Collective Push of the Elephant

Sometimes it takes a collective of feminists to spot the patriarchal elephant in the room (and to show it to the door). 

Battling patriarchy is difficult, particularly when you try to do it alone. If anything was learned from the Jan 14 March, solidarity is both empowering and inspiring. Change will only come if we work together to identify problems and construct positive solutions.

On Thursday 19 January 2012, Nasawiya member Sarah Abou Raad posted an image. It was of the ‘Parental Consent Sheet’ for the Beit el-Taibat (women’s dorms) at the University of Balamand. On this form the parent’s were asked what ‘level of freedom they would like to grant their daughter’. The options were ‘Full Freedom’, ‘Partial Freedom’, or ‘No Freedom’. Outraged, Sarah posted an image of the form with the caption ‘That’s how education is supposed to free our minds!! Im indignant!! I cant believe it!!’

Roughly an hour later, another Nasawiya member, Christine Lindner, saw Sarah’s post. Being an Assistant Professor at the University of Balamand, Christine was immediately frustrated by the image that she saw. During the past few months, Christine, with the help of many dedicated students, has helped start the debate about gender discrimination on campus. Farah from the Adventures of Salwa led a great discussion, while the student newspaper covered a number of important topics related to sexual harassment. Christine met with the Dean of Students to revise sexual harassment policies and felt a general interest for change. However, this form, it is language of ‘no freedom’ for female students was a huge step in the wrong direction.

An interesting exchange took place between Sarah and Christine that night, over the implications of the application and its wording. As a result, Christine sent an email to the Dean of Student Affairs asking questions about the application, which she posted to the Nasawiya wall. Other members posted responses to the image’s comment thread. Some mentioned that similar forms are used at dorms for other universities. This needs to be researched further and pursued for change.

Christine met with the Dean of Student Affairs and the university counselor on Monday 23 January 2012. Both positively received the complaint, stating that it was only when Christine had identified the strong language of the form that they realized how counterproductive it was to their goals of empowering the students. As such, a replacement form was created emphasizing not the disempowerment of the female students, but the level of supervision that the university would play, upon the request of the parents (many of whom live abroad). It was also agreed that this form would be signed by the parents of students resident at both the women’s and men’s dorms. The updated version can be found at

http://www.balamand.edu.lb/english/OSA.asp?id=2705&fid=160

So while this does not mark the erasure of patriarchy at the University of Balamand, it does mark a small victory, while illuminating a few important lessons:

Firstly, a variety of tactics are needed to bring down patriarchal systems. At times, large protest marches are needed. In other times, it is a stern email from a member of faculty asking questions about a problematic practice. Others, it is the threat of images going viral on the internet. Sometimes, all three. Patriarchy and social injustice manifest themselves in all facets of life. We need to keep all tools ready, harnessing the appropriate tool for the specific situation and specific audience.

Secondly, identifying and challenging patriarchy is a collective effort. Sarah’s posting of the image prompted Christine to write the letter, which illuminated the problem to the Dean, so that the form was changed and the discriminatory practice equalized. This is the collective at work. This is its strength. This is why it works. We cannot stand alone, for the elephant is too big sometimes to even see, let alone push out the door. And if one project fails, we are there to catch each other, provide an umbrella when it rains, or a tissue for the tears. This is the strength of the collective and this is why it will succeed.

Publisher: 

Sawt al' Niswa

Section: 

Category: 

Featured: 

Comments

https://canadianlpharmacy.com/ is trust pharmacy in canada legitimate
viagra canadiense [url=https://canadianlpharmacy.com/#]https://canadianlpharmacy.com/[/url]
canadian pharmaceuticals companies https://canadianlpharmacy.com/

https://canadianlpharmacy.com/ is trust pharmacy in canada legitimate
viagra canadiense [url=https://canadianlpharmacy.com/#]https://canadianlpharmacy.com/[/url]
canadian pharmaceuticals companies https://canadianlpharmacy.com/

https://viagracwithoutdoctor.com/ canadian prescriptions online serc 24 mg
canada online pharmacies surrey [url=https://viagracwithoutdoctor.com/#]https://viagracwithoutdoctor.com/[/url]
canada drugs https://viagracwithoutdoctor.com/

https://viagracwithoutdoctor.com/ canadian prescriptions online serc 24 mg
canada online pharmacies surrey [url=https://viagracwithoutdoctor.com/#]https://viagracwithoutdoctor.com/[/url]
canada drugs https://viagracwithoutdoctor.com/

https://viagracwithoutdoctor.com/ top rated canadian pharmacies online
canada online pharmacies reviews [url=https://viagracwithoutdoctor.com/#]https://viagracwithoutdoctor.com/[/url]
pharmacy canada https://viagracwithoutdoctor.com/

https://viagracwithoutdoctor.com/ top rated canadian pharmacies online
canada online pharmacies reviews [url=https://viagracwithoutdoctor.com/#]https://viagracwithoutdoctor.com/[/url]
pharmacy canada https://viagracwithoutdoctor.com/

https://viagracwithoutdoctor.com/ canada medications information
is trust pharmacy in canada legitimate [url=https://viagracwithoutdoctor.com/#]https://viagracwithoutdoctor.com/[/url]
canadian mail order pharmacies https://viagracwithoutdoctor.com/

https://viagracwithoutdoctor.com/ canada medications information
is trust pharmacy in canada legitimate [url=https://viagracwithoutdoctor.com/#]https://viagracwithoutdoctor.com/[/url]
canadian mail order pharmacies https://viagracwithoutdoctor.com/

https://canadianhpharmacy.com/ canadian pharcharmy online24
most reliable canadian pharmacies [url=https://canadianhpharmacy.com/#]https://canadianhpharmacy.com/[/url]
top rated canadian pharmacies online https://canadianhpharmacy.com/

https://canadianhpharmacy.com/ canadian pharcharmy online24
most reliable canadian pharmacies [url=https://canadianhpharmacy.com/#]https://canadianhpharmacy.com/[/url]
top rated canadian pharmacies online https://canadianhpharmacy.com/

https://canadianlpharmacy.com/ canada online pharmacies reviews
canadianpharmacyusa24h is it legal [url=https://canadianlpharmacy.com/#]https://canadianlpharmacy.com/[/url]
top rated canadian pharmacies online https://canadianlpharmacy.com/

https://canadianlpharmacy.com/ canada online pharmacies reviews
canadianpharmacyusa24h is it legal [url=https://canadianlpharmacy.com/#]https://canadianlpharmacy.com/[/url]
top rated canadian pharmacies online https://canadianlpharmacy.com/

https://canadianlpharmacy.com/ canadian online pharmacy
canadian online pharmacies legitimate [url=https://canadianlpharmacy.com/#]https://canadianlpharmacy.com/[/url]
buy viagra usa https://canadianlpharmacy.com/

https://canadianlpharmacy.com/ canadian online pharmacy
canadian online pharmacies legitimate [url=https://canadianlpharmacy.com/#]https://canadianlpharmacy.com/[/url]
buy viagra usa https://canadianlpharmacy.com/

https://canadianlpharmacy.com/ trusted pharmacy canada
canadian pharmacy king [url=https://canadianlpharmacy.com/#]https://canadianlpharmacy.com/[/url]
canadian online pharmacies reviews https://canadianlpharmacy.com/

https://canadianlpharmacy.com/ trusted pharmacy canada
canadian pharmacy king [url=https://canadianlpharmacy.com/#]https://canadianlpharmacy.com/[/url]
canadian online pharmacies reviews https://canadianlpharmacy.com/

https://viagracwithoutdoctor.com/ canada online pharmacies for men
canada online pharmacies for men [url=https://viagracwithoutdoctor.com/#]https://viagracwithoutdoctor.com/[/url]
northwest pharmacies mail order https://viagracwithoutdoctor.com/

https://viagracwithoutdoctor.com/ canada online pharmacies for men
canada online pharmacies for men [url=https://viagracwithoutdoctor.com/#]https://viagracwithoutdoctor.com/[/url]
northwest pharmacies mail order https://viagracwithoutdoctor.com/

https://viagracwithoutdoctor.com/ canada drugs online
best canadian mail order pharmacies [url=https://viagracwithoutdoctor.com/#]https://viagracwithoutdoctor.com/[/url]
pharmacy canada online prescriptions https://viagracwithoutdoctor.com/

https://viagracwithoutdoctor.com/ canada drugs online
best canadian mail order pharmacies [url=https://viagracwithoutdoctor.com/#]https://viagracwithoutdoctor.com/[/url]
pharmacy canada online prescriptions https://viagracwithoutdoctor.com/

https://canadianhpharmacy.com/ aarp recommended canadian online pharmacies
canadian pharcharmy online [url=https://canadianhpharmacy.com/#]https://canadianhpharmacy.com/[/url]
online pharmacies india https://canadianhpharmacy.com/

https://canadianhpharmacy.com/ aarp recommended canadian online pharmacies
canadian pharcharmy online [url=https://canadianhpharmacy.com/#]https://canadianhpharmacy.com/[/url]
online pharmacies india https://canadianhpharmacy.com/

https://viagracwithoutdoctor.com/ canada online pharmacies reviews
canadian pharmacycanadian pharmacy [url=https://viagracwithoutdoctor.com/#]https://viagracwithoutdoctor.com/[/url]
the best canadian online pharmacies https://viagracwithoutdoctor.com/

https://viagracwithoutdoctor.com/ canada online pharmacies reviews
canadian pharmacycanadian pharmacy [url=https://viagracwithoutdoctor.com/#]https://viagracwithoutdoctor.com/[/url]
the best canadian online pharmacies https://viagracwithoutdoctor.com/

https://canadianlpharmacy.com/ canadian pharmacy meds
prescriptions from canada without [url=https://canadianlpharmacy.com/#]https://canadianlpharmacy.com/[/url]
canadian pharmacies online prescriptions https://canadianlpharmacy.com/

https://canadianlpharmacy.com/ canadian pharmacy meds
prescriptions from canada without [url=https://canadianlpharmacy.com/#]https://canadianlpharmacy.com/[/url]
canadian pharmacies online prescriptions https://canadianlpharmacy.com/

https://canadianlpharmacy.com/ canadian online pharmacies legal
canadian online pharmacies rated [url=https://canadianlpharmacy.com/#]https://canadianlpharmacy.com/[/url]
north west pharmacy canada https://canadianlpharmacy.com/

https://canadianlpharmacy.com/ canadian online pharmacies legal
canadian online pharmacies rated [url=https://canadianlpharmacy.com/#]https://canadianlpharmacy.com/[/url]
north west pharmacy canada https://canadianlpharmacy.com/

Pages

Add new comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <img>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
5 + 13 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.

Our portfolio

We wouldn't have done this without you, Thank you Bassem Chit - May you rest in power.

Copy Left

Contact us

Contact Sawt al' Niswa via:

You can also find us on: