Why is it better for girls to be living in the “Bab El Hara” era?

bab I know that the Arabic Ramadan series have started getting to my head. I am taking a long summer break and have a lot of time on my hands. And as per every season, a few series are set in the post medieval ages of the Ottoman Empire leading into the French Mandate for the region. I couldn’t care less about the political issues that are taking place in the series of course, but it did get me to think about the situation of women at those times. Although you would expect that the feminist independent woman in me would rise to the rescue. But all I could think of is that maybe those times were much better for women; believe it or not.

  1. You never have to play hard to get or any other type of game.

When the marriage is set by your parents and his, you know that you are his only option and you are his. You don’t have to worry if he wants to marry you or not! You don’t wait or question whether he wants a relationship or not. Marriage is the only end to things.

  1. There is no such thing as too much fish in the sea.

There is no bigger peace of mind than knowing that you don’t have any other option and neither does he. You never guess about what is out there. You take your destiny and embrace it.

  1. You don’t have to worry that he is cheating on you.

This is a nice one. Because the worst that he can do is smile to another woman behind a closed window or hear her voice. And although that’s still bad, but it is a one in a million chance! You can’t be that unlucky.

  1. No one can tell you that you made your choice and you have to bear the consequences.

If anything goes wrong, it isn’t your fault. If he ends up being a jerk, you can always blame your parents for this choice and they will take your side. No one will tell you to stick it out because it is your choice!

  1. There is no such thing as it is too complicated.

A different religion, a psychotic ex-girlfriend, etc… you never have to worry about all that. You are his first experience with women and that is a very liberating feeling.

  1. His financials are never an issue.

You don’t have to wait until he can afford a house or a wedding. His parents take care of everything and he is only wed when he reaches a certain financial level, mostly working with his father.

  1. The perfect housewife is all what is needed from you.

Clean, cook, make babies and tell your husband that he is right about everything. Although you’re not allowed to have any ambitions or opinions, but a simpler life doesn’t always have to be a bad thing.

  1. You never worry if he is just not that into you.

He simply doesn’t have another choice so he has to be into you. Love at those times seemed to be a lot easier. People learn to be together and love each other with time. Habit and respect come naturally.

  1. You are never a spinster.

Unless you are really ugly, you are wed at the right time. So you never hear the pity of the people around you telling you that you are an old maid.

  1. You are never judged by society.

Having previous relationships, passions, loves, being independent, etc… are things that you are never judged for because you never got to experience those. Having no choice can be a blessing in disguise.

While at these times, the choices, the opportunities and the exposure that women gained, have rendered them much more demanding and independent. And with that independence came a lot of drama and unhappy moments trying to deal with emotions that should have kept suppressed.

We wanted to contribute financially, to have opinions and to be independent and at some point down the line, we started being taken for granted.

And there is nothing worse than that!


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