Adonis Diaries

Archive for the ‘women’ Category

“I’m not your inspiration, thank you very much”: Handicapped Stella Young, a comedian and journalist

Ladies and gentlemen, I’m afraid I’m going to disappoint you dramatically. I am not here to inspire you. I am here to tell you that we have been lied to about disability.

Stella Young is a comedian and journalist who happens to go about her day in a wheelchair — a fact that doesn’t automatically turn her into a noble inspiration to all humanity. In this very funny talk, Young breaks down society’s habit of turning disabled people into “inspiration porn.”

This talk was presented to a local audience at TEDxSydney, an independent event. TED’s editors chose to feature it for you.


Saudi Kingdom is allowing in female Syrian servants: A female Syrian poet replied to this ignominy

Poet Colette Khouri responded to this vile invitation: No Syrian refugees were admitted in this terrorist Kingdom

Nahed Sleiman shared ‎سلمية الحدث‎’s post22 hrs · 
Image may contain: 1 person

سلمية الحدث‎ is with Nancitta Salem.Like PageFebruary 8 at 10:49am · 

ﺍﻋﻠﻦ ﻭﺯﻳﺮ ﺍﻟﻌﻤﻞ ﺍﻟﺴﻌﻮﺩﻱ (ﺍﻟﺤﻘﺒﺎﻧﻲ)ﻋﻦ ﺍﺳﺘﻘﺪﺍﻡ سوﺭﻳﺎﺕ ﻟﻠﻌﻤﻞ ﻛﺨﺎﺩﻣﺎﺕ ﻓﻲ ﺍﻟﺴﻌﻮﺩﻳﺔ
فردت عليه ﺷﺎﻋﺮﺓ ﺳﻮﺭﻳﻪاسمها(كوليت خوري)بهذه القصيدة الرائعة:
ﺛﻜﻠﺘﻚ ﺍﻣﻚ ﺍﻳﻬﺎ ﺍﻟﺤﻘﺒﺎﻧﻲ
ﻭ ﺑﻘﻴﺖ ﻣﻠﻌﻮﻧﺎ ﻣﺪﻯ ﺍﻻﺯﻣﺎنِ

ﺧﺎﻟﻔﺖ ﺍﻋﺮﺍﻑ ﺍﻟﻘﺒﺎﺋﻞ ﻛﻠﻬﺎ
ﻣﻦ ﻧﺴﻞ ﻗﺤﻄﺎﻥ ﻭ ﻣﻦ ﻋﺪﻧﺎنِ

ﺣﻘﺎ ًﻓﻌُﺮﻓُﻚ ﻳﺎ ﻏﺒﻲ ﻛﺴﺒﺘﻪ
ﻣﻦ ﻋﺮﻑ ﻫﻨﺪﻱ ﻭ ﺑﺎﻛﺴﺘﺎﻧﻲ

ﻗﺪ ﻋﺎﻳﺸﻮﻙ ﺣﻴﺎﺗﻬﻢ ﻭ ﺃﻟﻔﺘﻬﻢ
ﻭ ﺗﺨﺎﻟﻄﺖ ﺍﻧﺴﺎﻟﻜﻢ ﺻﻨﻔﺎنِ

ﺻﺎﺭ ﺍﻟﻐﺮﻳﺐ ﺑﺪﺍﺭﻛﻢ ﺍﻫﻼً ﺑﻪ
ﻭغدا ﺍللصديق ﺑﻤﺤﺮﻡ ﺍﻟﻨﺴﻮﺍنِ

ﻭ ﻳﺴﻮﻕ ﻣﺮﻛﺒﻬﺎ ﻭ ﻳﺤﺮﺱ ﺑﺎﺑﻬﺎ
ﻳﻘﻀﻲ ﺣﻮﺍﺋﺠﻬﺎ ﺑﻜﻞ ﺗﻔﺎﻧﻲ

ﻭ ﺭﺿﻴﺖ ﺍﻥ ﻳﺨﻠﻮ ﺑﻬﺎ ﻣﺘﻔﺮﺩﺍً
ﻭ ﻧﺴﻴﺖ ﺍﻥ ﺍﻟﺜﺎﻟﺚ ﺍﻟﺸﻴﻄﺎنِ

ﺍﻋﻠﻢ ﻓﻘﻮﻟﻚ ﻳﺎ ﻭﺯﻳﺮ ﺍﻏﺎظنا
ﻭ ﺃﺛﺮﺕ ﻓﻴﻨﺎ ﻛﻞ ﺣﺮ ﺷﺎﻣﻲ

ﻓﺄﻧﺎ ﺍﻟﻌﻈﻴﻤﺔ ﻣﺎ ﺣﻴﻴﺖ ﻋﺰﻳﺰﺓً
ﻭ ﺑﻲ ﺍﻟﺸﻬﺎﻣﺔ ﻭ ﺍﻻﺑﺎ ﻋﻨﻮﺍﻧﻲ

ﻭ ﺍﻟﺤﺮ ﻻ ﻳﺮﺿﻰ ﺍﻟﻤﺬﻟﺔ ﻣﻄﻠﻘﺎً
ﻛﻼ ﻭ ﻻ ﺗﺮﺿﻰ ﺑﻬﺎ ﺍﺩﻳﺎﻧﻲ

ﻟﻮ ﻣﺖ ﺟﻮﻋﺎً ﻣﺎ ﻃﺮﻗﺖ ﺩﻳﺎﺭﻛﻢ
ﻛﻼ ﻭﻻ ﺍﺳﺘﺠﺪﻳﺘﻜﻢ ﺇﺣﺴﺎﻧﻲ

ﻻ ﺗﺤﺴﺒﻦ ﺍﻟﻔﻘﺮ فينا ﻓﺎﻗﺔ ً
ﻓﻐﻨﺎﻱ ﻓﻲ ﻃﺒﻌﻲ ﻭ ﻓﻲ ﺇﻳﻤﺎﻧﻲ

ﺳﻮﺭﻳﺔ ﺍﻟﺠﻨﺲ ﺍﻻﺻﺎﻟﺔ ﻣﺬﻫﺒﻲ
ﻭ ﺑﻤﻜﺔ ﺍﻟﺮﻛﻦ ﺍﻟﻌﻈﻴﻢ ﻳﻤﺎﻧﻲ

ﻭ ﺣﺮﺍﺋﺮﺍﻟﺸﺎﻡ الأبي ﺟﻤﻴﻌﻬﺎ
ﺫﺍﺕ ﺍﻻﺻﻮﻝ ﻣﻌﺎﺩﻥ ﻭ ﻣﻌﺎﻧﻲ

وقبلنا كانت فلسطينية منكوبة
لم تخضع لمثلك أو لغيرك ثواني

ﻭﺿَﻌَﺘﻚَ ﻳﺎ ﺑﺪﻭﻱ ﺗﺤﺖ ﻧﻌﺎﻟﻬﺎ
ﻫﻦ ﺍﻟﻨﻔﺎﺋﺲ ﻟﻮﻟﺆاً ﻭ ﺟﻤﺎﻧﻲ
المرﺟﻮ ﻣﻦ ﻛﻞ ﻋﺮﺑﻲ أﺻﻴﻞ نشر هذه ﺍﻟﻘﺼﻴﺪﺓ الرائعة ﻟﻴﺮﺍﻫﺎ كل أبيٍّ شريف

How can Grandmothers care for the grandchildren if the sons are far away?


Bien sûr des grand mères qui ne ressemblent en rien à la mienne, qui me revient à l’instant en mémoire nous roulant des 3arouss (tartine a la Libanaise) avec les délicieuses confitures préparées des fruits du jardin.

Mes copines sont des grands mères modernes, qui prennent l’avion pour assurer une garde des enfants quand leur mère est en mission au Venezuela, ou qui accueillent tous les matins, comme une garderie, le nouveau né de leur fille qui le dépose en courant pour arriver à temps à sa banque ou son usine et qui viendra le soir le récupérer en emmenant avec elle sa provisions de loubié bi zeit ou kafta pour le dîner de la famille.

Certaines de mes copines grand-mères ont des fois des rôle plus sympa et emmènent leurs petits-enfants faire du ski, au théâtre ou à des concerts ce qui leur offre une éducation culturelle et une proximité pleine de tendresse pour les deux.

Je ne conteste aucun de ses nouveaux rôles que j’adorerais aborder le plus tôt.

Mais pour jouer ce rôle innovant de grands-parents et jouir de la présence de nos petits enfants, ou leur transmettre quelques valeurs familiales, encore faut il que nos enfants soient là, à côté, au Liban.

Encore faut il que nous restions capables de prendre l’avion pour les embrasser et être capable surtout de rentrer au pays sans trop d’amertume pour les dimanches sans eux qui nous attendent pour le restant de nos jours.

Joana Aziz Open letter to Dear Man

Dear Men, It Is Time to Step Up

An open letter from a feminist requesting male solidarity

I was having a discussion with four male colleagues, and I suddenly realized that I was being interrupted constantly.

Even though I am well versed on the topic, my input, for most of the time, was rendered useless.
It’s not the first time I encounter such a predicament among male presence.

My standpoint has been disregarded, devalued and belittled too many times that it prompts me to write this piece.
I’m tired of being systematically patronized simply because I am a woman.

It is these mundane exchanges of micro-aggression that construct larger disturbances in power dynamics. Disturbances where women still do not possess autonomous control over their own bodies.

Reproductive rights, the wage gap, and under-representation are important gender-based issues that we (men and women) have to actively tackle.

The struggle to achieve gender equality has been underway for 200 years now. It was launched by Mary Wollstonecraft with her treatise A Vindication of the Rights of Woman in 1792.

First-wave feminism enlisted the efforts of suffragettes like Emmeline Pankhurst and her daughters who granted us our current right to vote.

The second-wave feminist movement during the 1960’s challenged conventional gender roles demanding opportunity in occupational fields that is our right to work.

Third-wave feminism which began in the early 1990s recognized the importance of ‘inter-sectionality’.

Kimberlé Crenshaw is the leading scholar responsible for coining the term. As a Civil Rights activist Crenshaw recognizes that in order to successfully dissect the hegemony of power, we must account for the nature of social categorizations such as race, class, gender, and sexuality.

Fourth-wave feminism, sometimes known as post-feminism, is what we are experiencing now.

With the aid of social media, the 21st century is seeing the re-emergence of feminism in full throttle. Movements like #Metoo, for example, brought awareness to the often overlooked prevalence of sexual harassment and assault.

USA Gymnastics Doctor Larry Nassar had sexually abused more than 100 female athletes throughout his career.

When the victims approached the administration where they trained with complaints, they were silenced and disregarded. Such cases might have continued to be ignored but with the support of #MeToo, the once victims now empowered women testified in court and held their abuser accountable.

Dear Men,

We have come a long way, but we still have miles ahead.

We still live in a largely male-dominated society where beliefs of superiority shape regressive attitudes towards women.

It’s time to step up.

It’s time to accept the responsibility you share in the construction of social values.

To be aware that silence in moments of injustices are acts of complicity and social progression requires your involvement.

Here is what you can do:

1- Acknowledge your Privileges

Acknowledge that being born male instantaneously grants you privileges in our patriarchal structure and conversely being born female instantaneously puts us at a disadvantage.

Acknowledge that you might hold covert judgments and preconceived notions about women. The society and the culture you were brought up in, even if indirectly, teaches the systemic subordination of women.

Acknowledge that opportunity is curved in your favor, as you are more likely to be accepted to universities,  jobs, and positions of leadership.

2- Listen to us

Listen to us when we speak whether in a personal, intimate or professional setting.

More often than not, I find myself in positions where I am talked at as opposed to talk to. I can clearly identify that my male counterpart is not listening to me but rather is assuming he knows the veracity of the situation and is willing to dissect and explain it to me.

The female voice is devalued and underrepresented in various positions from lead roles in filmsto seats in Parliament. A 2017 study revealed that men had substantially more lines in films – 37,000 dialogues – whereas women had just over 15,000.

Moreover, in many cases taking the female character out of the film doesn’t change the story or plot line. We are not generally not exposed to strong female figures which might explain why women in Lebanon account for 3.1 percent of the deputies in parliament – four out of 128 seats in Parliament.

