Sunday, October 30, 2005

A man's thoughts about women equality

First of all I want to apologize for not posting for a long time. I have been busy a lot, and at some time of desperation and boredom, I considered deleting the whole blog, because of my inactivity. At the end, I decided to stick with it, and update it whenever I can, even if that means one update every couple of months.

Here are a few thoughts of mine about women's rights:

The state of women in Syria is not that great, although we have to admit that it's better than many countries in the area and the east.

In Ancient Syria, our most important deities were goddesses. Ishtar/Astarte was our high goddess. Femininity, fertility, and beauty of women represented the most holy aspects of life and creation. Unfortunately, the jealous masculinity prevailed by influencing every aspect of our lives, from simple basic duties to bigger issues like leadership and religion.

Many people, when they argue against women equality with men, they say that women are different than men, and each have their own rights and duties. Their logic comes from understanding equality in this way:

a woman who's equal to men would wake up early, get her kids ready to go to school. Afterwards, she'd have to hurry to go to her job and work for many hours. She'd have to run back home to feed her children and husband. Then, she'd start her house chores: cleaning, cooking, teaching her kids...etc

According to these people, this equality is bad for women. Of course this is bad for women, but you can't call this equality. Women are not made to be maids, and men are not made to be served by women. Equality means that women and men have the right to do what they want, and BOTH OF THEM have to take care of their house and children.

If you're a man and you have children, they don't automatically become your women's children. It's your responsibility, like its hers, to raise your children and care about them. Also, doing some house chores (ex. cleaning your own mess) won't lower or degrade your manhood (a.k.a. Vanity). In the contrary, helping your wife makes you a part of the family, instead of being a mere financial provider, you'd become an important part of your family's life.

When this collaboration between men and women actually happen, things would become easy for both men and women. Only at that time, women will be able to work in a real equal atmosphere. Only then will men have a real connection with their own families.

The French feminist Simone de Beauvoire once said that women are often treated as a minority when the topic of equality is being approached. Are we blind? Or is it that the 50 - 50 % means nothing to our mathematically educated minds?

The most fact that bothers me when it comes to equality, is not the men who are used to be possessive and controlling for centuries. The annoying thing is when you see women not only accepting being submissive, but also praising their men and allowing them to have the "right" to beat them.

If we need a better society, then we have to use every aspect and every power that can contribute to it. We can't lay down 50% of the society and oppress it, and then wonder why we have many flaws and problems.

We should use 100% of our efforts to build up a good and healthy society. That means, men and women should unite and walk forward together step by step.


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2:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fight for upholding natural justice

Dear Readers

I'm happy to note that you are interested in justice and equality . My comment below is ALSO about Justice and equality. Fight for Justice is International ....

..How would you feel if you are arrested in the middle of the night for no fault of yours ?

What would you do if your wife were the prime mover behind the arrest ? and she has used the arrest a bargaining tool ?

Shocking isn't it ? No ! this can't happen in India ain't it ? But true, this IS happening in India in this day and age

This has happened to 1000s of Innocent Indian Men in the name of "Cruelty in Marriage".

Laws were enacted to protect women. However these laws are being misused by 1000s of MODERN women to settle scores, wreak vengeance, arrested ELDERLY MOTHERS and even pregnant sisters

Here's what's happening

There were adequate provisions in the Indian Penal Code Sections 323, 324, 325 and 326 for use against anyone who assaults a woman or causes her injury.

In spite of this, The Indian Penal Code was amended twice during the 1980s — first in 1983 and again in 1986 — to define special categories of crimes dealing with marital violence and abuse In 1983, Section 498A of the IPC defined a new cognizable offense, namely, “cruelty by husband or relatives of husband”.

This means that under this law the Indian police have no option but to take action, arrest, once such a complaint is registered by the victim or any of her relatives. The due process of law prescribes that the "..accused is innocent unless proven guilty..". However in this case the accused is immediately arrested. His image in society is tarnished. His parents and sisters who can also be named in the complaint, are also arrested or harassed..

Sec. 498A of Indian Penal Code prescribes imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and also includes a fine. The definition of cruelty is not just confined to causing grave injury, bodily harm, or danger to life, limb or physical health, but also includes mental health, harassment and emotional torture through verbal abuse. This law takes particular cognizance of harassment, where it occurs with a view to coercing the wife, or any person related to her, to meet any unlawful demand regarding any property or valuable security, or occurs on account of failure by her, or any person related to her, to meet such a demand.

However, no punitive provisions were added for those making false allegations or exaggerated claims.

There is, of course, the law against perjury (lying on oath). But in India, the courts expect people to prevaricate and lawyers routinely encourage people to make false claims because such stratagems are assumed to be part of the legal game in India. Therefore, the law against perjury has hardly ever been invoked in India. Section 406, to be invoked by the woman to file cases against her husband and in-laws for retrieval of her dowry prescribes imprisonment of upto three years for criminal breach of trust. Often, highly exaggerated or bogus claims are made by unscrupulous families who demand the return of more than was given as ‘stridhan’, using the draconian sections 498A and section 406 of the IPC as a bargaining tool.

