Living as a Palestinian woman, I can closely see what occupation and patriarchal culture has done to our youth, making them unable to breathe in their own land. Due to the huge political pressure on Palestinian youth, they are expected to break all the strains that occupation had put on them including achieving higher education overseas, freedom of movement, issuing official documents, etc.
“If I were a man…I would do anything.” Really?
As Palestine holds a patriarchal social system, the harder it is for men to progress the more impossible it becomes for women. And so we hear some say, “If I were a man…I would do anything.” No, darling if you were a man, you might not even want to go on living on this land.
While it’s true that society has done great injustices towards women, which are clearly seen through its legal system, the occupation has also done its own share towards them through imprisonment and political suppression. However, if we were to compare the genders that have suffered the most as a result of political oppression, men would probably win the majority. For example, which would be better to tease, men or women? It is obviously men. It could be as simple as that since this is a patriarchal society.
On my way to university, it has become a normal scene to see guys standing aside on checkpoints humiliated and forced to undress. It has also become a normal scene to see guys from my neighborhood being called for interrogation every now and then for a message they sent on social media. It has become more of a normal protocol than an aggravating violation of rights. But wait, they can use this as an excuse to skip classes, right?
This is why if I were a man, I’d wish I were a woman!
Our hardworking youth of both genders are struggling each day just to reach their schools or universities, to find respectful careers, to build a family or even own a house. The expenses of a modern life will surely keep hunting you down from the corners every time you think you’ve escaped. But the sweetness of growing higher is what makes it all worth it with the hard work of two instead of one. Maybe if a choice were to be given now, each gender would rather have a taste of what the other has. Except men might wish more that they were women so they wouldn’t get such popularity at interrogation and occupation detainees.
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