June, 2011

You’ve Been Raped! Shame on You!

You’ve Been Raped! Shame on You!

I won’t be discussing politics here but what caught my attention while reading this article on the Washington Post is that a few good men have pledged to marry the women who have been recently raped (the point of who is the rapist is not my point of discussion).

“It made us so mad. Such an injustice. We have decided, we will marry them,” said Ibrahim Kayyis, a 32-year-old baker from Jisr al-Shugour, a town that was stormed by troops.

To reclaim their “honor,” families in Syria have been known to kill raped female members. Even if families allow such women to live, they are not eligible to marry.

“We sat and discussed that we want to change this. We don’t want to change just the regime in Syria, but also this kind of stuff. So we will marry them in front of everyone,” Kayyis said.

Now, in all seriousness, this is 2011 for the love of everything you hold dear! How can anyone punish someone for being raped? Because they’ve been raped now the entire family’s honour is “stolen”!?!?! This is an ongoing topic of discussion over at Kinzi’s so you can read all about it there. I am not less flabbergasted today than I was a few years ago when it was a trend in Jordan. If there’s anyone – rather, anything – dishonourable it is the rapists in society and the social system that insists on propagating this idea of equating good women with virginity.

I can bet my balls that there aren’t many virgins out there left in this wilderness. I had a neighbour in Damascus who was finding it needlessly difficult to get married as she was married before. Society automatically believes that it is her fault and that she’s no longer a virgin. Oh, poor man’s ego,  preoccupied with the thoughts of whether her former husband is better in bed and that she won’t put hummus on the table next morning!

I’d like to say “go get laid” but most men – ironically – are. So I’d just say go get a life and a brain while you’re at it. They’re no less women after being raped than they were before; they’re still human beings and women are the pride of our nations and humanity as a whole. They’re our mothers, sisters, and they will raise our future generations. We should take care of them and go after the rapists. Otherwise, what kind of message are we giving our youth and the world at large? That we accept rapists in our society and favour them over our women?

The Social Farce

The Social Farce

I cringe at what I intend to hint to with the blog title as I type it. The world around me is being consumed by this “social media” virus and I stand here in it, but not of it; I stand between shifting paradigms in a knock-off world – a mere mental state of perceptive reality shaped by our subconscious lust of belonging to this cognitive group yet be unique in the hundreds of thousands around us.

My director asked me a few weeks ago: “What do you think is the future of social media?”. I replied with silence; I did not know what the future of social media is, because I believe it is built around a psyche that is adept at being delusional yet can be broken by an odd individual. I believe that that we are ushered into an era where we believe that we are empowered. We believe we have power because we now believe our voices are heard. We believe we can change our world because the rest of the world is now watching. Common folk like you and I and a horde of other people. Our ideas are becoming a by-product of the corner of the massive pool we happen to swim in. And, indeed, we have seen countless examples of this “empowerment”.

But we never stop to ask why we have been empowered, and where is this en masse cognitive process going – and who is driving it. We never stop and wonder that we are being heard in most cases because the recipients are exercising mob-control. We almost never consider that instead of being heard, we are being herded.

When there were little options and little opportunities, people knew what they wanted. People knew the market, each other, their needs, and their desires. Now, people have little knowledge of what they want, and, if they do, they need reassurance from their peers.

Here I am in an era with an infinite amount of options none of which is satisfactory. I am in an era which screams FREEDOM when everyone is a prisoner of their own mind. I am in an era where we juggle between many gadgets and services and our to-do lists get bigger and longer. We need tables and sheets and agendas and Excel and three hundred web-apps to keep track of what we’re doing and keep track of all the other apps we use to keep track of us. Every single aspect of our life has become a target for a service, and then we have services and apps which attempt to consolidate our fragmented lives into one “box”.

Our minds have become so fragmented that we fail to see how broken the system is.

There is a difference between riding the bandwagon and doing things right – though anyone at this point can still theorise at what is right and what is not. Every time I hear “social” I begin to imagine a group of silhouetted individuals in a grey, bland room with flashy rings and teeth and a projector displaying some random infograph (which have become a commodity right now and information unusable within days) plotting their next strategy to brainwash people en masse.

If I were the word “social” I would have killed myself right now.