Sunday, October 3, 2010

A Vote For The Future

 "Scientia potentia est (For also knowledge itself is power)"
Sir Francis Bacon 
Today was the first day of the elections at every campus affiliated with Kuwait University. The handasa majors put down the protractors, med-students ditched the cadavers and the ever ubiquitous business majors abandoned their BlackBerries as they stood in line in the sweltering midday heat, waiting for their turn to exercise their right to vote and support the party that fell in line with what they believe KU (and Kuwait) should stand for.
At this point it's no secret that I am a raging Feminist, and believe in a FULL level of equality between men and women. Before I continue, and for the record, my hatred of men has little to do with my Feminist antics and more to do with the assholes who feel the need to smoke inside KU's buildings, despite very clear signs that prohibit such behavior. You are not bad ass. You are an idiot. You are a male.... I digress; so after a bit of cautious poking and prodding, a little investigative work and heaps of simple observation, I voted for the "Istilafya" party. On the ballot, they are categorized under religious/conservative, which has lead to several people cry out against my choice to support this particular party. Apparently, as a Feminist it would have made more sense for me to burn my bras and protest against whatever misogynist occurrence I felt like having a go at for that day (Believe me, there's plenty to choose from in KUckooland).

I never justify the things I do, but I will explain my choice this once because it's rather shocking how narrow minded and short-sighted people can be when it comes to elections and casting your vote. In this case, I spent the majority of my first week doing several things: Walking around and discovering KU's campus, trying to learn about Kuwait's youth culture from observation and last but certainly not least, I observed each party and weighed on the things I saw them doing before my own two eyes.  Photocopies of sold-out textbooks, directions, the girls taking you to whatever class you had next....the Istilafiya girls left nothing to be wanted of them, which is a rarity when it comes to school/university politics. They are there for their female colleagues, END OF STORY. What people won't realize is that despite Kuwait's push for women to seek an education, the system still works against them. The minimum GPA's for any major differ between male and female applicants, with the minimum always being higher for females. The lion's share of priority and attention leans in toward the direction of the male student body, with them very much at the forefront of everything. As a Feminist, of course it didn't please me to see the girls running around doing the dirty work while the men buffed their Ray Bans and (further) inflated their egos by shouting fascist propaganda bullshit through megaphones. However, if it takes this Feminist voting for a conservative party to ensure that all her female colleagues needs are met, and that they graduate university with degrees in their hands, so then be it. Feminism is not some stupid romanticized Julia Roberts' movie; it is the fight to ensure women have access to all that men have, and that they are not treated or dismissed as though they are second-rate citizens. It is a fight I will always stand up for, no matter what I have to do.
If you still don't understand why I voted for the party I did, then you know nothing about what Feminism truly is.

Swinging a deal with a devil in a dishdasha,


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