A Blog from Amman, Jordan, Online Since 2004.

I’m just a girl

It’s no big secret that I’m a feminist, and my first push into feminism was a song.

Ironically enough, I had completely forgotten about that song until I found a cassette today under the front seat of my car, and as Mood FM was playing sappy music (I can’t tolerate sappy music for the life of me), I popped it into my cassette player only to find out that it is a collection of my favorite No Doubt songs. Within a few minutes, I found myself listening preplexed to a song I know so well, a song that, back in 1996, pushed me into the first step of becoming who I am today.

Take this pink ribbon off my eyes
I’m exposed, and it’s no big surprise
Don’t you think I know exactly where I stand?
This world is forcing me to hold your hand
‘Cause I’m just a girl, little ‘ol me
Don’t let me out of your sight
I’m just a girl, all pretty and petite
So don’t let me have any rights
The moment that I step outside
So many reasons for me to run and hide
I can’t do the little things I hold so dear
‘Cause it’s all those little things that I fear
‘Cause I’m just a girl I’d rather not be
‘Cause they won’t let me drive late at night
I’m just a girl, guess I’m some kind of freak
‘Cause they all sit and stare with their eyes
I’m just a girl, take a good look at me
Just your typical prototype
I’m just a girl in the world…
That’s all that you’ll let me be!
I’m just a girl, living in captivity
Your rule of thumb makes me worry some
I’m just a girl, what’s my destiny?
What I’ve succumbed to Is making me numb
I’m just a girl, my apologies
What I’ve become is so burdensome
I’m just a girl, lucky me
Twiddle-dum there’s no comparison
Oh…I’ve had it up to here!

Ahh… Those words make me shiver.

It’s funny being a feminist in a country where the majority of the populace are mostly machismo pigs. A few days ago, I was having this really heated debate with a few guys about the role of women in society as well as their rights. Our main debate points were the following:

1) I believe with a severe passion that young females should be provided with equal oppurtunities as their male counterparts so that when the day comes when they need to decide whether to become housewives or working women, they have free will in the sense where they are fully aware of their options and the consequences of their decisions. The guys thought that it is a woman’s god-given duty to sit at home, cook, clean, and take care of children, “I wouldn’t mind if my wife works before we have children, but as soon as we do, I would not get married to someone who wouldn’t stay at home to take care of them.”
I say, toz. I respect a woman who is herself first and foremost, rather than a mother, a housewife, and a childbearer.

2) I believe that religious rules are mostly outdated. I’ll end this point here.

3) I am very much against gender roles. I do not think that it is a woman’s god-given duty to cook, clean, and raise, nor is it a man’s god-given-duty to provide for the household. A couple may switch roles if it makes them more comfortable. Of course, I’m always attacked severely in regards to this point, “Ba6al zalameh ili bog3od bil beit.” It always makes me say, “Mish fahmeh ya3ni, 3eib 3al zalameh yo2-3od bil beit o mish 3eib 3al wa7deh?”
I personally am not willing to be in a relationship where I do not make my own money or at least participate in the budget of maintaining the relationship and all that may involve it including a house, children, and so on and so forth (this is where people usually jump in and scream “With a degree in fine arts?!” Yes, mish 3ajebkom?)

Naturally, after an hour-long debate, the conclusion these guys reached was hilarious- “Roba, you know what happens to women like you? They never get married.”

Hehe, I found that absolutely amusing! It’s ironic how people think it is more appropriate to be unsatisfied, unhappy, and married than satisfied, successful, and unmarried.

Finally, a story and a question. A while ago, one of my male friends told me with an extra bout of confidence that he would never be with a woman who is smarter or as smart as he is, because as a man and like every other man, he thinks a woman slightly dumber is “easier to manage”. I was shocked silly to hear that, especially as he was someone I respected. When I expressed my shock and offense, he simply said, “Come on, Roba, admit it, wouldn’t you want to be with a man who is smarter than you? Women like that.”

Double whammy. According to this friend, men like dumber women and women like smarter men. Now, I’m posing this question to everyone- what do you think? Do you agree with this person?