Established norms have enabled the trivialization of women’s speech.

A 2014 analysis concluded ‘that men were nearly three times as likely to interrupt a woman as they were a man.’ These opportunities for change are found in everyday life where the simple act of listening is an act of resistance.

3- Don’t support acts of Objectification

We, as a society, have been conditioned to scrutinize women’s appearance.

The distribution of gender roles teaches girls and women that the greater part of their value comes from their looks. Media’s representation also largely supports the judgments and objectification of women’s physicality.

This has not only been proven to lower women’s self-esteem and lead to self-objectification but has been linked to dehumanization and accepted levels of violence towards women.

Chose to become aware of instances of objectification. Refuse to participate in “locker room talk” and highlight the dangers of its perpetuation.

4- Accept cuts

While many dispute the existence of the wage gap, the truth is women make 79 cents on the dollar compared with men. Women earn less in almost every occupation including sports where female athletes earn an average of 23.4% less than their male counterparts.

Such impositions are due to the interconnected web of gender stereotypes which dictates how women should work and how much they should earn.

Leveling the playing field in terms of gender equality would require men to accept some drawbacks.

For example, earlier this month six of the BBC’s leading male presenters agreed to take pay cuts after revelations of wage disparity between female co-workers emerged.

But what about men?

I truly believe that the patriarchal system is oppressive towards everyone, male and female alike.

Men are coerced into a system of stereotypes as well and challenging it requires the cumulative effort of those involved. As we tackle one side of the spectrum (that oppresses women), we would inevitably be tackling the other side (which oppresses men).

Le « féminisme à la française », selon la sociologue Irène Théry

La chercheuse revient sur une définition qu’elle avait donné en 2011 sur une certaine façon, en France, de vivre la séduction.

Par Anne Chemin Le Monde | 

La sociologue Irène Théry a écrit en 2011 que le « féminisme à la française » était « fait d’une ­certaine façon de vivre et pas seulement de ­penser, qui refuse les ­impasses du politiquement correct, veut les droits égaux des sexes et les plaisirs asymétriques de la séduction, le respect absolu du consentement et la surprise délicieuse des baisers volés ».

Nous lui avons demandé si, aujourd’hui, elle reprendrait cette définition. Voici sa réponse.

« Oui, je la reprendrais, à la virgule près. Vous savez, il arrive que des sociologues polissent leurs phrases et c’était le cas de celle-ci, dont j’ai choyé chaque mot.

Féminisme “à la ­française” et pas féminisme “français”. Car je pensais à un seul parmi les nombreux courants parfois opposés qui coexistent en France : le ­féminisme universaliste, qui avait signalé ­quelque temps auparavant son scepticisme par rapport à la parité, un mal nécessaire certes très efficace, mais dont le risque est toujours d’essentialiser la différence entre hommes et femmes (y compris en la voyant comme le ­produit d’un conditionnement non pas naturel mais culturel) et d’enfermer chaque sexe dans une moitié d’humanité.

Photo prise le 8 décembre 1998, dans son bureau, de la sociologue Irène Théry, auteur du rapport "Couple, filiation et parenté aujourd'hui" remis aux ministres Martine Aubry et Elisabeth Guigou et qui devrait entraîner une importante réforme du droit de la famille. / AFP PHOTO / PIERRE VERDY

Un style

Or ce féminisme universaliste n’est pas ­seulement une théorie, c’est aussi autre chose, de plus impalpable : un style.

J’admire depuis toujours le chic de Mona Ozouf, si élégante comme personne, si attentive à l’écriture de ses livres et au verbe de ses conférences, témoins de la considération qu’elle porte à ses lecteurs et ­auditeurs. Un style tout de sobriété et d’une grande probité morale.

Sur le fond de la pensée, ce style consiste à ne jamais se contenter des diktats du moment, fussent-ils ­féministes, mais à rechercher toujours la justesse et la simplicité d’expression.

Seule une lucidité exceptionnelle, comme celle de Latifa Ibn Ziaten, transformant sa douleur en engagement après l’assassinat de son fils par Mohammed Merah, ou un long travail ­réflexif sur l’histoire…

En savoir plus sur

Notes and tidbits posted on FB and Twitter. Part 141

Note: I take notes of books I read and comment on events and edit sentences that fit my style. I pay attention to researched documentaries and serious links I receive. The page is long and growing like crazy, and the sections I post contains a month-old events that are worth refreshing your memory.

