Wednesday 30 November 2011

Single Witches...

Was surfing on Huffington post, which I like to consider a relatively OK media source, and fell on an article written by a Black American woman thrice divorced, pontificating about Singlehood /Celibacy and women.

In that article she argues that if women (referring to American women I suppose) are not married by a certain age it's because of some deep fault of their own. They are either bitchy (angry) "about the military industrial complex or Sarah Palin"(her words), shallow, sexually promiscuous, gold diggers, dishonest, selfish or constitutionally impaired in their self esteem.

The author is entitled to her opinion which is probably a reflection of her three divorces, however what I found quite shocking is that this black American woman is so ignorant of the plight of the women in her own community - namely that over 60% of Black American women are unmarried and/or single mothers, and this is proving to be a huge sociological problem among the black community in the USA. In a way she is insulting the 60% of her own gender and people.

What I found interesting were the comments - naturally the commentators who gave her a 5*, were bitter American men who in the end went to Eastern Europe or Asia to marry someone less bitchy and less selfish as per their comments.

But what was more shocking on the other hand, is that this article was hailed as a revelation of absolute Truth to be commanded and cherished like a verse from a Bible.

Of course, the implicit assumption behind this author's stand is that single women are single because not virtuous enough and married women are still married because they have the necessary virtuous qualities to make it work.

The major quality behind all these little qualities that make a marriage last is Submission - which she in, her politically correct language, calls compromise but seems to it attribute mainly to one side - the female. In other words, if you submit well enough and long enough, then you are not only virtuous but also you are worthy of marriage.

Of course the first question to ask the author is why did she end up with 3 divorces then when she clearly mentions that her last marriage was to a notorious liar and cheater? I would have thought following her "advice" -- had she submitted to that reality she would have qualified for the role of a virtuous martyr worthy of being wedded to longer...

Moreover, it seems that in mainstream American "renaissance" psycho babble, new age ideology - being angry at political crapology like Sarah Palin and Co or being angry at a military industrial complex that is literally raping the rest of the world in particular her black brethren in third world countries are sure signs of being "bitchy" and not being "nice" to the opposite sex. Because it is also implied here that to land a man, you need to not have any opinion on any matter or that God forbid you should show passion for any issue (outside of him or romance) for which you strongly feel or are committed to. Which in turn also implies, that whatever knowledge a woman may have acquired must be muffled, dumbed down, so as not to contravene the would be suitor, and hence hamper her eligibility as marriage material.

Had I not read that on the Huffington post, I would have automatically assumed it must have come from some "repressive/oppressive culture that objectifies women into submission" but no, it came from mainstream American culture that prides itself on its o' political correctness.

Ironically, this author reminds me of one of my aunts who kept repeating to the family that the reason I never remarried is because I read too many books and that was not a good thing for a woman, or the remarks of others that would accuse single women in some major area - she is not married yet because she is 1) loose 2) ugly 3) selfish 4) not well domesticated 5) difficult (insert more...) in other words - deficient. And in the mind --deficient when it comes to women is associated with a lack of some virtue or the other.

Of course no one would say that about a single man - he's the "entertaining, carefree, bachelor" (not the "bitter male hating spinster" like in the case of a single woman) who doesn't want to be tied down and likes much his freedom or is in pursuit of higher causes - he is not considered selfish, dishonest, angry, promiscuous, deficient just because he's not married.

After reading this American article and the mental reverberations it caused from all too familiar arguments I've already come across from my own culture, I will settle for another explanation that run counters to all this bullshit - and that is the concept of "Naseeb" or "Fate". I prefer these concepts where the individual even though has the capacity to choose, is still in some ways directed towards his "Destiny" that unfolds according to a much higher plan than the explanations offered by both American pop psychology and Arabic folk culture.

And as the Saying of the Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) mentions "the name of your spouse is written on your forehead and only the Almighty knows it".

No question here of demonizing single women (and men) and no question here of attributing negative traits to them for not being married. Quite the contrary, the assumption is that God is at work in your life even in your personal matters.

Now that is way more freeing - it unchains you to go for your higher desires and callings, trusting that you are looked after in matters of your heart.

Just keep the intention pure. Nothing more is asked of you.

Friday 25 November 2011


People always expect you to make sense...sense out of their senselessness.
Of course people never stop and think that they themselves don't make any sense at all. Nor that they have infused their lives with any sense...but we're told - that's besides the point. The point is that YOU should make sense...out of the senseless.

Some mighty task ahead - you have - in front of you.

Good luck. But do look at it positively, it might earn you a degree in philosophy.

Friday 18 November 2011

The Private World of a Writer...

