AndFarAway

A Blog from Amman, Jordan, Online Since 2004.

Helweh

You’d think that when people rebrand they’ll skip sexist and stereotypical notions that are becoming taboo in this day and age, but I suppose not in the Arab world, where we keep insisting on sexist, stereotypical branding of women-related products. The most recent company to do that is Maktoob Group, who re-branded their Maktoob Women section to Helwa, which literally means “pretty”, and the site slogan says ‘be pretty on the inside and the outside (h/t AdBlogArabia).

HelwaBanner

Meh. Why do we give a woman’s beauty more than its worth? And why are companies giving this notion more strength with their branding? I love the internet because I find it a space for change and reform, and it’s so unfortunate that it is turning into a space that furtherly helps Arab women into Stepford Housewives.

Helwa seems to concentrate a lot on cooking, which is perfectly fine and quite expected as it is sponsered by Nestle. They have other sections such as “Life and Health”, “Beauty and Elegance”, “Your Wedding”, and “Your Home and Kitchen”, and they have some sections that sound interesting such as “Women under Lights”, “Women’s Issues”, and “Family and Society”. Browsing through the last three sections mentioned, they are not exactly my cup of tea but they’re not too bad considering. “Women under Light” seems to be mostly on uber-Muslim women from the time of the Prophet Mohammad, and “Family and Society” actually has a few quite interesting-sounding articles on matters such as female circumsision in Sudan, human rights in Tunisia, and sexual abuse of children. I read an article entitled “The Success of Women”, which wasn’t bad at all at first, but then they ended it with the following, “The successful wife needs to be smart in the treatment of her husband. She needs to show him her need of him and always ask for his opinion, and she needs to always make him feel the importance of his role in her success story. Finally, she also must not be too proud of her success in front of him and always try to make him feel that he is better than her.

HA!

I personally think that that paragraph is offensive to both Arab women and Arab men, the fiirst being encouraged to fool the latter into happiness.

I really have no problem with sites dedicated to cooking and nail-care tips, but it’s just that the overall package is extremely demeaning to women. There is nothing in Helwaa about politics, technology, science, or art, and yet, the site is for “Arab women”, not Arab housewives or something. It’s as if the only things Arab women are interested in are what they’re cooking for lunch tomorrow and how they’re going to wear their hair tonight.

The problem is that such a package sells so well. Does that make it true? Is that all what the majority of Arab women are interested in?

Previous

Yeah, pictures

Next

Snow

48 Comments

  1. I hate the way they say “She must” in that Success Women article; nobody “must” do anything, you either choose to oblige or you don’t, everything in Arabia seems to turn into a command, instead of just being a piece of advice or whatever.

    So true what you said, basically, the website doesn’t teach, or add anything to a woman’s opinion or education, it seems to direct its efforts at attracting housewives that may already know what the hell they’re talking about. I felt the site is aimed at only housewives, or newly-wed ladies, assuming that every Arabic lady would be the same.

    Plus I hate this branding method that Arabs seem to be in love with; why use Arabic words and write them in English? If the website is also in English? Helwa is certainly not catchy.

  2. Well…
    Don’t they have anything about horoscopes!
    That IS weird!

    Politics, technology, science, and art are not for women, they are for everybody so why would they name it “Helwa” and it is talking about subjects of everybody’s interest.

  3. DJ

    “The successful wife needs to be smart in the treatment of her husband. She needs to show him her need of him and always ask for his opinion, and she needs to always make him feel the importance of his role in her success story. Finally, she also must not be too proud of her success in front of him and always try to make him feel that he is better than her.”

    The Arab world is now going through the struggle that the US went through in the 1950s and Europe probably a few decades before that. Have you ever seen the movie “Mona Lisa Smile”? If not i highly recommend it! The theme is that women should have a choice. Neither choosing to be a career woman nor a stay at home housewife and mom is wrong per se, but the beauty is in being able to choose one’s own destiny.

