Saturday, May 19, 2007

Shame of a Gender

Last night my girlfriend and I decided we wanted to go out, listen to music and watch people as we were unescorted by children. :o)

However, since neither one of us goes out at night aside from the ventures to the mall so the kids (Amira and my friend’s niece and nephew) can play in the play area, Starbucks, or any other place that allows children, we were uncertain as to where to go. Recalling there was a little place inside a hotel not far from my house we decided to meander over there.

Securing a relatively good spot with a bird’s eye view of the patrons, the dance floor, the beautifully lit pool outside behind us, and yet still remaining obscurely tucked away, we immediately found ourselves looking at one another with our eyes wide open. We mutually agreed the music was nice, the atmosphere was comfortable and the diversity of customers were amazing, conjuring the assumption we were probably in for a good night of entertainment.

However, quickly I found myself filled with a plethora of feelings. To name a few they ranged from interest, disgust, and sadness. The crowd that filled the room was of all ages, cultures, and spiritual backgrounds, which was what mostly peaked my interest. Fascinated to know why each and ever person was there that specific evening, for I knew why I was there. Gathering from our observation deck it appeared some were frequent flyers, others were there celebrating accomplishments (graduating class of nurses), some were hotel guests merely passing the evening away, and others seemed to be their as exhibitionist hoping to capture attention. (I’m always intrigued when seeing such diversities celebrating their interest separately yet still remaining a part of the whole.)

Earnestly there was a part of sadness that fell over me seeing the ones that appeared to be frequent flyers of the establishment (i.e., those that probably come here every weekend or maybe even every night of the week). Curious to know how one’s life could be so empty and void that they have no other interest than to land ‘here’ regularly. That felt lonely and sad. Of course, these are big assumptions on my part, as that’s how I would feel.

Capturing on the part of the evening that brought the writing of this post and ultimately the title of it, I found myself feeling incredulously astounded by the behavior of my own gender. Why is it that they seem to have absolutely no shame?

It would have been one thing if it were only a few of a small group that were there having fun, but it wasn’t. There were a number of women from all the groups I previously mentioned that were displaying themselves in a most untasteful manner.

I have no problem with people having fun and being silly, but irrefutably within reason. I suppose that bound of reason is up to the individual; however, the masses seemed to all be justified in their tawdry behavior. The thought that ran through my head was “do you still wonder why you are single?” Certainly, neither this evening nor this establishment was a place to meet my future husband—far from that; however, it did seem to clear some things up for me.

Again, only my observation, but it would seem people are lonely, starved for attention, and yet so closed off emotionally (their hearts are boarded up like Fort Knox) that they act out in strange manners. Moreover, the mannerism of the majority of the women in this establishment left me feeling ashamed. For how can someone think so little of them self or have so little integrity to not be concerned? Even though I consider myself pretty open-minded, I just can’t stand vulgar exhibitionism. Always reminds me of a saying my mom would use “why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free”.

Definitely not a prude or uptight as I’ve done some silly things in my day, and not wanting to seem as if I’m perched on a thrown passing judgment, but merely attempting to process what I witnessed and the effects thereof.

In spite of this, without seeming so dismal and gray, my girlfriend and I did enjoy one another’s company and spent countless hours laughing and talking.


Mixed Up Me said...

Did you see anyone form my post there? Just wondering what exactly it is they do after Starbucks closes! Maybe they act as reflectors on the side of the road . . .

Anyway, I hope that you had fun nonetheless!!

mani said...

Salam ibee,

you encourage an interesting perspective here, and one close to my heart (you probably have guessed that already) :)

I noticed that the word 'shame' is one of those words that Syme, (from Orwell's 1984) recently deleted from oldspeak disctionary.. glaring accomplishment of our sinning collective.

It has no more meaning for the individual without the context of society which determines it. that means, it has no personal value judgement behind it, except that determined by the group.

'shame' now means nothing more than to be the oddball. to be recognised as different from the rest, and to feel inferior as a result.

All spiritual connections are lost. All individual purpose from it is erased..

For people nowadays, Shame is;

not to wear what other are wearing,
not to acheive what other are acheiving,
not to be 'recognised' by their accepted models
or to be punished, directly or indirectly, for violating the norms of the group.

to avoid shame is to avoid being the odd one out, to dress in the same uniform at work, to consume the same products, to follow the same fashion trends..

the baa baa mentality of herd animals following the head of the pack, stuck in an emotional sheep pen once robbed of their own reason.

what do you do when fake messahias and role models of modern day 'fun' constantly show us that the norm is vulgar exhibitionism.. that true liberation is liberation from all 'morality' cause this nusiance, morality just a hindrance we have invented, that gets in the way of enjoying our 'free' time?? (notice the use of the word 'free time' as opposed to the time u spend in slavery 80% of ur week).. and as long as you have 'fun', then that's all that matters???

But the origional meaning of 'shame' will always remain. it's ingrained in our hearts and nature, by decree of Allah swt. All of us will discover it someday. that's a promise. we will either discover it while delivered from ignorance.. or delivered from existence.. for the those who die in ignorance.. they are the same thing.


