Women Crying

Women weep and have babies
Added: Friday, 5 October 2007

watch original V-Blog in Persian

I chose this provocative title for my blog this week, because of what I've been witnessing in the media lately. There are a growing number of advocacy and psychology shows that give people life skills and tips about how to manage their life. One of the shows I've been watching is in fact a Persian show. Callers call in and tell their stories and the TV psychologist analyzes their concerns and gives his view on the situation.

Of the 6 shows I watched in 2 weeks, I'd say over 90% of the callers were female. And all their stories revolved around marriage problems or abuse by a male member of the family.

One lady was beaten by her father, deserted by her mother, wondered the streets of Tehran and finally found her way overseas where her life of misery continued, albeit with more economic possibilities. Her number one need was someone who would love her. Several ladies called in because their husbands were addicted to drugs. They had "tried" to leave their husbands, they had "tried" to call it quits. But for various reasons remained in the relationship either "for the sake of the kids" or worse, if they didn't have kids, they started making them in order to "save" their relationship. "I thought things would get better if I had children", was their rationale. Often struck with economic problems, these marriages were really only a poor excuse for being too weak or too dependent to call it quits.

Now, I'm not an anti-make-up, anti-cooking, anti-raising kids feminist, the likes of which we see so often on the other side of the sad spectrum, but this scenario is very alarming. Every time the psychologist boiled it down, the cause of inertia for women was their fear of standing on their own two feet. They could not see themselves being economically independent. They had many other excuses such as lack of support and understanding from family member:

"what will people say?"
"it will hurt the kids if I get divorced"
"but he's trying to stay clean/ faithful..."

The psychologist was almost always furious to hear that women had had children in order to save their marriages. He made it very clear that children should be wished into a stable, happy family. And the only real piece of advice that the psychologist was able to give was "educate your girls, your daughters, so that they don't have to lead a life like yours!"

And that is my little message for today. Women must be educated. They are the first educators of the next generation, they spread their knowledge and they are empowered by education. Education will give them confidence, security, independence and the right to say yes or no. The education of women will ease the process of bringing about the equality of women and men, it will have a significant impact on ills such as HIV/AIDS, human trafficking and all the other sad realities that women around the world face because their life is not in their own hands.

This blog is especially dedicated to one of my closest friends. Today I got news that she fell pregnant. She is married, she and her husband share deep bonds in their Catholic faith, they both have jobs, and she is one year away from getting her PHD. I'm proud of every decision she has made in her life, even if her childhood was not always easy.

My last thought of the day is: When as women we do stand our ground, we must be careful to have mercy and compassion towards men who are themselves learning, slowly learning, what it means to be a real man.

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