Family, friends, entourage simply don't understand the private world of a Writer, unless they happen to be writers themselves - which is not applicable in my case.

One common trait among Writers - good or bad, famous or not, regardless of their subject matter, what they write about -- is the need for two vital things in ample amounts - Time and Space.
These two elements go together. When you own your time you also own your space and vice versa.

What people don't understand about writers is that writers write even they are not actually writing. Writers are always writing in their heads. Always? Yes always. Well at least I know this is true for me.

Hence, constant demands made upon me by the entourage for time and availability are not felt just like a burden, a chore, but literally like a prison.

And that is why, every writer, in the acknowledgement section of his book starts with... "my deep gratitude goes to my wife, for bearing with me and her support while this work was being done " - or something to that effect.

Most of the time it's a bullshit acknowledgement because nine times out of ten the wife probably nagged the writer to death about not spending enough time with family and friends. And am sure the writer must have held his own grounds to own time and space not without much conflict from the entourage.

The other thing is when you have to fight for your time and space, the energy that needs to go into writing goes into making, carving, sometimes by force - time and space. Again I know this is true for me.

When I write I can't tolerate any interference from the outside world - be it social demands, requests, obligations, phone calls, messages and the rest...When I am in the writing mood, even if am not actually writing anything - I absolutely need that vital space -- where I can gestate, process, digest, material and ideas until delivery time. Sometimes the process can take a few hours, sometimes a day, sometimes an extended period of time. This is simply how it is.

This is a small part of the private world of a writer...there is more of course, especially when it comes to private and intimate relationships and the other is literally harassing you with demands for attention - almost always the other is no writer and at times not even a reader. So you opt for the desert - well I do. I say to myself the desert is more conducive to conceiving than this relationship that is sapping my own being, my life juices...This is also a problem with being a female writer. With a male writer - the other "understands" or tries to understand, with a female writer, the other (who happens to be a man - in my case) can't understand or refuses to understand because the male ego imperiously requests constant attention. It is a tricky situation, to say the least.

The private world of a writer is a difficult one. If you opt to write, then ties must be severed even if temporarily but then how to renew them once the work is done? What do you say - sorry I was not in the mood to connect with you, I have this piece going on in my mind ? And how many times can you give the proverbial excuse - am sorry, I was very busy. And it is true - the writer is always very busy in his head. He is always occupied with something or the other - a character, a situation, a plot, an analysis, an insight, a revelation...

The private world of a writer is always in the becoming, always unfolding, always expanding, always changing....and sometimes even without him being aware of it.

Now you understand how difficult it is to box a writer in, to jail him, to limit him with society's demands - family, friends, social obligations and the rest of the strangulating, choking, stifling expectations and needs of others who are oblivious to their own private world, to the world within.

Wednesday 9 November 2011

Tribal Gods

Our Eastern societies, including the Arabic ones are ruthless towards a certain category of women - single, unmarried, childless, divorced - but if you are a divorcee and have children you're a little better off - but still - a nuisance.
These women are considered a burdensome nuisance, a thorn in the collective psyche, an abnormality of nature, a cultural pariah.

If God forbid, a woman falls pregnant out of wedlock, and she insists on the pregnancy even though the father doesn't want to recognize the child, hence not marry her - then this woman is finished. If she is not physically assassinated she is morally and psychologically assassinated. She is buried alive one way or another.

It is assumed if a woman falls pregnant then she is to marry the man who got her pregnant - it is her responsibility at least to save face - and if the man refuses, or disappears, or whatever reason, then all the responsibility falls upon her shoulders - she is the sole one to be blamed and the sole one to be severely punished.  Hence all the backstreet abortions, where the women are butchered,  the infants left at the doorsteps of strangers in the middle of the night, and infants left in garbage dumps - I know so because I have seen with my own two eyes.

The bastard mother and the bastard child. The filthy female fornicator and the offspring of shame.

Of course in such a cultural framework, it is best to get married even to a dog, but what if this does not happen for one reason or another  - the woman becomes his-story.

Another victim of tribal gods who idealize motherhood, frown upon childlessness yet ruthlessly chastises an unmarried mother, another  victim of tribal gods that hate women with vengeance and are lax with men, another victim of tribal gods who insist on paternity yet do nothing to make men responsible in sharing the burdens of errors, another victim of tribal gods where men's sexual desires are considered normal and women's desire the hallmarks of Satan. The tribal gods of family, society and a deformed religion in which its judgemental  representatives are incapable of understanding, mercy and compassion.

The story doesn't stop here, it goes way deeper but I shall stop here for today.