Adonis Diaries

Archive for the ‘women’ Category

He said, what I heard, what he might have meant...

Another of those summary tables in communication between genders.

Do you have a similar table where the roles are reversed? She said, he heard…?

I doubt it: Males are Not into that kind of complicated interpretations. They prefer dealing with taxonomy tables related to anything but the emotional kinds.

Mouth mush intelligence?

I’ll give you some examples of this phenomenon in my life with a table.

What He Said

What I Heard

What He Meant

You didn’t even tell me you were graduating cum laude today; that’s great. Why wasn’t it summa cum laude?” my Dad Hehe. Summa cum. Latin is dirty. You should have worked harder. A stunning display of mediocre effort. That’s really going to impress someone considering you for a job. I’m proud of you, but I know you are smart enough to have graduated with highest honors.
Slap! (On the butt while I was picking up toys on Valentine’s Day, 5 months postpartum). “Your ass is getting smaller!” my husband I find you disgusting. Keep working on it. You are losing weight and I’m attracted to you right now. Let’s get naked.
You can’t be a slave to your kid’s schedule. They need to fit into your life.” my oldest brother You really let your niece down by not coming to her cheerleading competition. Your baby is no excuse. Don’t miss out on important events in your niece’s life because of a nap schedule.
When you wear your hair down, it makes you look 10 pounds lighter instantly.” my step-Dad The way you wear your hair every day makes you look fat. Your hair looks good down. Until it turns into a squirrel tail when it dries.
“When have you ever killed a spider in this house?” my husband You don’t read my blog much and I try not to get my feelings hurt about that because I understand, but when you do this random comment is the one you’re focused on, and you’re calling me a liar? I kill them when you aren’t here. Good enough? I’m joking about spiders. Yes, I hate them, but you don’t kill them for me while I stand on a table. Can I have my balls back?

I won’t go into much more detail, I think these examples are enough for you to relate to them, and hopefully add your own in the comments section.

 

Reminiscing when Beirut was actually a super Movable fairs 

Personal experience when I were a university student: Movable fairs in Beirut: 1971-74

I decided to re-edit my old article “Wonderful early 1970’s:  Movable fairs in Beirut” in order to demonstrate to the current generation in Lebanon that it is highly feasible to generate a Mass Upheaval as was done in Tunisia and Egypt.

It is a scream against the total impunity that our politicians, in this semi-State of Lebanon, are enjoying, those militia/mafia “leaders” of our civil war, a war that no one was a victor.

Currently, the State of Lebanon is totally bankrupt at all levels and barely may survive remaining in the UN as a State

Our movable fair lasted 4 years, 3 years behind Paris and Woodstock mass upheaval fairs.

If it were Not for the de facto control of the PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization) over our political system, which diffused the purpose of the true upheaval of the Lebanese movement, Lebanon would have reformed against all odds.

Woodstock musical fiesta was organized in 1968 and disbanded three days later.

The French students revolt in Paris of 1968, then joined by the working organizations,  ended 2 weeks later.

The French students revolt of 1968 was a big party with deep lucidity:  banners read “Run, comrade, run.  The old world is chasing after you.” Youth was taking a reprieve by running joyously, a week of total freedom, running as fast as he could, knowing that the old world will invariably catch up with him.

These students and youth movements crossed to Lebanon in 1970 and lingered for 5 years as movable fairs in Beirut, before the civil war set in, at the instigation of US/Israel.

I witnessed that wonderful and crazy period as a university student, witnessing far more than studying.

By 1970 I was attending university, mainly math, physics, and chemistry courses.   Once the morning courses were taken care of, I roamed Beirut freely and all alone. (Would have been more pleasurable and instructive if I had friends to join me then)

For less than 5 Lebanese pounds ($2 at the time) I could see movies, watch theater pieces, or go to the empty beaches in mid September and October, eat local sandwiches of falafel, shawarma, and freshly pressed fruits.

Most of the days I ended up attending conferences, political party meetings, joining regular demonstrations and marches by university students, sit-ins, hunger strikes on the street in front of the education ministry (I tried once for half a day).

Fleeing police tanks and water hoses, or just walking all around Beirut circulating where the “movable fairs” crossed my path, gathering of people chanting slogans against the sectarian and mercantile political system, the defeatist government, not responding to the frequent bombardment of Israel in south Lebanon...

The citizens (mostly Muslim Chia) in the south flocked to the suburbs of Beirut, mainly in Dahieh, and labelled the “Red belt of poverty” in order to flee the successive incursions of Israel, under all lame excuses.

