To say 2011 was an eventful year for the Arab nations is the under-statement of the century! With all the latest news and media craze about the Libyan dictator's demise, got me thinking about that poor lad Muhammad Bouazizi and how one young man's tragic end had to be the tipping point to one of the world's greatest revolutions!
Am pretty sure he is rolling over in his grave with so many chain events that have been triggered... but sadly only after something so drastic as his self immolation.
This is one of THE biggest historical events that I have witnessed as an adult and got me thinking about so many different things...
One thing that I have been mulling over... especially given how the entire zeal & passion of these revolutions are single handedly spread by the youth population of all these repressed countries: What would I do if it were up to me?
It is beyond my comprehension how I would react if I had to stand in front of ruthless authority and deadly weapons and fight a bloody war...because I'll be honest here: I am just too afraid.
Images of Corporal Upham from Speilberg's "Saving Private Ryan" keeps popping in to my head... because of how much I can relate to that character (People who still have not seen that masterpiece movie, please do so ASAP!).
Then I got thinking, does this have anything to do with being a woman?
I was surprised and a little bit ashamed, because this is the first reason that came to my mind... am I justified?
If you think about it, the reference to women being the "weaker sex" (mostly it only indicates physical weakness - I hope!) gets ingrained in all our minds even as a child and I am guessing this is true in most if not all societies.
The signs are there at varying degrees in different societies for sure, but it is just there everywhere: From girls shown playing with Barbies and boys with GI Joes, women in washing machine & kitchen ads while men racing cars or riding fearlessly on their Harley Davidsons.
I am not saying girl's don't like Barbies or that men are forced to race cars because they have to, but it is the symbolism it carries that struck out so explicitly.
So are these images, signs, beliefs all a fact or is it another age old myth we are all just told to believe?
So I started reading up about Women in War, and guess what??! It was unbelievable how much evidence there was in history about how actively women warriors have performed side by side with men!
For instance, I read about this legendary woman Queen Bouticca - She was the Queen of a British tribe who led the uprising of the occupying forces of the Roman Empire.
As a matter of fact there is a great bronze statue of the Queen with her daughters in a war charriot next to the West Minister Bridge and Houses of Parliament in London
Not to mention the famous Amazons - The Amazons are credited with helping the Trojans against the Greeks in the Trojan War.
One very important point to be duly noted -There were so many such examples not just among the western world but also the Arab world!
A community with all this repression and "special" treatment, especially towards their women have had some of the most courageous women waging their wars!
One of them was Queen Samsi: She rebelled against Assyrian King Tiglath Pileser III by refusing tribute and perhaps by giving aid to Damascus for an unsuccessful fight against Assyria.
So, women like Neda Agha Soltan during the recent Tehran protests were not just outliers, but were part and parcel of so many brave wars that were fought for basic human rights and democracy.
So coming back to my original point, "weaker sex" cannot be used and believed without keeping in mind that actual (physical & mental) training is the key.
This could be applicable to both men and women. In fact we have probably deteriorated these past centuries given how we have coined terms like the "weaker sex" for our future generations, while women warriors in history have proven us all wrong - time and again.
Makes me wonder... if something as big as fighting a bloody war is only a matter of training and mental acumen, then we (women especially) are just limiting ourselves because of how ingrained these concepts have become in our lives, is it not?
If so, with our own Amazonian training what else is out there that we want and long to achieve ... but have just chosen NOT to pursue because of generations of conditioning?