Friday, 7 August 2009

I am lucky…

A SUDANESE journalist facing 40 lashes for wearing "indecent" trousers vowed on the eve of her judgement that she is ready to be whipped 40,000 times in her bid to change the country's harsh laws.,25197,25874951-32682,00.html

When I first started fulltime work at 18, I was employed at a major department store. The rule was women were not allowed to wear slacks/pants/trousers – call ‘em what you will. They had to wear skirts and dresses and pantyhose. This was around 1982. Save yourself the math – I’m 45. Anyway, I always thought this was dumb because I had been working at Maccas (McDonalds) since I was 15 and the uniform included slacks. But, in 1982, the department store job was just about getting a bit more money before I went to go overseas to work so the trouser rule while stupid, I put up with.

Police arrested Hussein and 12 other women wearing trousers at a Khartoum restaurant on July 3. Two days later 10 of the women accepted a punishment of 10 lashes, but Hussein is appealing in a bid to eliminate such rough justice.,25197,25874951-32682,00.html

"We are here to protest against this law that oppresses women and debases them," said one of the protesters, Amal Habani, a female columnist for the daily Ajraas Al Hurria, or Bells of Freedom in Arabic.,2933,536590,00.html

How lucky am I? I can wear trousers every day at work without anyone telling me it’s unacceptable or obscene because it reminds men I have a vagina and an arse. I am free from being flogged just because I am different, outspoken and myself. I am free because I can chat to a man in a gym without it being considered dishonorable to my family. I am lucky because I can go to a gym and wear form fitting track pants. I am lucky because I earn my own money and I can pay for a gym. I am lucky that I can give back as good as I get from men at work without being punished. I am lucky that men have to ask me permission to do something. I am lucky I can speak freely and piss people off and risk nothing but someone disliking me. I am lucky I can pick and choose and that I rely on no man. I am lucky I am not considered an outcast as I see no point, for me, in marriage. I am lucky I have a car and a house and no man makes me feel like I should be grateful for him providing it. I am lucky I can write what I do without having to justify or explain it. I am lucky that I am not governed by archaic religious laws that if even a higher power existed would have considered a load of crap. I am free to do what I want, be what I want, say what I want. That is a power that I know I, and a lot of other women, take for granted. We have so much powerful when other women have so little.

Shame on the religious bigots and over-zealous authorities in Sudan. I admire Lubna Hussein and every woman in any oppressive regime or country who says “I refuse to take this shit from you any more.” The risks you take for freedom humble me.
Be an Amarinda book


Alex Jenson said...

that's a great comment. What kind of books are you writing? Just steamy love stuff?

Unknown said...

G'day Alex...yeah 'steamy love stuff...thanks for dropping by mate