It was a a lazy day, writing the blog at the end of the day while looking at the world through the lens of the The Economist and got good news, which is rare when spending any time and energy looking at the events of the world. An article brought a sense of joy to my feminist heart. A woman, born in 1973, is being considered, taking Boris’ job. “Penny Morduant is currently the bookmakers favorite to succeed Boris Johnson as the leader of the Conservative party and thus as Britain’s next prime minister. She finished second in the first two ballots of Conservative mps, held on July 13th and 14th. Further votes will whittle down the remaining five candidates to a pair, who will be voted upon by the party’s 180,000-or-so-members over the summer. The entire story may be read at: https://www.economist.com/the-economist-explains/2022/07/15/who-is-penny-mordaunt.
Right now you are probably asking yourself what is feminism and how can a Muslim woman call herself a feminist. It is actually easy. First the best definition of feminism came from writer and editor Marie Shear famously wrote in 1986, “Feminism is the radical notion that women are people.” In other words, feminism is a commitment to achieving the equality of the sexes. This radical notion is not exclusive to women: men, while benefiting from being the dominant sex, also have a stake in overcoming the restrictive roles that deprive them of full humanity.” I could not say it better. Actually the Quran does say it better and it must be remembered when the Quran was written. I am continually and constantly amazed and rather flummoxed at most Westerner’s understanding of the role of women in the Islamic faith. Flummoxed means bewildered or perplexed. It has a great many synonyms and some very powerful ones.
bewildered, mystified, bemused, perplexed, puzzled, confused, confounded, nonplussed, disconcerted, thrown, thrown off balance, at sea, at a loss, disorientated, taken aback; bamboozled, discombobulated, fazed, stumped, beat, foxed, floored.
When I am face to face with such ignorance I do explain that the notions are incorrect but fear they do not listen. What is that expression? “You can lead a horse to water but you cannot make him drink” “The phrase “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink” is a proverb that means you can provide someone with a nice opportunity, but you can’t make them take it if they don’t want to.” The nice opportunity is a true understanding of another faith but some people just want to go on believing misinformation and lies for some reason or another. It is ignorance, the tenants of the Islamic faith are not taught in school and most people sadly stop learning when they stop schools instead listening to snippets of traditional or social media, lazily taking it as factual. They are never going to be convinced by the words of n old lady, no matte how forcefully she speaks the truth. Therefore, it is best to just smile sweetly and say good bye and walk away. This has been most difficult for the lawyer in me to do . I am a formidable force but it just leaves me upset and frustrated. I am slowly, most slowly, learning patience. A woman, a receptionist at my physiotherapists pointed out, very cleverly, that tolerance is a form of patience. She is totally correct and it is easier to be tolerant, well for me it is anyway. Toleration is the allowing or, permitting, of an action, idea, object, or person which one dislikes or disagrees with. So I can allow or permit people to hold ideas which are not founded on fact What choice do I have? I am only one person who is not going to change the world. Besides that I am an old lady. An old lady who is at sea, perplexed, bamboozled and discombobulated, even faxed by role of women in the Islamic faith.
But is no wonder, no wonder at all. Just the other day read in The National, a UAE publication writing about gender equality that “ Iceland remained the world’s most gender-equal country for the 13th year in a row, followed by Finland, Norway, New Zealand and Sweden. Afghanistan ranked last worldwide for gender parity.” I do not need to be reminded of the fact that Afghanistan is a Muslim majority country. Afghanistan is more than a littler bit backward but it went on the talk about the rather dismal statistics in Mena countries. Did more research to learn that MENA countries consist of Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen. Oops well except for Israel most of these countries are Muslim majority countries. Well, she said jokingly:
Me: With Israel’s unchecked and unfettered expansionist tendencies in the Gaza Strip they may soon be a Muslim majority country.
Alter Ego: Unfortunately you are right! And with Joe Biden kissing up to the Middle East and the President of the UAE happily going along with it which will make Israeli even more powerful. The UAE President could include stipulate that violence against Palestinians must end before any agreements are made but he has not and in fact, even without Biden has welcomed the leadership of Israel with open arms.
Me: I know and there is no criticism of him in Abu Dhabi, rather the opposite. One man from Oman rather gently said: “He is not the man his father was.” I laughed and said: “You can say that again. But my days in Abu Dhabi are thankfully over – and I am NEVER going back.
But there was an extremely positive article in The National, written by a woman lawyer. Here is an excerpt: “The UAE’s construction industry has recovered well following the pandemic, recording strong activity in the first quarter of 2022. Despite the industry being a key component of a diversified UAE economy, the number of women working within the sector remains low. The Chartered Institute of Building in the Mena region has an estimated 1,300 members, of which only 190 are female; this is very much in line with other major markets – in the US, women comprise 10.9 per cent of people working in construction. There are several reasons why the industry has struggled to attract and retain female employees. However, it is not through a lack of interest in the profession per se. The fact that Reed Smith has more female construction lawyers than male in the Middle East is testament to just that. Achieving gender parity in the construction industry must start with education.”
The article is illuminating, pointing to the necessity of education of women. Here is the link: https://www.thenationalnews.com/opinion/comment/2022/07/14/why-arent-there-more-women-in-the-construction-sector/
Where is funny? You are asking and complaining. So it is back to the cartoons. My previous idea did not quite work (Chris, not always he computer guru sometimes a mere mortal man) did not put the cartoons in the proper order. But there were only two and readers could ascertain that out which was which and figure out what the which was the Grandma and which the Ruler who beheaded his opponents. My readers are intelligent, I am sure of that.
Here we go again.
That so captures my dilemma. It feels like I am constantly on a desert island signaling for technical support from someone, anyone, please come to my rescue.
Cartoon Two is from the Finalists of the Cartoon Contest. I personally prefer the first one: “We thought we’d try a flying object they could identify.” Second place is the “we could comfortably abduct a family of four.”
Carton Three makes me laugh most probably because I began to worship air conditioning while living in the stifling heat of Abu Dhabi. Do you not love the tiny air conditioner affixed to the back of the creature?!?! . The Operations Manager came to adjust the air conditioner one day when I was unfortunate enough to be corresponding a man from in Abu Dhabi. Saeed could not believe that an air conditioner would be necessary under these particular climatic conditions. By the way, I will no longer be texting him. It is a personal matter and may be explained later, it has to do with Islamic faith, the role of marriage and romance. Muslim men are not supposed to be romanic before marriage – afterwards it is encouraged.
Cartoon Four showing the old couple at the Pearly Gates is also hilariously funny. The wife (I think) is convinced that she is going upward and her husband is going to the warm place. Do not think that is going to happen. I would prefer to go to Jannah with my nonexistent (at the moment) husband. Therefore, I am behaving myself as best I can. When I slip, ask for forgiveness. If a husband not found for me would prefer being with the good guys, and not the bad guys, just a personal preference of mine. Hahaha