‘Her’ side of the story
We’re in 2014 and still are flooded by horrendous amount of misconceptions and misunderstandings about women by people (and yes, by people, I mean both men AND women!!!) from various social and educational backgrounds.
Speaking –as a member myself- of the widely misjudged species, I find it rather hilariously tragic that some of us still adopt –intellectually- some of the beliefs I am going to demonstrate below.
For example, to some men -a woman- if she is not pretty then she is not interesting enough. Ironically, to others, if she maintains her looks, then she’s irresponsible, unreliable and probably is doing this to get ahead in her career, over his account, instead of depending on her qualifications. In general, a woman does not undergo as much stress as man and does not appreciate how he is being physically and emotionally consumed constantly, for the welfare of his home and family.
Another -interesting- part of the subject is some women’s misconception of other women, mostly due to subconscious feelings of ineptness or inferiority, for instance, a young lady who’s married to a rich man (who could be slightly older) is –definitely- a gold digger. Or a woman, who is successful in her career, is probably masculine feminist and against marriage or –if married- negligent to her family. To other women, the misjudgment could be out of protectiveness and possessiveness of their own sons, as in if a girl is beautiful then she is into her looks thus, spoiled and will not take good care of her husband and house properly. Or if she has a strong personality and confident then she is tough, bossy and will exhaust and drain her man.
Society –as a whole- would sometimes perceive unmarried girls who are approaching certain age as unaccomplished (even if they have PhD or private business) with deep issues and divorced women as –most likely- bad company, troublemaker or –even better- would question her chastity.
Another form of false impression about women is the cross continental, in which some people in the Middle Eastern cultures regard women of the western as liberated and undisciplined, whereas a measurable amount of people in the western cultures believe that women in the Middle Eastern cultures, are considered shameful creatures that should be kept in hiding until fulfilling their definitive destiny through getting married and serving as housekeepers and bearers of the next generation.
This is absolutely false except for some extreme –not necessarily eastern- cultures
In Egypt –in fact- you can find women from different social classes with diverse routines and lifestyles, through which they preserve a small part of their lives as private or personal, to cope with the responsibilities that each has -in her own part in life- by going out with friends in cafes and restaurants, visiting relatives, shopping, attending plays and concerts, going to the movies, gym, spa, hairdresser or the sports club.
In the holidays, some could plan -for the whole family or friends- a trip to a resort or the North Coast to enjoy the beach in the summer or to places where there are a lot of monuments and sightseeing.
Some would –based on their social and financial capabilities- do social activities like tea party or one-day bazaar or philanthropic activities such as, fundraising, starting charitable organisations, launching awareness campaigns, small local projects for helping the homeless and educating the ignorant, supporting the orphans or the mentally/physically challenged.
In conclusion, women whether they are married or not, with or without children, working or not, they are effectively acting up to their roles and responsibilities towards their families, work, friends and relatives. They are the main support behind a great man (mother and wife), the official house supply manager, finance and maintenance director, the fundamental nurturer for their children, the dedicated executives and employees in their work and the social supporter for their friends and relative through good, bad, joyful or sad times. And they manage every aspect of their lives -and others- with an underrated amount of time and space for their own, to recharge and refresh.
It is rather demeaning and underestimating to place us in certain stereotypes based on our appearances or circumstances that do not define us. What defines us is our uniqueness based on our own personalities and accomplishments, as beautiful, nurturing and lively creatures as we are.
Sherihan Magdy is a writer based in Cairo, Egypt.