  4. sim

    I totally agree with what your saying here. There is more to being a woman and a wife than cooking and cleaning. Howvever there is nothing wrong in encoraging women to do those things but the problem arises when its only those things that women are encouraged to do. What happened to Arab womn being smart, intelligent and intelectual?

  5. I refer you to my Good Wife’s post,Roba,you have a lot to learn.LOL!

  6. When “many” Arab women walk half-naked in the streets, then that’s why we won’t show significant respect to their mentality and culture.

    If a non Arab girl wears shorts, she do so because the weather is hot, but for an Arab girl to wear shorts in the street, then It’s obvious she does so to show us her legs. so what do you expect ?

  7. Abed, naked? Whose naked? I have yet to see a half naked women walking in Amman.
    You are also making assumptions that have no basis and that are completely irrelevant to the post. I wear shorts all the time- and I don’t find people not respecting my mentality or culture because I wear shorts.

  8. “Is that all what the majority of Arab women are interested in?” Absolutely Yes.

    And the overwhelming minority would not make any marketing values for maktoob! So I believe this site will hit!

  9. Roba,

    I said half-naked not naked, there’s a difference. I don’t know you , and I didn’t mean anything personal at all, sorry for the mess.

    What I was trying to say is that the Arab woman hold responsiblity because she gave us the idea that all her interests are just the same interets of a housewife.

    I mentioned the way they dress as an example, to show how they sell themselves, and how we got this idea about them. Yes, I’ve seen many Arab girls who wear shorts just to show their legs not because the weather is hot or not because it’s stylish.

    Im not talking about all women of course, there are many great women across the Arab world. But Im talking about those women who keep giving us this wrong idea.

    Helwaa and any other future site will have a similiar orientation. It won’t bother discussing politics, science or art, because people take a wrong idea about the Arab women in the streets, malls, and universities. So my point is, we should blame the Arab woman for giving the wrong idea about herself, got me ?

  10. Well, it’s known, Sex sells, Women stuff, sells, if you’re targeting a specific segment (apparently not you since you’re so delusional you think people still respect you when you’re wearing shorts!! Huh!! that’s so funny. And no half naked girls … My goodness, are you really in Amman? Actually, I’ll give this one to you, your good nature makes you see only the good in people, so keep up your innocence)
    Anyway, We’re only taking your extremely Narrow view of the matter, I mean,
    a) You’re not married so you don’t really know
    b) So far there are no documented cases of you ever had any encounters with the other sex to be able to take your word against theirs
    c) Your interactions with the other sex mostly through your brothers or colleagues don’t really count because … you know they’re your “brothers and colleagues”
    and
    d) You got offended by them in a way that got you “upset” which means your view is pretty much driven by anger and not really objective

    As Salam “wisely” stated, you still have a long way to go.
    Not all women are the same, and not all care about mixing colors or their red Shoes. Yes, what you see as nice others see as utter stupidity, and of course vice versa.
    At the and, do not underestimate the little arab lady that looks so helpless! You just can’t fathom her true power

  11. Oh one last thing, “Be Strong” overtook the world by storm, why can’t “Be pretty” do the same thing?

    I see a very deep message in that, be pretty on the outside, just as pretty as you are on the inside (and for pretty evil people, it’s the other way around :) )

  12. Excellent post, Roba. Rest assured, however, that the problem is not limited to Arab women and the discourse surrounding them. Even the “West” has a long way to go, as you can tell from a quick look at all the magazines, websites, and etc that instruct women on how they need to “be pretty” all the time.

    The fact that “such a package sells so well” basically shows the two-way effect of discourse: it sells because it functions within a patriarchal structure, and then it sells even more because it reinforces that structure.

  13. RE: “we should blame the Arab woman for giving the wrong idea about herself,” from an above comment.

    This is a very wrong thing to say. This is exactly the conventional tendency to put all the blame on the women. This is a few steps away from blaming a rape victim for somehow bringing it upon herself!

  14. Qwaider wrote:

    “a) You’re not married so you don’t really know
    b) So far there are no documented cases of you ever had any encounters with the other sex to be able to take your word against theirs
    c) Your interactions with the other sex mostly through your brothers or colleagues don’t really count because … you know they’re your “brothers and colleagues””

    How does one’s sex/marriage life – or lack thereof, although I’m sure Roba might agree that it’s a deeply personal matter we’re probing into here – bear upon one’s opinions of such matters?

    You can form an opinion on anything, irrespective of your personal experience of the matter in hand…shooting one’s opinion down with the old gem “you don’t know enough about this” is counter-productive.

    I’m essentially anti-abortion…But I’ve never HAD an abortion…so by your logic, I can’t form an opinion on abortion, because I’ve never experienced it?

    As it happens, I’m married…to an Arab man (although I’m non-Arab), and my own views on husband/wife relationships (that pretty much concur with those in this blog post) remain virtually unchanged, almost 3 years later.

  15. I just wanna reply to Abdel Hamid.

    I think women are entitled to wear whatever they want, even if they wanna walk “half naked”, so what? How come guys get to walk “half naked” and nobody tells them anything?

    That is just so typical, you hear such a remark everyday a million times, I’m bored just hearing it. Live and let live. That’s all I can say.

    Aboud, that is the most sexist thing I’ve ever heard. Why not discuss Women in Arts, at least? Or why not discuss how did the President of Chile reach her position? To use a cliched word, to make things easier to understand: women are half society, who says Politics and Business doesn’t concern women? Take a look around you man.

    DJ, thank you.

    Qwaider,
    “apparently not you since you’re so delusional you think people still respect you when you’re wearing shorts!! Huh!! that’s so funny.”

    No it’s not funny. I think Roba’s blog speaks for herself. Since when was wearing shorts considered degrading? What you said was not only judgmental, but also rude.

    “And no half naked girls … My goodness, are you really in Amman? Actually, I’ll give this one to you, your good nature makes you see only the good in people, so keep up your innocence”

    The goodness in people? So if a girl wears a spaghetti strap, khalas she’s not a good person?

    “Anyway, We’re only taking your extremely Narrow view of the matter, I mean,
    a) You’re not married so you don’t really know
    b) So far there are no documented cases of you ever had any encounters with the other sex to be able to take your word against theirs
    c) Your interactions with the other sex mostly through your brothers or colleagues don’t really count because … you know they’re your “brothers and colleagues”
    and
    d) You got offended by them in a way that got you “upset” which means your view is pretty much driven by anger and not really objective”

    I don’t need to touch fire, to know that it burns.

  16. Qwaider, I know I am not delusional when I know that the respect of people doesn’t mount to whether I’m wearing shorts or not. I believe that you enforce the respect of those around you not by how much is covered up (of course without the extreme in mind), but rather, how you speak, act, and talk. I have met many vieled women who I couldn’t respect at all because of the silliness they uttered and the same holds for women who would dress like myself. It is you who is disillusioned to think that all people will not respect someone because she’s wearing shorts.
    As for half-naked, everything is relative to place, time, and the respective person.

    You do not know me at all to judge what kind of relationships I have had with the other sex. I do not come from a family where interactions with the other sex are only with “brothers and colleagues”. This blog is not a place where I document my life, and it will never become that. This also does not come from anger. I am not agree, because as Arafat said, it is a vicious cycle of a patriarchal society, I was merely stating my opinion which is based on personal beliefs that I apply to everything, not just Helwa. Finally, last I’ve heard you weren’t married yourself, so why are you judging my thoughts and deeming that I have a long way to go? This isn’t a matter of time, it’s a choice.

    You call my opinions narrow minded? I think you should learn to show some respect towards the opinions of others, and not rip them apart just because yours are more conservative ideals. It is extremely rude to do so.

