"CATGIRL" -Yup! That's Me...!!

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So once again I traverse the deep seas of my innate passion that at times submerges itself beneath a calm n naive facade but is raging n thrashing in the realm of my heart !! And so the mystery of Catgirl unfolds once again to all who are still mesmerized by my perseverance and many more who are yet to be in awe of it !! Catgirl working undercover as a teacher N Blogger henceforth pronounces herself a hard-core feminist !!! A girl out to protect the "woman-cause' in the world of self-loving male; A girl who would do anything she is capable of to restore the image of women which has been tarnished, even in the modern society ! Catgirl Strikes again !!! (my logo since 12 years)

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Third side of the COIN !!

Prologue :
The trend of working women started 15 years ago, but at that time it was limited to very needy families whose women had to do manual work in small industries. The more educated, but financially troubled ones opted for teaching. The upper class usually did their learning and job abroad. Just 10 years ago it was noticed that 50% of the girls bagged top positions in matric board exams. With each passing year the percentage increased. Gradually the same batch became toppers in intermediate exams. Girls ruled education everywhere and high hopes were pinned to them to progress further- while being offered a freedom of choice by their families. And now, in this 21st century, from doctors to MBAs, door to door sellers to front desk officers, cultured bankers to pilots, hardly any field is left untouched by women kind!

On the front this seems like good progress, but if we look at the bigger picture, aren’t we missing something? A society full of female workers- will it be an Islamic society? Or a balanced one? Even the broad minded  West had reservations to the Feminist movement launched for equal rights of working women. In an Islamic country where a woman cannot head an organization, a female leader was elected PM twice and same goes for Bengladesh, but do we see such an example in US or UK elected govt.? Let’s dive deep into the pool of emancipation surrounded by an Islamic state.

The Story ~!~
Most girls pass out of their Grad schools, studying in co-education, confident and focused about their careers and future life. Since a lot of money has been spent on their graduation expenses, they want to make it up to their parent’s financial efforts, atleast before their marriage. They strive hard for a job and quickly land a reasonable one. With the first 3 salaries, comes a brand new mobile, a drastic change in wardrobe, from the push-cart stock to branded cotton, and the drawing room furniture goes on the verge of a make-over to invite office colleagues. After the firstyear the girl decides she can no longer wake up early for office van or come back late in taxis. A new 800CC car is brought on installments. 2 years pass by and the girl starts investing in bonds, certificates and plots etc., to rent or buy later. The fulfillment of her small dreams, keep egging her to pin hopes on higher ones.
2 more years down the road and she starts having status clash with the residents of her middle class locality. A flat in the posh district becomes her target. With the easy house-financing offered by banks and a bank balance of 4-5 lacs she could actually sell their house and start living in a flat. And then one day they move out, never to look back to their locality or neighbors - sometimes even relatives. Everything becomes a ‘story of the past’.

She is now 26. The proposals start flooding in and her mom starts getting conscious of her age factor. The girl however, had been dreaming of a grand living and a status uplift by marrying in a higher class, but their family was still shackled by their backgrounds and the posh proposals could sense the difference just by talking to her parents and eventually backed out. Soon she got married to an upper-middle family, against her wishes. The guy earned slightly above her pay-scale and owned a family car. From a flat that she owned with the master bedroom to herself she went into a joint family system with a double bedroom as her only property! Feeling claustrophobic and pressurized, she now applied for a better job. Backed by her experience, she started earning more than her husband. Their status difference became more conspicuous and so did her frustration for not getting her dream life. They could not yet afford a maid and she did not have time for household chores after her very demanding new job. She expected her husband to help her with it or atleast look after his personal things himself.The joint family pressures were building up from all around as eyebrows got raised at the couple’s division of homework. They decided to move out. Another apartment bought on lease by her after selling out the property she had been investing in since the past 6 years. This meant total rule on her part. She owned the house and the bills were shared.
Five years down the road, 2 kids had bounced in their lives and life took an ugly turn when her husband lost his stable yet non-managerial job, as a result of downsizing. She was however progressing gradually, becoming the HR manager of her company, being offered a brand new 1000CC car and other fringe benefits. On the other hand, while going on job hunts through websites, her husband became a domestic father. In the absence of an all-time available mother, the children became more attached to the father and also spoilt to some extent. She considered herself almost free of child rearing duties as she was financially supporting the household and expected her husband to adjust to this role-reversal.
After 2 long years, he finally got the job. From then on, they never had a good night’s sleep. Who was to look after the children? Who would provide pick and drop? Look after their studies? Who to leave them to? She had become pretty dominating by then. The children grew up seeing a passive decision power of their father, which earned him their sympathy but little respect. While the dominating and alienating attitude of their mother earned her neither their respect nor sympathy- even though she toiled each day as a woman in a man’s world only for them.
A woman who had to face office politics at work simply because she was hard-working and intelligent enough to take the managerial positions from right under the nose of senior colleagues;
A woman who compromised her femininity by choosing to be a daughter who supports her father and family;
A woman who traded her dreams by marrying below her expectations; A woman who lived in a joint family system, supporting her husband financially and still opting for motherhood.
Yet, a woman who only lapsed on the designated duties of a full-time mother? What went wrong?
Who was to lose and how much? What was there to lose in the heavy bargain?
A girl who compromised the best days of her to life to secure a bright future, got what in return? A domesticated husband, detached children and her own frustrated soul? Was this the future she dreamt of?