French women got Full citizenship in 1944

English women snatched the right to vote by 1914

US women got the right to vote around 1912

Women in Japan are encouraged to commit suicide to safeguarding their “honors”, but they are cleverer than the stupid males; they leave such honor to the competitive militaristic disciplined males.

Credit is an idea. Credit is not wealth. No work is used in the creation of credit other than a book entry. It is expressed by bookkeeping entries and computer symbols. The manipulation of words and their meaning is the key to controlling what people think.

I try to draw democracy. I start with people voting and asserting their rights. And it strikes me that people are being possessed with an overarching ideology that a leader transmits, that they are held by their throats to be able to survive financially, that they have to rebel and kill and watch their children get killed to be heard.

I try to draw a nation, a government, a political order, a land…And I fail again:  I cannot depict the famine that our “Arab” world is witnessing, the murder, the torture.  And at the same time, and simultaneously at the other end, you witness people not showing a single sense of empathy, or even the slightest human concern.

The ancient Akkadian Empire in current southern Iraq, around the years 2,000 BC, used the word Aribi (Arab) to designate “the neighbors”, the nomads exchanging incense, myrrh, and precious stones with the urban centers in the kingdom.

The major nomadic tribes or “bedwins, bedouin” were hired by merchants and the central governments of the existing Empires to safeguard the main land trade routes.

The main trade route “The King route” crossing Syria to the port of Aqaba on the Red Sea. The Jewish tribes would be hired to keep this route safe from minor nomadic clans.  Later, there would be established the “Silk Road” from China to Persia to Turkey to Venice and Europe.

The Hebrew word of “Arabah” means desert. Thus arabah meant tribes leading a nomadic life in desert-like regions.  The tribes in the southern regions of the Arabic Peninsula such as Yemen never considered themselves as Arabs.

The word Arab in Yemenite documents of the second century AC refers to people not urbanized or living off agriculture; it is the same meaning that the Prophet Muhammad used.


New on The Scene? Can Emerging Political Actors and Women Make Headway in Lebanon’s 2018 Parliamentary Elections?

Hivos International: Call for Researchers

Thirty years after the official end of the civil war in Lebanon (1990), the Lebanese political system is showing, more than ever, symptoms of a deeply entrenched crisis.

The “con-sociational” political system[1] (meaning anomy system where every deputy is a major businessman?) contributes to hampering the stabilisation of the political scene as well as the consolidation of the state[2].

These confessional and religious divisions embedded in the system along with political familism[3] (feudalesm?) contribute to restrain the effective participation and emergence of new actors, notably women, thus limiting political turnover.

The 2018 Lebanese parliamentary elections are scheduled to take place on 6 May after nearly a decade since the last time they were held. (Parliament extended its tenure 3 times for no valid reason)

A new election law was finally  passed in October 2017, after members of parliament had extended their mandate three times – in 2013, 2015, and 2017 – each time with questionable legality[4].

While MPs cited security concerns (2013 and 2015) and technical concerns (2017), political analysts referred to an overall lack of political will to hold the elections, lack of adequate campaign financing, possible voter apathy, and no agreement on a new election law[5].

(The election was delayed an entire year in order to come to term with the reformes of the new law, but none of the reforms were voted on)

In the the near decade since the last time Lebanon held elections in 2009[6], much has changed: 3 governments have come and gone, the Syrian crisis which had an important impact on the Lebanese political landscape[7], notwithstanding several terrorist bombings, and the kidnapping and subsequent murder of Lebanese soldiers by ISIS[8]; waves of popular protests in the summer of 2015 over the government-induced garbage crisis[9] and, last but not least the Hariri resignation crisis in November 2017 (held prisoner in Saudi Kingdom) and the ensuing reshuffle of political alliances.

Domestically, the Syrian crisis continues to put an additional layer of pressure on an economy long neglected by the Lebanese political class.  (And Not aided by the colonial powers who supported the terrorist factions in the the war on Syria).

