Stereotypes of the Syrian female: Marriage

I can’t say I’ve seen all cultures of Syria “not even close”, but from what I’ve seen I’ve come to this conclusion. Judging by their opinion on what is the number one issue in their lives, Syrian females can be grouped into three broad categories:

1-The “Marry me ASAP”:

Come on! Before I get too old!

With these girls it’s not who they marry, it’s how fast they can do it.  At age eighteen (or sixteen) she’s out of school and bam! Three months later she’s engaged/married to the first barely eligible suitor. It’s as if  they’ve taught her the hymen spontaneously drops at age twenty.

Are these girls happy? I can’t tell you, mainly because I can’t greet them in the street anymore. If you even think of waving their way you’ll get a hundred eye gestures to keep away for the love of dear Moses. Relying on indirect sources, I’ve found out that three changes are characteristic:

-They turn into breeding machines: They shoot out quick, and they shoot out many.

- They get old real fast: Fashion, hairstyle, activities, etc. Her mom is her BFF. She stays at home a lot, TV viewing hours quadruple. College of course is not an option

-They become literally incapable of making an autonomic decision: Either the husband, mother, mother-in-law, or in extreme cases the father decides. And don’t you dare put her in a situation where she has to, her brain will explode I tell you.

2- The “I wanna live a while”:

Yayyy

Those are the vast majority. They wanna go to college and enjoy it, have a social life, go on trips with the youth club. The first couple of college years can be about cute, overly dramatic relationships, but usually after age 22 they’re searching for Mr.Right. They also have a dream about working in some sweet little girly job.

Don’t let them fool you, although these girls like flirting with freedom, they are never free. They have this special path, wide or narrow, which they can’t deviate from. Conformity is nauseatingly widespread. They dress the same as each other, talk the same as each other, avoid the taboos, don’t dare do anything unless they know at least four of their friends have done it before. Standing out is anathema. The career also is a fling. None of them take it seriously, or try to upgrade. The career is expected to be discarded as soon as the ring is on the left finger.

I don’t know, type 2 looks like type 1 to me with a little more friends and memories. But that’s a major improvement I guess. I admire them, in a society where all the cards are against them, they make most with what they have.

3- The Shark:

Are you hitting on me?

This girl might not be sure what she wants, but she knows exactly what she doesn’t, a guy with a humongous ego, a bubble for a brain, and a family from hell dictating every minute detail of her life. She’s confident, independent, fresh. She takes her job very seriously, and is making a decent salary out of it. Since she will still be living with her parents (even guys are still not into renting their own place here. I have no idea why), she usually has a lot of extra cash, which she spends spoiling herself. Clothes, jewelery, parties… Sharks are very social, and travel in packs. You can usually find them in the trendy cafes after type two’s curfew has passed.

Many type threes want to get married or have a family, so if you ask them they might say they didn’t get what they wanted in life. Why they didn’t find that sophisticated, caring, liberal family guy is beyond me. Maybe we’re all assholes, maybe we know society is in our favor, and feel we’re entitled to the submissive relations it gives us. Maybe we don’t want equality.

In my opinion type three is much happier than she gives herself credit. She has broken the chains, she has defined herself, she is free to explore the world “many get business trips, or you can just go with the extra cash”. The sharks I know all are late twenties- early thirties, and they are my idols. They are trend-setters, and many young girls will look at what they do and decide the rules must change.

Aim for a good ta3neeseh women, marriage doesn't seem that appealing

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24 Comments on “Stereotypes of the Syrian female: Marriage”

  1. Layla Says:

    Oooohhh come on… Don’t you think you are being a little drastic with women in your country? =P

    I don’t think is just a fact in Syria it happens also here in Spain, but as always it depends on the person and her choices, type 1 it’s hard to find here but it does exist…

    About type 1, I can’t share their opinions about that kind of life but as it’s their own life and only if they choose that life, I guess it’s alright. I just can’t see the point of marriage at all, and less when you are talking about very young girls, but as I said it is people’s choice…

    Related to type 2, I can see their point of view. I understand this group but don’t share their opinions either. Life is to be lived but after meeting people, knowing the world, enjoying life as it comes… they have other kind of “responsibilities” and dreams in life, one of those can be sharing their lives with somebody, and I don’t think (or I don’t want to think) it means the end of everything for them. I’d like to think after marriage they are going to work as hard and thoroughly as type 3…

