Sari tends to be so gentle and caring. So he really cares about what I tell him to do or not to do, he takes my opinion into consideration, he tries his best to make me happy. And when we are out with friends, he looks after me to make sure everything is just fine with me.
This is so lovely. What is not lovely is the way people look at this kind of relationship between any couple and interpret it into the man being "arnab" and "ma7koom". Something that would mean that the man has no personality, afraid from his wife and so he pretends to be loving and caring, and has no control whatsoever over anything in their relation. In short, he is just a follower!
I know I know it is just a joke! It's not about me personally. It's the joke around all men getting engaged and married. One famous faces of this joke is the very well known "position" given to wives; "Wazaret il da7'lieh" (Minster of internal affairs). Again indicating that women are the cruel rulers of the house, and men are just "poor, helpless" obedients who have no choice! Does this make the man "Wazeer il malieh" (Minster of finance)??
Now allow me to say this: I HATE THIS JOKE! And I get really annoyed when someone says such things to Sari (and me of course)… why?
1- I feel it is so intrusive from people to allow themselves to judge our relationship like that. They do not have the right to do, and they do not even know the truth about our relationship.
2- I feel it underestimates and disrespect our relationship. It puts it in a small shell, makes it look vague and meaningless and makes it look like there is nothing in relationship other than who is controlling who.
Apart from the personal part of it, I wonder why is that joke so common although its untrue in 95% of the cases?
Put aside the exceptional 5% of unhealthy relationships in which the above mentioned words apply, it's totally untrue and unreal. We, women, do not control men. Neither do they. They are not "araneb". Or is it just unacceptable to see a man who loves his wife, takes care of her, and considers her opinion? Does it make a man loose his manhood being kind to his wife? Is it that odd to see a couple "sharing" their life rather than "controlling" each other?
I think it's not just a joke, I think it's the resistance of change. After we have been in times where wives and daughters had no right to say anything but "Yes sir, you order", where they have been abused and mistreated, we are now changing to the better, where wives are not just followers, where their opinion counts, where they are no longer treated as a property of the man who married them, but rather partners. Such jokes are a form of the resistance to this change, which takes away the "authority" of men over their wives.
The good thing about is that having this resistance means we actually succeeded to change. Resitance in all forms will always be there, and change will always continue to happen...