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On International Women’s Day, a local website called the961.com decided to publish a list of 7 reasons why you should date Lebanese women.
As it is with Buzzfeed-esque lists that rely on stereotypes, generalizations and healthy doses of sexism-coated misogyny, the list of why you should consider a Lebanese women as your date range from her being “beautiful… supportive… family oriented… well dressed…” and, most importantly, that SHE CAN COOK! Again, on International Women’s Day, out of all days, the one day that women around the world call for their rights as loud as they can, scream against being objectified, and fight for gender equality.
I don’t know whose idea it was to publish a list of generics and think it’s a celebration of Lebanese women, when all it’s doing is annihilate every inch of evolution that the Lebanese women empowerment movement has accomplished over the years.
At a time when many Lebanese women are leading NGOs, being listed in Forbes as some of the most influential people around the world, challenging stereotypes left and right, forming start-ups, trying to break into politics, forming political movements, becoming reverends, their worth as people is sure as hell not defined in a silly list posted on some random website to get clicks and ad-money. There’s also a “why date Lebanese men” list too to serve that purpose.
So instead of a celebration of our women who are breaking boundaries in Lebanon, the Arab World and the entire world, it was decided to summarize them, in the only thing about them that’s worth dating, and that is being them standing behind their men, looking pretty and dressing well enough, as well as being able to cook for them.
The notion that no woman on this Earth is defined by any man seems to still escape many people, in 2017. So let’s say it loud and clear: Our women, Lebanese or otherwise, are not defined by what they can offer men, especially when they’ve been subdued by patriarchy for decades now, down to having our male parliament members vote down laws on sexual harassment in parliament because “it opens doors for us that we don’t want opened.”
Do you know why you should date a Lebanese woman? If she’s the gender you’re attracted to and you’re interested enough with what she has to offer you, then why don’t you?
To the women sharing that horrifying list, stop. It’s not a list that’s flattering you. It’s a list that keeps you in that box that many men, whereas Lebanese here or abroad, want to shove you in and keep you there.
It’s okay not to want kids.
It’s okay not to know how to cook.
It’s okay not to want to be anyone’s support and to put yourself first.
It’s okay not to dress the way society thinks you should be dressing and not to give any fucks about it.
Your self worth is not summarized in a silly list on a silly website. Any man who’s worth anything would know that.
If her not dressing in Chanel or looking like Gigi Hadid is a deal breaker, or is even a consideration as to why you’d consider having any person on Earth as your partner, then you’re the embodiment of the problem with men who don’t think there’s a problem with the stereotypes they’re perpetuating in the first place. Maybe you shouldn’t even be dating anyone to begin with.