The Palestinian Liberation Organization, led by Yasser Arafat, and its institutions were firmly established in Beirut and in a dozen Palestinian camps.  Cash in hard currency spent by the PLO and the various resistance movements maintained the Lebanese currency very strong.

In May 1972, Beirut Cinema Club in cooperation with the US Cultural Center projected a series of Orson Welles movies such as “Citizen Kane”, “The lady from Shanghai”, “Secret report”, “Satan’s touch”, and “Falstaff”.  Wells mostly recalls the negative critics: for example, a critic said that Orson shouts like a rhinoceros” when Orson played “Candid” of Bernard Show.

Wells and Charlie Chaplin might be the greatest American directors.  Wells prefers that producers invest massively on many movies, even if one of his films are not marketed.  He said: “Without men there is no art.  Without women, men never become artists”

In May 1973, the film “Red Weddings” by French director Claude Chabrol was projected in El Dorado movie theater. There was a curfew in the previous week:  The Lebanese army tried to enter the Palestinian camp of Dbayeh (mostly Christians).

A few feddayins escaped and fled through the valley of river Nahr Kalb (Dog River); and we provided them shelter for three days in Beit-Chabab and they were to resume the trip to Dhour Shweir.  An ambush by the Phalanges (Kataeb) Party killed several of them on the way.

Chabrol has a particular style and a deterministic view on how events should unfold:  His movies are about illicit love affairs, murder, then punishment by the “bourgeois” legal system:  that genuinely falling in-love is irrelevant and thus must be punished, one way or another.

In June 1974, “The hour of liberation has chimed.. Out colonialists” by the young woman director Heine Srour won a special acclaim in Cannes.  This movie is about the popular revolutionary struggle of the people in Zofar (Oman, Hadramout, and south Yemen) from the British colonial power and archaic monarchic structures.

Heine invested two years in preparation and shot the one-hour movie with the rudiment of equipment and finances.  Heine and three technicians walked hundreds of kilometers with the fighters under scorching sun and the bombing of British jets.

Heine conducted interviews in the local Arabic slang the “Himyari” and projected the essential roles that women shared in that revolution along the fighters.

This movie was one of the first to broach situation in other Arabic States outside of Syria, Egypt, Iraq, or Palestine.  Movies on the Algerian revolution were to be produced shortly after.

In February 1975, director Borhan Awalweyeh showed his movie “Kfar Kassem“.  Hundreds of spectators remained in the theater way after midnight discussing the movie.

The film is a retrospective documentary of the genocidal massacre that Israel committed against the Palestinians in the village of Kfar Kassem in 1956 before it invaded Sinai.  Peasants returning from the fields were killed because they could not know about the curfew that the Israeli troops declared in their absence.

This movie was based on the novel of the same name by Assem Jundi.  Issam Mahfouz wrote the dialogue in the Palestinian Arabic slang.

Lebanon of 1974, and particularly the Capital Beirut, experienced extraordinarily cultural, social, and political activities, quantitatively and qualitatively.

First, the number of women writers increased dramatically.  As Georges Rassi wrote: “In the Arab World, every woman writer is worth 100 free minded men“.

Second, many famous authors and poets opted to write columns in dailies; a move that brought them in close touch with the people and the daily difficulties.

Third, artists and thinkers from all over the Arab World settled in Beirut.  Most of these intellectuals were fleeing oppression and persecution for free expressions.  The Egyptian intellectuals flocked in great number as President Sadat had decided to connect with Israel and leave the Arab problems and the Palestinian cause way behind.

Fourth, the Lebanese TV witnessed a big jump in quality of local productions thanks to the director Paul Tannous.

Fifth, many cultural clubs were instituted and Arab States organized exhibitions and cultural events.

Most importantly, women became very vocal and active for women rights and drastic reforms in the laws and social awareness.

Late author Mai Ghoussoub was very young then, but she was one of the leaders of “Committees for Free women.”

Initially, men were permitted to join in the discussions until they proved to be elements of heckling and disturbances.  The committees of free women decided to meet among women because their cause must be priority in urgent reforms and not a usual side-show tackled by reformist political parties.

Arab movies of quality were being shown such as “Events of red years” by Akhdar Hamina;  “Beirut…O Beirut” by Maroun Baghdadi; “May… The Palestinians” by Rafic Hajjar; “The bird” by Youssef Chaheen; “Al Haram” by Henry Barakat; “Hold on… O Sea” by Khaled Seddik.

