Men empowerment!


SEVEN

It was an honor taking part of SEVEN yesterday, an international play that highlights that stories of seven women activists around the world. During the reading, I came across this story of a Nigerian woman whose family wanted to marry her off to an old Saudi man and whom escaped before her wedding dishonouring her family. The script goes on to describe how this Nigerian woman wanted to reconcile with her family and how after two years she seized the chance of a holy day and went back, apologising for her father, who welcomed her back into the family with open arms.

That is when it hit me how similar this story to the ending of Rana’s story in Aroos Amman. How Rana’s father forgave her after two years of her escaping the country and stood up for her against his family and social mandates.

Many have claimed that the ending of Rana’s story in the book is far fetched, they claimed that such fathers’ reaction doesn’t exist. In reality, I believe that it exists more often than we realize. Both of those stories are a reflection of real stories. Those men, who we fail to highlight their courageous stand in championing the love of their daughters and their freedom of choice against strong social values, are real. Men are not strong as we believe they are. We tend to tie manhood with strength and then translate that into giving men the role of imposing inherited social values that hurt our beloved ones. Men flexes their muscles to apply the social laws that they can’t stand up to. That’s not a real strength for me, that is not noble, and not manly. Real strength is standing up for the ones you love, respect their freedom of choice, and protect it.

Continue reading →

Advertisements

Cross-dressers


There is no red line in our society that matches the one drawn to highlight the seperation of gender roles. Men and women, simple binary entities that simplifies all the diversity of humans nature into two templates. Only two that are hard to fit by many. It is even worse when it comes to the classification of these simple two templates; one is superior than the other. Men enjoy the upper hand. They ought to emphasize on different superior attributes (strength, intelligence, education, …etc) in order to fill their gender role.

So what happens when someone’s nature fail to fit with those guidlines? What happens when someone blurs the lines between between gender roles and mess up with one of the major parts of which we define our gender identities – our clothes?

Hell break loose! no?

What really happens is that most people fail to realize the natural diverse aspect of human beings and lump it under mental disorder category.

It is worth noting that I am not talking here about homosexuals who blur gender roles in a different way. I am emphasizing on another group of people who blur the line of gender roles based on their choice of clothes rather than their sexual orientation.

I know that we tend to lump everything that we are unfamiliar with under the same category – queerness -. Many people – falsely – percieve homosexuals as cross-dressers and cross dressers as homosexuals. In reality: The great majority of cross-dressers are biological males, most of whom are sexually attracted to women. (this is taken from the american psychological association website – read further here)

Now that we no that most cross-dressers are straight men, does that help in making them fit our unique men template?

Ofcourse not, they fail in one of the prerequisites.

While the american psychological association tells us as well that cross-dressing is not a mental disorder, a lot of people tend to maintain their constructed inherited structure of false rigidity of gender roles and judge cross dressers as mentally ill people.

We tend to play experts. It is no uncommon for us to judge any unfamiliar behaviour to be a mental illness. “He is sick, or she is sick” may be one of the most used Jordanian terms. People are sick – this is also common – in our own definition of equating sickness to weirdness.

Would we ever realize the diverse nature of human beings? and would we ever learn that being weird doesn’t necessary being bad? I know that the internet opened the door for us, we may find a hard time at the beginning to capture unfamiliar things, but we all know that with time weird things become normal.