Monday, January 12, 2009

Conversation with my husband

We were watching an Egyptian movie... Heya Fawda. I had my cute little superfast subtitles at the bottom to follow along. In the movie, there's a character who has a fiancé who he has obviously slept with and my husband made a comment about her being a slut. I concurred that she was, yes, somehow more slutty than him (the way she dressed and acted) but then had to make the comment that it was not for the fact that they slept together that she was more slutty, it was considering all other facts. And I asked if he found that it was worse for a woman to have sex before marriage than a man. Becuase I know that that's how society takes it and I find it a bit repulsing. That a man can have sex as much as he wants before he's married and it's not such a big deal (in Egypt) and here in Canada he'd even be called a stud or a player, both almost compliments! And that a woman, in Egypt, has sex before marriage and is a slut who would not be able to find a decent man to marry (generally) while in Canada, if she sleeps around, she's also a whore, an insult. All societies as far as I know have this double standard. I just somehow wanted to feel like it was something that was happening in the world, but that at least the person closest to me didn't agree with what was happening.

Boy was I wrong! We had the worst conversation... I've always found it hard to have a conversation with him, though, so I don't know why I ended up so upset over it, but I really did. It was a huge slap in the face. We don't have much in common, whether it's hobbies, lifestyle, beliefs, principles... We were obviously not meant to be together, but we are, and will work at making it work... But to have him basically tell me that women having sex before marriage (whether in a serious relationship or sleeping around) would always be worse than a man having sex without marriage (serious relationship or outright sleeping around), just hurt me. He was saying that they deserved what they got in terms of different treatment in this life, and that they'd get punished more than men would in the afterlife as well.

Reminded me of when he said that women who get harassed in Egypt bring it on themselves. I hate that about him. Had to put that out there because it's the day after and I'm still upset about it. It becomes hard to live with someone who is so fundamentally different. Some days we just co-exist.

Feel free to write a comment about the movie or about your thoughts on womenand having pre-marital sex.

3 Comentários:

khany said...

and then we complain that the west vilifies muslims. indeed they do. but we often provide the fodder ourselves.

i think very often people take an explanation of a problem to be a justification for it. because the topic of sexual abuse is so emotionally charged i will try to illustrate my point with a less sensitive issues first.

consider a society where economic stratification is systemically static. the rich grow richer while the poor have no access to the means of generating wealth, no matter how hard they try. it will come as no surprise then if in such a society theft is rife. here we can "explain" the crime. however, does this explanation also justify theft?

when we try to solve the problem of theft we need to address both short and long term challenges. we need to apprehend thieves immediately but just as importantly, if we are really interested in having a crime free society, (rather than in punishing people) then we should promote/enforce practices that make the society more just and equitable in the long run.

i hope you catch my drift. i feel similarly about dealing with issues of terrorism. we must apprehend terrorists and take them to task. but if our aim is to create a society where people can live free of fear then we need to address the underlying problems/injustices that breed terrorists. it does not mean terrorism is justified. however, it does explain terrorism and should inform our strategy in addressing the problem.

if crime is a sickness then there needs to be a balance between prevention and cure. this balance is a matter of social consensus and varies from one culture to the next.

similarly in the context of sexual abuse it is the individual perpetrator who should be held responsible and punished for the crime. some societies stop here. which is fine, their choice. however, if we wish to reduce crime we have to look deeper. otherwise, it remains a blame game while the number of victims continue to grow.

this seems to me to be the american model with more than 1 in every 100 american adults behind bars (the highest per capita incarceration rate in the world). on the other extreme we have the saudi model where one half of the entire population is largely removed from the public sphere. this certainly helps the statistic but at what cost?

a balance based on the values of each community often informed by their religious or cultural traditions. we should not confuse explanations to justify crime. however, just as importantly we should not ignore explanations when trying to achieve more harmonious societies.

i hope i addressed a part of question

Candice said...

As interesting as what you're saying is, it didn't address part of the question because I didn't have a question. And the conversation with my husband was not about society and how to change things... He doesn't think it's a problem that women are treated differently for doing the same exact sin.
I think you should start your own blog and post about these topics. Let me know if you do.

Anisah said...

I hate that kind of attitude. They are raised with it. In Pakistan, women are jailed who go to the police to report a rape!

Sometimes it's better to make sure of someone's beliefs and thoughts before you marry them. You don't wnat your kids to have these kinds of attitudes (I don't mean to lecture, just giving a bit of "big sisterly" advice). I've been there myself!



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