Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Team Pink

In the States any time i have to fill out a form requiring my information, i always check the little square marked "Female."  That is in fact how i was created.  i happen to like being a girly~girl and all the sparkly goodness that goes with it.  The various facets of my life are viewed through my female lens.  i get to be a mother that feels my babies kick inside of me before they breathed their first breath.  i love my "girlfriends" and the wide range of emotions we are capable of feeling.  When i run, i wear pink.  i like to get all dolled up for a night out and i prefer girly movies to the shoot 'em up variety.  These among many other things characterize me as a woman.  But aside from that, in the US i rarely considered my state of femaleness.  In America we are taught that being a female doesn't define who you are.  We can do whatever we want when we grow up.  We are equal and our sex shouldn't determine our rights.  

Maybe this is why one of the first concerned questions asked of us when people heard we were moving to Dubai was a fearful, "Does that mean Tami has to wear a burqa?"

Translation:  What will it be like to be an American woman living in the female oppressed Middle East?

Let's just set the stage right now and say Dubai is hardly typical of the Middle East.  Honestly, i am currently enjoying living in the "underprivileged" class of Female.  One would think that being a minority (some statistic say Dubai is 70% male) AND female in the Middle East i would feel oppressed.  Quite the opposite actually.  Chris and his clever quips summed it up perfectly one day.

"For being a second class citizen you sure get first class treatment.

Tru dat!

Second Class Citizen Status: 

1.  My husband has to grant me written permission to obtain a drivers license and to be included on a bank account.

First Class Treatment Options

(Available only to those on Team Pink.  Sorry, Dudes!)
1.  If i want i can pass by the long lines of men and head to ladies only line.

2.  i can call a Ladies Only Taxi service with female drives and PINK cabs! 

3.  As a woman i can strike up a conversation with any man or  woman if i so chose.  i can offer a handshake to anyone.  i also have the option to ignore them completely.  Chris not so much.  He should refrain from starting up a conversation with Arab women and only return a handshake, never offer one. 

4.  Last week i had to visit a local clinic for a physical required for my visa.   Instead of choosing the Women's Only Clinic,  i had to wait around with the rest of male population (sigh).  Men were ushered into the required x-ray room 10 at a time.  The handful of women waiting however were invited in one at a time and treated in an unhurried courteous manner. 

5. With only a five car metro and 70% of the population supposedly male it's pretty amazing that Pink Team gets an entire car to ourselves.  That is if you want, but trust me you want!  Not because you fear the men, they have all been complete gentlemen.  The mixed cars are just not as amusing.   Simply buy a ticket at a popular destination stop, sit back and be ready to be entertained!  Inevitable, some poor male tourist taken with the sights around him will miss the "Women only sign" and unknowingly step into the lair.  All the women aboard will eye him and each other with a smirk that quietly conveys, "Ha, watch this."  A security guard deftly makes his way to the poor clueless victim man and swiftly moves him to the back of the train.   The embarrassed look on the man's face and the giggling women around him is hilarious.  Totally worth the 5 Dhs spent!  
(If you want to hear Team Blue's perspective talk to Chris.)

6.  Chivalry is not dead!  This has happened to me more than once and it still surprises me.  After trekking to the nearby school taxi stop with my little ones in tow, i see a high school boy 30 feet from us who clearly has been waiting for a taxi for quite awhile.  I prep the kids for a long wait and start dialing my taxi numbers.  When a random cab pulls up, the young man goes out of his way to walk over to us (honestly, he was far enough away that i couldn't quite make out his face) and he GIVES us his cab.  i try to say, "No, no, you were here first.  Go ahead."  But they ALWAYS insist!  The first thing i want to ask is, "WHO is your mother?!"  (Who knew Kyle would get first hand lessons on being a gentleman in the Middle East.)  Now we insist the young gentlemen share the cab with us even if it takes us an additional 15 minutes and extra dirhams to get home.  

i am thankful my rights at home are not based upon my sex but right now i am soaking up all the available opportunities to be treated like a lady.  



Anonymous said...

You are blessed as a women, mother and wife. You deserve this sort of treatment. An interesting thought of Kyle learning how to be a young gentleman, in an eastern country. That truly has a different sound to it. Have a wonderful mid week and night. It is raining in SB today!!
The verification word is dejed, I almost misspelled it!!

Betty said...

You go, pink girl!

kmigliori said...

Ladies only line! Pink cabs! I am so there:) I videotaped a special little message from music class. I will have Mike work on it and try to get it to you guys this week. We love reading your blog. Kyle and Riley look like they are enjoying their adventure.