Like race discrimination, gender inequity continues to be a challenge for humankind to resolve. Noor Mastura, a Singaporean Muslim, took to her Facebook account to let out a frustration which many women, specifically Muslim women, can relate to. Noor describes herself to be an interfaith advocate, a philomath (one who loves learning) and a pogonophile (one who is fond of beards).
It’s not easy being a girl. Doesn’t get easier when we are called a woman in our later years. As one of 4 daughters, I’ve heard people telling my parents they should keep trying till they get a son. Because a son will take care of the family. What can daughters do? They will get married and become their husband’s property. They can’t support you in your old age. You can’t depend on them.
Well my parents got divorced. Guess who started supporting the family?
As we girls get older and at different stages of our lives – we get questioned. Interrogated even. So when are you planning to get married? Why do you need a degree? Just settle down and get married. You can’t keep delaying your marriage. It’s a sin. God doesn’t like it.
And then we get married and now we are barged with when we will have kids. Because for god knows what reason – society and patriarchy have decided that a woman’s place is at home where she cleans the house and takes care of her children.
And God forbids if she is a working mum and her marriage is failing or her kids are not doing well in school because obviously she is to be blamed.
If she stayed at home none of this would have happened. If she took care of herself and not gain so much weight maybe she could have saved her marriage. If she had another kid instead of stopping at one maybe,maybe , maybe.
And even if you decide to be independent and build something for the community, people will still question you. Your motives. Your intention. When I started Back2Basics and Interfaith Youth Circle – you’d think people would be happy to support and join you. Nope. They would rather stand outside where they can see you and wait for you to fall. Hard. Funny you think we don’t know. Well I see you. Bright and clear.
It’s a “dog eat dog world.” But for the longest time since we can remember, it has been “tear the woman to shreds world.” Tear her from her dreams, her wants, her needs. Tear her from her self even.
From misusing religion, to the media, to society – we enforce impossible expectations for our women. We tell them they wear too little. We tell them they wear too much. We tell them what to wear. What not to wear. We tell them they speak too much. We tell them we can’t hear their voice. We tell them they don’t have dreams. We punish them for dreaming.
Sometimes we women hurt our own.
We see our sisters out there and up there and we wish otherwise for them. Envy, jealousy and insecurity creeps and devours our hearts. You know exactly what I am talking about.
We need to support our women. Our wives. Our mothers. Our sisters. Our daughters.
And it starts from celebrating them at birth itself. And as they become girls with hopes and dreams.
Empower them. Love them. Support them.
And my sisters out there- keep at it. Your strength, your voice and your soul nourishes whether or not you believe that. Ironically, it’s what confuses and scares people too. “Why is she so strong? Where did she get it from?”
But our Mothers have fought a long way for us and we gotta keep fighting the good fight.
And hopefully one day all our daughters will live in the world we fought hard for.
Above is another post from her profile, again advocating women to be given a deserved place and rank in the society.
And just for the record, if women really want to know who should be their role models, then watch the video below: