Friday, April 3, 2009

Residues of March

It’s April already. But March has been long and eventful, and there are things that happened this past month that I just can’t get over so easily. Things like:

Some women on the streets during our IWD event. When we asked them what they thought of women’s rights in Lebanon. They replied, “the issue does not concern me,” On the other hand, we did encounter some amazing ladies out there.

A woman telling me on that same day, “I don’t care what my daughter grows up to be. I want her to do what she wants. If she gets an education, that’s fine. If she doesn’t get an education, kamein mni7. Whatever she wants to do, I’ll support her.” Sweet really. Although I don’t know if not getting an education would get her where she wants in today’s world. And I’m going to give her the benefit of the doubt that if this little girl, a good few years from now, happens to come to her saying, “I’m not going to marry, I’m going to move in with my boyfriend,” or if she tells her, “Mom, meet my partner, Leila,” I’m hoping the mom will say, “ya binti, I love you and support everything you do.”

IWSAW celebrating women’s day by paying tribute to the women soldiers in the Lebanese Army. On the one hand, I understand that the army is sometimes the only “respectable” place for many working class young people, mainly from rural areas, to turn to, but at the same time, why must we honour an institution that is built on machismo and violence—that is a basic facet of the nationalistic patriarchal world we live in. While I always respect individual women who are getting themselves into male-dominated spaces, I think, as far as women’s rights groups go at least, we could focus our efforts more on creating a world free from militarism instead, even if people call us crazy and utopian now; I think it’ll be worth it on the long run.

My friend and I getting harassed on Hamra. I wanted to kill those guys. Ok, I understand that violence may not be the best way to counter street harassment, but damn, the idea of it felt good. Good but still made me angrier and angrier every time I thought about it, about these idiots who think that they own the streets, who think they can disrespect women like that.

Discovering Winona LaDuke. Reading her All Our Relations: Native Struggles for Land and Life. Awesome woman, awesome book.


glore said...

thanks for sharing your expereince with us and I can understand how could you feel at that time. Its natural feel that you want to kill the people who try to harass you. I have seen many cases of harassment while working for 70-620, N10-003 and 642-901. These people actually need to be killed...