culture, discussion, Gender, psychology, religions

Breaking The Wall


the copyright of the pic is for firendarkness
the copyright of this pic goes for firendarkness

Have you ever heard of the westbank wall that separates Israel from Palestine. Well, we have exactly the same one in Saudi Arabia, but it is between men and women. This wall was built as a result of religious and social conflicts and so people thought that building such a wall is probably the best way to avoid the conflicts. Many people nowdays come to realize that the separation was such a stupid solution because separation between genders, races and religions has never  ever solved any conflicts. It has in fact caused more conflict than ever before. In my opinion, I think:

  • Separation wall is always built to give one group more power over the another one and in our case, men are taking the power over women.
  • Separation leads one group to build his understanding of the others based on an assumption that is often untrue and unreal. It is even worse to realized that people begin to behave and act based what they assume and what has been assumed of them. 
  • Separation moves the society backwards because there is no channel of communication to exchange the ideas and knowledges between men and women. Saudi women are very creative and amazingly talented. So, their absent in any intellectual and social discussion cause huge gap. 

What do you think of the idea of seperation? Do you agree or disagree? and why?

11 thoughts on “Breaking The Wall”

  1. This perennial question is always stimulating and complex. Given that everything you say is true, how would you discourage the kind of immoral behaviour that segregation of sexes supposedly addresses?

    The illicit relationships between men and women have always been a thorn in the side of Western countries, with free mixing and the temptations thereof. I don’t know if I am for or against segregation.

    When I lived in Riyadh, I got used to it and even appreciated it because I knew my husband was not having lunch with beautiful secretaries while I working alone in the house making it nice and comfortable for our family.

    If there is a happy medium, how does a society observe it without going overboard in either direction?

  2. Dear Marahm, segregation hasn’t helped to prevent the immoral behaviors in all the past experience. If the immoral behavior exist, it is going to be there regardless of whether segregation inquired or not.
    I think if we want to deal with immoral behavior, we have to take care of it from the first place through education and social awareness, Otherwise, nothing will change.

  3. “Education and “social awareness”?! You are not serious, are you? Because if you are, I will have to laugh at your face. And what exactly do you define by “immoral behaviour”? Its immoral to impose your “morals” onto someone else.

  4. Immoral behaviour, Pari, is not difficult to define, especially within the clearly stated directives of Islam.

    I, too, believe that “education and social awareness” are indeed the most effective deterents to immoral behaviour. They are also the most idealistic and most difficult to teach.

    Murtadha is correct in saying that segregation does not prevent immoral behvaviour. Human nature is human nature. Where there is a will, there is a way.

    The big difficulty occurs because people possess varying degrees of ability to understand and incorporate the goals of “education and social awareness.” A modicum of societal control can bridge the gap. Segregation serves this purpose, but Murtadha’s observations suggest that segregation in his society has swung into a perversion of its original intent.

    I don’t think it’s immoral to impose your morals upon someone else, but that’s another conversation.

  5. But “imoral” is a very vast concept. I understand “immoral” as prostitution, child abuse, animal abuse, killing innocents, waging wars (unnecessary wars), child pornography , sex for drugs, expoilation, human traffiking, etc. Not practicing abstinence is not necessarily immoral. Its very easy to “coin” people immoral just because they don’t fit our “moral standards”, but these people may have other high morals, they may be pro -life, against abortion, agains same sex marriage, they maybe good parents etc.
    Tolerance, that’s what should be preached, not abstinence. The Talibans are already “teaching ” and raising “awareness”, check out their methods on You Tube. I was not taught things from religious prospect of view, thanks to God, and I believe in human rights and freedom. And I don’t want people like Murtadha infringe on my personal freedom. I choose my way of life, not others. I would be punished/rewarded for it, not the others. So there’s no sense in “educating ” me what I already know about.

  6. As a western woman i never understand the need of separating women and men, in Europe history men and women alway worked side by side (granted women had less rights even back at the beginning of the xx century). As you stated separation doesn’t help a country to move forward…just think of how many women gave (madam Curie who won two Nobel prizes at the beginning of the XX century).

    I have the opinion that many muslims think that every western woman is a slut those men’s opinion is based only watching western tv programs, here in Europe men and women live/work togheter but this doesn’t mean that every woman jump on every man. I don’t know if the “need” to protect women is based on the religious belief or a cultural background or maybe a mix of them.

    I think KSA has a long way to achieve since it’s far more easy to break a phisical wall than a mental/cultural one….

    One last thing i simply can’t understand why the saudi behave in one way when they are in KSA but as soon as they are abroad the behave in another way

  7. It’s a complicated problem Murtadha. I agree with Marahm that no matter how hard a society tries to separate men from women, immorality will still happen.

    The great problem I guess lies in people who have different ideas about segregation, how much women and men mix and how much they remain separated.

    However, I do agree that some people do go overboard on this.

  8. I believe that people can be sexually immoral despite society being segregated. The problem lies with personal responsibility. If a man wanted to meet up with his secretary, he could do it no matter what society said. And the fault is not society and the lack of segregation. It’s with himself – his desire to fulfill his personal lusts. So the solution isn’t forcing segregation. It is with each person choosing to do right. Choosing to work side by side with men and women and remaining faithful to his/her spouse and to his faith. It’s choosing to resist temptation. It’s not the job of society and the religious police to protect us from our sinful natures. It’s OUR jobs and if we did our jobs, we wouldn’t require morality police in the case of KSA and society wouldn’t have to deal with problems (e.g. STDS, unwanted pregnancies) such as we have here in the USA.

    Great to see you posting again, Murtadha. I enjoy reading what you have to write.

  9. Countrygirl,coralbead and susanne430
    Thank you all for sharing your view. you guys always Enrich any discussion in my blog by your participation

  10. @Marahm you said: ‘When I lived in Riyadh, I got used to it and even appreciated it because I knew my husband was not having lunch with beautiful secretaries while I working alone in the house making it nice and comfortable for our family.’

    Seriously? My husband can go out and have lunch every day with beautiful secretaries and it wouldn’t worry me one tiny bit because I know him and I know our relationship. If I worried or had to feel grateful that he didn’t have that opportunity our marriage wouldn’t be worth much to me.

  11. Hello,

    With regards to morality I think that much of differenciating between what is moral and what is not moral accompanies judgement. Judgement includes the social and the “law,” which also comes with punishments, social and legal.

    Behaviours that are often deemed immoral like, adultry or promiscuity (usually but not always, female adultry or promiscuity) are often divorced from their original source that have said that they are immoral. The “how” did this come to pass is separated from the “why” did this come to pass.

    I do not have the space to dive into a radicaly analysis of the “hows” and “whys” of sexual taboos here, but I was reminded of a quote by Wayne Dyer, “When you judge someone you do not define them. You define yourself.”

    Perhaps adultry is immoral because it is so painful and dishonest. Perhaps it is as simple as that. I think that it is imortant to “let go and let God.” Segregated or not, some things are not in out control.

    I have heard gender segregation is often compared with racial segregation in South Africa. Officially there is no longer racial segregation in SA, however the root of the problem the radical cause persists. Predjudice is prevleant in western societies because the root of the issue has not been dealt with. Masking terms like “multicultualism” and “equal opportunity,” fall like thick plaster to muffle sounds of dialouge and discussion.

    Adultry persits in gender segregated societes because the root of the matter has not been dealt with, “Truly in the body there is a morsel of flesh, which if it be whole and which if it be diseased, all of it is diseased. Truly it is the heart.” -Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.

    It is useless to hide or separate bodies if the heart is unreachable, impossible to come to a logical conclusion of morality without discussing the heart of the matter.

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