Are We Not Real Women?
I remember when my 1st husband first traveled to Saudi Arabia. I asked him about the women there. I was hung up on the fact that they had to wear all black and that they couldn’t drive. He said something I never forgot… he said, “the women here are not used to being anything but women.” I was instantly offended! I thought, what is he saying that we are not real women??
Yet over years of travel and meeting women of various cultures and through deep observation, I began to notice the differences between Eastern and Western women. The way we walked, the way we talked ,the way we sat, the way we handled our husbands and children, the advice that we gave our friends all was generally different.
I watched intercultural couples; American men who had married Eastern women and American women who had married Eastern men and I saw the differences in treatment on both sides.
I am a child of the 70’s
the years when American women first began to really spread their wings and have it be acceptable. There was a t.v. commercial for a perfume that used to come on, ‘Da da da da dum! I can bring home the bacon…fry it up in a pan… and never let you forget you’re the man! cause Im a woman!”
I grew up in a time when many of our mothers told us, go to school get a good job so you don’t have to be dependent on a man. We were told that women can do anything a man can do. everyone had the same responsabilities as male and female.
Interestingly though, men do not do everything that we do. They do not bear children, nor do most of them care for the children or the home and no matter how many hours a woman works outside the home, most women are still expected to come home and work inside. Why? because her value as the Nurturer The ‘Rabiyya tul Bayt’ is priceless.
As our Prophet said all of you are Shepherds and all of you are asked about your flock….so the woman is asked about the children and the home. (Although the husband/father is asked over it all.)
The Man is Not Like the Woman
Dr. John Gray, author of Women are from Venus, Men are from Mars, wrote a subsequent book called Venus on Fire. He discusses the stress levels of women and how these stress levels are the result of being out of our feminine and doing men’s work. He talks about how men’s stress levels go down as they come home from work; home to the man is a place of refuge from work. In contrast, women’s stress levels go up as they come home from work, as they sit in traffic during their commute stressing over children, laundry, cooking and cleaning that is waiting for them at home.
in his book “Men, Women and Relationships” he teaches the physical, emotional ,mental differences between men and women. The information is astounding.
I have found this man’s work to be amazing because he explains from a scientific perspective the ayah in which Allah says
وَلَيْسَ الذَّكَرُ كَالْأُنثَىٰ
and the male is not like the female
But I HAVE to work…
If that’s your situation then here are 3 things you can do to stay soft and in a feminine flow, rather than a masculine grind:
- Make thikr more MINDFULLY. When we say subhaanAllah, let us feel in awe of Allah’s greatness. When we say al-hamdulillah, let us feel truly thankful for His blessings. When we say Allahu Akbar, let us trust and believe that He is Greater and Powerful over all things. Allow yourself time and space for pondering, learning, letting the verses of Allah settle on the heart.
- Breathe more deeply. Pay attention to this throughout the day. Deep breathing with your feet firmly on the ground can bring you back to balance emotionally and mentally.
- Move a (just a little bit) more slowly. TAKE IT EASY WITH YOURSELF. As you go about your day from the bed to the bathroom, getting yourself and children ready, look for ease and support even in the smallest ways, Instead of being ‘on the run’, be ‘in your flow.’ Yes, you are in a cycle that is designed by men for men but if you move a bit more slowly, deeply breathe and stay in thikr, your intuition will have a chance to guide you more and your time will expand.
- Connect with other women you trust, give and ask for support. As women, it is our nature to gather together and support one another. This collaboration prevents competition, because we appreciate each others’ gifts.
This softness of the feminine is so needed in our homes and in our communities; the energy that forgives, nurtures, comforts, and yes even loves…more on this later.