Whenever I sit with a group of women, without fail, topics are discussed about things going wrong in society and they all laugh and say ‘because it’s our fault!’ I for one would love to know why, from the times of old, when something goes wrong in a family, it is always the woman’s fault. If there are problems in a marriage, it’s the woman’s fault. If the kids are misbehaving or failing, it’s the woman’s fault because she’s not giving them all of her time and attention. If she doesn’t get married, it’s also the woman’s fault because she’s not being woman enough. God forbid that a woman should be strong or independent; then she becomes selfish and aggressive, losing her femininity and trying to be like a man. And of course, we all know God removed Adam from Paradise because Eve persuaded him to eat the forbidden fruit!
You would think as Egypt develops and men become more ‘open minded’, this concept would disappear. Sadly, this isn’t the case, as was clear in Ramadan TV series this year. Women who were successful were regarded as aggressive, selfish go-getters with little regard for others and absolutely no time for their children who came second to their lust for money and fame.
What makes things even worse for women is what happens if they go so far as to ask for a divorce. More often than not, the man either stops supporting her completely or becomes the giving and loving father who goes to court ONLY to punish her and ‘save’ the children by taking them away from her! Sadly, the system sides with the husband and he wins custody. The court obviously feels that he will be more successful looking after the children than their incapable mother, simply because the father said he could! The fact that he too is ambitious, ruthless, or simply prefers to live his life as he wants isn’t questioned, because – drumroll! – there’s always the grandmother, the nanny, or even the option of leaving the children home alone!
Please don’t get me wrong; there are very good men who are good fathers and there are women who are bad mothers, but what I’m talking about is the rule in our society today. I have seen this first hand, over the many years I worked as a School Principal. 8 out of 10 times we had to call in a parent, it was the mother who came, because the father was at work and had no time. Mind you, most of these mothers also worked, but it goes without saying that the woman is the one responsible for the complete upbringing package and subsequently any failures that may occur as a result!
Does this sound familiar to you? Do you want to know who actually made this rule? Society did, and women went along with it until today! We still live in a male-dominated society and despite what young people are saying about women becoming more independent, it is, I believe the exact reason for men acting the way they do; fighting to prove their manhood. Since the day they are born, boys are still idolized by their families and are indoctrinated by society that they are the providers and it’s the woman’s job to look after and keep the family together, hence, if anything goes wrong, it’s the woman’s fault! If our society is ever going to have a chance of real progress, we must change this ingrained belief. We have to work on people’s mindsets to change the culture of the family and consequently, society as a whole. To do this, we need to work with families to show them the advantages of joint responsibility, how it works and the benefits that will be gained.
Founder of Dare To