After 4 months on our first post...
ــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــLet me introduce myself.
I am a woman.
Not a secondary supplement to but the complimentary counterpart to a man. I too have dreams and desires and ambitions. I too am an individual and a part of a family. And I too can know joy and happiness and love and know pain and loneliness and sorrow.
As I sit in my family-imposed imprisonment in the middle-east, confined by an uncompromising, outdate culture I yearn for a voice. More than that, I long for that voice to be heard.
I am alone.
Not literally. My family is here, my “flesh and blood”, yet they deny me my inherent right as a human being to choose my own path, my own life because I am a woman. They deny me the fundamental right to define my own boundaries, to pursue my own dreams, to love whom my heart loves. They tell me I will ruin their reputation, I can’t possibly make such a decision; I haven’t the wherewithal to know what I want.
I am just a woman.
I am just a voice in solitude, locked behind doors, refused to feel the sun on my face. Yes, again I am being figurative, but it is still the truth. Once, I smiled. Once I felt the warmth of the sun upon my face. Now I know only the chill of loneliness and the spark of a want to speak. No, I’m still hiding my emotions; it’s such a bad habit.
Within my chest is a raging fire for the need to SCREAM!
What makes a man more capable of living his life better than me? What makes his life more valuable than my own? I too am educated. I too have a heart, a soul, a mind that can feel and think and reason. In my culture a man can’t even take care of himself. He depends upon women to cook and clean and do all the little things so he doesn’t have to. A man is often lazy and does maybe half the work of a woman. What makes him better? A man can’t even have children. In fact in this modern age of miraculous medicine it could be argued that we don’t need men at all. It would be a far less violent world, that’s for sure.
But I must confess it is not only men who have stolen my freedom, who have incarcerated my spirit just as they have denied my corporeal freedom. The women of the middle-east are just as culpable as the men. To allow such behavior, to accept the role of servitude only encourages such barbaric, outdated customs. Yes, there was a time when this was the accepted norm around the globe but that time has come and gone. We hear how bad the West is, how bad their women are, even Eastern women condemn them as sinful or immoral, yet who are we to judge? Who are we to devalue our own sisters in the world, whose mothers and grandmothers fought for their own freedoms over the years, decades, centuries?
I am a woman and I have plans, dreams, expectations.
I want to feel the wind of possibility whip about me and carry my voice far and away. I want to accept responsibility. No, I’m being demure again. I long to embrace my own decisions, right or wrong, as mine!
I am a woman. I can bring life into this world yet I must ask to go outdoors, must be accompanied, must obey archaic laws else risk being rebuked, beaten…or worse. Death is something that eastern women are all too familiar with; the threat, the execution…
But I feel I am already dead. I breathe, I eat, I wake to go to work, but am just the walking dead. This is not living.
I am a woman and I WANT TO LIVE.
Yes, most of my day I know broken-hearted solitude.
But I know I am not alone.
We are women, and WE HAVE A VOICE. We have waited long enough for the men of our culture, for our fathers and brothers and husbands to give us our liberty and it is evident that that they will not. They will not listen to the West, they will not accept that we are their equals. They will relent nothing, give nothing.
So I am a woman, and I am no longer asking.
I am a woman and I shall take my freedom.
Because what I understand that the men of my culture do not is that freedom is not free. Freedom does not come without the responsibility to fight for it, to sacrifice, and that it must always be guarded and protected. For some this is too much effort and slinking back to the dark isolation becomes acceptable because it is safe and familiar.
But I am a woman and I AM FIERCE!
I am a woman and THIS IS MY VOICE!
My sisters in the middle-east;
WILL YOU HAVE A VOICE TOO?
I'm a woman who wants to breathe, I'm a woman who wants to achieve dreams, I'm a woman who wants to smell the freedom, I'm a woman who wants to fight for women's rights as a part of human rights, I'm an eastern-western composition...I'm a woman!