Sunday, May 17, 2009

a wo-MAN-s worth

When I moved to Iran, it took about 3 days before the now ‘dreaded’ questions started; Are you married? Don’t you want to get married? Why don’t you want to get married? Did you leave someone in London? Don’t you have a fiance....

It has continued for over a year and a half now. Being a Muslim-Iranian, born and bought up in London, I guess my thinking of the role of a woman and what it is to be a ‘successful’ woman, wife and mother is about as mixed as my cultural influences have been.

Living in Iran, I can see first-hand the traditional and the more modern ‘Iranian’ or ‘Eastern’ ways of doing things.

I don’t really subscribe to the ‘dating theory’ of the ‘West’ - the constant search for the ‘one’ in a string of relationships that takes a lot of energy without providing any real security or promises.

Arranged marriages are out the window, they’re not subscribed to by the majority of people I know.

There is ‘khastegari’ – which in itself takes a number of forms in these modern times. But it’s basically an introduction of two people - who others (family, family friends, etc) think may be suitable for each other. I don’t think I really subscribe to that either, here in Iran anyway.

But, away from these different methods, my real question lies. What is the role of the woman in modern times? Have we bitten off more than we can chew? Have we lost the way? Or have we seen the light? If we have seen the light, why does that light seem to be more divorces than ever before, and even more single mothers than that?

Sometimes I think, that in the ‘old days’ things were more simple, roles were defined, wasn’t that better? Were expectations lower, or were they more realistic?

At 23 years old, I have a degree, a successful career, I make good money, live on my own in my own flat, I have moved to another country, without my friends of family, where I am making waves. I am what you would call an ‘independent, successful’ woman.

I have been single for a number of years now and it has never been an issue. Not single, like many define it, which is having their links and flirtations from the day they break up to the next serious relationship (come on - own up girlies!!)...but S.I.N.G.L.E. (OK, enough promotion of that fact I think, lol).

The reason is that I don’t have time for no mess or stress. I don’t have time for bullshit. I don’t wanna hear none of your bullshit, and I definitely don’t wanna start hearing my own...coz that’s when things get complex.

I am also at a stage of my life, where certain things have become even more clear to me. So, maybe you’re a ‘good guy’ on paper – good looking, good job, on time etc etc...but my shit goes deeper than that. What you doing with yourself? How deep do you go? How far forward can you see? What’s behind ‘you’? Can you maintain the conversation? Can you make more money than me? Can you be more successful? Can you hold me down and keep me up?

I was reading an early note of mine on facebook - my ‘pointers’ (I dread to call it a checklist). One comment said that it was the first note they’d read that didn’t make them doubt the sanity of the writer (thank you!). That’s ironic though, as I spend a significant amount of time wondering if, in fact, I am insane! lol

See, when I read that list, and combine it with all the questions above, I do wonder, ladies, are we being real?!?

It’s weird that around me, I always see women with so many high expectations and demands, but their reality relationship is being sold so short. So what’s the deficit? Have we put these high expectations forward and gone about chasing and creating situations in which we are pretending these expectations have been met? Relationships are about compromise, are we just compromising on all the wrong things?

An ‘Independent’ woman? What does that even mean? Is it a good thing? We need to be independent but we can’t be the ‘man’ in the relationship however hard we try. Are we taking a ‘male’ role and then fighting coz there’s another, actual, male in the relationship? No homo (as they say - lol).

We have to be confident yet humble. We have to make our money but spend theirs? Or spend our own, do everything on our own, and then wonder why he doesn’t do anything? Are expectations of US unrealistic?

I imagine some women (and men) are reading this and are fuming! Thinking I got some backward thinking of some old-style woman. Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying all we should do is cook and clean and raise children...but shouldn’t we be making and keeping a home? Aren’t we mothers, shouldn’t we be raising the kids?

Wasn’t that our role from day, coz we just better at it? Lol

I wonder if all these wonderful western creations of womanhood are just a tad bit whack! Maybe it’s our own selfishness that has got us confused. We want it all for ourselves and then we want it all from them, and when we don’t get it, many just won’t have it and just won’t move on – now it’s the stubbornness kicking in!

The real factors and foundations of creating a long-lasting union between two people have been lost. We weren’t taught them and we rarely see them around us. One woman will cuss and say ‘what do you mean I cant have mans number in my phone, go raving, not wear this or that or the other complaint – who are you to tell me shit?!?!’ - while another woman will easily submit to these requests (because that's what a Wifey does) to a less than worthy man.

My parents have been married for 35 years. They say the love each other more now than they ever have. I’ve seen real compromise, sacrifice, beautiful suffering because it’s been done together, coz they have real love. A real love that is based on RESPECT.

And I think that’s where the key lies. Neither women's...or men’s...roles are respected in these modern days. And more importantly there is no self-respect. If you respect yourself you’ll never let your respect be compromised by another, especially your supposed partner.

Equality doesn’t mean the exact same on either side, but a balance in which the burden of each side equates to the other.

I guess before I’m asking all THIS AND THAT from a man, I would ask myself what am I providing as a woman? No, that does not mean be like so many GIRLS these days, just giving their all to a wasteman...and by a wasteman, I mean a man who is abusing the situation rather than reciprocating it. That is just pure rubbish! You can’t say a ‘wifey’ acts like this then go and do the opposite thing, young men! And ‘wifey’ that does not a ‘hubby’ make.

‘WIFEY’ ask Y – till you can drop the Y and become a WIFE.

And shouldn’t we be asking OURSELVES what our role is...where we should be strong and were we should be soft (NOT weak) - what you should compromise on and what you shouldn’t...and then the most important part, stick to it! Only then can we start demanding that men play THEIR role.

There’s too many women just giving up on their standards, compromising on what they shouldn’t and allowing what should be compromised on. And to be honest it makes it harder for the rest of us as well as giving us a bad name!

Anyway, I don’t even think I covered the issues that I wanted to, or if this made much sense! But I just whacked this out at 1am, so ima just publish it and let me know what you all think!

Sunday, May 3, 2009


Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate,
but that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant,
gorgeous, handsome, talented and fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.

Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won't feel insecure around you.

We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us.
It is not just in some; it is in everyone.

And, as we let our own light shine, we consciously give
other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.

~Nelson Mandela