Tuesday, January 18, 2005

I was at the bank and there was a woman, fully covered in black, having an argument with the very patient and polite bank employees who were dealing with her. She was refusing to comply with certain laws that they needed to follow in order to deal with her request and she was using pretty unecessary language to try and get them to do it anyway. They kept telling her that they couldn't carry out her request concerning the account of her 'dependent' without certain documents she should provide and she was getting really angry..they finally convinced her there was nothing they could do and she left mumbling racial insults at the woman employee who was Egyptian..apparently religion in this case only requires that you walk around completely covered, as though your sexiness would be too much for humans otherwise..it does not however require you to follow simple official rules, or to be polite, or to understand when people are calmly explaining facts to you and it also does not stop you from being a racist, arrogant fully grown brat.

Also, at the same unfortunate bank, a queue had formed... people waiting for the teller booths...it was mostly men, but there was a woman in the line..she was keeping a fair distance between herself and the man in front of her, and the man behind her was at a safe distance..when she got to the teller, the man behind her started loudly complaining that they should have numbers instead of standing in line..and he repeated over and over again 'ya3ni ryayeel u 7areem wagfeen ib nafs il saf' ???? As though that was the drama of the day..he stood a mile away from a woman in line! So bloody what? Are they going to jump each other and commit untold sins because they stood in a line?? Get over it for God's sake, and find a more important thing to worry about..the sexualisation of every single thing in this country is the reason we have so many guys flashing people on every corner, so much perversion (by which i do not mean anything that consenting adults get up to, i mean things that hurt others or oneself) so much idiocy masquerading as faith..enough already..there are serious problems in the world and there is nothing positive that an obsession with 'mathahir' and bastardised morality can contribute..


bo rashed said...

i thought of saying that the woman fully covered in black doesnt represent islam rather she represents the tribe and/or social class she comes from. but then ii thought hell no. she represents no1 but herself. and islam nor her tribe could be judged based on her attitudes and behaviors namely the unacceptable insult to the egyptian lady.
as for the man, i dont appreciate shouting under any circumstancess. but he had a point. why they dont simply have 2 queues one for men and the other for women, after all this is kuwait not NYC. never been to a bank where men & women were served in the same location as i deal with KFH, but whenever i am in a ministry or public place and a woman comes in, she's goes directly to the employee to finish her mo3mla even if there is a long queue .. i see it as respecting women not thinking of them as sex objects.

bo rashed said...

her tribe could NOT be judged

sarah said...

About the first paragraph: Many of my Kuwiati relatives started covering their faces and hands in the past 5 years or so. Some of the ladies are super-sweet, kind, religious (in the right way), etc. Some are not. Some are only muslim in name, and not in practice or belief. The reason why they (religious and not) decided to cover up is NOT because of religion--For them, it's some kind of fashion statement (or anti-fashion statement). I think some think it's patriotic, in view of the "western influence" on the Kuwaiti culture. In any case (even for the religious women of my family), their dress-code has little to do with Islam.

Of course it's not just in Islam or in arab countries. Right now I live in a region that is full of "born again" Christians. Some of these people believe that if you're baptised and accept Jesus as your lord and savior (ie, say the words "I accept Jesus as my lord and savior") then whatever crap you do is ok. So, they can be jerks and mean and racist, and it will be ok, because they are "saved" and "Jesus died for [their] sins."

As for the second paragraph in your post: Living in America, it seems silly to me that there should be separate lines based on gender. I mean, was the guy so turned on by the woman's back? Or was he starting at her rear? If so, why was he doing that? People should have SOME self-control. I mean, if they did something like that here, people would be screaming from the rooftops and burning bras, because America discovered that "separate but equal" doesn't work here.

On the other hand, living in Kuwait, I can understand the need or desire for separate lines. Bo Rashed has a good argument for it in his post above. He's right--Kuwait isn't America.

This is all assuming that the guy at the bank really was mad about men and women standing in line together. It could be that he wanted numbers so that he could sit and wait, or go outside and smoke or something while he waited. Standing in line really is annoying compared to having numbers. So, maybe he just said that it was for the woman's sake, when in fact it was for his own.

kwtia said...

Hi guys, thanks for the comments. Don't worry I never meant to say that Islam is to blame, thats why is said 'religion in this case'.. this case being this particular woman's idea of behaviour and her particular brand of faith (after all i would not assume that she was an atheist in that gear, she just seems to have a particular interperetation of her scriptures)..
I don't know if we can totally separate a person's choice to fully cover themselves in this day and age from an idea they hold about proper dress code, which does come from an idea that purports to be religious, though it is actually tribal..
If the guy wanted separate lines then why doesn't he go to KFH like you Bo Rashed? You are living and investing according to your beliefs which no one can argue with..
It just seemed so jarring to have someone shout about something like that when the woman was obviously taking care to be a decent distance (about three people's width) and when there was nothing disrespectful going on..People are able to not have sex on the mind all the time, the more we focus on it by thinking that men and women are just animals waiting to pounce and therefore must be separated, the more kinky we tend to get (hence the really oversexualised secret lives of people here which all my foreign friends are shocked at hearing about)I was traumatised to hear about what goes on here when i got back to the country, i had never come across anything like it in my eight years abroad.I'm sorry to say it, but it's true..I don't think that segregation helps anything at all.
In a public space it is possible to deal with women without constantly thinking that 'she's too close', 'she's not covered enough' and just deal with her as another human being waiting in line..
I did wonder Sarah, whether he was actually annoyed at having to stand for so long, and used the women in line thing to deflect attention, i can only go by what he said though, and he mentioned the gender mixing in the queue..

nibaq said...

I think the fully covered women get too much extra perks in our society, and its not out of respect or honor, but out of fear and also I think hatred.

You see them on the roads, totally blind but still driving, expecting you to avoid them when they make turns.

Funny thing how you mention the man afraid to be next to the woman. I was watching a show on Discovery channel on Sparta and how they seperated males and females from such an early age that when it was time for the man to get married and have sex. The woman would shave her head and they would do it in a dark room and after wards the guy would run back to his male friends.

I think that is what is occuring in Kuwait kids from a young age having no interaction with the other sex learing fear and confusion.

One amusing thing about how the segreated the colleges, that this Prof. was telling me back in the 70/80s there was good discussions in classrooms between girls and guys, it was limited but it was good. Now with the girls segregated from the guys he was expecting the girls to talk more, but not a whispher.

I fear thats what happening to our society in the public school area, we will have a lost generation.

kwtia said...

hi Nibaq, hey I watched a bit of that Sparta show, but I missed that interesting bit about segregation..I have to agree, the more foreign and scary you make the other sex, the more weird and complicated the relationships become and the more they become simply sexualised..Men and women really have no idea how to relate to each other if they treat each other like aliens..

nibaq said...

The Sparta show was good, I am sure they will be rerunning it sometime soon. It was just like you mentioned the men were afraid of the women, these people were not having sex. It was one of their downfalls in creating a perfect army.

I think one reason we are having such high divorce rates and problems in marriges is that couple dont communicate. Even when they are "dating" and having this long phone calls at the night, they aren't being truthful with each other about who they are.

And thats another thing I dont think people getting married know who they are. I know from a guys perspective is that when they are question their goals and their identity. The solution is to get married. Like marrige will fix everything, but if the guy isn't ready for it and can't handle it there is going to be problems.