  17. “Blame the Arab woman for giving the wrong idea about her”
    “What I was trying to say is that the Arab woman hold responsiblity because she gave us the idea that all her interests are just the same interets of a housewife”

    I am so pissed off by this statement. The Arab woman -“housewives” are included- are doing a great job raising your children…taking care of you guys…etc.
    Why you are talking about Arab women that way, do you think American women are better?
    The way the Arabic woman acts is the result of a wrong missed up roles in the Arabic society, you can’t blame her for that. (I am not talking her about Real Islamic Society because I think if we were in a real Islamic society we wont have this discussion because there will be no problem to start with)

    And the Arab men (or most of them) they don’t give her the true meaning of freedom. I am not talking about the way she dress or wear makeup etc. I am talking about the way she interacts with her society. Arabic man doesn’t like it when his wife is better than him, (I know what I am talking about and don’t you ever think that education will change their mentality) so if she wants peace with him, yes she has to make him feel that he is the most intelligent man she has ever met (believe me she will do that ONLY if she is clever).She must obey him. The men (with all respect to them) are big children. So yes dear he needs to be pampered. If you love your husband you wont do that because you have to, you will do it because you want to. And that will never make you less of who you are. You are a lady who can raise her children and give them the love and care they really need. You are a wife who helps her husband to be the best of who he is. You are doing the most important role in the society…you are creating a home.
    Of course, the woman should educate herself, read…keep her social activities…thats how she becomes are real lady.

  18. DJ, the sad thing is that I think we are taking a backward route rather than improving. I haven’t watched the Mona Lisa Smile, but I’ve always wanted to watch it, I just never got a chance.

    Salam, lol, I don’t think I’ll ever be a good wife if that’s what husbands are looking for, and frankly, I don’t care at all for being a good wife.
    (and I at first thought your post was sarcastic but
    Qwaider made me believe otherwise).

    Adel, I was posing that question and I don’t think that we can answer it on behalf of Arab women.

    Abed, thank you for clarifying. I don’t think your point holds though as most of the women in the Arab world are vieled, and the number keeps increasing. So how is she giving the wrong opinion? By being vieled? Furtherly, sites such as Helwa obviously do not target half naked women. They target religious people.

  19. Without over complicating it, I can easily see the motivation behind this narrow targetting and that is “demand”. you said it sells .. and I agree, and to answer your question, look around you, yes it is what Arab women are interested in, but not exclusively.

    Is it offensive or demeaning? It is not in my opinion. Its just information that is useful and useable for the average Arab woman (housewife or otherwise).

    That said, I am appauled by the intellictual insult to men in that “The Success of Women”, as I am sure women may be appauled by the mandatory narrow role casting.

    Now, you seem to underestimate the full time job of being a housewife. It is the most demanding and most crucial job a woman could ever take, especially concerning the part of raising children, and has the biggest ROI.

    It is a exclusive privilege for women to be cast in such nobel and worthwhile role as a housewife and mother of children, but why limit it at that?

  20. A woman can be great housewife and a great something else. No one can argue on that. But most of husbands want her to be a great wife before being anything else. And the definition of “great wife” = “the definition of terrorism” in most cases. This is a fact.

  21. I think its up to the woman…there is no rule here..the woman can make something of herself if she really wants to…she can be an ordinary housewife…or she can build her personality the way she wants. Its her choice. When someone wants somethin so much, s/he can have it no matter what.

  22. Roba,

    I’ve seen the number of veiled Arab woman increasing in Jordan, and my friends told me that It’s increasing in Egypt too. But However, It is decreasing in Kuwait !! The Kuwaiti woman is getting more naked every year, and honestly I can’t destinguish whether she’s Kuwaiti or Western! I wish the number of veiled woman is increasing in the Arab world, but I doubt so.

    Honestly, the real Hijab is rare here in Jordan. I mean yes, they’re veiled, but It’s hard to see the effect of the veil on their behaviour, I most often get dirty looks from veiled (with jelbab kaman) girls of Irbid! This is not Hijab.

    Anyway, to be more relevant, we should encourage the Arab woman “To Sell her self”. It’s hard for a man to appreciate a woman if she doesn’t appreciate herself.

