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


Anonymous said…
Hey Layla another brilliant article, you sure know how to get the senses going.
As for more than one wife, in the west threesomes, foursomes and so on are quite popular, so is "wife-swapping" at "swingers" parties.
Lori said…
Fabulous! Just fabulous! I'm so glad I came across a link to your site! Ill be back!

Be safe - Lori
Alan the Red said…
You can complain about the treatment of women all you like, but until you check out what I mean by "Poodle-god", i.e. the second, lesser god mentioned in the Book of Genesis Chapter Two, and check out how that relates to Egyptian history, you aren't going anywhere.

Anonymous said…

I saw you asked Ike to write a song for you so I thought I would write one for you to. Should I say for your People. This is to me sad so I will warn others they may not like the content.


- Iraqi Freedom - by Savage a Warrior

The Iraqi freedom is for their good it's what they said.
While going through our city burning everything they could.
As if this action was not good enough for them to see,
they went and shot women and children right in their head.
You might ask yourself what kind of animal this could be,
it's the proud americans that said they come to set us free.

Set us free, set us free, with holes in our heads and blood at our feet.
Set us free, set us free, with holes in our heads and blood at our feet.

With smiles on their faces and dancing in their feet,
laughing and joking saying look at all the dead meat.
You might ask yourself what kind of animal could this be,
it's the proud americans that said they come to set us free.

Set us free, set us free, with holes in our heads and blood at our feet.
Set us free, set us free, with holes in our heads and blood at our feet.

They said Saddam killed thousands as you can see,
thats why were here to protect you and set you free.
Who cares about counting bodies now let us be,
because the world already knows we lied about setting you free.

Set us free, set us free, with holes in our heads and blood at our feet.
Set us free, set us free, with holes in our heads and blood at our feet.

And the Iraqi freedom is what they said.


Layla my sister, sometimes the truth hurts and is sad just like my song sad but true and this hurts in my heart.

May the Great Spirit hold and keep you.

your brother of the Sioux nation

Savage American Warrior
Imagine-Nation said…
Layla. You are the true voice of Iraq. All others pale by comparison ... although this is not exactly a competition for writer-of-the-year prize. Your voice is so real. So genuine. So from the deepest recesses of your soul. I personally feel a true kinship in you. I synthesized all that you say in your blogs before this third phase of Holocaust 2003-present began (the first phase was the Gulf Holocaust 1992; second phase was Sanctions Holocaust 1993 to 2003 and beyond).

While I think there is nothing - no lie big enough; no crime against humanity atrocious enough that is beneath Republican scum as long as it is committed by one of "them," one thing that really disgusts me about those claiming to be on my side of the fence. When speaking of Saddam Hussein, they have completely bought into the propaganda and self-enjoined themselves from saying anything good about Saddam Hussein. Well I, for one, do not have that problem. Saddam Hussein actually listened and respected the voice of women in Iraq. Just that alone sets him apart from virtually all the woman-hating mullah leaders of the Arab world. In "Mr. Monster's" Iraq, women enjoyed the greatest amount of freedom, education and autonomy and accompanying support for their children - miles ahead of even the next closest state in the Arab world. You think any of these people are vocal about giving credit where credit is due? No. They're so scared that Republican scum with zero credibility who support a criminally insane, right wing, genocidal, unelected dictatorial scumbag - may accuse them of saying something good about Saddam Hussein. That's why there were women professionals of all levels in the Iraq under Saddam Hussein. How interesting that the greatest amount these educated and professional women who have now escaped with nothing but the clothes on their backs and seeking political and gender asylum elsewhere, have done so under the Israel/US-Iranian-Mossad/Kurdish terrorist dictatorship (otherwise known as Hell).
SEE: Four Years Ago at www.runninghorse.cc/Four_Years_Ago.html
Anonymous said…
That is what I do not understand...
I mean, in terms of HUMANITY for ANY other living being.

A woman.
Gods GIFT to man. The one who will produce for him his children AND provide the inspiration which makes him the "man" that he is.
One of the most beautiful of ALL gods creation...in some parts of the world....and the most despicable in other parts...

Why go to SUCH EXTREMES as in the "new" Iraq?
A TOTAL fucking head to toe cover up?
Good god almighty!
You should be proud to have such a beautiful woman, who is not only visually more beautiful than I can put into words, but is also MORALLY IN TACT!
I can guarantee that she is not the "bad" woman that you idiots think she is.(yes, this is addressed directely at the middle eastern men who believe this way).
Again I say...I wish we could give you the WORTHLESS, IMMORAL women of USA.
They would break the "men" of Iraq and Iran!
From experience, you CANNOT "ask" an American woman to "behave" appropriately. She will only act more like a slut and then tell you it is all in your head.

The women of Iraq ARE one of the most beautiful sects of women I have ever seen, with their beautiful brown eyes and long dark hair. Skin as flawless as a new born baby.
And most importantly, the spirit and dedication of a REAL woman.
One who, if given the chance, would love her man....her life partner.
Not wanting to flaunt herself before other men.

I know it is age old middle east culture....but still...it is so hard for me to understand.

Of all the cultures I have ever studied, I must admit that the middle east has been the hardest for me to understand.

I will likely post more on this later today.
It is early here now and I have some things I must go do.

I will be back later today.

Your work is excellent Layla.
You are a true woman.

Stay safe & God bless,
LostHere said…
You know Layla that men could never be in the place of a woman, and I mean in any regular time, much less in the kind of scenary you sadly paint (and I am sure it is a very real position for women in so many places)... That said, it is unfortunate, because humanity would change its course quickly if we males were to be treated as women are. And like you, I did not said everything would be great, but if the women "minority" were to become the "majority" (and of course I don't mean mathematically), the world would have a lot more more heart.
I too always wonder how women can be a minority if they are more populous than males...
Layla, you are a great wordsmith and poet.
What Barabie said re Swingers etc is absolutely true.

Not that I know anyone like that.

Re mention

Thanx :)

I don't take prisoners I like to go for the kill :)
Anonymous said…
According to my and my ancestors' beliefs, women give life. Therefore, women are to be treated greatly, given great possessions and responsibility, allowed to control the man in all ways, as he is lucky enough to have her. All of his things become hers alone when married. Indeed, I myself am neither Christian nor Muslim, preferring to worship a Goddess of my ancestors.

And I also agree with Ike. Any man luckily enough to find himself a love in an Iraqi, or any Muslim woman, is a lucky man indeed.
Layla Anwar said…
Barabie and Janice,

Hi - Yes I have heard of these practices but they are not legally institutionalized...and I suppose a woman has the right to refuse...
I don't think they are comparable to institutionalized polygamy.
Mind you and I know this might shock either of you or anyone else reading this...I don't think polygamy is bad per se. I actually have no moral judgement on it.
During times of war like for instance now in Iraq where you easily have 1 Million widows and during times of wars...polygamy can be positive in a certain sense...
Widows also need partners...and when there are more women than men what do you do?
However in the text, I was referring not to this kind of polygamy of necessity, but more about the threat of being substituted at any time...It has come full force back into Iraqi Society...and muta marriage...which is a temporary contract marriage theologically endorse by the Shia sect is simply not supervised by any "religious"authority as such and is left to the "good intentions" of men...
Layla Anwar said…
Hi Lori or sand gets in my eyes...
Nice seeing you here.
Layla Anwar said…
Lord Abbas,
You are on about your poodle God again...I don't read Genesis...last time I attempted at reading it, I fell asleep. I find it to be the most boring theological text ever...
So why don't you save me all this tediousness and explain about your ancient Egyptian gods and goddesses...instead of complaining about my complaining.
Layla Anwar said…
Savage American Warrior from the Sioux Tribe...

"With smiles on their faces and dancing in their feet,
laughing and joking saying look at all the dead meat.
You might ask yourself what kind of animal could this be,
it's the proud americans that said they come to set us free.

Set us free, set us free, with holes in our heads and blood at our feet.
Set us free, set us free, with holes in our heads and blood at our feet."

I like that paragraph a lot...
Thank you for composing this.
I may use it one day in some of my writings if you don't mind and of course your copyrights will be protected...

God bless
Layla Anwar said…

Thank you - am blushing now :)
I read your link and thanks again for dedicating it to me...am very touched. I read what you had to say here and in your link and needless to say I agree with almost anything you stated... However, I noticed that you made no mention of the "democrats"...
I personally don't think they are that different from the mafia ruling the USA today.
As for the women's issue, you are absolutely correct. Women in pre"liberated" Iraq enjoyed many more rights than any other arab state and of course compared to today, there are no rights left...
Women have become the object of both personal and collective violence added to which the violence of the occupation...
We are in a very very sorry state indeed...I am not even counting the widows, the homeless, the exiled, a total pauperization of women who now constitute the majority of the iraqi population for obvious reasons....A human tragic disaster indeed.
Layla Anwar said…

Your comment was very powerful and at the same time it had me in stitches...I laughed so hard...Man you are funny!!!
I think you should send a few of your american women to deal with middle eastern men...hahahahaha
Joking apart, you touched on some important points, many actually...
1)Culture as you rightly pointed out, has been appropriated by fanatics...and twisted and turned to suit their own vision and sadly their vision is misogynist to say the least. I, in all honesty cannot blame Islam and I know that some will jump on the occasion and do so...I refuse that...Because I have studied Islam and women quite deeply...and I truly believe that Islam was a liberating force for women in the 7th century...and by sticking to its spirit...one can see that there are NO contradictions between so called the liberation of women and Islamic thought...I did say Islam and not muslim men...
And I will add Islam as opposed to middle eastern men.
2) which brings me back to the second point and this will shock many middle eastern men and so be it...
The truth is that Middle Eastern men both christians and muslims even atheists...regardless of their religious affiliation have TAKEN ARAB WOMEN FOR GRANTED FOR TOO LONG.
The reasons are quite simple:
Arab men know that :
- Arab women have been Socialized to Faithful wives and partners...
- that Arab women will not go seek extra marital affairs.
- that Arab women will not abandon their husbands if he goes broke, ill, etc...it is socialized into LOYALTY...
-That Arab women consider themselves as mothers first and therefore their attention is focused on their family...before themselves...

3) It is sad to note that Arab men in general and of course there are exeptions to this observation, have ABUSED this loyalty and this devotion...and it seems that nothing is good enough for them.

4) and last but not least,
it is flattering and at the same time sad to see that it takes western men to show their appreciation of arab women when arab men are too busy putting us down...

5) and one last point, Arab men suffer from terrible double standards...as if they have internalized their colonial complex deep in their psyche...Notice how they treat Western women and how they treat Arab women and you will understand the double standards and hypocrisy...

I think Arab women should simply STOP deifying their men until they earn it! and even then...
Layla Anwar said…
losthere/ Czar...

Thank you. Interesting comment.
You are right, I bet men would not last 24 hours in the satirical scenario I wrote. Of course they are not all that way...but the trend is moving towards this kind of male/female dynamics. I believe you call it a backlash...And yes men would probably gather underground and wage a total revolution against the status quo should they be in a similar situation.
Of course the worst irony is double fold.
on the one hand this situation was brought about by a so called Free Democracy - the USA.
And on the other hand, by Iran whom the "righteous" left in the West like Dr. Choddowksy (cant spell his name)and the other lame duck Chomsky qualify as a "sophisticated
democracy" of the oppressed...
It is a circus and a sham and the first ones who paid the price are Iraqi women...What a bunch of bastards these are!
Layla Anwar said…
Do they make many of your kind ...If yes please do send them over...We need more men like that :)
Anonymous said…

Yes you can use it.

Anonymous said…
I never really checked the availability. But if there aren't alot of us, then I'll just have to send myself over later on and do what I can :)
Anonymous said…
1000B.C.: The Prophet Zoroaster was the first prophet to introduce the idea of monotheism, duality of good and evil, mankind's freedom of choice between the two alternatives, messianic redemption, final judgement, heaven (the word Paradise comes from the word "Paradaesa" from the Old Persian language), hell, and the notion of an almighty, kind, loving, and forgiving God. Many of the concepts had a profound influence on Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

558-530 B.C.: Cyrus the Great established the Persian Empire in 550 B.C, the first world empire. It was and still may be the largest empire the world has ever seen. His respect for local traditions, laws, languages, and religions set the foundation of a relatively benevolent empire. He created the first charter of human rights. A Greek historian writes the "Cyropedia" which describes Cyrus's methods of ruling. Cyrus's view was that "great rulers are loved, not feared" as opposed to the Roman belief in the contrary. Thomas Jefferson owned two copies of the "Cyropedia." It influenced the US constitution.

522-486BC Darius the Great built many roads, ports, banking houses (the word "check" comes from the Old Persian language), the worlds first elaborate underground irrigation and sewage systems and the first canal to link the Nile to the Red Sea (the precursor of the Suez Canal). Darius introduced the first coinage system in the world called the Darik. This iniciative, along with the standardization of weights and measures and the codifications of commercial laws, stimulated the world trade and elevated the Persian Empire's economy to new levels of prosperity. He created the Persepolis Palace to reflect the wealth and multicultural dimension of the Empire. He created the Royal Road, the world's longest, extending 1,500 miles. Due to an extensive network of relays, postmen could travel the road in six to nine days as opposed to 3 months! The motto of the Persian postal service, "stopped by neither snow, rain, heat or gloom of night," was adapted by the US postal service. The US's Pony Express mail deliverey resembled the original Persian design.