Post Script
As Muslims, we all claim to keep away from the forbidden boundaries of ‘haram’, but what about the ones that are not so clear that are left at our discretion? Man and woman were not created equal and are not designated with equal tasks by the Almighty. It is not forbidden for them to work shoulder to shoulder with men (as the wives of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) did help the Sahabas in gathering Ahadith and Sunnah). But at the same time it is not preferred. That boundary is left to us. Extending it, stretching it by emphasizing that Shariah does not forbid it “It’s not haram”, “It’s the need of the hour for a working couple to live in times of recession”- is actually playing with the boundaries given to us to accommodate our needs and wants.

Humans- male or females- are drawn towards the luxuries of life; grand living, freedom of choice. We are also prone to greed and corruption, mentally and monetarily. When Islam talks about or promotes a woman working safely in the boundaries of her home, it actually promulgates a satisfied female who is apt for this job more than man; a woman who is the Queen of her Empire- everyday, not getting disrespected by males in the ugly world outside.Islam talks about the woman’s whole life. It does not emphasize temporary pleasure, in this case, the facilities she enjoys as a happily earning female, working shoulder to shoulder with men and changing her future lifestyle to accommodate her aspirations.
One woman, 10 women and then 60% of the population is enough to bring about women revolution in the country that has promoted a hi-fi culture ranging from club memberships to mobile late night packages for women, lawn extravaganzas, shopping malls, face uplift treatments, brand culture, kitty parties etc. to flaunt your stuff at. It has also promoted freedom of youth in a negative way because of unattended upbringing and high media influence. One woman, one mother and one thought changes all!As Napoleon Bonaparte says, “Give me a good mother, I will give you a good nation” and “the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world”. A mother plays a great role in shaping the future of a nation. It is also said that, ‘if you educate a mother, you educate the whole nation’.
I am not against an educated, working mother, but doing job for the sake of your careers and actually believing that focusing on child nurturing will rust away your talents; reasoning that quality time wins over quantity time while thinking your kids will be cared for by their nannies till you return home is sheer folly! The channels they switch on, the mobiles they have, the feelings they hide when moving towards adolescence can only be monitored with your undivided love. Remember, you give birth to your children not your products or services. Your parent company can fire you, but you can’t abandon your kids. Your job evaluation gives you an A+ rating, but your children judge you negatively in the long run. Is that all worth it?


Zee said...

very very true.

Islam is a religion with teachings applicable to every era. And the limited freedom given to a woman by religion is for hers and her family's benefit in the long run. Women can fight all they want about being equal to men, but it doesn't change the basic fact that there is a reason the religion hasnt given them that equal right. Yes women should know what are their basic rights and stand up for them, but going way beyond and crossing those lines just leads to an unhappy ending.

blue stocking said...

yet another amazing piece!

Anonymous said...

Give me your msn id, for messenger purpose....or email it to me, salman_olevel@hotmail.com

Muhammad said...

Well i completely agree with you...I think housekeeping is a full time job and cannot be done while you're multitasking. Children need a mother who can teach them manners,ethics,feed them,educate them and in short bring them up to be responsible and decent citizens.

Thinking said...

hmm...good post...keep up the good work !

Anonymous said...

Girls should do everything that man does, imagine girls as chai-waalis and ShakarQandi waalis :). the blog should be like this, now after her chenak was a super hit, she now owns her own quetta chai ka dhaba and her husbands kahwa kettle is a super flop :D
my sincere apologies if someone is offended :)

CATGIRL said...

Thank u THinking girl :-)))
anonymous : only a guy named FAHAD holds respect for a chai-wali girl enough to marry her !! :-))

Rain said...

dt ws sO trUe, thOught-prOvoking nd inSpiratiOnal..
I dun bElieve dt I actUally gav it a fUll read :)
bUt dt sUrely wOrth it !

Good Job, Keep it Up!

P.S: i ws da anOnymOus at 'enlightened-city's comment sectiOn!

CATGIRL said...

hey...thanks Rainy man ( or woman?)
you made my DAY...reallllly... i feel greatt wid ur comments!! :-))))

Rain said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rain said...

*chUckle*, ws my plEasure nd m a giRl :)
nd 4gOt to add baCk-grOund is awesOmly refrEshing!

CATGIRL said...

awwww.Thanks rainy gal...am sure it pleased you as it goes wid ur name very well :-)))
p.s. just came across it in blogger-in-draft templates( in case u wish to have it )!

Muhammad Fahad said...

@caty you should have kept that to yourself :)

Aazar ali shad said...

Oh! I loved it:) The back ground is aweseome :) Is this story yours? I completely agree with your point...But I am still confused that women should work after having child or not :S.........Your Posts are so awesome :) :):) M loving it :) Last one was also kool :)

Syeda Zehra Kiyani said...

Ammmmmmmm...Very true story..true yet bitter.I suppose Islam is the solution to everything.God created Man and women differently in physically and mentally too.
And for the females who love wanna be like guys should start with changing flat tires of trucks..:p
I never saw a women doing that ever.

Wonderful,inspiring and motivational post.Lovely.

CATGIRL said...

@Fahad : doesn't matter . i dint mind. and u shudn't too :-))

@Azar" it's an honour to see u commenting even wid ur exam schedule and yeah about ur confusion. i just wanna say BALANCE IT. if u dont need money but just to satisfy ur talents, then don't drive this bargain keeping at stake ur child's upbringing. and thank uu sooooo much for liking it all... i m soo HAPPY !!! :DDDD

CATGIRL said...

yess...that's what i tru to do Zehra i always start out in a modern way and then wid a 180degree turn take it to ISLAM..that is the reason or my blog...here's s li'l recommendation from me on which i REALLY WANT UR COMMENTS AS A GIRL !!

Leviathan said...

Pursuit of happiness is an endless spiral that leads to an abyss of its own. The moment our lives are dictated by our desires, we are not human anymore, but become something else entirely, ........

Aazar ali shad said...

Hey.......Do check my latest blog post :D

Muslimah2Muslimah said...

Wow! This was soooo refreshing! It hits the nail on the head! The feminist movement has put us (especially Muslimahs) in such a bad place. Being the caretaker in the home is now looked down upon. The Ummah is no longer united and this is definitely due to the woman's lack of presence and guidance within the home! This is more important than people know. Shukran for sharing this, sister! Also, I would love to repost this on our website if you give us the permission to do so! We will link it to you, of course! Let me know


CATGIRL said...

Yess... my dearest sister. u know u made me feel soooo GREAT wid ur appreciation. i had actually started feeling that i should CHANGE myself to modernize -as is the pressure around me even in my muslim state of pakistan. li'l bit of changes thru dressing, socialising, marriage affaris, job requirements, career women- even my friends make me feel i m WASTING my time sitting at home when i shud hav started earning money. i m not married now and financially my family is pretty stable Alhumdulillah.
some of my friends do need money so i NEVER point my finger at them as to why they r doing it. but they sometimes take so much pity at me as if even God will not accept this state and i will be called a lazy Muslimah. i do household chores- dusting, organising, cleaning -each and everyything. takes up a lottt of time wid 3 men in the house. then i do extensive blogging. i dont call up my friends even or go out except after months. i dont get time for that. so how can i be lazy?
i dont waste myself in front of TV. keeping in touch wid females like u is KNOWLEDGE that i cannot get while going out. nobody will teach me Islam the way i can sitting at home and researching or else joining an institute. i m happy this way,

so yeahhh ..post this on ur website. with a small msg from me to plzzz "FOLLOW MY BLOG",,, give me the link when u hav pasted it. here's the msg . which u must paste at the end of the post

"I am a female writer and MBA from Karachi, Pakistan. Honestly just adding people to promote my blog and to listen to YOUR VIEWS.
Don’t expect any nosy friendship. Kindly, just read my blog and FOLLOW /SUBSCRIBE to get regular updates. I really need genuine intelligent, literate people to talk to me on important issues.
Thanks !!"


MuslimFirst said...

As salaamu alaikum Sr. Catgril - Great post ma'sha'allah.

The scenario which you describe is truly unfortunate. As far as the joint family system, I know of both positive experiences as well as negative ones, so I think it depends on the family and that attitude with both sides approach the situation. Anyways, I'm not married, so I won't comment further on that, though I do have that situation in one part of my extended family and yes, there are tensions of course.

As you imply in your post script - there has to be a fine balance. By all means, I would encourage Muslim women to work and then, when they are married - hopefully to a person of their choice, both in terms of their occupation and the other personal issues - important decisions have to be made.

I think it shouldn't matter if the wife makes more money than the husband - just as you desctibe, if the husband were to lose his job, it is a Blessing that the wife can provide financial support in teh meantime, until the husband finds a new job. When that happens, things can continjuie as beofre, with both spouses earning as they please and maintaining the structure as it was. After all, as the world economy is at a very low point, I think this probably a great way to enter a life together, wtih both people earning. If the wife chooses to stop working, that's her choice and if she wants to continue, the husband should support this.

Where it gets complicated, is when children enter the picture. Again, as you say in the post script, one cannot sacrifice the care-taking of the children for the sake of the job. If the wife can maintain her responsibilities as a mother and work, then Alhamdulillah, the wife should continue to work and the husband should support this.

As you say, the children are the future and thus, since the mother is the primary care-taker of children and their education, without the mother being educated, the future generation is lost essentially. If any Muslim men out there there think that an educated woman as a wife is not necessary, then they need to think again.

So in short, as long as the woman can be the central person in the upbringing of the children, instilling the values that are given to us through Islam as well as the values that should be given to the children that may be more specific given the environment in which the family lives (non-Muslim country, etc) and how one should deal with given situations, she should continue to persue her dreams and goals that she has set out for herself long before shewas married.

Lastly, as it has happened in my family in India - parents spend so much on the education of their daughters, who themselves give their full effort, but then after marriage don't even consider working - to me, that is just a waste. If something out of their control arises, then fine, but by choice - I find that such a waste of their parents money and their own sincere efforts.

Allah Hafiz.
PS Catgirl behn, mere paas rishtedaron hai Karachi mein aur shay'd ek Karachi ladki ke saath shaadi ke bare mein baath karoonga kuch mahina mein. :-)

CATGIRL said...

Muslim first..wow..thank u. I hav had detailed comments b4 too. but u r outstanding!
u actually read and ANALAYZED infact dissected my whole post.
must be a lucky girl to hav such a bright, and just fellow like u. where do u live now???
Best of luck!!

MuslimFirst said...

Awww, you're welcom Catgirl-ji.

Haha, no girl yet, but yeah we'll see. Allahu Alim

Oh, I was born and raised in the States (born in NY state, but have lived since '84 in Portland, Oregon - it's a beautiful city, you should Google it, hehe). I am home for the summer, but I'm going to medical school in Prague, Czech Republic. Insha'allah, one more year and then Dr. MuslimFirst (well, that's not my real name obviously, but you get the point)


-MF Bhaya

CATGIRL said...

InshALLAH. u will get the girl of ur choice. where do ur parents live? n y do u want a karachi girl??
and its WALLAHU alam ...(correct it)
and y hide ur name ?? u r a boy ,,,hehehh

MuslimFirst said...

Oops, thanks for the correction Sis - yup the "and" needs to go in there ---> "wa" - my bad.

I live with my Amma - she's a doctor. Abba returned to Allah (swt) back in 2001, so it's just us, but have extended family here Shukr'Allah, so lots of support for all of us kids who grew up here.

Well, Amma and one of my khala's here are big fans of this girl, who wants to come work in the US (also a medical student) and we've known the family for along time, so no worries in that dept.

Um, my blog and all that goes with it are a secret from my family except for one of my cousin-bhayas and he has kept it to himself, so yeah, not going to use my real name and I did have a screenname that was close to my real name, so this name is somewhat new. it's nothing to do with my gender - after all, men have to be modest too *silly grin*

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