You are pregnant? The eyes of everybody are on you…. On your Stomach!
It looks like an egg, it means a Boy,,
It looks like a balloon, it means it s a Girl,….
and the word to mouth continues, she has done well in her life = she will have a baby boy! Look at the EGG form of her stomach.
My friend just did an “echography”: she is waiting for her second child: a baby boy….
the neighbors in Lebanon acclaimed the news as if she had never had a child before!!!( and she has a beautiful intelligent, adorable 2 years baby girl already….
She heard the screaming Mabrouk!! “Congratulations!!”,
More over, her husband had: “Anta add ma 3emil khair ejik sabeh” = Because you are a nice person, you got a Baby boy! ( I have question, if his wife was waiting for a baby girl it means he is not a nice person????? !!!!!)
He had more expressions persisting and highlighting gender inequality , This one is horrible: “You did well in your life, now you can walk straight”, ( Before he had a baby girl, so he shouldn’t or she shouldn’t be so happy about it, now the baby every one is awaiting for is a boy, the mum and dad can straighten up and smile to everyone, and look in everyone eyes!!!!
As for the first time pregnancy, while she had the adorable, intelligent, beautiful baby girl she heard the contemptuous : “…. yalla girls are beautiful, next time you ll have your child” = baby boy!!
Those are examples of Lebanon in 2011, and the mentalities of people …. Inequality and gender stereotypes are deeply rooted in our society.
In a society well-known for its advanced level of education, I am shocked to hear that story, my work colleague was waiting just to tell me what she got as congrats messages from her neighbors and family. Is Lebanon still thinking that the responsible for earning income and providing money for the family are the men?? When many of our young girls study, gain more independency, take leaders roles, are they simply looked at as the ones who will cook and raise children, and take care of home in the future??? Sorry now in Lebanon, we have ” domestic workers” to do all these tasks! The women take time to recreate themselves, to be more beautiful for the husband who is coming from work ( to earn money) for women to spend. Hum… I feel diminished… Don’t you??
Okay I am exaggerating, but the reactions of the pregnancy showed me how deeply rooted are the inequalities in my loved country .
For all my friends and cousins in Lebanon or abroad, who are waiting for babies to come to life, take your head up, if it is a she or a he,
We can always eat “meghleh” and enjoy and celebrate ( and buy those big/I mean huge balloons stands), while hearing the babies crying, changing their diapers, and feeding them….
Dear baby girl or Baby boy, you are all Welcome, sorry for offering you such an unequal world, I hope that your education and socialization, will be more opened and free from those absurd ( sorry for the objectivity GRR) discrimination!!!