    We can take the Iranian woman as an example, She’s the devoted religous woman, with her black Hijab, but However, she’s very active, she attends international conferences, and I’ve heared from different persons that her prescence is very noticable and effective. She’s successful in sports, polticis, TV shows, reading, writing, ..and all other acitivies, and she raises good families.

    The Jordanian woman should learn from her, and Im encouraging my girls cousins to be more effective and well read.

    Sorry for invading the comments space, and sorry the long comments :)

  23. Dear Pheras,

    My name is Abed Hamdan not Abdel Hamid, and sorry I didn’t notice your comment first.

    I haven’t seen guys walking half-naked in streets, and If I see them half-naked,then this wouldn’t be my best day, It’s disgusting u know :)

    I didn’t say that we shouldn’t discuss art and politics with woman. I’m a Muslim, and In Islam woman is houswife, nurse, doctor, soldier, writer, and everything.

    I know what you’re talking about, and that mentality you were talking about is just not me :)

    Religion was never a barrier between woman and success, and I stated the Iranian woman as an example, and I urge you to read the Islamic history to see the woman role in the society among history.

    We’re living in bad time, and we have double standards and wrong understanding of many things, that we should work together to fix them.

  24. A lot has been said, I respect it all from Roba and Pheras, (others?) Maybe you’ll allow me respond
    Now I know, you know that I don’t come back with political-lets-get-along-bullshit comments. And Always (and I mean always) gave you credit, when it is due. Hell I called you things I wouldn’t dream of saying to the best of women. With that said, I also -and sharply- criticized you at times. Because I believe there is no need to sugarcoat my reverse-opinions about your onions

    Now, I only said “Narrow view of that matter” in other words. I’m specifying that this is a specific view on this subject. Not everything in life. And stated a bunch of reasons

    Yes, one may develop an understanding about a topic without actually experiencing it. But not when the matter is as overwhelming and all encompassing as motherhood. Again, I haven’t practiced (or ever will) practice motherhood. But I have lived long enough to realize that it’s a serious thing. A big matter, and spectators might not always understand what’s going on in the battlefield. Hell not even married women know sometimes, each has their own experiences and face different issues.

    As for respect for “excessively-uncovered” women. Let me give you my 2c.
    Where I work, we actually have detailed training on conduct and what’s acceptable, appropriate, unacceptable, inappropriate or might-cause-you-to-get-fired-and-sued-inappropriate. Because Sexual harassment is a serious matter. Some of these classes revolved around what’s acceptable in the workplace. For both males and females. The rules were simple. Cover up, avoid all extremes (skin, smell, makeup, language-content ..etc)
    With that said, I know for a fact, that a big number of people in the Jordanian society seem to be superficial, and judge you based on not even what you’re wearing, but on the actual BRAND. If not even the year, make and origin. If people didn’t recognize Prada Mr Pheras, you wouldn’t have mentioned it. Now, I’m not saying anything is wrong with that. But People do judge based on appearance. And the show of more (or less) skin WILL effect people’s views (Specifically, when you didn’t even say anything yet)

    Anyway, Roba, and Pheras and Others, pleas accept my apology if you feel this was too personal. I do sometimes give bad examples that when taken out of context seem to mean a very negative thing.

  25. One last little comment (sorry)
    Pheras, in one of your fantastic posts, you were upset because two older guys judged and refused to deal appropriately with you because you looked young. Graft that to clothing, driving, smoking, living … and you will probably agree on that point.
    I apologize for customizing this comment for you.

