- If you are a woman living in Egypt, odds are you are probably fed up with everyone under the sun giving you advice on how to live your life. The cherry on top of the cake is that if you actually tried to follow their advice, you won’t be able to. Why? Because they can’t seem to make up their minds about what’s right and what’s wrong. However, the result is always the same; we can do no right and it is most likely, always our fault.
Don’t get us wrong; we know that women all over the world have to deal with double standards on daily basis. But here in Egypt, we have more of a double dimensions problem. We -as women- are told to do the exact opposite at the same time, then however it goes, we are always to blame.
Mad world, right?
Here are some of the most common contradictions Egyptian women have to face in their day-to-day life:
Be ‘Soft’ but ‘Hard’!
They tell you to be polite, speak low and behave yourself. Girls should be tender and mellow. Then when you do, they call you a pushover and blame you for not having a strong personality. So basically, you have to speak up but low!
You have to look good but not show it, we think!
Girls should look good, dress well and take care of themselves, but once they do, they call them vain attention seekers and accuse them of trying to land a husband. But if they don’t, they tease them about their looks and call them ugly. Hmmmmm
Be careful of empty streets, and crowded ones.
They tell you to stay away from crowded places like microbus stations and such to avoid harassment. Then when you walk in a less crowded area and get harassed anyway, they blame you for putting yourself in danger.
Well, ladies, I hear Mars is lovely this time of year.
Study hard so you can be a wife when you grow up.
We are encouraged to study hard to become doctors, lawyers, and engineers. But when we actually do, we are judged for caring about our careers and putting them ahead of marriage. So basically we have to go through at least 18 years of education just so we can be wives.
It makes sense, though, we all know how math and physics can be essential in a marriage!
Talk to boys, but DON’T!
When you talk to boys and become friends with them, you are called ‘easy’. When you don’t talk to boys, you are called an idiot who doesn’t know what is good for her and will never get married, i.e. (5ayba).
When in danger, run for the hills, but stand your ground.
They tell you to defend yourself in the face of danger. When abused, harassed or bullied; speak up and ask for help. Then when you do, you are accused of making a spectacle of yourself in public and blamed for not running away and hiding in the shadows.
So to everyone wondering, that was the answer to the unsolved mystery of ‘why women complain’. We are confused!
But hey, it’s the thought that counts, right, ladies? And I guess the thought is that they are trying to help and all that. We hope.