Anglo-Libyan said...

Salam ibeebarbie
I am glad that you had a nice night out with your friend :o)

you know here in Britain we have TV programs that follow young men and women that go out and get plasteres and behave shamefully, one is called Booze Britain and to be honest its so embarassing watching their behavioue, specially the young ladies who at the beginning of the prgram are well dressed and happy then you see them completely out of it, throwing up, punching others, falling in the street and sometimes just collapsing and falling asleep on the pavement.
They have an advert now on TV to encourage women to drink sensibly, this advert just shows the above mentioned behaviour by these ladies to try and make women have respect for themselves.

a_akak said...

First of all I am soooooo happy that you had fun and I think all mothers should get a break once in a while :) as taking care of the young is a 24/7 so for that i am HAPPY FOR YOU :)

Now lets get down to business, I usually have the same questions and sometimes I see people I respect and look up reduced to "low life’s" with NO dignity and none self respect, however, all these features are intertwined and mixed by one substance (usually) and that is Alcohol........ why do they drink? I don’t get it?

I was talking about this topic with a girl (who was complaining about a hangover) I use to know in University and I asked her the same question “Why do you drink” and she answered me by "To have a good Time", but then I told her "what is the difference between us humans and animals?", the obvious answer should the "brain", then I told her "when you drink too much what do you become or reduced too" she took a few seconds and told me "Uncontrolled or as you say an animal" and then I said "That’s how I see you when you drink" then she left, and after a few days sent me an e-mail saying "You are right and I am going to try to stop" (we will see) ……. But I also believe most girls are attention seekers and that’s why they compete who can wear the shortest skirt, or who can be more revealing.

Thank you for bring up this topic,

Fe Aman Allah

ibeebarbie said...

Mixed Up Me, I believe you are right. :o)

ibeebarbie said...

Wasalam Mani,

Yes, yes, yes!
I agree we (the collective masses) have become a society that has undeniably accomplished ourselves based on removing anything that would seem or appear negative and replace it with a more socially acceptable norm. One-way of implementing this change is through the use of humor as well as flooding it through media perception (form of brain washing, so to speak). If we can make the masses laugh about a shameful, inappropriate, uncomfortable position somehow in the psyche it changes the perception, thus resulting in tolerance and to even some degree acceptance. Rather sad state of affairs.

However, as you so beautifully stated no matter how far we run or where we hide the decree of Allah (swt) will always be within each and every one of us, Allah Akbar.

ibeebarbie said...

Wasalam Anglo-Libyan,

Thank you we did have a fun time, and the goodness is neither of us suffered self-inflected hangovers because we don’t drink. Can you imagine????? No drinking? How shameful in itself to be in an establishment that sell alcohol and not get smashed out of our minds. Tsk, tsk! :o)

I laugh at the TV programs you mention and their TV advertising in an attempt to “settle” those wild kittens down. When in reality it’s probably just sensationalizing the event to make it look ‘fun’. Moreover, if they are advertising it, then those that aren’t a part of this scene somehow may feel left out and then push themselves to become like everyone out. As God forbid anyone would want to feel left out or like an oddball.

I’ve scene these scenarios both on TV and in person, and certainly there’s a difference in “performance” between the genders. Not to support or encourage such behavior, however, I’m curious to know what makes women act out far more to the extreme then men?

ibeebarbie said...

Wasalam Ahmed,

Thank you for your well wishes and support. Some days I wonder if Amira is the one that needs more of a break from me than her. ;-)

I agree with your question----Why do they drink? Is it to mask the insecurity with inside them? I think the root word would be Fear. People are so afraid, which is merely a direct result of being disconnect from the truth---our core----Allah. Time and time again I see those that have been inflicted with pain, close of their hearts, only to live a more painful existence---imprisoned actually. Because as soon as they closed their heart off, in an attempt to protect themselves, the also closed their heart off to the healings, nurturing and love of Allah---who is the core of that ever special dwelling spot.

I applaud you for your honest opinion of how you saw the girl when she drank. I applaud that you respected her enough to tell her the truth. Apparently it made an impact with her, so much so that she sent you an email indicating she was going to “try” to stop. Truly a cry for acceptance.

I do agree women are attention seekers for we long to be desired; however, it has been taken so out of context that now we have these grave displays of rubbish.

Fe Aman Allah

cofman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cofman said...

Thanks for writing this, Ibeebarbie

Years ago I had a chat with an old lady at the bus stop
I didn’t know her, she was to me, as I was to her, total strangers ..

The bus we wanted to take approached the bus stop, slowed down … but never stopped .. it just left us watching speechless

I looked at the lady .. she looked at me … with a puzzled smile … and said: it takes all kinds of people to make a world

nice post btw, and thanks for sharing

ibeebarbie said...

Salam Cofman,
Thanks for sharing. Wise words for certain by the lady you were visiting with at the bus stop. It does take all kinds to make this crazy world go by.