Friday, 28 September 2012

To advertise to not to advertise



One of the many disadvantages of growing up is people just don’t let you be – esp when you are a desi girl. There is an army of relatives and an even worse army of “well-wishers” who keep leaping at your parents every opportunity they get about when & how they are getting their grown up daughter married, what preparations have they done and the likes. Which hypnotizes them into thinking more serenely, and more often about it. Ok. That I can deal with- I think. Somehow getting my parents to wait for the right time is easier said than done. Depending on our varying definitions of the right time.   
A week ago an aunt asked my mom to send a picture of a well dressed me so that she could show it to some boy’s family and see. My mom instantly refused. Thank god for her. She told that aunt that my daughter is not someone you display around until someone likes her. Of course I agree. 

As muslims what would be the point of our hijab if we did actions like this? What would be the point in covering ourselves so people can’t see us in 3D, but is 2D uncovering ok?   We cover ourselves to protect our identity, to please our creator. The hijab empowers us because people do not get the opportunity to judge us by any shallow means, but they are forced to view us as intellectual beings, they are forced to judge us by character and conduct, not by looks and style. The hijab automatically pushes away unwanted responses, dirty sly looks, cheap approaches and I, for one, strictly adhere to it. I don’t care how oppressed people think I am because I know I am not oppressed & to those who think so it really would not matter even if I was, I don’t care how retarded others may think I am because I know I am not, and those random onlookers don’t care enough- so screw what others think.  
Then comes along an uncle telling my dad, make a bio-data of hers, you know stating her age, height, weight, educational qualifications, what household chores she’s good at (well excuse me? buying a vacuum or a dishwasher?) and the likes and we can put it up in some websites and look for her. (Sir could you please mind you own business?)

And my dad tells me to make one. Et tu dad? After all these years of being over protective, now you want to advertise me to look for a guy for me. In my personal opinion, I find it very demeaning to advertise men or women by stating all their pros and putting it up like an advertisement so people can see what suits them and pick and chose. Ok. I’m not saying everyone needs to stop doing it. Many people I know are fine with it –I don’t care. I just don’t want to advertise myself. It seems so shallow.  You cannot judge a person by merely checking out their qualifications, or their hobbies or how good they are at household chores. It takes a character judgment to make the choice – you may be wrong, you may be right- but marriage is that kind of a gamble right?  You can’t just put up a person on sale like that, even if it does not involve the money.

But convincing paranoid parents gets harder by the day.

9 comments:

  1. assalamu alaykum wa rahmatullah, I would say 'to not advertise'. Are the family who want to see you far away? Maybe even chat on line using skype with both families in the room so keeps formal I think is better than a un modest picture. You are right about marriage being a gamble. Only Allah knows what will become of it but trusting Allah no matter what befalls is our rope. Have you seen his pic??

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    1. waalaik as salaam sanaa, i don't even know yet if there is a guy- the uncle asked my dad so he could you know pass it around. its just that the very thought of making a written advertisement of myself seems so crude..

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  2. A great post, honestly i don't think that you could have put in words, what the hijab is actually there for, in better words. i hate the whole 'advertising' thing, and if your mother has actually refused that then you know what they say 'mother knows best', surprised actually of how many people are asking their relatives to look for a match or send a photo to a guy they know, i am actually surprised at the fact that sometimes these distant relatives who normally don't actually care less what they do all of a sudden are 'worried' and show oh so much care and love...but actually someone who is close to you and you love and respect, them then getting influenced by what others say and doing what they normally wouldn't do. But whatever, marriage isn't, like you said, a gamble, and you can't put up a person as some kind of object on sale...And the hijab is there for covering oneself, a woman is a precious creature indeed, like a diamond which is protected from thieves, a woman should over oneself not only for that but also for modesty, after marriage to another is when you have someone but before that trying to fish some guy into marriage and then 'the rest of your life is set', pssht! Anyways, thanks so much for this post nina! :D

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    1. thanks in-your-own-little-world for stepping into my world and offering such sweet words of advice.

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    2. You're very welcome :)
      I absolutely love your blog by the way, and i love the fact that you have put up your own stories, you are a great writer :D

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  3. It reminds me of all how my cousin is getting married. I wouldn't know first hand. But I have always said is our worth as girls determined by the amount of money my father spends on our wedding and by the inches of height we lack... Aren't you supposed to find a mate who accepts you for you inner soul and all of your blah blahs. If we needed to be advertised to be accepted (as if we are a commodity) then may be the creator would have advertised us to our mother's womb. He didn't. We shouldn't. Well said, love. :-)

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    1. thank you for understanding my state!!

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  4. You are so cool and daring! I liked the way you counter-attacked the advertisers. I love this thing about you, you face the reality and express yourself.

    I especially liked this para "The hijab empowers us because people do not get the opportunity to judge us by any shallow means, but they are forced to view us as intellectual beings, they are forced to judge us by character and conduct, not by looks and style. The hijab automatically pushes away unwanted responses, dirty sly looks, cheap approaches and I, for one, strictly adhere to it. I don’t care how oppressed people think I am because I know I am not oppressed & to those who think so it really would not matter even if I was, I don’t care how retarded others may think I am because I know I am not, and those random onlookers don’t care enough- so screw what others think."

    You rock. And well, the other comments are enough said. :)

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    1. where are you sweetie?? elated to see you here.

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