Karl Marx said:  ”When history repeats its cycles, the next time around is a farce.”  Spring of 68 was a sympathetic and spontaneous farce; it was an innovating and creative revolt with no arms.

Spring in Paris was a movable fair, an all free-invited party.  It was a movable feast for sharing ideas and desires for justice, peace, liberty, and pleasure. There were plenty of generosity and compassion:  Youth was feeling bored of the old world system of unjust order, capitalism, petrified ideologies and dogmas.

It was a humongous fair where affluent lifestyle in the western States of plenty hide the miseries of the lowest classes living in shantytowns.

It was in a period for the third world struggling to emerge from the slavery stage of colonialism.

Spring fairs in the western world spread to most nations where the partying lasted and lasted.

The virus of the movable feast reached countries with old systems destroyed by the colonial powers:  The newer power systems were unstable and mostly haphazard to come chasing after mass movable fairs.

Spring of 68 crossed to Lebanon and lasted 5 years and emerged on a civil war that lasted 13 years and produced 300 thousand casualties (10% of the population!)

Note 1:  Details of this introspection were supplied by Georges Al Rassi in “Stations along the trail of Lebanese and Arab movies

Note 2: This student movement in Lebanon was mostly let by the students of our public university. The public university, in Choweifat, was mostly controlled by leftist-leaning organizations, including the teaching staff. Most probably, the colonial powers got weary of the growing influence of this university that was spreading to the private universities. The right-wing parties , the president and the army were ready to confront this movement by strong arm tactics.

Note 3:  You may read more details on my next post https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2010/10/19/movable-fairs-beirut-1970-74/

 

Why Not DATE An “ARAB GIRL”?

Again who is the “Arab” in your biased culture?

From where is this girl? Has she any other identity?

Is she harder to convince and more complex to understand than the ones on the big screen?Pictures, photo-shoot, videos that have convinced you of her delicate and timid nature?

  published this Feb. 5, 2014 (selected as one of the top posts today)

DON’T DATE AN ARAB GIRL

lay

She is not oppressed, like those caricatures on the news

Her long, flowing hair has not grown dark and strong to guide your eyes

 

To her curvy figure, which exists not to twirl into shapes

That she many enchant you to the beat of the group vigorous Dabke dance.

 

The “Arab” girl is born

With a fire in her belly and

Has inherited the strength of her fore-mothers.

 

Don’t date an Arab girl for she carries the Middle East on her shoulders

Every war and every invasion pushes her to tears

And she fights those tears back

 

To be replaced with a brave face for her brothers and sisters;

Starving, homeless and grieving.

 

Don’t date an Arab girl, she inspires revolutions with her passions and her protest

She will come home late: she stays amongst the dissenters

Until she can feel the winds of change.

 

Don’t fret, the Arab girl is protected from the cold

By the Keffiyeh (scarf) around her neck; she is the one sharing her last droplets of water

To quench the parched mouths, dried shouting for freedom in the midday sun.

 

Don’t date an Arab girl, she will fill your shelves and your mind with poets

Qabbani, Said and Mahfouz.

(And songs of Fairouz and the Ra7bani brothers)

 

The rivers Euphrates, the Jordan and the Nile run through her veins.

The spirit of Cairo, Algiers and the West Bank satiate her heart.

 

Don’t date an Arab girl, you will too often hear her sigh in longing

for the sound of the Muezzin in the morning, the taste of ‘real’ olives,

the smell of freshly baked bread and for the feel of the sun’s rays

Biting the nape of her neck in the late afternoon.

 

Do date her because you believe in her struggle, when you can match her passion

and feel her pain.

Date her because you can hold her as she wavers

under the load she carries

 

As the strength of her mother fails

For a short moment.

lay2

This poem was inspired by the Arab women I know and the Arab women I don’t know but still look up to.

Cover art is by Lalla Essaydi and the poem’s form was inspired by Charles Warnke and Adi Zarsadias

Hey yo sistah, you from the motherland?

Individual World Poetry Slam Championship

Emtithal “Emi” Mahmoud

Mama
I was walking down the street when a man stopped me and said,
Hey yo sistah, you from the motherland?

Because my skin is a shade too deep not to have come from foreign soil
Because this garment on my head screams Africa
Because my body is a beacon calling everybody to come flock to the motherland

I said, I’m Sudanese, why?
He says, ‘cause you got a little bit of flavor in you,
I’m just admiring what your mama gave you

Let me tell you something about my mama
She can reduce a man to tattered flesh without so much as blinking
Her words fester beneath your skin and the whole time,
You won’t be able to stop cradling her eyes.

