Of Men, and Women

Have just arrived home from Manchester MNite Dinner. I didn’t expect great food by Ning (based on last year’s dinner~MSSM, please consider another caterer next year!), and so it went as expected. But socialising is tiring.

One of my favourite pastime online is browsing through quotation pages. Some of them are inspiring, most of them make me think, some make my day by inducing laughter at suicidal rate.

Here are a few that made me think, on man and woman. Some are feministic quotes. Again, I don’t agree with all, but yes, they remind me that I have something called ‘girl power’. No, not a fan of Spice Girls though.

What is most beautiful in virile men is something feminine; what is most beautiful in feminine women is something masculine.

Susan Sontag (1933 – 2004), Against Interpretation, 1966

I don’t about others, but for me, this is more often than not, true. Yes, normal heterosexual women do think some other women are attractive in some sense. Ask any woman who spent years in an all-girls school, and they will agree. I went to one MLP lecture last semester, and was inspired by a speaker (can’t remember her name though), now a somebody in COOP bank I think, and she used to be in the army for several years. She’s tough, she’s strong, she’s smart, and I think that’s beautiful.

And I, though favour the likes of Vin Diesel, still find shy guys who blush are cute, and thus, beautiful. So I agree with Susan Sontag, though this quote is somehow follow the gender-conditioning tendencies.

Lawana Blackwell, The Dowry of Miss Lydia Clark, 1999
My comment: Agree, without any further comments. At least applicable to my father, and some guys living around me.

Because I am a woman, I must make unusual efforts to succeed. If I fail, no one will say, “She doesn’t have what it takes.” They will say, “Women don’t have what it takes.” ~Clare Boothe Luce

My comment: True, true, true. That’s the essence of covering your aurah, in my perspective. So that people treat you as a person, not as a lady. Not to be described by ‘a girl with long legs, and blond hair’ but ‘an individual with an intellect.’

Never let the hand you hold, hold you down. ~Author Unknown

My comment: A good, practical principle in finding your soul mate, your partner for life, your other half, however you call it. I read an interview with Betty Chew, Lim Guan Eng’s wife (CM of Penang, in case you don’t know) in HarakahDaily. Whoa. She’s superb! She won a state seat in Melaka this year, again, while her husband won one in Penang, now the CM.

“Bagaimana puan menguruskan hal ini. Puan Adun di Kota Laksamana, Melaka sedangkan Guan Eng Ketua Menteri Pulau Pinang, bila puan dan Guan Eng berjumpa?” soal Ketua Pengarang Kumpulan Harakah, Ahmad Lutfi Othman.

Betty terdiam sambil menguntum senyum…

“Kami sedang berusaha untuk memikirkan cara terbaik… saya sendiri tak sangka begini… saya tak jangka (DAP) boleh menang banyak,” katanya jujur.

“Semasa pilihan raya dulu Guan Eng di mana?” soal Lutfi.

“Dia di Penang,” jawab Betty.

“Puan di mana?” soal Lutfi lagi.

“Saya di Melaka,” ujarnya sambil ketawa.

Never let yourself being held down, or held back. Remind me of that on my wedding, please.

Women who seek to be equal with men lack ambition. ~Timothy Leary

My comment: An insult well-said. Clap clap clap!

You don’t have to be anti-man to be pro-woman. ~Jane Galvin Lewis

My comment: Right. I’ve been trying to stop those anti-boys sentiment that has been in my blood for years (thank you SEMSAS, for that!), and try to live with the verse in the Quran that says, man and woman are helpers for each other.

There are very few jobs that actually require a penis or vagina. All other jobs should be open to everybody. ~Florynce Kennedy

The only jobs for which no man is qualified are human incubators and wet nurse. Likewise, the only job for which no woman is or can be qualified is sperm donor. ~Wilma Scott Heide

The test for whether or not you can hold a job should not be the arrangement of your chromosomes. ~Bella Abzug

My comment: I agree partially, well, after a laugh on the first one. But I agree more with the second one. And I am completely for the third one.

I’ve came to think of men and women this way: We are different, but we are equal. Some difference are due to gender-conditioning, which I oppose and hope that I don’t have to live being restricted to such conditioning, while in some other aspects I just know that God created us different, physically, and sometimes that counts in career. But not the brain. Not the intellect-wise. We are all equal in that sense, ok? I can design a catalyst fixed bed reactor as well guys!

