By Hanan Ishaq
Subtle and secretive are the thoughts rushing into my mind… Before they reveal themselves to my conscious awareness, they slowly twirl and loop around one another to form a detailed and structured outline. Before I utter these words, I have gone through a process, a journey, a humble attempt of operating this very complex machine resting in my head. So don’t accuse me of being imprudent or impulsive only because I happen to be female. I am not a stereotype. I think before I speak, and I think twice when I think. It doesn’t matter if sometimes my conclusions aren’t 100% accurate, making mistakes is only a part of learning the lesson of life for both men and women. I don’t need to be male to have my “word” or my promises taken seriously.
It is this mentality that really gets on my nerves. It’s not funny to joke about, especially when women do. Women are the biggest contributors to creating the categorization and biases towards them in the sense that they are the first to criticize and prejudge other women. They are vicious and vindictive! Instead of proving men wrong by being the exact opposite of what they claim us to be, they turn around and stab each other in the back. Very typical female behavior…
I refuse to take this label, and to be painted in this color. I am not stupid, and my words aren’t plenty and meaningless. My promises are not empty and my beliefs aren’t vulnerable. I am using my brain all day, even when I’m wiping the floors or washing the dishes. I am capable of juggling a “masculine” job and make money, can keep a flawless house, I’m oh so tolerant in a very intolerant society, add to that, I am nevertheless the most loving and affectionate gender to bear and raise children until they are old enough to be larger than myself.
God bless women who have enough respect and pride in themselves to be everything the society claims we are incapable of being. May you always have the patience to push through barriers and biases.
Hanan Ishaq is a Yemeni freelance writer and photographer. She majored in English Literature and worked as an English teacher for two years, and is currently taking time off work to be a full time mother.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect La Voix du Yémen’s editorial policy.
Article originally published on Hanan Ishaq’s blog on September 12, 2012.