Greek historians, particularly Horodotus, was shocked when he witnessed Persian women dining with their men and participating in political dicisions. He called this immoral behavior.

334BC: Alexander invades Persia, gets drunk and burns Persepolis only to regret it. He also destroys 3 volumes of the Zoroastrian text. However, he payed tribute to Cyrus's tomb, emulated Persian court customs and attempted to create a new culture, a mix of both Persian and Hellenistic. he failed to maintain this. Thus even after Alexander, Persia maintained it's integrity, culture, customs, and vitality in the region. Other invaders only adopted Persian culture and not vis versa. Rome failed against Persia 7 times! Islamic architecture is a continuation of pre-Islamic Persian architecture of the Sassanian Era of Persia. This was all a summary of the Achaemenid Era in which Xerxes (khashayar shah) lived.
Re Polygamy?

I'm not married and don't want to but If I did I wouldn't like it if my husband married someone else too.Unless he just had sex with me and not the other person then it might be alright

The most boring Bible book(s) are Leviticus and Deutoronomy (zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz) though parts of Genesis are too e,g the begats Ariel begat Shlomo begat Ehud :P Tediosity :)
Anonymous said…
My dearest Layla,
I am honoured and touched.Thank you.
God bless you and your admirable efforts always.Ameen.
Layla Anwar said…
I thought you believed in the Christian spirit of sharing is caring?

Re Sharing

Not that much :D LOL
Alan the Red said…
Those who worship their enemy are defeated. Any woman who belongs to a patriarchal religion and then complains about the treatment of women is just spouting hot air.

Don't try getting nit-picky about the book of Genesis, with me, Layla. Mathew Fenner talks about the true Creator, not the one Jews, Christians and Muslims worship.

You obviously prefer to be talking to sycophants. I thought you had a brain, but like all children of the lesser god, you are dumbed down. You can't help it; you were created that way. I wish you luck. I'm not wasting any further time. Time is running out.

Layla Anwar said…
All I can say to you Lord Wanker..is good riddance. Thelast thing I need is some pedantic racist muslim hater here...now you can safely bugger off to your nemesis.
Anonymous said…
I have to agree with Layla with that. People can complain if they want. There's no problem with worshipping how you will. I know only a few Christian people I've known have a problem with my religious belief.

Me, the way I do it, I don't care, really. I'll tell people about it if they ask, otherwise, it's not my business. Conversion is something only weak religions or peoples feel a need to do. Any good religion/God(dess) has it's own pull, and doesn't need people to do work for it. My kids, when I have some in the future, I will probably either let their mother teach her religious beliefs to them, or I'll let them figure out what works for them, rather than describing anything to them.

Besides which, from what I know, women are mostly equals according to the Qur'An. Any oppression of women is most likely a corruption of government rather than of religion. Government and religion are seperate things normally, because religion isn't made to change, government is meant to change, as no one person can rule a government forever. If government is lead by the religious, then religion will likely change as well in the affected area. A perversion, unforunately. The only way to ensure it doesn't happen, is to only allow the non-religious and the scientific to lead, a thing unlikely to happen or be enforced if it did happen.

But, some things can't be changed. without much work, unfortunately.

So, best for people to try to get along, hmm?
Robin said…
Today is the one year anniversary (that is NOT the right word to use) of Abeer Qassim's rape and murder as well as the other members of her family by US soldiers. NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING my country can do can undo what we have done to yours Layla. NOTHING. Masalama beautiful one.
Anonymous said…

Uhh, Layla, when you're done stomping on them, could i please have my testicles back?


P.S. Isn't Genesis supposed to be spelled "Gene of Isis?"
P.S.II My cat says not to give my cojones back, since i was mean to him and had the vet take away his cookies.

Greg Bacon
R 1 Box 3518
Anonymous said…
Hope you will post soon Layla

I am really waiting for another master piece from you.
Iraqi Mojo said…
>"A woman.
Gods GIFT to man. The one who will produce for him his children AND provide the inspiration which makes him the "man" that he is."

Ike i normally like what you say but this can't go unchallenged.
We are a GIFT to man?????
Are you serious?
Or are you just kidding?????????????
There is NO way you could think like that.
Why is MAN not a GIFT to a woman?
Please Please tell me you don't believe that.
Iraqi Mojo said…
Robin said...

Today is the one year anniversary (that is NOT the right word to use)

Robin how about just
"Today is one year since the rape and murder of Abeer"
Anniversary is a disgusting word to use in relation to Abeer (may she rest in peace).

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