    As for the last group, it looks good but you kind of described them as frivolous no-heart workers… If they haven’t marry a guy but they want to, maybe the reason why they haven’t found “Mr. Right” it is because they have very high expectations and ideals, cause as you said “she knows exactly what she doesn’t want” so nobody seems to fit in there…

    To end with I’d like to say two things…
    In my opinion all of them have defined themselves but in very different ways, no one is better than the others, we are all different.
    And the world is measurable in very different ways too. For example, traveling for some people can be the way for growing as a person by exploring the world, but for others having somebody depending on them can be their world, so helping those dependents (family) can be their way of growing…

    Sorry if I messed it up, it’s just an opinion… Peace!!! =)

    • seleucid Says:

      Thanks for commenting :D.

      “About type 1, I can’t share their opinions about that kind of life but as it’s their own life and only if they choose that life”

      Of course. This is my blog and here I only express personal views on the subject matter. I intend in no way to say they are objective truths or try to enforce them “except for making marrying under the age of 18 illegal, I will support a bill like that”.

      “I’d like to think after marriage they are going to work as hard and thoroughly as type 3…”

      I hope so too, even though what I see implies otherwise.

      “As for the last group, it looks good but you kind of described them as frivolous no-heart workers… because they have very high expectations and ideals,”

      Not at all. There is the career type, but there are also hedonists, intellectuals, family burdened, etc.
      They do have high expectations and ideals, but in my opinion they are entitled to. The current marriage contract is very exploitative against the female, and I’m not surprised that many women are aware enough to refuse it.

      I wrote this post Layla because although type 1 is from tolerated to comfortably accepted here, type 3 is considered a failure, a shame. I’m sick of seeing these girls so broken, thinking they’ve missed out on what they could have been. I’m sick of others accepting a lifestyle they don’t approve of at all for fear of turning into a type 3.

      The point of this blog is to be a homage to type 3. You girls rock my world, thank you <3

  2. Layla Says:

    Sorry I almost forget… I don’t know if you have watched the movie “Mona Lisa Smile” but what I meant in my last four lines is showed in that movie… =D

  3. Syrianish Says:

    Very interesting post, but it seems to me that you took examples from your everyday experience!

    There is much more to Syrian woman, than the few you mentioned.

    However, the majority of them are mostly type 1. Not to mention, you forgot about those who are type 1, but don’t get married. (:

    • seleucid Says:

      “type 1, but don’t get married. (:”

      Oh those break my heart :(.

      You have experienced a lot more of the Syrian society than I’m entitled to. I expect a detailed comment on type ones and what I have missed :)

  4. w43L Says:

    the girls in the picture in type 2 are lebanese

  5. Dareen Says:

    “It’s as if they’ve taught her the hymen spontaneously drops at age twenty.” LMAO
    I can tell type 1 are becoming a minority nowadays. Girls tend to have more appreciation for life than before. Unless their old-fashioned parents were the ones who gave them away that early (Wasn’t their decision to make).
    Anyway, I’m too good to relate to any of the above :P

    • seleucid Says:

      Well you can argue nobody becomes willingly type 1, but I don’t know. It just seems females are way too submissive to their fates than what’s good for them.

      And Dareeno, no stereotype defines you ;)

  6. Haitham Says:

    Well, Layla left nothing for me -us- to add/mumble :)

    I guess putting “stuff” like these in groups/categories is somehow misleading (in lack of a better word!)
    But as u said; it is a matter of personal observation/opinion.

    In my view it`s all relative and comes down to the sole situation of the person.

    There r a number of vital parameters other than “age” regarding this matter, all affecting the “categorization” :)

    Thanks for a good/fun read.

    H.

    • seleucid Says:

      LOL That’s why I titled it stereotypes. Stereotypes are always misleading and have a million gray areas. Just consider it a little fun thought experiment ;).

      Glad you liked it.