Question open to both genders. I would really appreciate honesty, I wouldn’t bite anyone I promise.


Made with real fruit (not)


سخريه القدر


  1. Omernos, interesting question. I believe I once wrote a post about that- let me dig… here you go.
    I personally find that there is a big division between pornography and nudity. As a liberal, I believe that whether not a person looks at pornography is a personal choice, yet I personally find it extremely distasteful, demeaning (not to women mind you, but to humanity in general), and disgusting.
    Nudity, in art for example, is on the other hand something that arouses wonder and fascination about the human body, memoralizing its beauty.
    Now, since you asked this question in a discussion of feminism, I’m guessing you’re asking how I feel about the objectification of women. Personally, what I hate the most about the whole issue of objectification is that men don’t understand that women objectify men too- because women, as far as most men are concerned, are scathe, prudish, and unfleshly. Otherwise they are sluts. That really pisses me off.

  2. Although I left you a huge comment back there,
    which I might consider a journal entry itself — LOL
    bass I would like to add something I didn’t discuss over
    which is the objectification.

    I sometimes get surprised how massive amount of women
    are literally asking to be objectified by their huge
    obsession about the image. I found this in one country,
    but I won’t mention names.

    Ya3nee even the Female role models popping on TV are
    setting degrading example for girls to be. I’m not
    sure if that’s relevant, but I feel these female singers
    are somehow sending messages to females to get all
    dolled up for their man. I even find Destiny’s Child’s
    song “Cater To You” a bit strange, shu kayneh 5addameh
    3end elly 5allafook?!?! Heik lazem el reply.

    Many others are trying to stand up for their fellow
    female and women around the world — Ever since Aretha
    Franklin, TLC and some others.

    Thanks to Mr. Cent and Mr. Chingy for letting us know
    that women exist on this earth’s surface to lick lollipops
    and do their right thurrs…

    Sorry again for eating up the space,
    Sam7eeeni LOL


  3. Anonymous

    hi roba

    actually some of the points are right i mean women ‘s role shouldnt be neglected among society but i think that she could be performing two roles at the same time(working and her role as a house wife) otherwise a collapse will occurr in the family and i have to agree on the comments of the others that if you really think that yes you will never get married (unfortunately ) .

  4. husams

    last anonymous, whatever her thoughts are, how can you decide she will never get married!, can’t you assume that not all the men think in the same way! don’t you know the fact that you can never know!

  5. Dang, anonymous, that’s a stereotype. Haven’t you ever heard of stay-at-home dads?

    My 11th grade English teacher and cross country coach, a brilliant man and a graduate of Williams College (one of the best liberal arts schools in the U.S.), is currently a stay-at-home dad. His wife, Soraya (her family is from Iran), is a doctor and earns more, so it makes sense for him to stay home with their new kid, now that she’s no longer breastfeeding.

    They’re a very happy family and their world is definitely not collapsing. Neither did my grandmother’s, when she had my father, and went back to med school the following semester full-stop, while her mother took care of the kid. And that was in the 1950’s! In the USSR!

  6. Furthermore, what’s this obsession with marriage? Shoo, a woman’s greatest achievement is a wedding ring? It boggles my mind when people try to put us back in our “place” with threats such as “you’ll end up a spinster.”

    Frankly, if getting married involved discarding my core values, I wouldn’t much care for the idea. Thank God I happen to live in a community that does not demand that from me, because I think marriage can be a very positive thing, if approached with the right attitude.

  7. husams

    great example Natalia

  8. Anonymous

    yes but the mother’s role is much more important than a working women ‘s role since it includes the great sucrifice and the teaching and as well as the emotional support that the man can not pose to his children due to being busy in “the bread wining process”

  9. Anonymous

    stay at home dad ‘s

    this is really bad you must watch sum3a (in la tjeebo sireh) when the wife is working and the man is as u say at home ;

    thn let me knw wht u think

  10. Anonymous

    I’m enjoying your blog. I have a myspace with the ‘just a girl’ theme going. Funny how a 32 yr old teacher in Texas can have similar views as a 21 yr old in Saudi Arabia. Thanks for making me think, and thanks for making me smile. Now I think I’m going to have to go make some Saudi champagne…mmmm.

