March 9, 2007

A woman's week of Independence...


Today is supposedly International Women's day.
Has anyone stopped to think what this title means exactly?
Have you noticed how they have days for just about everything and everyone...
Mothers day, Fathers day, Friendship day, Lovers day, Workers day, Siblings day, Non smokers day, Vegetarians day, Army day, Independence day, Pets day...And you can just add about anything you want and call it a day.

Have you also noticed how in essays and articles, "they" refer to "women, children and other minorities".
What does it mean "other minorities"? And why should women be lumped with "other minorities"?

Last time I checked, women outnumbered men worldwide. We are indeed well over half of the world's population.
And sometimes when I read those silly articles that refer to women as a minority, I need to pinch me to remind myself that we in fact constitute way above a minority. We are in fact the majority.
What a wonderful way to keep us in a minority mentality and relegate our issues to a secondary position...Ever so reminiscent of being second class.

You see this is where the problem lies. A problem of perception and the use of words...
Take another example - "Empowering women"...

What does that mean empowering women? Why do they need to empower us?
We already have power, we are just not allowed to use it...
The question is not "how" to empower women but "who" took our powers away?
Ask the right question, you will get the right answer.

I certainly don't need anyone to empower me. It is there alright. I dont need some social science consultant getting over 500 dollars a day, to write a treatise on my empowerment.
What I need is that he stops speaking in my name and gets his ass out of my way along with his bosses, his lawmakers, his historians, his politicians, his academics, his clerics...

I think what women need to do is "remove" (I leave you to define the word in a way that is most fitting for you) whomsoever opposes their power...
And whilst at it they need to stop accepting bullshit from men...Any kind of bullshit...And only then can women move away from being "victims" to being captains of their own ships, mistresses of their fate and sail through...And I did not say there will be no storms...

But it does start on the inside. First as personal awareness and asking the right questions...Always ask the right question. And don't beat yourself over the head if you screw up...And by the way, reading women's magazines and crappy romance stories "a l'eau de rose" will not cut it.

Of course you may argue that this is all very nice for bourgeois women what about the impoverished ones? Sorry to disappoint you, but the principle is the same.
The power is already there...deep inside and it manifests itself in a thousand of ways... Grab what is already there and there is plenty of it.
And no, you don't need a Phd to do that.

My grandmother could not read and write but she was powerful...However she was not allowed to exercise her power the way she felt it to be right...And who stood in her way? Men and their laws.

But of course, you are not like these men... And since you care about women so much and today is my day, this is what I suggest to you. We shall exchange roles for a week.
I declare today "International women's week of Independence... from men."
And I invite you to experience it first hand the Iraqi way, the way it is applied in the "new Iraq."
By the way, any similarities to other countries are purely coincidental.

So what do you say? Are you game?
Now, wait a second, don't get me wrong please...I love the opposite sex...in due measure that is...
So let us start. For a whole week, you men, are to do as told :

You shall not venture outside the home alone and without permission.
You shall cook, clean, do the laundry, look after the kids, manage a meager budget, do without water and electricity and please if you have any physical complaints, keep them to yourself, no time and no money to see a doctor...
At the end of the day, you are too look good, fresh and wear a pleasant smile and at night you are expected to be enrapturedly amorous with no reservations...
And no, I do not wish to hear about your psychosomatic headaches, back pains and erectility problems.

If you are to venture outside, the conditions are very clear. You are to cover up and when I say cover up, I mean total ninja /tent style cover up.
I don't like those half- assed veils. And no, your tripping on your chador is not my business...I only care about your protection dear.
I do not wish to see any tight trousers, short sleeves shirts and strands of hair showing...
I don't want the neighbors to think I have a loose man around the house...My honor is to be safeguarded at all times...

Needless to say, mingling with other men and sitting in cafes without my permission is out of the question...What will people say or think about my standing in the community ?

And since you are nothing but an extension of my massive inflated spoiled ego, if you do not abide by my laws, I shall impose you on another man.
He can either be a temporary lover sought out through a temporary marriage contract (quite common in the new liberated Iraq) or matter of factly, another husband whom you will have to learn to cohabit with...
After all I am the woman here and the provider. So shut up and bear it.

And since, by the authority bestowed upon me, I am the natural representative of God on earth, I will not only control your body and the way you dress ...
Did you not hear what I just said ? Cover this strand of hair now! Loose man that you are! Why do you insist on behaving like a slut? Have you no shame? Or are you just after your vain, earthly desires?...
That is it, be good so I can always approve of you and be pleased with you...
Sit straight when am talking to you and uncross your legs and keep them tightly closed... and don't interrupt...

As I was saying, since I am God's representative on earth, I also decree that you no longer have any political, legal or economic rights...Yes you heard me right.
What do you need them for? Everything you need is provided for, you are a father, you have your children ... and your natural place...

What did I just hear? In the old regime? Did you say the old regime?
You are longing for the "dictator" huh? You throw away this new sophisticated democracy american - iranian style and you long for the "tyrant"?

Take him away for interrogation, torture him, rape him, drill him and bring him back...
So what do you say now? Are you still longing for the old times when you had rights?

Take it as a warning, next time I catch you rebelling in any way, shape or form, you will be hanged in public from your balls for obstructing public law and order and for terrorising our new found freedom.

Dissent is not allowed in our new democracy...Maliki, Al Hakim and Muqtada Sadr style...a very sophisticated democracy imposed by Teheran and Washington D.C.

And if per chance you are caught fighting for your so called rights and gathering in public places, you shall be taken like your Iranian neighbors and imprisonned and preferably flagellated.

Am I clear now?
Do as I tell you and stop this frown and grimacing in my face, it brings bad luck.
Cheer up you are liberated...Good boy.
Now sing and dance for me and celebrate your manhood in the new Iraq. It is your day after all.

Yalla do it now. I only have a few days left before the week is over.
And please hurry up, before a "sophisticated" Iranian Fatwa bearing an Iraqi stamp - with Sistani's, Hakim's and chubby Muqtada's face (and his drill boys) - on it , lands on my head...
Or what do you think, should I seriously consider seeking political asylum in Siberia?
Do come and visit me there, same time next year and we can celebrate together, my womanhood in exile...on International women's day.

Postscript: I would like to extend my admiration and thanks to several women here. I cannot name all of them but will leave you with a few ...

Paola Pisi , editor of Uruknet.info. I am yet to see someone as principled and as tirelessly dedicated to the Iraqi cause as Paola. A very rare woman indeed.
Sinfo Fernandez from rebelion.org. for taking time and energy to translate some of my posts into spanish in solidarity with the Iraqi people.
K.K. my far away friend who loves Iraq more than the Iraqis themselves.
Ladybird from Roads to Iraq- who is always making sure that her blog is updated with new fresh info from Iraq.
and last but not least...my dearest of all (x) - she knows who she is, my mom for always sticking to Truth, and my wonderful grandmothers (bless their souls) who knew it all...
There are many more but will not be able to mention their names since I did not get "clearance"...Some are online and some are offline. Thank you all and in Solidarity.


Painting: Iraqi artist, Hassan AbdelAlwan