A Real Room of Her Own

People find it strange for a woman to want to live by herself. Unless she’s getting married or going to a university that is really far from home, people don’t see any reason why she should move out from her parents’ house.  It doesn’t really matter whether she has the means to have her own apartment or not, because as long as she is single, then she “belongs” to her parents—more precisely to her father.

You might hear some people saying: “A woman living at her parents’ house is a privilege. Do you want us to be like the West and to throw our women out at the age of eighteen? How can you be complaining that her parents want to take care of her and pamper her? ” Well I’m not.  Parents should, moderately, take care of their children and pamper them. However, when these children become adults, they ought to take care of themselves. Some help is always welcomed of course. But by help I don’t mean give them money and fix them a curfew or invade every little space they have.

Girls are brought up to believe that they shouldn’t ask for their privacy. Why would a girl need to have her own space? Girls like to gossip with their friends, watch their mom cook and clean the house so they can dream to become great housewives later on. However, they don’t need a room of their own and if they do, they don’t need to lock it. Generally, it is only when a family has a boy that they think to move to a bigger house. Girls like to sit in the “sob7iyeh” and listen to the latest news of the neighborhood. It’s not like they need a place to be alone and think, read or write.

You may think that when a woman graduates everything changes. You may think that at a certain age, people will respect her privacy. Well think again: if she decides to stay single, she will have to stay under her father’s “wings”. However, if she chooses to live alone, she will be perceived as a rebel at best, but most likely as a slut. Maybe it is a question of trust. Maybe people don’t trust women, they are afraid to “give” them their freedom. Maybe it is because they believe that women will misuse their freedom, because of their super-sensuality and naivety. Or is it because they are scared that after all these years of submissiveness, women will burst their protective bubble and DARE to be independent?  Or maybe, just maybe, it is because they know that if all women had their own space, and if they were free to live their own little lives, they won’t rush into an early marriage. Parents love to have their daughters under their “wings”, but they like it more when they are no longer their responsibility, when they are under their husbands’ “wings”. Hence, letting their daughter have their own apartment, without being in control of who is “entering” and leaving her life is a big risk for her (or their) future plans, or what the society planned for her.  After all, when Virginia Woolf once said: “A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write,” she was only trying to destroy families and brainwash women into wanting more than what they can handle, right?!

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