Friday, March 21, 2008

Slaves Until Things Change

This post was provoked by a fictional story about a fictional girl character who is a spinster. The theme [-that is relevant to this post-] is that this girl lives in a conservative society where pre-marital relationships are taboo. This girl is disconnected from the male-world for too long that she got to an age where she is no longer marriage material. This girl feels that she has been unfairly made into an outcast. At some point she says (and I quote): "I protected their honor. I played with their rules. I worked hard in silence to make everyone happy, and yet never been good enough." - This sentence provoked me by what I would consider extreme stupidity - the thing that I consider the greatest sin of all sins.

No one would respect an "ass-kisser"!! If someone spends his\her life trying to play by other people's rules, they become slaves. It doesn't need a genius to figure that the rules people make are self-interested. Each person makes the rules that serve them, and if someone else plays by those rules, they become slaves to the person/system who made those rules!!

Sure everyone loves to have a slave, but no-one respects a slave. And thats exactly whats going on: People make some rules about how a "nice" person behaves... And someone decides to be the "nice" person... And they get all the compliments... In case of our fictional character, it's the girl who is too busy being nice, because she is being called "honorable", "pure", and "chaste"... Or in other words: A good slave! A good slave who nobody wants to do anything with, except to keep her a slave for as long as possible!!

This fictional character was too busy being a humble slave that she forgets about herself. She thinks that when people applaud her, they applaud her for being a good person, when in fact they applaud her for being an ignorant person and a good slave! And not until later in her life the she understood the hypocrisy of the system that she was indulging in...

She argues: "I worked hard in silence to make everyone happy, and yet never been good enough.", oblivious to the fact that working hard to make everyone happy is exactly the reason why she has never been good enough... No slave is ever good enough, there are always more things that a slave needs to do to please his\her master! Heck, the argument itself seems like an "ass-kissing" attempt...

This spinster girl is also taken as a model for the topic of suppression of women. If we go the sexists' way, and model men and women as systems in and of themselves, we may say that each system has its own self-interesting rules that each wishes to enforce. It is generally thought that the men's system of rules are dominant. Under this assumption -which I actually don't think actually holds- it is said that women are suppressed by men. If men were suppressing women, for all I know, they should continue doing so, until women wake up from their nap! Its like a slave humbly asking his master to set him free... But this slave won't get his freedom by begging for it, but rather by fighting for it!

But in truth, this is not a case of one gender dominating the other... Each and everyone of us -who wishes to be free- needs to fight... No slave is set free by a begging! It has been said: "People are born free!" which is true, the question is: "Why did they sell themselves to slavery?!"

It's easier said than done, but I think we should stop for a second and ask ourselves: Do I want to be an ass-kisser?! Will ass-kissing get me anywhere beside being eventually neglected?!

Viva La Revolution!

PS: This post does NOT reflect the original character in the aforementioned story. The character was purposefully taken out-of-context for the purpose of making this post!
PS: Here is an alternative link to the story


kinzi said...

DM, I don't have time this morning, but I hope to get back to it later today.

Your stuff always requires a bit more thinking. :)

kinzi said...

DM, here is a link to a post I wrote about female empowerment Arab-style. If you have time, please read some of the comments and see if you think these ladies are truly able to buck the system and just do what they want to do.

That's not my total input, tho. I've got one of those girls over for a visit, and we will discuss it, too.

BTW, I didn't mean to come across snarky or contemptuous, just another opinion. You know I respect you too much for that!

Kristen Bjorg said...

A great post.Thanks for writing it,and getting me to see things in a different light.

I'd like to know more about Arab men and the way they treat their women.I do not know anything about it,except that hey can have like up to three wives.Right?

And what about their self respect?

Do men still have harems in Arabia?
Or do they only excist on the Internet?Of course the harems on the Iternet are not real,right?

After all the harems, men and women keep on MY Space are like crazy chatting away on Yahoo like there is no tomorrow.Please,get real.

Devil's Mind said...

I am not sure where the link is... Maybe you forgot to include it?!

Thank you Kinzi. I, too, am respectful and admire your person. I encourage making honest comments on my blog... I wouldn't mind anyone voicing the truth on my blog. I don't consider arguments added to the discussion as snarky or contemptuous, unless they were... And even if they were that is ok if they help open-up our eyes.

Kristen Bjorg:
Although this is slightly off-topic, as this topic applies world-wide, and not specific to any region or culture.

The overgeneralization "Arab men" cannot hold. Each Arab country has unique characteristics... Some of which are more or less conservative than others... I don't think that you would find answers to the questions you asked here. This blog is unrepresentative of oriental culture, or anyother culture that has existed, or will exist.

I agree that pages you find on MY Space are not representative of reality.

Tala said...

For the weak, the only way to ulter a state is to claim rights and fight for it using the way the stronger understands and responds to positively i.e increase cost and damage that you become a burden, make him believe that it will generate more profit if its done your way and that its in his advantage or break the prison wall and kill the master which means hurt the system that made you but whether its the weak's mistake that he is weak, i would argue here, because sometimes you would not have hand in forming a situation rather than waking up to find yourself in the middle of an already build up reality because you were blinded, misinformed or you ignored the natural signals that have been sent your way which means denial and undermining your understanding for the sake of the system, i.e believing in human Godly figures and thoughts to be absolute, but at this point, when the weak is at stake, its up to the weak to determine whats next, fight or accept.

Devil's Mind said...

I wouldn't say its the weak's fault to be in a bad situation. What you are saying is true. But some people blindly support a system that is made to enslave them. Being an active participant in your own demise is stupid.

Being aware of your surroundings, and questioning the purpose of your own moves is wise. Blindly seeking approval of others is unwise.

The Observer said...

Sorry for being late here, this is a very good post. You are always the voice of reason, and what you give as a solution is very valid where yes people enduring injustice is better off fighting for their freedom rather than drawning into self pity.

Unfortunatly not all people are smart enough to think this way, and not all people are strong enough to fight their fights. Some dont even realize their slavery conditions, and some do abide with certain rules for the fear of facing something they don't know.

I am not sure how much we can play the victim here, or even the abuser because the abuser can be a victim as well if you pay a closer look. Maybe blame is not the answer and your solution is indeed. Other people who figure out the solution (like you) can help in opening the eyes of those suffering and help them (like kinzi does) to stand up on their legs. :)

PH said...

"A good slave! A good slave who nobody wants to do anything with, except to keep her a slave for as long as possible!!"

I feel that your theory is lacking, you say that splinter was a good slave; but if that was the case wouldn't she have succumbed to social pressure ( enslavement ) and gotten married to the unhygiene suitor or the ones proceeding him.

The fact that she refused all previous suitors, is independent, makes her own living and also supports her family; actually makes her rebellious and free of the social system.

Dating and loosing her virginity or having casual sex wouldn't free her any more. Marriage is a two way thing, so women can free themselves all they want; but they can't force men to marry them and that is very clear in nearly all liberal societies where dating/sex is allowed; but the prospect of getting married is lower than conservative societies and even if the woman got pregnant by mistake, the prospect of her boyfriend staying around is really really low .

So, what is the freedom we are talking about ? The freedom to have sex with anyone a woman wants ? Or they freedom to have children without a man ? The former certainly won't get her married, not in conservative nor liberal societies. The latter isn't mans or societies fault ..........

Devil's Mind said...

I agree Observer. Maybe I have been critical, and you understand my criticism accurately. As the Chinese proverb says: Get a man a fish, you feed him for a day, teach him to fish, and you feed him everyday. I think we should focus more on the reason, rather than the symptom.

I agree with most of what you say. The things is that it seems that you misinterpreted my criticism.

"but if that was the case wouldn't she have succumbed to social pressure ( enslavement ) and gotten married to the unhygiene suitor or the ones proceeding him." - I agree.

"The fact that she refused all previous suitors, is independent, makes her own living and also supports her family; actually makes her rebellious and free of the social system." - Agreed as well, but to a lesser extent [read-on].

The problem is NOT with what she did, but with what she thought. She said: "I protected their honor. I played with their rules. I worked hard in silence to make everyone happy, and yet never been good enough."

"So, what is the freedom we are talking about?" - We are not talking about freedom -directly-, we are talking about understanding. Understanding the nature of the circumstances that we live in.

Awareness is the first step towards freedom from slavery. Some people think that freedom and slavery are contradicting, but thats not true. You can be free to do what you want, while still being a slave... How? I tell you how: When what you want is dictated by others... When you want what others wants you to want, then you are slave to them!

Going back to the spinster, being married or not, having had previous relationships or not, and having had sex or not, are all irrelevant issues.

The problem is, she did what she did thinking about being rewarded by the people around her. She failed to understand how things work, and hence got herself in a jam.

When she says: "I protected their honor. I played with their rules." - I have to assume that she wanted to have relationships. Because if she was content with her behavior she would not use it to blame others. She says: "I played with their rules." - Based on this, I wouldn't say that she was rebellious or independent. She is plainly saying that she was not being independent or rebellious!!

Devil's Mind said...

PS: "I played with their rules." - Is interpreted as: playing in accordance to their rules. [Just to clear any possible misinterpretations]