  26. Nas

    lol the comments are very interesting

    well there is a battle between the housewife and the neo-feminist-woman and it’s happening all over the world and just starting to take shape in the Arab world. ironically i think both groups don’t really like each other. the latter sees the former as someone who is caged and needs to be liberated and the former sees the latter as someone who is..for lack of a better word…”loose”.

    i dont see why there can’t be a compromise between both worlds. i don’t understand why there is a need to be one or the other. why either must seek the destruction in order to survive.

    as for these publications…

    this is what sells as someone said before. fashion magazines and the most superfical publications on the market are bought by women. if there was a magazine discussing politics, technology or arts for women by women, i would expect it to sell less than a publication that talks about cooking, fashion and gossip. it’s not a stereotype, it’s not what should be…it’s just…what is. it doesnt matter if you’re in amman or new york.

    i wish it was different. the truth is this is a massive generalistion, but that’s the point, it has to be a generalisation. there are women who are interested in politics, art and technology, but the majority is what is catered to.

  27. Qwaider, it is not about the content of your argument, it is in the rude and personal way you portray your argument. I have absolutely no problem taking in the other side and trying to understand. Take Abed’s comments for example, I don’t agree with him at all, I hate veiling, but I respect his opinion because he is civil with treating mine.

    I put up this post with a question and I wanted the question answered honestly, I didn’t want an attack on how I’m too young to understand or how I haven’t had enough contact with men to fully fathom this topic, it is absolutely NOT your right to judge such matters. You don’t know anything about me other that what I want to reveal about myself on the lines of this space.

    We can all get personal you know? You’re an over-idealistic-love-serenade-writing-man-living-in-ghorbeh, your views might as well be sheathed with a veil of nostalgic longing that blinds your eyes towards a society with too many faults to fix.

    You’re not married. You’re not an Arab woman. From how you expect me to only intermingle with siblings and colleagues, I would guess that you haven’t had much contact with Arab women (or are you the typical Arab man where its ok for men to mingle, but oh, so 3eib for the women?). I don’t have the slightest idea about your age, but I think age is a silly way to judge a person, I know 40 and 50 years old with brains made of air. From the above factors, I would say that I am a lot more qualified to write about this topic and deem yours the “narrow” one rather than my own, but of course, I would never do that, because I believe that everyone is entitled to their own beliefs and I would never shoot down another person’s opinion.

    It’s amusing that you’re proving my point- Arab men are too fond of setting the framework for Arab women’s lives. You are not a woman, never were and will never be, and you have never experienced motherhood, never did and never will. Yet you claim to know more about these things than I do just because I’m younger (and I’m a woman, always been and will always will be, and we all know how motherhood is hardwired into females from the time they play with dolls).

    Ha. Men.

    Finally, why did you stick motherhood in? Helweh does not mention motherhood. I didn’t mention motherhood. No one mentioned motherhood.

    The discussion was about stereotyping.

  28. “the truth is this is a massive generalistion, but that’s the point, it has to be a generalisation. there are women who are interested in politics, art and technology, but the majority is what is catered to”

    Again, I wish to point to the complexity of the discourse. The question to ask is, does the world create the media or the media create the world? The answer unfortunately is not straightforward. And we must also look at the dynamics of consumerism, pop culture, capitalist economics, etc. There are so many issues that cannot be dissociated from a question like this, and a good gender-conscious critique cannot simply exmaine patriarchy without examining its most extensive and subtle manifestations.

    To wonder why fewer women will buy magazines on politics, art, or technology is only looking at part of the problem. A deeper question to ask is why these fields are still overwhelmingly dominated by men. Furthermore, why must we expect that women’s magazine should be either about fashion or about these issues? (Again, fashion itself is a complex and powerful discourse that requires serious criticism and reform. American feminist Naomi Wolf has written a lot about fashion in connection to her theory of the “beauty myth” — a very related topic). I think there may be something wrong with the way we are approaching this: surely we don’t need separate ‘serious’ magazines for women, when women are already reading TIME, the New Yorker, Newsweek, or the Atlantic.

    But here’s what I realized: popular men’s magazines like GQ or even the blatantly sexist Playboy are full of stuff on politics and other serious issues. Only when it comes to the women’s stuff, it’s overwhelmingly only about how to look pretty, how to please your man, how to make a better home, or how to be a better wife for your husband.

    A major point that my friends and I have raised whenever we got into discussing this whole issue is the fact that both men’s AND women’s magazines have female models on the cover. That is something that requires some serious thought.

