لماذا لا يُعتبَر الرجل عانساً أيضاً بعد سن الثلاثين؟
Women suffer from injustice and oppression by their parents, society and religion, and this even extends into the Arabic language which contributes to oppressing women and rendering them inferior to men.
This isn’t limited to the word 'spinster', but in Arabic there are other words and expressions that denigrate and diminish women. The definition of the word spinster, or ’anes in an Arabic dictionary is: a woman who has aged and did not marry. The verbs extending from the word also define the state of slave girls: she stayed for too long with the family after attaining understanding, until she was no longer of the virgins and never married. So the word spinster applies to slave girls.
At a time when women are trying in various ways to prove that they are not just sexual objects, not just cooks and maids for their husbands and children, the Arabic language helps keep her in her traditional place - the bedroom and the kitchen.
That’s how the Arabs understood women. This is how they were defined. While linguists try to explore the hidden depths of languages that have become staid, Arabs do not move and do not make any effort to remove some terms that are no longer suitable today.
At a time when women are trying in various ways to prove that they are not just sexual objects, not just cooks and maids for their husbands and children, the Arabic language helps keep her in her traditional place - the bedroom and the kitchen. But if we remove the word spinster from the Arabic language dictionary, can we remove it from people's minds? Can we erase rooted expressions like “a man’s shadow is better than the shadow of a wall,” and other popular proverbs that our communities consider sacrosanct? There seems to be a long road to freedom and equality.
In fact, the Middle Eastern man is exposed to some pressure from his family and society if he does not get married. But it is not possible to compare his situation with that of unmarried women. When a girl is born in the Arab world, the father feels a great weight on his shoulders. She does not have a penis like her brother. She is incomplete, a possible prostitute if she is not married.
Marriage is a social cover for a woman, but if a man does not do it there is nothing wrong with him. When he marries off his daughter he shifts the weight he has carried for years onto the shoulders of another man. Spinster is a word used by people often accompanied by pitying looks. Their eyes look at the 30-something woman who did not marry as if she were an alien from space not belonging to their species, and the only thing to be done with her is to exile her to another planet.
The life of women continues in this miserable form which seeks to escape from misery to misery for fear of misery. Not a single woman contributed to the development of the rules of the Arabic language.
When a girl is born in the Arab world, the father feels a great weight on his shoulders. She does not have a penis like her brother. She is incomplete, a possible prostitute if she is not married.
They did not take the opinion of women who were considered concubines and odalisques. I do not care about your definitions. And keep your words and your worn-out expressions. For me, she is the powerful independent woman, the working woman, the thinker and the educator who has placed herself at the top of her list of priorities.
The spinsters are the ones who defied the community and said no to arranged marriages. She refused all the young men who came to marry her, because they only looked upon her as a vessel to have children. Do not change the language, do not develop the terms, let us use the words imposed on us in the way we see fit.
She is not a spinster. She did not get married.