Weak infrastructure, stagnant wages, less than ideal labour conditions, and a squeezed job market are a major concern for many Lebanese, especially young people.[10]

It is against this backdrop that the elections will take place in Spring 2018. Although the Lebanese political class collectively approved the new law, it appears uneasy about the law as it cannot entirely pre-guarantee the result. The new election law introduces some aspects of proportional representation for the first time in Lebanon, and political parties are still grappling with how to adapt their campaigns.

In addition, given that national elections have not taken place in a decade, there may be some uncertainty over the “mood” of the electorate. The 2016 municipal elections which took place after the popular protests against the then-government over the garbage crisis showed that at least in some areas in Lebanon, notably Tripoli, and to some extent Baalbeck and Beirut, voters were more willing than in the past to vote for new political actors, mostly coming from civil society.

In fact, new actors such as Beirut Madinati, managed to challenge the traditional political establishment during the last municipal elections in 2016, and exceeded the expectations of many in terms of polls.[11]

In this vein, some analysts see that the new proportional law may pave  the way for breakthroughs in the different regions and, hence, constitute an opportunity for the emergence of political alternatives to traditional parties[12].  Its adoption on June 2017  appears to have initiated a new dynamic and has contributed to the rise of new political alliances formed by “civil society actors”, which aim to participate in the upcoming elections in May.

However, the major challenge for such groups remains the establishment of a unified front against traditional political parties, based on a relevant electoral programme that will convince voters to shift their political allegiances.[13]  Other challenges include mobilising sufficient financial and human resources to fund efficient campaign machines that can compete effectively with more seasoned traditional parties.

Likewise, the current political system was born out of the convergence of many constructs such as sectarianism and “kin-based patriarchy”.[14] While the former is a about how religious “differences are constructed” in relation to the institutions of social organisation such as the family and the state,[15] the latter is a hierarchical system and a contract that governs the relationships among kin members, empowers men and the elderly over women, children and young adults, and gives “primacy to kinship” over the state.[16]

Such system continued to impede women’s access to the political arena despite having obtained political rights since 1953, when they gained suffrage and were granted the right to run for parliamentary elections. Ever since, however, women’s representation in parliament as well as political office continued to be minimal[17]. In 2016, women candidates only represented 6.9% of the total candidates for the municipal elections, and  1.9% of the candidates at the 2009 parliamentary elections, even though they represent 51.2% of the registered.

Today, Lebanon counts four women MPs,[18] all of whom are daughters, wives or sisters of prominent politicians, ministers and parliamentarians.[19] In political as well as public office, women are rarely associated to decision-making processes in Lebanon, and if they are, their function is often symbolic.[20]

In this vein, Hivos International – Beirut Office and Lebanon Support are seeking to commission a researcher (or a team of researchers ) to critically investigate the two following axis, in two separate briefing papers:AThe emergence of new political actors: the Lebanese consociational system, consisting of power sharing between communities, has not allowed circulation of political elites, limiting the entry and participation of newcomers to the political scene. However, popular mobilisation in 2015 against the government’s handling of the garbage crisis, the subsequent rise of “new” political groups contesting the 2016 municipal elections coupled with a new election law make the 2018 parliamentary election results less predictable.

A) To what extent does this new political situation facilitate the emergence and participation of new political actors? Also, and without falling in the trap of the “immaculate contestation,” to which extent are these actors new? What  activist histories, genealogies, and experiences do they build on?

  1. What are the alliances and coalitions that they are building? And what are the dynamics, shared visions, and interests enabling their coalition forming?  What are their main political demands? Are women’s rights/ issues tackled within these new electoral programmes and how?
  2. B)Women’s participation in the electoral process (campaign period to election-day): The existing political system that is grounded in patriarchal political familism(s) contributes to  beget questions about the position and status of a politically underrepresented constituency; namely women.
  3. What new openings or opportunities have the recent changes in the political terrain brought to women? Which actors are contributing to such changes and how?
  4. How successful have been the attempts to create alliances or coalitions supporting the participation of more women? How are women responding to these attempts? What is the impact of these developments on their organising and/or campaigning, if any?




February 2018
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