June 17, 2008

Women In Power

The other day, during a family get-together, we started talking about the American elections and how Hillary lost to Obama. "It shows how even Americans are not ready for a woman to take charge", one of my relatives said. It got me to thinking, is that really why Hillary lost? I don't think anybody has a definitive answer, but if that's the case, why are women still not being taken seriously in domains such as politics? Now regardless of whether Hillary is the better choice or not, her being a woman should NOT be a factor of why she should or shouldn't be elected.

"Women are just more emotional, it compromises their ability to make decisions." I've heard this over and over again, and people, especially in our part of the world, use it automatically to justify denying women certain positions.

OH GIVE ME A BREAK! So women may be more expressive of their emotions, but how exactly does that compromise their ability to make decisions? How exactly does that make them unfit to be presidents, judges or CEOs? Men are more violent and hotheaded. Wouldn't that compromise their actions more seriously? But no, the laws made by men would naturally excuse men, such as the "fit of fury" loophole handed to men on a silver platter in honor crimes.

Also, if women are more emotionally sensitive, why is it that women are always the subject of violence, from domestic abuse, to rape, to sexual harassment, all of which are committed by men! You’d think men would take into consideration all their “sensitive” emotions.

The way I see it, men who say that women are unfit to handle positions of power are insecure to handle being subordinates to a woman who endangers everything they've been taught to believe: that women are weaker and inferior. Well wake up and smell the roses, women ARE successful thinkers, women ARE successful judges and women ARE successful in politics. If anything, a woman who is able to reach such positions is more competent than a man, simply because of all the sexist crap she has to deal with.

P.S. By men, I do not mean ALL men. Just the sexist, chauvinistic ones. :)


Abdallah said...

I personally didnt like this post not because im a man bas u tackled it from the presidential point of view...Hillary is in the election and when it get to that stage its not about man or woman....if they didnt want a woman out there they wouldnt have put her to elect her self in the first place but viewing how far she went in her capmaign proves that the reason she didnt win is not because she isnt a male!!!
And u were attacking men in ur throughout the article... not all judges etc are there because men.... some of them are smart too... u attacked men from a woman's perspective as if every man with an important job is a retard sexist!!

Farah said...

Abdallah, you misunderstood my point. I'm not saying men in higher positions are incompetent, i'm pointing out the difficulties a woman faces to reach the same position even if they both have the exact same qualifications. Actually there are a lot of male feminists who make these achievments possible for women, so I wasn't attacking ALL men, like I said. Don't take it personally.

Hareega said...

I'm really surprised from these men who say women are not as smart of efficient as men, so they gotta stay home and raise their kids.
If they really think she's dumb they wouldn't have let her raise their kids, nobody wants an idiot to raise their kids. It's just an excuse to keep her home

Farah said...

Hareega, exactly. It actually explains why we, as Arabs, are stuck in this vicious cycle of backward thinking. Thanks for reading :)

Abdallah said...

i fully get ur point and understand it and agree with it 100% but i didnt like the way u tackled it

Tololy said...

The argument that women are emotional/fragile and men are rational/strong is absurd. It is there merely to enforce the patriarchal system with all its divisions of labor: women do domestic work and men do outside work. The differences in privileges and duties between the two is obvious and it is there to serve a function; that function is keeping the patriarchy on top of things both inside and outside the house and in all the important domains of life.

That model of labor division is not natural but it is touted as natural by the people who support it. We are so used to this division that we do not question it anymore, and anyone who does question it is discredited or ridiculed or shunned.

In evidence of how this division is a social creation and not a natural product, we need only look at primitive tribes which have had very little contact with the "civilized" world. These tribes exist in the South Pacific islands like Papua New Guinea, where gender roles are not at all what we have been brought up to believe as "natural" or "correct and irreplaceable."

In some of these tribes social life is matriarchal, not patriarchal: women work outside the home and men raise the children. In other tribes, both man and woman share the duty of raising children. In others, gender is an ambiguous term and gender-bending practices such as transvestism exist. These people are as primitive and close to "nature" as it gets, how does the patriarchy explain their ways of living?

"The way I see it, men who say that women are unfit to handle positions of power are insecure to handle being subordinates to a woman who endangers everything they've been taught to believe: that women are weaker and inferior.": 100% correct. Only men who do not have an inferiority complex can accept the idea of being around equally competent and independent women. Unfortunately, these men are rare.

This turned out to be a long comment, my apologies.

Farah said...

Your comments are always appreciated Tololy, long or short:)

Question: What do you say to those who claim that women are inferior from a religious point of view (nakisat 3akel o deen and such)?

Tololy said...

Religions are social products, they reflect their societies within a historical context, so it's not surprising that major religions are strongly patriarchal in nature. That's why people need to be urged to think critically.