Archive | May, 2013

Spread Awareness, Get Attention

30 May

I don’t just get asked out on social networks, I also get marriage proposals.

And 100% of the time, they follow after I have expressed my opinions and standings about a particular issue ever so relentlessly. Be it concerning women’s rights, or my religion, or human rights, or war.

When I reposted a picture of the damn Gangnam style happening at UN while people are dying everywhere, an internet friend showed curiosity in me and said his mother always told him to find a girl like me.

When I said something about feminism, I was actually pleasantly surprised to find support from men, but that lead to comments like pretty little girl with a big mind is kind of really sexy.

When I quoted Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali to educate about my religion, I got told by guys they like my brain and that we should just get married.

And so on.

I am doing what I am care about, I am doing what I find meaning in doing – learning and repeating the truth. Playing my little part the best way I am able to do now. I am not doing it for the kind of interest men end up showing. I will accept respect, appreciation, admiration, approval, even debates if need be.

However, refrain from hitting on me, and sexualizing me. Women are not asking for it when they set out to do what they wanted to. Sure, we want to be recognized and accepted by a suitor for being more than just a face and a body. But there is a decent manner to ask someone out if you admire them for who they are. Objectification and flirty comments is not one of them. Stop making women feel like it is extraordinary they are speaking up for human rights – it is every human’s job to do that, not a man’s or a woman’s.

Show more skin, show less brain – be objectified.

Show less skin, use more brain – be objectified.

There is no escape. It is true when someone said it is being done and isn’t just happening. No matter what women do, there is always harassment around the corner – and when we retaliate, we are labelled crazy.

Way to go, world. Way to go.

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Good-To-Bad-To-Good Cycles

29 May

The way the world work depresses me. I see hundred bad things happening, and there is only one tiny glimpse of hope. It is like, the good in this world only exists to counter-strike the bad. And there is not enough good. Because when good people remain silent, they let the bad happen, they let the bad increase. And they leave the few good people trying to make a better change alone and helpless.

I was pleased to see female cashiers at stores and at malls. They had started out as helpers, answering questions, monitoring floor sales and any thefts, and now they are able to be cashiers. Sure, women were working – but not in retail. In offices and stuff. Now, they are widespread in retail, and it is a very progressive step, and they do it all the while with her hair and faces covered – but hey, they are making their own money. I am so proud of them.

But apparently, some people are not. Today, a popular Saudi writer urged men to start harassing and groping and molesting these female cashiers so they can quit and stay home and protect their chastity.

Yes, it is now making top headlines all around the Middle East. I am glad to see several people “protesting” on social media – because anything else can get them imprisoned – to have this dumb, ignorant man castrated. For him to even say such a thing is against all humanity.

Protect their chastity MY ASS!! You are in favor of something that nothing other than patriarchy and chauvinism can explain – sexual abuse. This has nothing to do with imperialism by the way. I do not know what level of Islam this man knows about.

Last year, a Saudi cleric raped and beat to death his own 5yr old daughter. He was imprisoned – and fined. Such crime in normally punishable by death – he got out on a $50,000 bail.

Effing patriarchy, man. It will ruin this country. Men’s insecurity will cost us women our dignity, our lives. Who in their right mind straight up promotes harassment?! I know television subtly does it, but come on – direct speeech!?

Blegh! So mad. So, so, so mad!

Halfway In

24 May

Got my acceptance letter into the MBA program – Yayy!

No test center in the province, or this country, to try a higher score for me for scholarship consideration – Booo!

Will it happen? Not without a miracle sponsor. Meantime, I can be happy I am such a good writer they technically couldn’t refuse me, despite the limited number of students who get in from hundreds of applicants.

What I learned: I can be successfully short-listed to my advantage, with the right words – I conquered discrimination!

Here I am, once again. I feel like it is an endless, vicious circle leading back to square one. But at the same time, I feel like I am learning so much more on the side, coming to understand things better – outside school learning counts too, eh?

I will see if there is an option to defer my admission to the next year, while I figure out the remainder of my options. I know time waits for no one, and I also know everything happens at its right time. The only thing I feel is required of me is patience and motivation towards moving forward in a personally acceptable direction, and I’m good.

Meanwhile, I look forward to my vacation next month. I will enjoy being a tourist and eventually a forced settler. Escape opportunities are so limited, honestly.

In The Words of Brown Women

15 May

“She’s so white – of course, she’s so pretty!”

” She’s kind of really dark, but she is really pretty!”

The “but” makes the difference. The “but” ruins the compliment. The “but” is what makes you question about the honesty in the speaker’s words.

Brown women sometimes do not even realize the things they say.

The Two Battles

14 May

So, for the past several days, all I have been doing is fighting, and protesting and resisting from miles away.

For one, the school came around and are accepting me into their program (woot woot!! Yayyy!! Yayyy!!). But laid down reappearing my GMAT for 170 points more would grant me the full scholarship I am looking for. So now, I have 3 options to choose from:

– reappear in a month, and get 170 points more and complete my MBA in a year
– impress future employer in the Emirates and live my freedom and start clearing my student loan debt myself (which has to be done in the next few weeks)
– pursue my MBA part-time in Dubai, or get my employer to sponsor my studies elsewhere at a B-school they value.

That is my dilemma. Parents already placed indirect emphasis on me being a burden because I am suddenly so demotivated, concluding they would like to stop supporting me. If that doesn’t make me feel like Hannah from GIRLS but without selfish best friends, I don’t know what will. I mean, when you are limited by your own personal finances, there isn’t much of a choice. Especially when the question comes of how am I going to support myself while in school, as in food and supplies, when I have no legal authorization to work in that country. So, those are my ultimatums.

If I look towards Dubai, I get to share an apartment with my sister, I get to go out when I want and do my shopping when I want and go to the movies and several arcades, basically live the same lifestyle I lived in Chicago – just with a more fulfilling job and more finances available this time. And after a couple of years, pursue my MBA. Is that so bad?

That is my internal battle. As for my external battle, I suddenly developed an overwhelming sense of patriotism. But in the sense, where I will join forces with anyone fighting for something I see as right. And right now, I am helping one of the countries I belong to, Pakistan, to grant its citizens the right to their stolen votes during the May 11 election. And to drive out the thugs that have taken over the city my dad’s family calls home. It is not easy because of lack of international coverage on news channels, so every person in resistance is using his or her own social networks to mass protest from all over the world. And, I am one of them.

It is like the Arab Spring in Pakistan, except where they throw gas bombs to break protests, here they fire bullets. So, I have been busy. Tens and thousands of Pakistanis and half-Pakistanis round the world are trying to get an international news network to cover our stories, but, so far nothing has been done. It is kind of like they do not care, or are paid to ignore us.

Too many battles, too little time. Now I have to figure out my course of life, and kind of just dreading that I would need a driver’s license in Dubai. I cannot express my phobia of road accidents enough.

Too Good For Bullshit?

8 May

I am baffled, yet again. This time, thanks to the way I look.

I had an interview for B-school earlier today. I had been so excitedly anticipating it because they actually got back to me, impressed by my application. It was a Skype interview, and I was nervous a little bit about it. But mostly, confident because I was sure of myself. However, soon came the “do you have any questions for us?” part. As any wise candidate would, I asked a couple of questions, before I asked them what advice they would have for a candidate like me.

Then came the answer I always hate hearing. Normally, hearing it for jobs made some ridiculous level of sense, but hearing it for school – for purpose of education – seemed as ludicrous I wanted to reach through my computer and smack the interviewer:

Our only concern is that the class average has at least 3 to 4 years of work experience and are older. We are concerned you might be too young for the program, and if your work experience is enough.

Yes, face palm!! Just hearing them phrase it like that made my blood boil. That ideology itself as they stated was utter bullshit. I understand a one year work requirement for masters. Their admission requirement stated no minimum GMAT score, no work experience needed, and definitely did not mention any age requirements. So, why then was I suddenly too young for the program? Is it because they saw my face there smiling invitingly, that they decided I am just a naive little clueless girl?

Oh, faaaaaar from that. I basically e-mailed a follow-up explaining my point in detail as decently as I could that I am just probably more decisive about my professional life, more smarter that I do not think I need to wait till 27 to enter grad school. I have had this planned out from the beginning of my life. They are the admissions committee, I mean, did they not stop to think about that for themselves? Do I have to teach them? I don’t mind teaching people a thing or two – after all, like Will McAvoy says, “I’m on a mission to civilize.”

Now if only they can keep their biased differences aside, and actually see my drive and potential, we can talk. They did not really test me, just assumed me to be. My transcripts were right in front of them, they spoke for themselves how capable I am of surviving B-school and actually excelling at it, too. Judgements based on merely age and a face that looks too young shows their level of immaturity. Understand to not judge a book by its cover – that is the first lesson employers and admissions committee should be taught.

What… Why…

6 May

Dropped from a 104 to a mere 94 lbs in less than two months. And spending ridiculous amounts of nights awake, sleeping at most four or five hrs at a time. Plus, lost almost all appetite but still eat as much as I think my body can handle at a given time.

I haven’t been sick. I do not think I am stressed, and I do not think I am depressed either. I am deciding between moving for school and moving for work, but I am holding on making any moves until I have a confirmation from my first preference.

I used to watch several episodes of my favorite TV shows at a time, now one or two seem to be enough. I just lay there in bed and toss and turn and play Bejeweled because there comes a point it makes me drowsy. And when I realize I am sleepy and lie down, I seem to wide awake with all kinds of voices in my head talking about all kinds of things. I text my friends who happen to be awake till I am less sleepy, more bored. No use.

And yet, I do not know if the loss of appetite and weight and sleep are interlinked or independent of each other. Or are the result of something bugging my subconscience. I have been an on and off insomniac since earlier this year, and I blamed it on the fear of loss of freewill to imprisonment. Now, I seem to be okay. While I defy a lot, I am also acceptable of a lot. I don’t have adjustment issues, either.

However, there are several episodes now where I am confusing dreams with reality and am having a hard time differentiating if things and conversations really did happen or if I just dreamt it all. I don’t know if I am sleepwalking again, but no odd burns or scratches on me like before, so I don’t think I am.

And I refuse to talk to someone professional because everything becomes funny and unimportant when I try to talk, and those are the last kinds of appointments I need on my plate right now. I had planned on my ideal weight to be 100 lbs, I am way below what I considered ideal. :/

Fine Line Between Love and Appreciate

4 May

“Guys like girls they can control. That’s not you. Which is a good thing. For me.” – J

That is what J, my now ex, said. We were talking about it is time to move on, and how I just do not see myself back in the dating world, for reasons I explained in my previous post.

I find it baffling how quickly men change after you leave them. They are suddenly filled with a whole lot of appreciation of who you are – at least, in my case, it has been unquestionably true.

Where he disapproved of how I never listened to him and did what I wanted to, he now appreciates my headstrong opinions and says he respects my courage to fight in whatever way I can for what I believe is right. I’m one of the bravest people he says he has ever met. He has gained respect for me – he has actually finally understood who I am.

I wonder, where was this man all the while we dated? Why was I made to feel like the culprit in this relationship all this time? Why could he not appreciate me while I was still in his life as a lover? Why did I have to walk out for some sense to be knocked into him? Why was I ever taken for granted to such a degree? Is it really true, that you do not realize a good thing till it’s gone? Maybe that just means the good thing should remain gone, so you learn to appreciate the replacement.

In this light, it becomes clearer to me how all my guy friends view me – I have received nothing but respect from them. They all have had several debates with me about different issues, and they have always valued my opinions and insisted on hearing them. In return, I listened to their views and understood their interpretations and learned from them. They challenged me to bring out my fire, not to undermine me. And that, I have only received from guys strictly in friend zone – and from few who showed that respect to try to date me; or get in my pants, whichever way it works.

However, this appreciation lacked in all my relationships. It made me evaluate how these relationships were different than friendships – and I came to a conclusion: I probably let them “feel like a man” when I decided to be nice under socially acceptable norms for a woman. You know, when you do little favors for them, that boost their ego to the sky. I let them state their views before I stated mine, and when I started to state mine first, I came off as a relentless bitch.

Or, maybe, it is not even me. As J said several times since we broke up, he had never met a all-in-one girl like me, and now I have left him in great difficulty trying to find someone as remotely comparable to who I am. In his head, I was the trophy. He felt a sense of accomplishment calling me his own – his mother couldn’t keep her eyes off me, his friends were like ‘wow’, strangers passing us by would stop to compliment me, and go on to tell him his girl is very pretty. [Very confidence-boosting especially when I left the house every other day cursing the mirror because I did not like what it showed me.] He became deluded and treated me like an object. My voice became unacceptable – and, it all came crashing down to realizing I was a human being when I was not “his” anymore. I was not a puppet anymore.

Does this mean I will go back to him? Likely, no. I do not want to have to leave or threaten to leave to be appreciated. It won’t change the fact I had once felt miserably treated, and statistics can prove I will go through the same upon returning. After all, isn’t insanity defined as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results?

Yeah, no, thank you. I am not trading respect and appreciation for puppetry love. Never again. I pray to God that when He does send another man in my life, let him fall in love with my mind first, before he falls in love with what is visible to the eye. But please do let him fall in love with what meets the eye, too. It helps my shaky confidence unconditionally. Amen.

Nothing Changed

3 May

Me and J ended things and became friends. Oddly, we have been surprisingly at ease. It was not just me, I had acted upon his signs and suggested we are best separated and he finally agreed he wanted to do so, too. It was like a weight was lifted off our shoulders.

Love… it is such a funny business. This girl he almost dated before asking me out is trying to set in his life and I do not feel a cringe of jealousy. I joked how he wouldn’t have to worry about her leaving because she is a US citizen and is there to stay. He seems hesitant and I get it. It’s too soon and he is being respectful. But apparently she was already talking to him before things even ended between us, but were on the rocks. I was not delusional when I felt his need to fight.

When it comes to me, things were on the rocks because of the view of marriage I’ve always held. A little part of me would enjoy a fairytale for myself, but a huge part has laid down an endless list of reasons and explanations of why marriage is not meant for me. And, I am perfectly okay with it. The tragedy is, I do not make myself clear enough when I get into a relationship. I assume I’ll come to like the idea, which so far has proven to be pretty short-lived.

Maybe, it is not even my list of reasons; maybe it is just that the right kind of man has not made the dramatic, ground-shaking entrance in my life. Maybe we can conclude I fail at dating. I should just go over a man’s professional and personality resume, interview him, and decide if he deserving of the privilege of making me his wife, which I plan on being the best I can at. Eliminate the whole lifetime long dramas that come with dating. It always ends miserably anyways. And after 3 tries at it, I really feel exhausted. I have nothing left to offer except repeat myself with another person in hopes he gets me and treats me better than the last one.

I am sick of repeating myself. I should have a whole report written on me, stating my personality, beliefs, passions, fears, likes and dislikes, and handed to a suitor. Mostly as a forewarning as to what the idiot is getting himself into. It shall contain very vital information which cannot be shared by everyone, so only those approaching me with a serious proposal get access to this report.

Yes, so I am done dating. I’m done with all that crap. I have been unable to Keep a one-track mind regarding a lover, and with so much I feel I need to do in my life, a stable marital status of “single, not looking for ANYTHING AT ALL” would help keep me focused. Meanwhile, staying friends with J isn’t bad. I resented the idea of a past lingering in my life without being my present and future. Especially because they almost always make you nostalgic and cause problems in your current relationship. But I think the physical distance makes it easier to be friends. All it takes is the click of a button to have them out of your life again. Saves me from having an awkward confrontation.