  11. I’d like to marry a woman who I can learn from as much as I can teach, sharing ourselves, our knowledge and our views equally. I don’t know if I’m specifically looking for someone smarter, but I know that I could never stand being with someone dumber.

    As for what happens to “women like you” you end up marrying the best men, because all the stupid men are out looking for stupider women….

  12. A stay-at-home dad is “bad”? Please. I’ve never watched sum3a is, and frankly, I don’t car toe, since I have many live examples of stay-at-home dads in front of my eyes. They include old teachers (such as the one I mentioned above), the husbands of successful businesswomen in my community, and a good friend from Europe who’s actually on paternity leave right now (yes, some countries actually have such a thing, and yes, their economies have not collapsed). I don’t need a TV show, or whatever (I assume sum3a is a TV show), to formulate an opinion on this matter.

    Also there is no such thing as one woman being more “important” than another woman. Please don’t try to qualify other women’s achievements. My grandmother was a working woman for fifty years, and she saved hundreds, of not thousands of lives, not to mention the fact that she and my father remained very close their entire lives. They are super-close to this day. So don’t give me this “who’s more important” BS. All human beings are important.

    People seem to have this notion that a) A mother cannot work and be a good mother and b) A father cannot provide the same emotional support as a mother. That’s complete and utter bollocks. Different people make different parents. Period.

  13. Anonymous


    plz be realistic for only one time ; you are so kidding ur self

  14. Yes, I’m “kidding” myself, because my family and my friends are real-life examples of this sort of thing.

    Meanwhile, you’re being “realistic” because you watch TV and subscribe to a bunch of stereotypes. Oh boy!

    It’s been fun.

  15. Anonymous

    Hello Roba and Audience:

    I think there are a lot of people who, and I would say both men and women, would hate to be with someone smarter than them. We are naturally rather competitive people aren’t we? Males especially feel the need to one up their counterparts if they are in a society that says that they are supposed to be the leaders of the family. Its hard to feel like you are the leader if your counterpart is smarter. But let me share a dream with you. The women I have loved the most in my life have been women who are at least on an equal plane intellectually, if not more so, than myself. Now, I love to explore life, ideas, cultures, etc… and a lot of that requires an academic mind. I’m an archaeologist, scholar, linguist and theologian, and I love to be able to have a conversation with people about these things on an equal plane. One of my professors, now 85 years old, models one of the things that I think man and woman are meant to share together in a relationship, mental brilliance. She has, on her own and with him, learned all the languages he speaks and studies, and has become quite a linguist herself, so much so, that the current three volume work that he is producing was an idea that came from her and has been worked on jointly for quite some time. I hope that my wife, whoever she might be, will be able to share my lifes passions with me, and me be able to share her life passions, or just find someone who shares mutual life passions with me, and something that we can deal with on an equal plane. Intelligence is a quality I have always valued, and a woman with as much or more than me would be wonderful. However, no one likes anyone who flaunts their intelligence or lords it over you, whether that person is a man or woman, husband or wife. Mutual respect and love are always required.

    Okay, I’m done with my soap box. In summary: intelligent women are great! I love ’em!

  16. Anonymous


    I completely disagree with the whole women-stay-home theory. Yes, more women than men, are family oriented. But there is nothing wrong with switching up the roles. And, if both spouses want to work, well, more power to them! I think, if something ever happened, I would want to be prepared. I want to be able to support myself financially, and not rely on someone 100%. Always have a fall back plan!

    I think it is human nature that we always want to be, or atleast act like we are smarter than the person next to us. But smarter how? Book smart? Higher IQ? Common sense? There are so many different ways to measure it. I definitely don’t think a person should like at that to determine who they want to be with.


  17. Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. :) Cheers! Sandra. R.

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén