Every once in a while, an article pops up online that is usually of the kind that makes my blood boil and leaves me infuriated for a while.
In most of these case, if not all, these “blurbs” are written by men who believe women cannot or should not be allowed to do something: like drive, engage in activities, and in the case of the latest offender, work.
Now, I don’t know about you, but this shtick is getting really boring, really really fast. I understand how the internet has given anyone a platform to say whatever is on their minds (as I do on this very blog), but when are we going to stop disseminating all this vitriol?
In this particular article, (link in Arabic) the author does not object to his future wife working on religious or social grounds, but, (get this) he does not want her to get “humiliated” if work conflicts were to arise or a coworker/client behaved rudely. No, this guy wants his wife to lead a life with dignity- and that, in his opinion, means staying away from the workplace.
He goes on to point out another very valid and never heard of concern that if his wife were to work, their children will surely be devoid of her devotion and attention as she will be too exhausted after the workday ends to attend to their needs. She would be drained of energy, and pre-occupied with stories about getting stuck in traffic, to a point that even if she tries to read, she would not enjoy the book! *GASP*
But it doesn’t here! Oh no, it doesn’t! He claims that work has become too taxing for men, so how will a woman be able to handle it, especially when you factor in that she has children, and recipes, and clothes lining up in front of the washing machine?! It must be all impossible to handle and that must come at the expense of her health and well-being. This all contradicts his belief that his wife should enjoy every moment without any burdens.
And to show you that he’s not backwards, he concludes that he wouldn’t mind if his Mrs. came up with her own project or business, as long as she does so in her free time. That is the only way she is in control of her own destiny.
So where do I start? I really don’t know- as this has to be one of the most maddening things I’ve read on the internet recently, and I read a lot.
I feel I am qualified enough to reply to this “piece” as I happen to tick off all characteristics mentioned: I am a woman, I am married, and I just so happen to be employed!
Given this guy’s point of view, he would probably call to have me psychologically evaluated, or worse: attempt to stop me from going to my job!
He’d probably think my life is in shambles for the following reasons:
- Sometimes dirty dishes are left in the sink for up to 12 hours.
- I generally do laundry once a week, unless it’s our gym clothes, then I’ve lost count
- I didn’t make the bed this morning.
- We have a cleaning lady who comes every Saturday morning and helps with the chores.
- I cook in batches on Sunday. I’ve found that stocking the fridge is easier than having to cook every single day after work and NRC/NTC.
- Most days, I fall asleep in the living room as I’m reading, watching television, or in mid-conversation.
- Ahmad does half of the housework. In fact, he’s preparing dinner while I write this and he’s pretty good at it. He’ll often do some of my chores even if I didn’t ask for help, just because he wants to give me more time to rest.
- We’ve been married for more than a year and do not plan on having children. One reason is that my career currently takes precedent over any future babies.
- I work not because I desperately need the money, but because my parents invested heavily to ensure I would be well-educated. It is through this education that I’ve built my hopes, dreams, aspirations, and character and these continue to develop every single day as I go about doing my work.
Mr. “I Won’t Marry A Working Woman” would also be appalled to know that I’ve had many days when I tried (in vain) to hide my tears at work. These may have been caused by conflicts, self-doubt, or when I had messed up an assigned tasks. Or I wasn’t at fault at all.
What I do know is that after each and every incident, I wiped my tears, held my head higher, and grew more determined. Had it not been for those experiences, I wouldn’t be the person I am today- a person who strives to be the best version of myself for my own sake, my husband, my family, and any future kids.
So could we please stop judging the merits of women based on how many children they have or how tidy their houses are? Because we are so much more than that.