My mama is a woman, flawless and formidable in the same step.
Woman walks into a warzone and has warriors cowering at her feet

My mama carries all of us in her body,
on her face, in her blood and
Blood is no good once you let it loose

She always holds us close.
When I was 7, she cradled bullets in the billows of her robes.
That same night, she taught me how to get gunpowder out of cotton with a bar of soap.

Years later when the soldiers held her at gunpoint and asked her who she was
She said, I am a daughter of Adam, I am a woman, who the hell are you?

The last time we went home, we watched our village burn,
Soldiers pouring blood from civilian skulls
As if they too could turn water into wine.

The soldiers stole the ground beneath our feet.
The woman who raised me
Turned and said, don’t be scared
I’m your mother, I’m here, I won’t let them through.

My mama gave me conviction.
Women like her
Inherit tired eyes,
Bruised wrists and titanium plated spines.

The daughters of widows wearing the wings of amputees
Carry countries between their shoulder blades.

I’m not saying dating is a first world problem, but these trifling moterfuckers seem to be.
The kind who’ll quote Rumi, but not know what he sacrificed for war.

Who’ll fawn over Lupita, but turn their racial filters on.
Who’ll take their politics with a latte when I take mine with tear gas.

Every guy I meet wants to be my introduction to the dark side,
Wants me to open up this obsidian skin and let them read every tearful page,
Because what survivor hasn’t had her struggle made spectacle?

Don’t talk about the motherland unless you know that being from Africa
means waking up an afterthought in this country.

Don’t talk about my flavor unless you know that
My flavor is insurrection, it is rebellion, resistance

My flavor is mutiny
It is burden, it is grit and it is compromise
And you don’t know compromise until you’ve rebuilt your home for the third time
Without bricks, without mortar, without any other option

I turned to the man and said,
My mother and I can’t walk the streets alone back home any more.
Back home, there are no streets to walk any more.”

Yale senior wins the Individual World Poetry Slam Championship
The stage was set for Emtithal “Emi” Mahmoud ’16 at the Individual World Poetry Slam Championship (iWPS).
news.yale.edu

Not her first, her last, or her only 

She loves you now, what else matters?

Bob Marley

You may not be her first, her last, or her only.

She loved before she may love again.

But if she loves you now, what else matters?

 

She’s not perfect—

You aren’t either, and the two of you may never be perfect together

But if she can make you laugh, and cause you to think twice,

And admit to being human and making mistakes,

Hold onto her and give her the most you can.

 

She may not be thinking about you every second of the day,

But she will give you a part of her that she knows you can break—her heart.

So don’t hurt her, don’t change her,

Don’t analyze and don’t expect more than she can give.

 

Smile when she makes you happy,

Let her know when she makes you mad,

And miss her when she’s not there.
 Bob Marley

How many women and men are needed to convince you of a rape act?

Rape is not sex.

Men don’t rape women because they need to get laid.

Rape is violence. It’s power and dehumanizing of women.

Many wonder why they (this group of men) raped girls while they could have consensual sex, but that’s not the point. They don’t want vanilla: they want violence. They want to humiliate, inflict pain and violate.

They want to take what they want without permission. Because they can.

We tip the nurse at the birth of the boy double the girl.

We say “go make your brother a cup of tea” and allow him to boss his sister around.

We raise our boys to do as they please. To pee in the street because “they can’t hold it”.

To sleep in and get breakfast to his bed instead of helping at home.

We praise his “masculinity” with the amounts of hearts he has broken because “boys will be boys”.

We forgive his fling with the neighbor’s girl because he is a boy while we beat the girl in submission, all her life.

We laugh at the stolen kisses in the staircase priding our “boy has grown” while we curse the girl who gave in.

But she is not ours so we don’t care. She is collateral damage.

We teach him that the girl he touched must be a slut, a sinner and if she has done it with you she must have done it with others.

We tell “our boy” not to cry or show kindness because a real man is tough and angry. We poison him with toxic thoughts and connect his masculinity to the level of hate and control he develops towards women.

We don’t tell him about consent.

When he has an urge it must be stilled. He can’t otherwise because “all men are like that, they are hunters by nature”.

We teach him that sex is something he does to women for his own pleasure only. We call them boys whereas they should be men.

We raise girls to comply. To become the perfect victim.

We teach her that her body is sin and must be hidden.

We teach her that anything is always her fault. She is sin. Her voice is 3awra. We teach her that she is a burden and not worthy of love, not worthy of autonomy over her body and life.

We tell her “all men are like that” when she comes home disrespected and defeated. We tell her “the boy likes you” when he is mean to her.

