Egypt.  Or perhaps they meant deMOCKracy, seeing as they felt women had no place in governing the country, and in the words of some of the men, women "already had enough rights".  Way to go, freedom fighters! (clap......clap......clap).  

I slapped my head in exasperation.

I sat in disbelief, my curiosity turning slowly to disgust as I watched footage of a somewhat slovenly looking man berate and point fingers at a woman demonstrator, telling her she had no business here, to go home.

So this is what the world cheered for?  This is what the world thought was the overthrow of an oppressive government, dictatorial in most ways of practical importance?  Ah, yes, throw off the shackles so you can put them on someone else.  Not surprisingly, the role of religion (in this case, Islam) was dragged into the mess, with (you guessed it) the men saying it was against Islam for women to have the same rights as men, that women should not be president.

One report I read quoted some of the men shouting things like "Go home, wash clothes!".  Which apparently, many of the men have not yet figured out on their own, judging by the rattiness of some of the apparel.  And, seriously?  If you are going to argue violently with someone over human rights?  Don't do it wearing a dirty jacket emblazoned with the logo of a well-known European car company.  It cuts into credibility, bro...

When the demonstrations began in Egypt weeks ago, it was scary and exciting to watch.  One could only hope that things really were going to change for the better, and that a freer, more democratic society was in the offing.  We cheered, we urged them on as men and women risked their lives to protest and demand change.  But somewhere along the way, a whole lot of people forgot that women make up almost half of the Egyptian population.

And if the government of a country will not grant the equal rights of citizenship to almost half of its population, it cannot claim to be democratic.  Don't forget one of the definitions, perhaps the most important definition, of democratic:
 "Pertaining to or characterized by the principle of political or social equality for all"
For it to be real, that means no exceptions.  Possession of testicles does not grant authority to deny rights to those possessed of breasts.  Until those who want to govern Egypt (or any other country with revolution in the offing) can treat all of their citizens with respect and equality,  I cannot and would not offer any support beyond "Good luck, call me when you make some real progress".

One parting shot:  The report I mentioned above also quoted some men as shouting "You are not married; go find a husband!"  I did a bit of a spit take upon reading that humdinger.

So, my marriage counselor friend, where do you suggest the women find these "husbands"?  Seems to me the pickings are mighty, mighty slim, if the majority of choices are knuckleheads like that sloganeer.

*Before anyone gets their knickers in a twist, the title is meant as sarcasm.  We really do need that sarcasm font, I'm thinkin'...

12 comments:

  1. Well said, my testicled friend. Now, when is your country going to elect its first female president?

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  2. Heh. Cap'n. Funny boy.

    Yeah, I love your outrage about this. Even in America, some guys are behind the times. But you're right about the big WIN they just got, only to slap down part of the very people who helped WIN it!

    I think all those men are on Plenty of Fish. I'm SURE they are . . .

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  3. Why does the prospect of Egyptian democracy remind me of Proposition 8?

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  4. Amen, bro...
    and some of them dudes had both testicles and manboobs.

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  5. I second your rant, thanks. Here is a quote you might like, "You can safely assume that you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do." Ann Lamott

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  6. hahaha love that last comment Mary, it is quite scary.
    As it is true, I'm telling you.
    What you wrote has my vote.
    As some people need to wise up or get hit over the head with a cup.
    Probably take more than that, maybe I should use my hat.
    Nah then it get dirty and they'd think I was being flirty.

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  7. if you haven't already, check this out:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwNnbM-aX4A

    There you go. Western women still have a long way to go before true equality; Middle-Eastern women in entrenched cultures have a long, LONG way to go.

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  8. Great post, brah!

    Ohhh...equality!! It's complicated. I can't remove my western eyes, but one thing I've learned from my islamic friends and sisters is that doing it their way (which may be slower, less angry, or even less ~equal~ than someone like me thinks it should be) is stronger and more significant than doing it my/our way.

    Which means, in my case, ranting (far away from them) along with you and hoping that - whatever changes the women of Egypt want regarding equality, they get a thorough chance to pursue them.

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  9. I have never figured out why women have bee treated thusly where Islam is concerned. I guess it still says in the koran that women are useless chattle????
    What a country! Shoot, even when those said same women come here to a 'free' country, those with Islamic roots still treat those women ill.
    Stupid, stupid men! If it weren't for the women, where would they be?

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  10. To all: It is a deeply held wish of mine that the majority of the people on the planet would behave as if they really believed that difference does not equate with inferiority.

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  11. You have no idea what this piece does for me... The Wee Lass is blessed in you as her father.

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Don't suffer your crimes
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