Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Girls, Girls, Girls

I don't fit in with other girls. I don't get them.

I sit in the middle of a group of girls who believe in traditional values. Girls who have been looking for a husband since they were about 20 years age, some before that. Some of them are married now, some are still looking. They talk about their experiences in meeting a man, having him express an interest in them for 5 minutes and then being disappointed because he did not go and knock on their father's door the next day.

SAY WHAT?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And all the other girls nod wisely and tell the story-teller that she is right of course, that if he was a respectable man, he would 'yidkhol elbiyoot min abwabha' which mean 'enter a house by the door' i.e. openly and not clandestinely, by declaring himself infront of her family and making his interest official.

How on earth do you build up that level of expectation from a virtual stranger! You don't know him. He could be a psychopath, a conman!

Every single time, I hear a story about a girl who slapped a guy's face and then he married her for slapping his face and they lived happily ever after, I sit there open-mouthed! Do these people even know what marriage IS? Can they begin to imagine the one million levels on which a man and a woman can click or clash?

What's the concept here, that all men and all women are clones and any man can marry any woman provided he likes the way she looks and is satisfied that she wouldn't speak to another man outside marriage because well, she refused to speak to him, didn't she?

It is so surreal. I am left with this disbelief that I'm actually having this conversation, that there are people who believe love is haram. If love is haram then what is halal? Hate?!!!!!!!!!!!!

Whenever I talk in these gatherings, they look at me like I'm a heretic. Girls my own age! Educated girls! In 2008.

They talk about how you can't possibly speak to a man and not turn into a promiscuous, sex-addicted slut no man would ever want as a wife.

I probably AM a slut in their eyes. I mean, I loved my husband before marriage. And marriage was actually his idea. I was just caught up in the experience of falling in love. I couldn't have helped it.

And yes, there have been men in my life before my husband. And yet I never felt my virtue was in any danger. I always felt capable and confident that I could take care of myself and impose my own boundaries on the relationship. The man I was with either respected that or didn't. If he didn't I considered it his problem, not mine.

But then I've also known girls who can't remember who they may or may not have slept with last night. I had friends who were much more 'liberal' than I ever was and to them I was relic of a long-gone and decayed age. They couldn't understand me either.

And I have to admit I never understood them either. I couldn't understand the concept of sex without love and non-monogamous sex always struck me as something yucky and unhygeinic, sort of like using someone else's tooth brush, or unwashed underwear. I just never could see the appeal.

And girls like that never seemed too happy or well-adjusted in life generally. Morality aside, I never actually met a girl who was promiscuous and whose promiscuouity was making her happy.

So where is the truth? What is the magic formula? Somewhere in the middle? But where IS the middle point between such different planes of viewpoints on life and love and sexuality?

The number of girls I can see eye to eye with on these issues appears to be dwindling all the time. Everyone seems to be one extreme or the other.



Blogger Kirthan ston kosmo xenoi said...

..This is what happens when you misread religion, and put it over faith. People need to understand at some point that what matters in this world -and any other for that matter- is love: love for yourself, and then love for ppl around you. Loving people around you is the only (don't like only? eh, ultimate then) way to worship god, lighting candles or studying the Quraan or fasting throughout Ramadan or Easter or whatever, matter so little in front of being ready to love and be loved. This is the majesty of life, and among that comes with it: dating, flirting, sex, kissing. How can ANY of that be 7aram?! What counts and makes the difference, is the way you "use" them and how you feel about it. Just like with words.. Our body is a temple (I know I read that somewhere, certainly fits the way I feel about it), as long as you respect how you use it -and by no means this means promiscuously- you learn better yourself, and therefore you can be happier in a forthcoming marriage, handle it better, know what you want in life, choose wiser, stand by your choice, just coz you know who you are and why you chose this way.

I am hoping I have not insulted anybody, this was certainly not my aim. I was just raised in a culture where the normal is to discourage a girl getting married before she knows herself, knows what she wants, taste the sweetness of making her own money, spending it the way she wants, be in some relationships so that she gets more self-conscious. No mother here would be happy if her girl got married at 18, or 20, or before ending her studies for all I know! The world is sadly swarmed with unhappy marriages and miserable wives (and men in many cases) in a large percentage just because they do not know who they are, what the *&#! is going on in their heads and what their soul wants. Now isn't this really 7aram?..

I cannot think of any god who would be happy and consider it as a sign of honest true faith from my part, had I not swam in my sweet love's arms, there can't be any like this :)

6/05/2008 01:25:00 AM  
Blogger Will E. said...

The body being a temple is from the bible I think, and the issue is not about religion, it's more about culture, though I do agree with you kirthan ston kosmo xenoi that there is a problem of lack of faith or belief.

It's the lack of belief that you can believe whatever you want and that you don't have to fall into the pitfall of extremes. It's the lack of morals that you derive on your own, following those passed down to you from culture.

