Save the women and children! But what about the men?

Palais des Nations - the main UN building in Geneva where Syrian peace talks currently are taking place.

Palais des Nations – the main UN building in Geneva where Syrian peace talks currently are taking place.

The Geneva II conference agreement of today allows women and children of the city Homs to leave immediately to seek safety. I cannot help but wonder why women’s lives are considered to be more valuable than men’s. It’s the same thinking which allowed women and children to leave sinking boats first, and fuels the stereotype that men’s responsibility is to sacrifice themselves and die for the greater good. Why shouldn’t women do the same?

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A feminine letter!

I have just taken my first Arabic class, and to my amusement there is a letter which indicates that a word is feminine (as opposed to masculine!) It’s called ‘taa marbuTa’! (Why didn’t the French think about this???) It even rhymes with ‘ktiir mabsuta’, which means ‘very happy’!

Here it is:

Capture d’écran 2014-01-21 à 18.27.32

Everybody has an opinion about gender equality

GenderEven if I use money every day, I would never claim to be an economist or have the audacity to write an article about finance. Even if I use a phone every day, I would shut up and listen when technicians explain to my why it’s not working. The same with oxygen… I breath it every day, but wouldn’t claim to understand the chemistry behind it. However, strangely enough, with regards to gender equality, everybody seems to have a strong opinion about it based on their own experiences, and think of themselves as authorities on the subject just because they are a gender, or perhaps because they are vaguely known in a totally different area of expertise. I wonder if people who work with gender equality ever will get any respect for our knowledge, except hear that we are “feminist man-haters”. Sigh.