Anti-Feminism Kind of Confuses Me

I don’t think I quite understand anti-feminism websites, which are apparently more popular than I ever thought they would be.

I can, of course, comprehend choosing not to identify as a feminist—because we all have a choice. I firmly believe you can choose whatever you’d like to be, and remain happy that way. (As long as, of course, you’re not infringing on other people’s rights while doing so). What I don’t get, however, is why anti-feminists lump all feminists as “man-hating” or feel that they should just “get over it” and be happy with the rights they have managed to achieve.

Thing is, yes, we can vote and have jobs and marry who we like. But we also get interrogated just as harshly as (if not more so than) the perpetrator if we get raped. We are still paid less than our male counterparts for the same job. Some men still feel odd taking orders from a female superior. (Not as much as before, but it’s still there). An assertive lady is a “bitch”. An assertive man is a “boss” and knows what he’s doing.

I’m not saying the entire feminist group is united and has it all right—of course they don’t. There are some feminists I can’t stand, while there are others whom I truly admire. Just because a group has dissidents/radicals doesn’t make it wrong. (Look at, for example, religion in general. It’s not fair to judge every follower on the actions of the extremists). I don’t think modern-day feminists are trying to eradicate men, nor are they attempting to paint themselves as victims in order to get special treatment.

I think, to put it almost too simply, they’re just trying to bridge the gap that has been centuries in the making. Sure, we’ve come a long way, but that doesn’t mean we still don’t have a ways to go. Progress never stops.

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A Talk that Hits Close to Home

I would recommend everyone listen to this, but especially if you live in a multi-lingual culture. It hits a lot of crucial points and is very articulately laid out. I feel very strongly about the preservation of languages, and I feel badly that I am not more fluent in what is supposed to be my mother tongue. Suzanne Talhouk definitely hit the nail on the head with this one. 

(It remains a fact that my brain is wired in English through and through. But because I was raised by parents who spoke Arabic almost exclusively, there are several concepts/things that I can sometimes only exclusively refer to in that language. Makes for an interesting mix of languages every now and then).

Happy Freakin’ New Year…

It’s pretty tragic that I seem to only get inspired to write here when I watch the news…especially recently.

Unfortunately, I’m often so jaded I can’t figure out what I want to say. I want to scream and throw things and yell at people. I want to cry and hug those who would never fully heal from the atrocities they did nothing to deserve. I want to know why this always has to happen. At the same time, there’s a dull numbness, a void, a vat of emptiness where even hate or anger has no place.

To punctuate Christmas and start off the New Year, two explosions occurred in less than a week: December 27 in downtown Beirut (8 casualties and 70 injuries) and January 2nd in the South Beirut area (4 casualties and 77 injuries). Yesterday, a library in the northern city of Tripoli was torched to the ground by Islamist militants, resulting in the loss of 78,000 books and manuscripts—several of which have no duplicates.

I don’t think the madness will end anytime soon. 

Parents mourn their children as houses are cleared of charred chunks of wall and shattered glass. Two days of indignation, anger and demands for justice will roll around. Politicians will point fingers and rehash the same talking points they’ve resorted to since the dawn of time. People will cry and yell into news cameras. Bodies will be buried and prayers uttered over their graves. They will be referred to as “martyrs”, though they died in vain and for a cause in which they had no part*. People will party in the pubs a couple of days later and it will all be back to normal.

We like to call it “resilience”.

I call it (albeit regularly accepted) lunacy. It’s not normal for people to die, to lose limbs and eyes, to bleed and suffer for no reason other than being at the wrong place at the wrong time. Since when was this something you should “get used to”? Why is it so easy to gloss over horrific crimes against humanity that cause your fellow brethren to lose parents, sisters, brothers, uncles? How do you go clubbing while women mourn the loss of their children and curse the day they ever said it was okay for them to walk out the door?

Lebanon drives me crazy whether I’m living there or not. It’s enough to make me wish I could stop caring so much about it.

*I want to leave some links to a few posts by Gino Raidy, a very well-known Lebanese blogger. He wrote an awesome post about our consistent use of the word “martyr” to refer to victims of these heartless attacks. I linked to it back in August when there were two car bomb attacks within a week of each other. It is worth another read. He also wrote this, about the December 27 bombing, which is definitely worth taking a look at.

These are posts that really struck me by Elie from A Separate State of Mind:

It’s Just a Bomb (August 16, 2013)

A Lebanese Tragedy: The Devaluation of a Life (November 19, 2013)

Hopes For A Better Lebanon: I Am Not a Martyr (December 30, 2013)

Lebanon Loses 78,000 Books to Terrorism (January 4, 2013)

The dates that these posts were written are scary enough.