I doubt that what you said has insulted anyone, it's logical, but I wanted to add that misinterpreting religion and misinterpreting your freedom even without religion are two sides of the same coin.

Lou, I know how you feel, how alienated amidst other girls you feel because that's how I feel with some guys when having a guy talk.. the logic is so riduculous that it's almost embarassing..

6/05/2008 04:01:00 PM  
Blogger Kirthan ston kosmo xenoi said...

I do not know if it from the bible, or from Khalil Jibran, or from ancient greek philosophers, it's all the same anyway, and little does it matter. You do have a point, but you know, there is this whole culture and this whole world based and built on religion will.e, so you cannot cancel the whole theory behind ;) Nothing imposed is a good thing, and many girls only want things and act by some rules, not coz they want to, but they think they want to, becoz it has been imposed on them. Ultimate fraud. Some ppl die without realising.

And furthermore, the rights of freedom and equality should never be abused, misinterpreted, or manipulated, by us to ourselves, or by others to upon us. I do not know why ppl -and much more grown ppl!- have the tendancy to use this weird math, inno freedom = doing whatever the hell you want without consequences, no matter what. It is certainly not how I meant it and how i think of it. But the freedom to offer my body to pleasure -first of all for myself, and then for anybody else- but with RESPECT, does exist, and hell do I wanna use it. I don't know why it should/is supposed to be immoral, or 7aram, or a sin, or you choose the word that fits you. Not following cultural and/or religious and/or social rules imposed on you does not make you a slut, or immoral, or unfaithful.

That's all I'm saying..

6/05/2008 07:14:00 PM  
Blogger Um Naief said...

a little over a year ago, i was working out and one of the girls at the club went on and on about how she doesn't believe in marrying for love. she says that her brother did it and is getting divorced and that she only believes that 'fixed' marriages work. i didn't know what to say to her, for i married and moved to bahrain for love.

i think the whole thing w/ girls in this country and wanting to marry is crazy, crazy. you have girls dying to get married and boys even, so what do they do? they marry their cousins because they can't find anyone else so quickly.

i think many girls in these parts don't know the slightest thing about true love... but maybe i'm wrong. i see girls marrying - who pretended to be so virginous - only to be crazy maniacs in bed. how does that happen? where'd they get this experience or how'd they lose the shyness so quickly? was it all an act? just to lure a man???

i have many questions concerning this.

i'm torn on the extremes.. are there only two sides of extremes or does it go much deeper than that?

good post here.

6/06/2008 10:03:00 PM  
Blogger Safiya Outlines said...

Salaam Alaikum,

This whole idea of 'stranger marriages' as being the only pure and halal thing has been an absolute disaster in the convert community.

Here is a really good post about it:

You have to get to know your spouse first and this can be done in a halal manner. I was never alone in private with my husband, I never even held his hand before marriage and we were married within two months of meeting, but we spoke every day, met up several times and managed to get to know each other.

People do have some very strange ideas. I've had sisters ask me if they need to have chemistry with their husbands, to which I've replied "What sort of marriage will you have if you can't bear to have sex with him. That's unfair on the both of you".

As for the no love in Islam, people need to read the story of our Prophet (peace be upon him) before coming to such an false conclusion.

6/09/2008 04:05:00 AM  
Blogger Kirthan ston kosmo xenoi said...

Never said -or worse, implied- such a thing, no love in islam?! or in bible or whatever?! First of all, no religion founders would be half as stupid as to start off a religion based on no love. You misread somewhere, or misunderstood. Happens a lot to me too.

6/09/2008 05:45:00 AM  
Blogger Forsoothsayer said...

i think the key is to find women with critical thinking skills, rather than women who agree with ur stance. i feel fortunate that i myself am friends with such women, women who are able to debate choices and the assumptions behind them, most importantly. but they also need to value the importance of choice.

re "promiscuity": how many women u know who are waiting purely and happy in their piety? look at those women! all wrapped up in their husband quest, feverishly fanning away clawing hands at their virtue. or do u think the opposite of being "promiscuous" is being happily married? because women who have sex before marriage, with several people, even indiscriminately, can have that as well.

6/11/2008 12:36:00 PM  
Blogger LouLou said...

I don't necessarily think the opposite of promiscuity is being happily married. Obviously sex outside marriage would have been inconsistent with my own cultural values and religious beliefs. But that's just me. I can appreciate that other women may not feel it is necessary to wait for the wedding night or may not believe in marriage aslan.

Having said that, it is hard for me to understand how constantly sleeping with men who then dump you in favor of long-term relationships or marriage with other women mainly because they see you as a slut can fail to be depressing.

So the opposite of being promiscuous is in my opinion is being selective enough to only sleep with men who at least respect you and see you as an equal. Since those are pretty hard to come by in this part of the world, of necessity that will mean you have fewer relationships.

6/11/2008 01:58:00 PM  

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