The saga of Lebanese women and high profile people who think they are not worthy of things that are their right continues, and this time it’s with Ali Noureddine, a reporter on conservative Hezbollah-affiliated TV Al-Manar. A few days ago, a beauty queen whose rise to prominence was solely due to her sex appeal decided women should not engage in premarital sex, but that men should. I guess Ali and Nadine would fit well in the circle of people taking Lebanese women back eons.
Ali Nour Eddine doesn’t think women are good enough to run for elections and take on political work. Why? Because she’s supposed to “stay home, finish her chores and then come preach.” Why? Because “religions have never had female prophets or female philosophers.” Why? Because “it’s not her job nor is it her capacity.”
What would the female presenters at Al Manar say to a person like Ali Nour Eddine when they’ve been leading the news reports for years? What would Ali’s mother tell him when he’d look her in the eye and tell her that she is not good enough? What would all those mothers who gave birth to all of Ali’s employer’s martyrs say when he tells them that they are good enough?
I wonder, how can Ali Nour Eddine look all his women teachers in the eye, over the years, and tell them that they are not good enough just because they were not born with a penis between their legs.
Ali Nour Eddine seems to forget that women have had a role in religion. Has he forgotten about Mariam? Has he forgotten about Khadija or Aisha or Zainab? If you want to be religious in your argument, read your own religion.
Either way, since when is religion the indicator of whether a gender should be allowed to enter politics or not? Even Saudi Arabia has allowed women to vote, and run, and thousands of them have and won. Ali Nour Eddine’s mentality is worse than that.
If the only thing you know of women Mr. Ali Nour Eddine is for them to cook for you, open their legs for you, clean for you, and do whatever you think is right and whatever it is you want, then not only are you mistaken, but you’re just another Lebanese man who has made it his duty to subjugate the other sex into nothing more than a shell of a person whose entire purpose is to serve him.
Let me tell you, Ali, about my Lebanese women.
They are people who want to seek office, and change lives for the women you’ve ruined. They’re people like the 12 courageous souls that ran with Beirut Madinati less than 3 weeks ago and changed Beirut’s political landscape alone.
They are people like my own mother who has never let a man put her in place, who has shown she can stand up for herself and more in a world solely run by men.
They are people like Therese, who is running alone for elections in my hometown Ebrine and who wants to show women that yes, they can also do so.
They are our school teachers, and our professors who shape our lives with their knowledge and kindness like few men can.
They are the people who have fought for women to be protected from men who think like you, who think that women are second class citizens who can be forced to bed whenever they want, who can be slammed around just because they can, and managed to pass a law to give those women a fighting chance.
They are the women fighting for better electoral laws to make sure that there’s more than single digit percentages of them seeking office, to make sure that the numbers don’t agree with you, to make sure that you are wrong in every single way.
They are the women who make me proud to be Lebanese when I’m horrified that I share the country with people like you, and people who “like” what you have to say.
As of writing this, Ali Nour Eddine has deleted his status, but social media always remembers.
I always wish articles like these would be written in Arabic alongside English. They are essential to the shaking of the political consciousness; unfortunately English reaches a small percentage of society, a percentage that usually shares your/our education, mentality and indignation.
If I had a little more time I would offer to translate your (awesome!) articles but since I don’t, I suggest you give it a thought, and a try when you can, because it matters. At the end of the day Arabic is the language of Lebanon and we should be speaking it! Regards, A Thoughtful Reader .
Good point.language problems….mind you it years,generations, to change the mind set within patriarchy.
I meant ‘it takes years’ to change…
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