I’ve yet to be on a campus where most women weren’t worrying about some aspect of combining marriage, children, and a career. I’ve yet to find one where many men were worrying about the same thing. ~Gloria Steinem

My comment: True. Yet to find one who cares as much as her wife does. And because they tend not to think, they become the culprit in parenting. They tend to please their wives by giving lots of expensive things. That does not matter, if you could not care less to help her in the kitchen. At least not for me.

I think, therefore I’m single. ~Lizz Winstead

My comment: This one is for my single girl friends. Don’t just settle down with the one available. Think. Think of who you really want, girls. Don’t be a desperate singleton.

Nobody objects to a woman being a good writer or sculptor or geneticist if at the same time she manages to be a good wife, a good mother, good-looking, good-tempered, well-dressed, well-groomed, and unaggressive. ~Marya Mannes

My comment: The definition of successful women are complex. You are expected to be excellent at everything, as Marya Mannes. If your children become evil, then you are not a successful woman though you own a big company. But men are not judged by this criteria. Why? Why? Why?

Men define intelligence, men define usefulness, men tell us what is beautiful, men even tell us what is womanly. ~Sally Kempton

My comment: Who says that for a girl to be considered pretty she must have this long straight hair, a skinny body and all other images you see everyday in commercials and advert? Who tells you that a perfect figure has to be 36-24-36?

Enough said.
Stop discriminating.



  1. Salam.

    You might like these words as well, from the esteemed Shaikh Hamza Yusuf.

    …Syaikh Hamza’s comment “ Allah s.a.w. says in a hadith Qudsi, “I am Ar-Rahman, I have created the Rahim (womb), and I have derived a name for it, from My Name (Ar-Rahman)… – (hadith Qudsi)” Woman is a man with a womb; men are at a disadvantage, they don’t have wombs! The womb is the source of Rahmah (Mercy) on this earth, men don’t have the source of Rahmah, the source of rahmah in world is the womb, and the thing closest to Allah is Rahmah.”

    “When the Prophet says he loved women, what he’s saying is that he loved the qualities that women possessed. Women by their nature possess qualities that are beloved to Allah, while as men they have to learn those qualities and they are difficult to learn. One of them is Rahmah (mercy) most women have Rahmah and the womb is the source of Rahmah according to the hadith, in this world. So women by nature have Rahmah while as a man it’s something that he has to really strive and work on to get.”

    From a friend’s article, http://kakiblog.com/2008/02/29/some-musing-on-hijab-muslim-women-identity-and-the-feminist-discourse/


  2. I agree with the notion that a woman worries about juggling a career, motherhood and being a wife at the same time but a man does not (have to).

    But I think the notion is lifting up a little bit (at least from some personal examples that I could see). My cousin’s wife is determined that her husband (my cousin) participates in every household chore. Hence, he cooks sometimes, makes himself useful around the house and helps (almost equally!) with the children.

    It’s the question of upbringing too, I think. I remembered a teacher told me when I was in Form 5: “kawin dgn orang kampung lagi senang, depa besa buat keja, nak basuh kain pakai tangan pun tak ralat.”

    Personally, my dad helps with hand -washings over the weekends, and when my mom was in confinement after giving birth to my sisters (I was old enough to witness and help around by this time), he took over the household (almost) single-handedly.

    To be honest, that kind of quality is what I’m looking for too. I think I found him, if you still remember all our discussions of his merits over the winter break =P (that made you girls want to puke, so sorry!) but somehow I think he’s too good to be true (and I do not deserve him) =(

  3. Dear Afni,

    Assalamualaikum warahmatullah,

    Thank you for dropping by my blog..do visit my Bahasa Melayu version too..if you have the time..

    Men and Women? Ehm…

    Allah made man and women to love and to be loved..and for the generation of future mankind…Life is much too precious to be wasted on arguing and making up arguments..

    So, live and be god-fearing people…so we may prosper in this life and in the hereafter..Amin..


    Umi Kalthum Ngah (Ph.D)
    School of E and E Eng.
    University Sains Malaysia
    Engineering Campus
    Nibong Tebal

  4. Big hug and clap for you my dearest Afni,

    Phew! You think a lot of men and women huh?? I luv this entry sampai tak terkata..Well, each person has different personality, you will never know..kekadang lelaki bertukar menjadi perempuan dan sebalik nya kan? Keep up the good work..


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