What is it about some Arab men and not wanting their wives, fiances or significant others to have any sort of independence or freedom? Right now, I'm thinking about how some make their wives and such wear abayas and hijabs/shaylas. How some insist on it.
For instance, I know a couple and she was very open and free prior to getting married to this guy. He knew this about her or maybe not.. I wasn't around then and I'm not really sure how she presented herself beforehand... but anyway. I know that she dyed her hair, wore regular clothes w/ and w/out an abaya, went to coffee shops, etc... now, he won't allow her to dye her hair, she has been told to wear a shayla and abaya when going out and such and she no longer goes anywhere, unless it's during the day while he's at work. She still does most of what he doesn't wan't, but lies to him about it.
She wanted a tattoo, for instance, and he said "no". She got one anyway and told him that it would come off over time - which is a lie. She goes out while he's at work and doesn't cover her hair, and - like I said - she dyes her hair - and I wonder - how does she get around this w/ him - it's beyond me (not like you can't tell that she's dying her hair - does he not notice??).. maybe he's finally accepted it because it is starting to get considerably lighter... so how could he NOT know that she's dying it!??
I find myself wondering about this. Why is it that he doesn't allow her to be herself... to be modern if she so chooses. She was before and he was attracted to it, but not now?!! Oh.. but I forget one big thing.. she is now married to him and Lord forbid someone, a man, look at her! Ok, ok.. she is a tad bit flirtatious... ok, maybe too much so and has taken the flirtations a bit far, so I can understand his logic, but... doesn't one think that he could also be driving her to these distractions by his controlling ways? Would you call what he's doing love?
This is not the only case.. in one of my other jobs, there was this girl engaged to this guy. He insisted that she wear an abaya when going to work and going out.. but she didn't and he didn't know it because she lied and told him that she did. She wore **very** revealing clothes to the office and even went out to coffee shops afterwards w/out covering, and once when a bunch of us were out, she saw his cousin and almost died because she didn't have an abaya on. She ran out of the coffee shop and insisted on going someplace else. It caused a lot of problems for them and he eventually broke it off w/ her. But, he knew how she was before and even left another g/f to be w/ her.... so what gives? I don't get it really.
What is it about men not wanting or allowing their wives and such to be themselves? Is it that they want these women stupid? Is it control? Is it all in the name of religion? I think many use religion as an excuse! Or is it that girls, some girls, take it too far? Is it that they aren't in love and married because it was arranged and don't like the controlling natures of the men? Do men, in the ME, become much more aggressive or jealous once they get married? Is it like animals or dogs where they feel it's their territory and how dare another man see their goods? Maybe they should pee on the girls.. maybe that would help! ;) That way, another male could smell it and know immediately to stay away.... oh come on, it could work.... ;) ;)
I was told to wear an abaya by a girl at the office not too long ago, but there's no way I would. I dress very conservatively.. in business suits, pants suits, long skirts and such, so it's not like there's a real valid reason. I was also told, when I first came here - by some ppl - to wear an abaya when going out and I did for a while, but I refuse to do that now. If I go to a funeral, I wear one, or if I go to certain villages in Bahrain, I'll wear one, but that's the extent of it for me. But I'm a rebel and won't have anyone trying to control me and feel that this is a form of control. I know there are a LOT of women out there who wear them and want to wear them, but there's also a stigma attached to not wearing them. Not for expatriates so much (but we do get stared at), but for Bahraini/Arab women there is a stigma attached to not covering or in some social circles it exists.
I know this lady, she's a news woman here in Bahrain, and she got a lot of grief from a lot of ppl when she chose not to wear the abaya and not to cover her hair. Why does this happen? The ridicule wasn't only from men, believe me. I've heard the stories and it amazes me. I know the reason behind it... but the question keeps coming to my mind - WHY???!!! Why isn't it up to the woman?
People should be free to choose. Women should be free to choose. Some men wan't their women stupid... that way they don't ask any questions or question their authority. Lord help the girls that study in the States and come back to marry a guy from the Gulf! Ok, ok... not all the guys are back wood's thinkers... and many are open and love free thinking women (alhumdallah!), but... there are many out there that aren't... but then again, when thinking about it, I guess the ones that aren't, aren't marrying the girls coming home from the States either.
Both of the men I talk about above are college graduates... and one even studied abroad... so what gives? Oh yeah, the 2nd guy wouldn't even allow this girl to wear nail polish! He used religious reasons for it....
I'm just thankful that I wear what I want, in reason, and don't feel the need to go out looking for any other attention, other than from my husband. I married for love and feel it's the only way.