By Mira Khatib
Often, we inhibit ourselves with myths, proverbs or society’s norms and traditions. So what really matters is what we think of ourselves. Indeed we do not live alone and we rely on one another to prosper and advance; yet we need to break the stereotyping to have a meaningful and proper development in one’s personal or professional life.
As Arab women, we suffer the most from stereotyping. Here are the 10 common stereotypes that we need to break free from:
1. Men are better than women. Really? By whose definition? Physiologically and psychologically we are scientifically the superior breed.
2. Men are stronger than women. Maybe in some aspects but no man can handle the pain of giving birth, so let’s keep things in perspective. Find out more here.
3. Men are better business people while women are better cooks. Not if you look at the most famous chefs in the world dominated by men, and some of the most successful businesses are run by women, so let’s not get things mixed up.
4. Men are better educated. Ignorant those who advocate this. Women are far better educated than men (except in ultra poor countries), just check out the statistics.
5. Women need men to survive. Snooooze. Frankly, men need women more. Men’s needs surpass the needs of women, and single women cope better than single men.
6. Men are less romantic than women. Not really, men are far more romantic than women, hard to believe, i know, yet true. They only express this when we women allow and encourage them to do so.
7. Men handle conflicts rationally. False; only if rationally means impulsive, aggressive or winning a shouting match.
8. Generally, Arab men are machos. Indeed only in their own heads or in public. Many men when alone with women are like Kuala bears nice and gentle needing attention and TLC.
9. Men divorce, women are divorcees. In this day and age women are independent and strong to call the shots and live their lives to the fullest with or without men, many times the woman is the one that chooses to walk away from a toxic relationship defying the odds.
10. Stereotypes cannot be changed. Nothing is impossible, it is just in our heads. Women are capable of changing the world so why not stereotypes? With patience, perseverance and in time things can evolve.
To all the Arab women out there; break your own shackles and live your life they way you want to.