We tell her “your honor” is a membrane and that her life is worthless without it.

We cut her her genitals so she can be “controlled”, we make her bleed to prove virtue.

We tell her to be silent and do as she is told. We tell her to shrink so she is likable. We tell her to be silent so she can please. We tell her not to laugh too loud, to keep her legs closed, to dress to undress. To be a ghost.

It takes 100 girls to convince you he is a rapist and just 1 guy to convince you she is a slut.

Patriarchy is the reason for violence against women. Patriarchy is actually safeguarded by women. Break the cycle. Step out of it.

Start at the root. Raise your children differently.

Change the laws that enable rape culture and the dehumanizing of women.

Give women equality to men by law and enforce it. We have to stop being a society that hates and fears women so much.

Have you been able to remember any worthy kisses?

Lips raw with love?

A warm smile that made me laugh again?

My arm your arm…?

 Charles Bukowski·

Little dark girl with
kind eyes
When it comes time to
use the knife
I won’t flinch and
I won’t blame
you,
As I drive along the shore alone
as the palms wave,
the ugly heavy palms,
as the living does not arrive
as the dead do not leave,
I won’t blame you,
Instead

“I will remember the kisses
our lips raw with love
and how you gave me
everything you had
and how I 
offered you what was left of
me,

And I will remember your small room
the feel of you
the light in the window
your records
your books
our morning coffee
our noons our nights

Our bodies spilled together
sleeping
the tiny flowing currents
immediate and forever

Your leg my leg
your arm my arm
your smile and the warmth
of you
who made me laugh
again.

Little dark girl with kind eyes
you have no
knife. the knife is
Mine and I won’t use it
yet.
– Charles Bukowski

Mostly demons are found in Love?

Of Love and other demons

During Europe Middle Age, over 50,000 women were burned alive as witches.

Mainly women were submitted to be exorcised.

In the French translated “De l’amour et autre demons” by late Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the 12 year-old girl Sierva Maria was locked up and harassed by exorcism procedures.

I am extracting the French translation of a few lines from one of the sonnets of Garcilaso de la Vega, a soldier who died young at war and wrote 40 sonnets, 3 églogues, 2 élegies and 5 songs to a Portuguese girl who was Not a beauty, and married some else and even died before him:

O doux attraits pour mon malheur trouvés

Entre vos mains, enfin, je m’abandonne óu je sais que je mourrai

Afin qu’à moi seul il soit prouvé comment sur le vaincu frappe l’épée

Que s’apaisent celles que pour toi j’ai versées (les larmes)

Quand je demeure a contempler mon état et vois le chemin óu m’ont conduit tes pas

Je mourrai, car sans fourbe je suis donné à celle qui saura me perdre et m’achever

Iconic Marlene Monroe? She does write poetry?

Here are 5 particularly poignant fragments from the book.

On travelling by bus to Salinas:

I was the only person
woman with about
Sixty Italian fisherman…such charming gentleman…
And (they hoped) fish were
Waiting for them.

Some could hardly speak English.
Not only do I love Greeks (illegible)

I love Italians.
They’re warm, lusty and friendly as hell—

I’d love to go to Italy someday

On sailors:
I saw a lot of lonely young sailors

Who looked too young to be so sad.

They reminded me of
young slender trees still growing and  painful

On trees:
Sad sweet trees—
I wish for you—rest
but you must be wakeful

On love:
My love sleeps besides me—
in the faint light…
but he will look like this when he is dead
Oh unbearable fact inevitable
yet sooner would I rather his love die
than/or him?

And marriage:
I guess I have always been
deeply terrified to really be someone’s wife
since I know from life
one cannot love another,
ever, really

Not a girl of Half Passions?

I translated from French

© Eve@w. posted this Sept. 3, 2013
I am not a girl of half passion.
I dive in the void as birds that still can’t fly do.
I fell in love and I suffered.
I didn’t despise enough…
Hate was never my master.
I preferred the beating to the blows.
I fell a thousand times.
Only to get up one more time.
When we learn to walk, this is how we do.
We advance, one step at a time.
This is a long road.
I chose the obsessions: They invade me.
It feels soft and round in the stomach.
And It palpitates.
I would like to be able to think in cycles.
I have never appreciated the lukewarm behaviors.
It is erased.
The red heat ravages all on its passage.
It whirls toward the sky.
I don’t like the halves: I want all.
I want it complete.
I want it grand.
I learned to keep my balance on a tightrope.
And I forget to prepare any safety nets

adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

October 2020
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