#KolenaLaila: From a Radical Feminist to a Liberal: You Suck

Source Belief Net

Ever since my “teenage-hood” days, I followed the assumption that befriending writers, filmmakers, sculptures and those who’re interested in arts and revolutionary books are necessarily people with free minds, and hence, are people who won’t disrespect me as a female or the way I chose to live my life. I was not only wrong, I was also simplistic.

Today, large number of these people who used to be my friends have become/are becoming my enemies, for they, as the masses, they begin their sentences with the same line a lot of sexist people do: “A woman should/shouldn’t be/do bla bla bla….”.

First I want to give you examples of how liberal women and men prove to be sexists as they’re trying to be free from “conservative” values. Some of these people consider themselves feminists, progressives, thinkers, and activists, pro women and LGTBQ rights.

7 Reasons Why I hate “Liberals”, “Seculars”” and “Progressives”:

1-A Syrian filmmaker once told me: “you should have sex, no woman should be virgin, you shouldn’t follow your fathers’ rules, you should be free”. These words were addressed to me at the time I was telling him that I don’t want to have sex with you, I cannot be home late, and I cannot see you everyday.

Freedom to this guy is so simple, his revolution consists of doing exactly the opposite of what the society tells you not to. Women are shackled because they cannot have sex, so they’re free once they do. I am shackled and subjected to my father’s rule if I came home by 10:30, and I am free from my father once I come home at 12, 1, 2, 3 AM.

It’s fine with me if that’s his idea of revolution, but it’s not OK with me to dictate me how should I live my life. It is not OK with me to push me and pressure me onto doing what you think is best for me, for I and only I, know what’s best for me, and your job is to shut up and listen.

It is not OK with me to make me feel like I am a slave to men because I chose to not have sex with you. It is not OK to decide for me when is coming home late and when it isn’t when I am the one who’s OK living with such situation. and it’s certainly not OK with me to listen to you telling me how you like women to be: sexually active and partying with you all night.

It’s really easy not be sexist, homophobic, racist or sectarian: you just have to have good ethics. I really believe that. I think a lot of people push themselves into other people’s business, and once they do, it’s clear that their own voice is more important than those they speak of and about. Think of how the media would change if each journalist would stop talking and bullshitting and start listening to indigenous people’s needs and to their own understanding of their reality.

Another example of liberal bullshit is when 2-A Lebanese filmmaker once told me, that when a woman decides to wear the veil she is by doing so offending him and insulting him, that she is hiding her body from him because she assumes he is an animal. He said that women should dress less because that’s when they show their respect and trust to men. He also said that a woman who wears the veil is a stupid woman, or to put it in his exact words: “with no brains”.

Here to be liberal is to be against religion and religious people.
Notice how liberal minds work: to be liberal is not to be a conservative-assuming not having sex, coming home “early” and being religious, are signs of being a conservative. The conservative to liberals is the person who does the expected, the familiar, the known. “Conservatives” are boring, that is.

It’s very important to notice that it is not the “attitude” the liberals have towards people who don’t adopt liberal values that’s problematic and hypocritical, but the “logic” per se, for it’s the condescending liberal logic that’s producing such condescending attitude.

The 3rd example is when my Lebanese ex-boyfriend told me that I should leave my parents and live with him, if I don’t want to live with him that’s OK, but I should leave my parents. Parents are the worse thing ever happened to children. Children become free once they live alone. The same guy told me a year later that I should have sex with my girlfriend because I should experience sex with females. He kept saying for 20 minutes what I should do. I was clear that I wasn’t comfortable with having sex in hotel rooms and during noon. It is really a weird fucked up feeling when you’re put in a situation that you should explain yourself to people. I was practically defending my right not to have sex when I don’t want to. But to some liberals, sex is the taboo you should seek breaking it, just for the heck of it.