  7. علوش Says:

    بدي صيدو للقرش ولو صار بآخر بحر:

    “وأنا الصياد الذي لا يرتاح أبداً.
    الصياد الذي لا وطن له.
    والتي أقصدها ما تزال تطير أمامي، وأنا سأتبعها.
    مع أنها قادتني إلى ما وراء الجبال.
    وعبر بحارٍ بلا شموس.
    داخل الليل و الموت”

    - عن هرمان ملفيل

  8. 3aynak Bint 3aynak Says:

    “Don’t let them fool you, although these girls like flirting with freedom, they are never free”
    Truth if there ever was truth spoken.

    “Since she will still be living with her parents (even guys are still not into renting their own place here. I have no idea why)”
    Ok I’m gonna have to go to bat with you on this (and I’ve actually had this very argument on a blog before, so know I come with experience). First of all, it is not of our culture to leave the nest before marriage. We are not individualists, we are collective and we are familial. This is just another way of doing business, not necessarily better or worse than the “west”. I don’t see why we need to conform to the ridiculous standard of living away from family when family is so involved in every other aspect of our lives (and even if they weren’t, why on earth would you go to such extremes to distance yourself from people that have dedicated the last two decades to caring for you?) I get really offended when people insinuate that the only path of personal growth there is for me has to be away from my family and cannot possibly occur in tandem with my cultural traditions. If living with your family day in and day out doesn’t challenge you enough to make you an adult, I don’t know what will.
    Number two, how many middle eastern youth under the age of 25 do you know of who are making the income they need to be making to be independent? Few to none. We don’t have those type of salaries in the levant.

    I say we continue the “stay in the nest until you are damn well ready to transition into society comfortably and without having to resort to alternative means that might jolt our collective cultural fabric”. I can’t begin to tell you the heartbreaking stories I hear from my American friends about how they are HUNGRY… yes HUNGRY because their parents don’t want to send them $20 to buy food. Find me one Syrian who has said that.

    THE LEBANESE JEW HAS SPOKEN!

    • seleucid Says:

      I’m definitely not with the getting kicked out conformity, as you say, staying in and saying sane says much ;). But I’m also against the other kind, how everybody must stay in. Going out doesn’t necessarily mean cutting off completely finance-wise, many of our friends who have to switch cities for college do just that. Yes they are more deprived of money, but they are also more free. We envy them for that, and we should have the choice.

      The only way girls can be liberated from the authority of their parents is when they transition to the authority of the husband. It sucks any way you look at it.

  9. أمنية Says:

    u r missing many other types

  10. أمنية Says:

    but they not funny for me:(

  11. DeenZ Says:

    haha, i am jordanian but can totally relate. You missed type 4, she is almost the same as the shark, but she does not want the caring man and the children, she believes in something with a passion (does not matter what this passion is about, it can be stuffed mushrooms for all she cares, as long as she advocates for it with all her heart) … she patronizes he fellow women, looks down at some (especially type 1 & 2), and thinks she is better than our wary traditions (she actually says she is not westernized either)

  12. murkyone Says:

    Catagorizing women in my opinion can never be accurate but sadly in Syria it is somehow easy and what you wrote here has some truth about it, but I have to say that not all of the women fit in one of those catagories… You are talking about different personalities, different mentalities. One can be a mix of type 2 and 3 for example, ofcourse laying aside the fact that some of us can actually grow into a completely different and new catagory “Independent yet likes to have at least some support when needed, enjoys life and cares less about marriage and everything else as long as she’s happy; finding the right guy can be her last refuge”. It is too subjective to include all the women in Syria in only 3 poor catagories.

  13. Tarek fayed Says:

    I would see some truth in what I read, however, I believe that each person is different in their own way. Generally, I highly admire that most Syrian Girls are raised with admiration and respect to there home and values. In the Arab world they are considered top in wining a great wife at home. This basically helps in creating a successful man, and eventually a happy family.

    I would think that this is happening maybe due to less internet and media, which majorly affected women in Egypt ( as I am seeing the effect on daily basis here)

    I am a searcher for problems in relationships in the middle east, and media is a big influence (not in a good way). World wide, the idea of happy ending have polluted the expectations of women, and this effect makes a bigger gap between reality and expectations, resulting in non happy endings and increase of disputes and divorce rates.

    the more we see materialistic world pushing, the more I see less tenderness and caring from women, in which this is their specialty and men need it to pass the day.


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