  29. Arafat, great points. I’m currently working in a local men’s magazine, and ironically, it is a lot richer in content than the local women’s magazines. This isn’t in terms of science and technology though, but on a simpler level- everything from music reviews to football features have a lot more depth to them than what you would read in the local women’s magazine.
    I wouldn’t say it’s as bad with some of the British women’s magazines I’ve read, which are sort of an Oprah-like magazine of politics, technology, and issues that are all women-centric.

  30. Naseem, yes, true. Which was the whole point of my post. I believe that such stereotypical branding and generlizations result in another generation of women who look at to their mothers for example. It’s a cycle…

  31. Pheras, what I wrote was “Politics, technology, science, and art are not for women, they are for everybody so why would they name it “Helwa” and it is talking about subjects of everybody’s interest”

    It doesn’t mean that woman knows nothing about this, though you can rarely find a youngster who reads anything but horoscopes.

  32. Thanks Roba, I’m flattered!
    You dedicated more space to praise me than your actual post. Beautiful. You’re lovely when you’re mad.

  33. I’m always lovely.

  34. Nas

    “A deeper question to ask is why these fields are still overwhelmingly dominated by men.”

    ah but that is a question that has no real end in sight. and generally when we are talking about someone who is about to buy a magazine, we don’t usually factor in millions of years of socialization into the process otherwise we are diving in to an abyss of which there is floor.

    “Furthermore, why must we expect that women’s magazine should be either about fashion or about these issues?”

    it’s not a great expectation but it IS an expectation, I mean it’s there. to expect otherwise is to ignore the obvious reality. most women magazine are not exactly filled with articles on Iran’s nuclear program or the latest Mars probe to get lost.

    “I think there may be something wrong with the way we are approaching this: surely we don’t need separate ’serious’ magazines for women, when women are already reading TIME, the New Yorker, Newsweek, or the Atlantic.”

    I once argued that we didn’t need special courses for women, like “femanist politics”, that they should be factored in to all courses and approached in a neutral manner, similar to readership of TIME and Newsweek. But the fact is there are certain issues that concern mostly men and certain issues that concern mostly women. And when we consider the patriarcal universe and that vicious cycle Roba is pointing to, perhaps there is no better time in history for women to have women magazines that address those serious topics that affect them. The question however is whether they as a gender (a socialized on at that) are actually serious about the serious topics.

    Boys are raised to consider the serious topics, or the topics society deems as serious. It is a test of manhood to be able to consider topics like politics and current events. Girls do not go through this process.

    There are always exceptions to these “rules” but for the most part I’ve found this to be true.

    THAT BEING SAID…

    Things will eventually change. For the first time in history there are actually some role models in the Arab world. I think HM Queen Noor and Queen Rania are pretty good examples of women who are intelligent, ambitious, business women who are also mothers.

  35. Consciousness is meaningless, and Sexual identity is part of the meaninglessness that is the collective consciousness of the arab mentality.

  36. bass ya jama3a..Roba,of course I was just kidding,DON’T LET you will make a great wife ,I know that,because not all men are looking for the ame things in women

  37. sorry about previous comment disregard it and read this:
    bass ya jama3a..Roba,of course I was just kidding,DON’T LET QWEIDER convince you otherwise you will make a great wife ,I know that,because not all men are looking for the ame things in women,but it would help if you turn blond:)

  38. Salam, mwah :)

  39. anoneemuss

    WOW, some of the things some brothers busted out with, are just WOW
    But as always the lesson remains, as we all know, that this Qweider thingie operates at a level of stupidity and ignorance unmatched and unheard of in the history of his kind….

  40. Ya Anoneemuss … if you were even a human worth a spit and had a single ounce of courage, you would have showed yourself. Instead of hiding cowerdly behind your name.
    I already know who you are, and trust me, earthworms are higher in the evolution scale than you and elli khallafook!

    By the way, I didn’t want to continue in a useless discussion where nothing will be achieved, I agreed to disagree, and left it at that. I don’t like to bust the point way beyond it’s worth.

    Yalla …. prove your stupidity more ya … Anoneemuss, iza ka 3indak …ras

  41. they can call it 7elweh , amoorah or even karmoosheh…. but please please no PINK ;)

  42. Roba i some times say allah ye3eenik with your blog, i would have sent you an email to tell you my opion ;)
    you talk about something and you end up with another, and always end up with talking about naked women…lets talk about men that pull their pants down for a change, and hear their opion about naked women

    im sorry roba if you find this offending you can delet if you want

  43. Boys are raised to consider the serious topics, or the topics society deems as serious. It is a test of manhood to be able to consider topics like politics and current events. Girls do not go through this process.

    This is very true. It’s all in the upbringing, the expectations made upon each gender. And sadly, girls are not expected to be as politically and socially aware as boys. Many girls grow learning that politics and current events are “7aki zlam”. Questions like “So, what do you think?” that put pressure on the person to formulate an opinion are almost only addressed to the males around the table.
    Children look up to adults and imitate them. Mothers should set an example. When the females of the family are either silent or absent from the discussion, young girls learn to do the same. They start to underestimate the value of their own opinions until they lose the motivation to have any in the first place.

    I went to an all-girls school for twelve years. Interestingly, it was only when I moved to a new mixed school that I was aware of my own lack of awareness. I faced many situations where *everyone* would be talking about current issues with an interesting level of understanding. In class, we sometimes took a few minutes to talk about the day’s events, and everyone was expected to know and to take part in the conversation- a pressure that wasn’t there at all when the class was exclusively female.
    I don’t know if it’s right to reason it this way, but it somehow made sense to me at the time.

  44. Sorry, my previous comment was supposed to show Nas’s quote in italics. That was the first paragraph.
    Sorry, Nas.

  45. Nas

    Hey Rania,

    yes I totally agree with you, mothers do need to set the example because the parents do represent the models children choose to imitate. Growing up I can remember countless times when I would be in a social situations where men sit with men and discuss important matters as men do, while the women sat with women and discussed other things. And I remember thinking if I ever wanted to be accepted in to this circle of towering male figures I would have to talk about politics and current events.

    This is who we look up to; these are our models of adulthood.

  46. Kid: Baba leish tjawwazt mama?
    Father: 3ashanha 7elweh, w Zakeyyeh, w bte3raf shu betsawii

    *Scene at mother doing maggi soup smiling*

    *Scene of father smiling out of fulfillment that his mother knows how to cook!*

    Now shu ra2yek with this one, Roba?
    LOL

    omar

  47. uffft

    there’s a typo curse on this post! LOL

    His Wife, mush mother! :P

    omar

  48. I would like to thank all of you for all your comments.
    all of them will be taken into consideration , a compliment from you is always valued!!! Remember we value criticism too – that way we only get better.
    “Our goal is to inspire and encourage women in different age groups, interests and backgrounds to be beautiful from the inside and outside rather than being beautiful from the outside, this was our Slogan theme commercializing inner beauty and strength, through the variety of women related topics presented by Helwa”

    Managing to catch up with the fast paced world, Maktoob’s Helwa is a revamped version of the existing women’s section on Maktoob.com to go parallel with Arab women’s interests in the current and future times. A plethora of topics, from women’s rights in the Arab World and violence against women, to beauty, parenting, family & society, home management, and health articles written by credible doctors and specialists will form an integral part of the features of Helwa.

    ‘’Helwa’’ – translating into ‘’pretty’’ – facilitates being as pretty on the inside as much as on the outside to Arab females. Therefore, as an appreciation to successful women and an encouragement to the not yet, ‘Women under Spot’ will provide a platform for Arab Women achievers and leaders, irrespective of industry or specialization.
    we launched recently our teens section too.
    we have alot of promising features coming soon.
    for any comments or suggestion ..please email us .
    helwa@maktoob.com

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén