Friday, August 8, 2008

Its because you're a girl!

Last night, I went to sleep in a fairly bad mood. I had what could have turned into a massive argument with my father, only I wasn't really in the mood to fight, so instead I kept my mouth shut. Keeping my mouth shut is generally out of character for me, but I just kept thinking "two more weeks for school to start, and then you'll be on your own." So what was the argument about? Well lets just say that it all started with "Its because you're a girl!" I don't know if I have mentioned this in the past, but that is by far the worst statement that any man (or woman) can ever make.

I won't get into what triggered such an answer as I don't want to backbite my father in anyway (even though no one here really knows who I am), as Allah (SWT) is watching. I have these dreams and aspirations about what I want to do in life such as providing health care in underprivileged parts of the world, living in an Arab country to learn Arabic, learn Islam under prominent shuyukh, all of which, unless I am married would warrant me to travel away from home on my own. I find that I find certain things to be much more important than my parents do. A relaxing day for me is spending hours at the masjid, eve if I am the only person there. Unfortunately, my parents' backwards and back-home mentality does not allow me to escape this world of fitnah without having to sneak around doing so....hence my excitement about school starting. Its not school I look forward to as much as I look forward to the freedom that comes with it.

My father's side of the family is very much ingrained in culture and does thing where they somehow manage to wrongfully blend together culture with religion. What I mean by this is, ever since we were young they managed to make us believe that certain cultural things were apart of religion (I'm not sure if it really makes sense) I think they have done it rather unconsciously, but still.

I find it rather interesting and at the same time rather insulting how parents can allow their sons to leave the house almost without so much as asking them where they are going and when they will be home whereas if their daughter wants to go out, she has to ask permission a week, if not more, in advance. In a way, I think this contributes to the problem of their being a shortage of suitable Muslim boys for marriage...I'll explain a little later. I hate how my brother is allowed to spend the weekend with his friends, but I am not. I would totally understand if the issue was a matter of safety, but I think I am smart enough to realize that it isn't. I am not sure if people truly believe that women are supposed to stay at home under the roof of their fathers until they are ready to move under their husbands' roof only to listen to him tell her what she can and can't do or if this is a way for a man to be an egotistical maniac and have control over someone..I don't get it. I remember once, in the heat of an argument, telling my father "if there is one reason that I don't get married, its because I don't want to go from living with one controlling man to the other, and if there is a reason I want to get married, its to get away from having to give an answer every time I do something." Of course I felt sorry afterward, but I still feel the same way.

Now on to my theory on why I think this "freedom" boys get is what has caused there to be so few eligible bachelors in our communities.

Parents often let their sons go out at night without even so much as questioning them where they are going, who they are going with and when they will be coming home. This allows brothers to basically do whatever it is that they want to do without the remotest fear of having a parent waiting up late for them to ask them what they did when they arrive home. If you would like to know...I think it is a travesty. I understand that there is a safety factor when your daughter goes out late at night, but on that same note, who is to say that your son cannot possibly get shot on the highway on his way home? or that note he couldn't possibly get into a car accident on his way to or from his destination?

I think the lack of strictness on the part of parents towards sons has enabled brothers to do what they please (attend frat parties, hang out at hookah lounges, go clubbing, etc.). Of course, I know not all brothers with lenient parents do such things, but there is a high percentage that does.

What I am trying to say is that brothers can get into just as much trouble as sisters can simply because they are boys.


johnalive said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Salaam said...

Salaam alaikum sister,

Sigh...I signed in with the wrong email, so had to delete my post for the sake of privacy. I didn't save the comment so now it is lost. Perhaps your blog keeps a record of deleted comments? If so, then you can see what I wrote. If not, I can try to reconstruct it.


ERTW said...

Hah. I'm a guy and I know what my friends were like growing up. Most as you said had parents that didn't care what they did late at night. And you're right, most of them turned out to be pretty poor Muslims. And then there are those Muslims like myself that I think turned out okay. What was different about how I was raised and my good Muslim friends? Well, we weren't given the freedom others had.

If I wanted to go out, I'd have to give everyone's names who'd be there, leave phone numbers in case of emergency contact, curfews, a full plan of what I'd be doing, where I would be, what is the movie I'm watching rated, would there be any girls there, and so on. My parents were very thorough, and I have to say I hated going through the process every time I wanted to go out. Most of my good friends were similar. Some who had strict parents didn't turn like us though. But in hindsight and from what you said, I think you're right. Too much freedom isn't a great thing.

Unfortunately this freedom is prevalent in how western society works and I would always compare my parents to the way my non-Muslim parents acted. Yet most non-Muslims are okay with the sort of things they get into. They usually could care less what their religion tells them. So when Muslim kids are given too much freedom is a world that's like a candy store of sin, there are bound to be those that fall down the un-Islamic path.

At the same time, there are benefits to having such freedom. More responsibility, more confidence, I think it helps build a strong character if the individual is forced to think for himself. Yet there needs to be that bit of oversight from the parents to make sure their kids don't veer too far off the tracks.