What do we seek here

1. We seek your support to upholding the "..due process of law..".

2. A matrimonial dispute if essentially CIVIL in nature. This should NOT be dealt with by police who handle criminal complaints. Civil disputes like matrimonial disputes are to be handle by marriage councelors or family courts

3. A due process of law shall be followed i.e. NO ONE should be arrested for a matrimonial dispute, UNLESS the case has been fully inquired into. i.e. Section 498A should be bailable. Any arrest should be made ONLY WITH A WARRANT !

4. There shall be stringent punishment FOR THOSE INDULGING IN FALSE COMPLAINTS. They are wasting the precious time and resources of the police and indulging in wasting tax payers money by clogging the Judiciary and Police with false and frivolous cases

5. Elderly parents, sisters and OTHER FAMILY MEMBERS should NOT BE ARRESTED unless the complete inquiry is orders

In effect we are fighting for upholding natural justice and the due process of law - a proper trial BEFORE any arrest

We request you to sign this petition and circulate it to as many people as possible

Jai Hind


2:58 AM  
Anonymous Demetrius the Arab said...

Hello tolerant Damascene, I have much respect from your brave articles about women rights and equality.
You are right, Syria is in comparison to other arab states more liberal in such matters, but even conservative thoughts about women do exist in Syria also. The new trend, because of economic matters, is, that the men want that women to work in their jobs, not like years before were it was not so usual, and additional make their work at home in education and so on. So there will be a "double-pressure" on wifes. I don't know how the Syrian wifes will handle this, because when it was not ususal that the women works, like years before, the only "job" of the women was to cook and educate the children, now they have additionally a job in public life and after work they go home an continue their housework. But conservative thoughts changes slowly and depend on higher education and wealth of the people. The higher educated and wealthy people are the more they are open to change their point of view. The other thing is the education in school(I consider it one of the most important things) and the eduction of the society. What should a girl think, when she sees her whole life her mother cooking at home, her aunts, her friends, she will think, that it's normal.We must not forget that the youth is the time were values are tightend and that this time is very important for education. So mothers, who have the main work of educating their children, should bear that in mind, and should not educate their sons like little "pashas" and their daughters as maids.
The other thing I have read in the last Blog, how are the statistics of Honor Killings in Syria. WHich provinces are considered to have the most honor killings in Syria? It would really interesting me, because I hear nothing of Honor Killings in Syria,mostly I hear it from Iraq, Jordan and Palestine. Send me emails to, . Thank you

3:15 AM  
Blogger Ghalia said...

Great, this is the point I totally agree with u and greet u…
Here r some other points at random;

-What hurts me most sometimes, watching some men jealous of their wives success, and then feeling regret cuz they gave them freedom and support at first, while it should be considered their both success and they should be proud of it.

-I watched a once one comic sketch for a man who used to liberate other women while restricting his “wives”!!! so words need to be activated!

- Not to forget that the word “equality” is very relative.

- Some women think that freedom and equality come after getting off religious signs ex. taking off the veil, while I don’t think this has to do with equality between men and women, the problem isn’t a religious one as much as a cultural one, and the way we both women and men have been raise up or maybe misconception of religion!

-One other point, I’ve noticed that women mostly r intolerable when reaching high positions whatever it was! But I can understand the reasons!

1:20 PM  
Blogger Ihsan said...

First of all, I remember you saying that you are an optimistic Syrian! so please act accordingly!

Now back to your topic!

Giving power away is not an easy process, men, in general, will not be enjoying the equality issue cuz it means they are not anymore the ruling gods of the house. It's not like that, but many of them, think it is.

Power, nevertheless, must be asked for, fought for! This is what the role of the women should be. You stated the core of the problem when you mentioned the submission that women show towards men. I think the problem lies in the hand of the women who uses the saying of being a weaker sex to gain benefits!

What about when you are waiting in a row at some store and then a woman comes and asks to pass you just because she is a "she"?

They have created this problem. Played weak, cuz the weak one has fewer responsibilities and more facilities. Later on life evolved to accommodates the BELIEF/MYTH that women are less equal, weaker and less capable than men. Now, the men have grown ever since ever, to have the power and be the MAN. Once a human being have the power, it's so difficult if not impossible to give it away or even have less power. According to Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code, men have been fighting and degrading the power of women since ever. Women have facilitate it for them, I may add.

The bottom line is that the two genders contribute in the problem, there are always exceptions but in comparison, they are nothing!

Both are to be blamed. Both need to know what equality really means, not what they think it is!

3:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Support Syrian people who are caught in the middle! Check the new Friends of Syria website and sign the list.

5:12 PM  
Anonymous JordanJournalist said...

Dear tolerant,

Thank you for an interesting blog! I am an American journalist in Jordan, writing about bloggers in the Arab world, and I would be interested in corresponding with you about your writing. If you are willing to talk to me, can you e-mail me at I will not ask for any personal information that you don't want to give?

5:28 AM  
Blogger Lucifer said...

Really Good blog.... I like it :)
good luck.

7:24 AM  
Blogger Shaykhspeara Sha'ira said...

halla! I have been looking for blogs written by syrians and finally stumbled upon this. Will be following your blog fervently.

1:59 PM  
Blogger Achernarr said...

hmmmmm...well, after reading your article i guess i'll leave the class and never comeback, lol...good work carry on and dont shouldnt have left this site...

7:24 PM  
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