4-A Syrian expatriate once told me that I should not accept my father’s rule of being home at 10:30. He said that I am 29 years old now, I should set my own rules and that I should defy my father. He wouldn’t be on this list and on this post if he stopped talking when I said: “I am OK with it”.

5-A gay female foreigner said to me with a surprise : “you get home by 10:30? you don’t stay late at night on the weekends?” Any woman who does not stay out late at night is considered shackled and subjected to masculine rules to these progressive people. How cool are they, how liberated, and how boring and backward of me, for not staying with her till 3 AM in Damascus. You’re free and cool and part of the advanced progressive global community, if you, like them, follow rules set by the advanced progressive countries.

6-An Arab blogger at the Arab bloggers conference asked me how could a woman like me who’s not veiled supports Hamas and Hezballa. He asked me if I am OK with the Islamic state, I said yes I am [since no one really knows what that is, we just know what the modern Islamic state looks like, and I have a problem with modernity not Islam]. It was a surprise for him, that a woman who is not veiled and who drinks alcohol and supportive of freedom of gender difference and gender rights can also be supportive of Islamic resistance. This blogger doesn’t live in the region, so I guess I can understand why he was so surprised. But still, liberal minds just amaze me with their simplicity.

7-Finale example, a guy kissed me on the mouth out of nowhere, I said no, he left. I was pissed at him when he took off so I told him online that not only you had no right to kiss me with no romantic vibes in the air, but you also left and did not respect my wishes nor take the responsibility of your volunteered actions, with which you invaded my personal space. You came to fuck me and left when you couldn’t. He said: “I have the right to kiss you, and you have the right to refuse”.

What can you possibly say to this guy? Men have the right to kiss women, and women, all they can do is accept or decline this romantic action forced on them. Women are not part of that very decision, to be kissed, they’re just part of fulfilling it or not.

This reminds me of the power implemented in sexual intercourse itself, it’s the penis that enters, and the vagina that receives. This sexual mechanism is reflected in men and women’s attitude towards each other in many ways: dating, relationships, marriage..etc. The man enters a woman’s space, a woman accepts or refuses. Same with sexual harassment, which is my reading to this guy’s action above who kissed me uninvited. This idea of the power implemented in sexual intercourse is to be discussed in some other post.

To me, these are examples of sexist, dictator and fascist Liberalism. A person who believes in social traditions and habits does not respect a woman who drinks, who has an active sex life and who stays out late at night. These liberal people above follow the same logic, some don’t not respect women’s choice to wear the veil and belittle their reason when doing so, some do not respect and acknowledge women’s right not to have sex when they choose not to. Some don’t respect women’s right not to defy masculine rules when they choose not to. To them, to liberals, a woman should follow western, I mean “universal” values of being a free woman: wearing less clothes, drinking alcohol, eating pork, having sex and partying all night long on the weekends.

There are really a lot of examples to liberal bullshit, I will write about Arab liberal politics soon, which won’t be nice at all.

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35 thoughts on “#KolenaLaila: From a Radical Feminist to a Liberal: You Suck

  1. nightS says:

    I hate them all for the same reasons!!
    A so called liberal guy once asked me when he found out I’m engaged ‘So at what sexual level are you two now?’ I was supposed to have some kind of a sexual activity level(or maybe not..just the act of sex as you said) and share the details with him!!! And he wasn’t even my friend aslan!!! And when I refused to answer..he was surprised!

    Loved the post :) And by the way.. I have to be home by 11:00 :P I guess that makes me more open and free by 30 minutes :P

    Salam

  2. RevSocialist says:

    Greeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeat post ya razan!!!! i agree completely about these “liberal” fucks who think that imitating the west and it’s specific manifestations of sexism, classism, and narrow-mindedness makes u “civilized” or “progressive” or “liberated”…NO! all it does is make u a stupid fuck! keep up the great blogging comrade!

  3. dalalandlaila says:

    يسلمو دياتك رفيقة. والله أنا شفت متل هيك، وموافقة على رايك 100%..

  4. mohammad nourallah says:

    People like those give liberalism a shit name in this part of the world, and they are many unfortunately. They are not liberals – but fascists just like you described them in the end. Liberalism is not like that. The main and basic principle of liberalism… the most fundamental principle and the core of it is mainly to respect someone else’s space, with all its meanings – space of though – space of behavior – space of existence…etc. The people you mentioned are fundamentalists, racists and dictating faces hiding behind the word (liberal – secular – whatever…). You think if we had true liberals and seculars we would still be in shit?
    I agree with all what you said, but not with the title. If I were you I would call it (from a liberal feminist to a fascist hypocrite (so-called- liberal)) and I wouldn’t even give them the pleasure of the word (you suck)
    Happy New Year

  5. Anas Qtiesh says:

    Hi,

    I agree that the instances you mentioned are unacceptable and shameful examples of social attitudes.

    But to label them all as “sexist, dictator and fascist Liberalism” is in itself a simplistic generalization.

    I agree with your sentiment towards the people who hold those views/ did those actions but I find your wording problematic. Why do you need to “label” those very different people and views under one label? I remember you once being in a Facebook group against labeling people.

    Regards to you my friend.

  6. Rana says:

    I am utterly speechless.I havent read such a provocative mind blowing radical piece. hope alot of people get to read this.

    • Keri says:

      Loved this piece. Hit _all_ the right buttons. Why should I feel like a freak because my ideals don’t fit their perceptions.

  7. Jillian C. York says:

    You know, I do agree with you on most of this, especially on the behavior of so-called liberal men. And, well, the entire last paragraph.

    But, I have to say, I don’t think it’s fair to lump being against religion and being against religious people in as the same concept. One is an ideology, and the other is just bullshit.

  8. bint battuta says:

    “I think a lot of people push themselves into other people’s business, and one they do, it’s clear that their own voice is more important than those they speak of and about.”

    Spot on.

    Superb post, Razan.

  9. Kwiir Kwiin says:

    This reminds me of a book I read: Saba Mahmood’s Politics of Piety. It discusses the issues around liberal politics and its short-cummings from a slightly different perspective. Have you read it, by chance?

  10. Zaher says:

    i totally agree.
    and with my total respect to their opinions, to me it sounds just like narcissistic crap.
    “oh i’m so liberal i can say what i like blah blah blah, do this , blah blah do that”

    good post i enjoyed reading it.

  11. Ruslan Trad says:

    I want interview with you for my blog! Pls, contact me!

    I want to do an interview with you for my blog and hope that will soon be able to meet in Syria with you when traveling to Syria. I am delighted!

  12. Princesse de Clèves says:

    Great post. I do agree with every line.

    I think it would have been useful to precise the political consequences of such a liberal discourse filled with imperialist arrogance (even if you described the liberal’s attitude in a more intimate and personal context). It’s so common and annoying to see how liberal “thinkers”, in the last instance, are using feminism against feminists themselves by invading and destroying the countries these women precisely live in – i.e Afghanistan.
    How could they even dare suggesting it was for Afghani women while in 2005, 1,181 women were murdered by an intimate partner in the U.S?! That’s an average of three women every day. [/source]

    So-called liberals should never forget this sentence: “The emancipation of the workers will be the work of the workers themselves” for the emancipation of the Arab/Muslim/non-Western women will be the work of the Arab/Muslim/non-Western women THEMSELVES.

  13. EngyG says:

    Amazing article ya Razan, meeting too many liberal have been depressing me, especially my close friends who started calling themselves “liberal” this is “the” article to describle the situation.
    Let alone the pressure practiced in their groups on any person holding on to what they believe in.
    I can’t thank you enough for the analysis! amazing!
    Engy

  14. محمد الشنيتي says:

    مرحبا
    بصراحة أتوق لنوع حواري مثل هذا الذي يحاول مع طول الأيام الوصول إلى الحقيقة في عصر الظنون بالرغم من كل الغشاوات التي تعمي بصائرنا عن الحق، مازلت أتابع بشغف أصداء ذلك الهامش الذي يمكن لنا أن نضخمه من خلال حرية تنتزع من أيادي المتحكمين بغض النظر عن اعتباراتهم التي باتت معرقلا لتحضرنا ومنها رزانياتك الجريئة أحيانا والمستفزة كثيرا لكنها تضع اليد على الجرح، الكل في هذا الزمان مخطئ لأنه يمارس الضياع الممنهج ولايريد أن يسمع للآخر ولهذا يسود جو عدائي بين كل الفئات سواء الإسلاميين أو العلمانيين.

  15. fatma says:

    Can not agree more with you, I hate it when people who claim that they are open minded, enlightened and progressive, hire themselves as lawmakers and judges and ask you to subscribe their ideas , or otherwise you are conservative and they just been judgmental and they exclude you from their social circles. Well said 

  16. Nader says:

    The individuals you mentioned in this post are more retarded ignorant perverts than liberals. I do not see why it is so complicated for everyone to understand that a female, just like a male, has the right to decide whatever she wishes to do in any way she finds suitable. She has a mind she can use and a heart that would guide her through. I don’t see why there is a fear of personal freedom when it comes to a female, yet a great lust for control and domination over her. It’s either that they do not trust the female or they do not trust their own selves. I believe it is the latter.

  17. Nader says:

    Oh, and I do not see what drinking and having fun has to do with supporting an Islamic state. Why should these to be related? Drinking and having fun is a personal lifestyle. An Islamic state is a system of public governance, not a name of a nightclub or a vodka brand.

    Allow me to have my own replies at what these kids keep saying:

    “An Arab blogger at the Arab bloggers conference asked me how could a woman like me who’s not veiled supports Hamas and Hezballa”

    Because Hamas and Hezballa are about grassroots resistance towards a just cause and not about being vieled or not veiled ya hmaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar lol

    “But to some liberals, sex is the taboo you should seek breaking it, just for the heck of it.”

    Sex is a way of making love, energized by great passion. Its not about female and male organs being liberated. They already are in everyone’s personal space.

    “To them, to liberals, a woman should follow western, I mean “universal” values of being a free woman: wearing less clothes, drinking alcohol, eating pork, having sex and partying all night long on the weekends.”

    A woman should be allowed to follow whatever makes her comfortable and happy. Albeit veil or not veil, drink or no drink, pork or lamb, having sex or abstaining, coming home at 3 a.m or sleeping at 7 p.m. Nothing should dicate her lifestyle except her own self. This is called Logic 101.

    And my favorite part: “He said: “I have the right to kiss you, and you have the right to refuse”. What can you possibly say to this guy?”

    Next time tell him: I have the right to kick you in the balls, and you have the right to scream in pain :D

    I don’t think you’ll need help in replies, but in case you do let me know. I’d enjot it lol

  18. Ssirgany says:

    There are two types of this “you suck” liberals brand:

    1. Those who confuse liberalism as ideology with a lifestyle; thinking that having a drink would make them liberals while they maintain their close-minded bigoted views of the world and everyone else. Ironically, they are the same as those who think rituals of a religion, sans any spirituality, would make pious people of them.

    2. Those apply a sort of liberal/secular fanaticism, banishing anyone who doesn’t subscribe to their definition of liberalism (ideology and lifestyle) from their exclusive heaven of pseudo intellectualism. Again, they are like the same religious fanatics they always criticize, unwelcoming of any thought that deviates from their strict (divine) interpretation of religion/liberalism.

    Like you, both get on my nerves, especially with their offensive, dismissive attitude.

    Brilliant post Razan :)

  19. Moonstar Silverwolf says:

    All I can say is..wow. I have been thinking and advocating everything you say within this post most of my adult life. You somehow say it better than I could, which is just fascinating. I’m definitely going to share this (even though I know you wrote it a while ago.

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