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Summaries of Feminism-related Articles
The articles I would like to summarize and discuss are concerned with the problem of feminist theory and practical aspects of its realization, all the benefits, and downsides of its development. First, it is necessary to note that feminism is the theory of equality underlying the movement for the liberation of women. It took place in three waves, gradually reaching modern times. Women have passed from a fight against the de jure inequalities to the de facto ones. Today, when in most civilized countries sexism is not stipulated by laws, there remains huge pressure that society places on women. The UAE are definitely representatives of a patriarchal community, which can be seen in society's relation towards divorce and obedience of women. The articles depict some basic problems that women face after getting married or divorced.
First, the article “Times Change, but Should Our Marriages too?” by Ayhesha Almazroui addresses the issue of early marriages and arranged marriages. The author assumes that it is not feminism and the increasing number of opportunities for women to be blamed for the increasing number of divorces. To be blamed is the old-fashioned concept of arranged marriages, where couples do not have the opportunity to get to know each other in real life by contrast to pre-marriage relations when they do their best to appeal to each other.
The article “Dubai Divorces up, Emirati Weddings down but Mixed Marriages Rise” by Vivan Nereim provides mainly statistical information on the cases of divorces and marriages in the UAE. It is claimed that changes occurring in society affect family relationships. Due to the increasing number of personal development and educational opportunities, young people (including women) tend to get married later. The statistics also show the increasing number of divorces stipulated by a wide range of factors, including different education levels, domestic violence, drug or alcohol abuse, exposure to other cultures, where diversity is a more common phenomenon, and arranged marriages. The author also claims that the increasing trend of globalization has made it possible to contract marriages with expatriates.
The article “Single Mothers in UAE will Shoulder the Blame after Most Divorces” written by Ayhesha Almazroui dwells on the women who have finally decided to get divorced. It shows the negative attitude of society towards divorced women, especially single mothers. The author claims that it is much easier for men to move on after getting divorced while women usually have to live with the stigma of being treated as a bad role model. Moreover, if a woman wants to keep custody over her children, she has to meet certain requirements, one of which is not to remarry. Therefore, here we can see the de jure inequality, which returns us back to the first wave of feminism movement.
Another article by Ayhesha Almazroui “Blaming Social Media for Divorce is Shortsighted” claims that contemporary people tend to put the blame for failed relationships on social networks. However, overuse of social media as well as game addiction and other problems of modernity are just the way of escaping reality. Therefore, they are just symptoms of much deeper disorders. The most common of them is an emotional distance between the spouses, which may be aggravated by social media as well as other factors. Thus, the problem of the increasing number of divorces is extremely complex, and it is not right to put the blame on social media only.
As a contrast to the previous articles, “Personal Crisis Leads Emirati Woman to Reach out to Others” by Asmaa Al Hameli (2014) provides more optimistic viewpoint and suggests that divorce is not an end of woman’s life, especially in modern society. Using the example of Aesha Alzaabi, who shortly after diverse pursued a diploma in family and marriage counseling, the author shows that every experience may be useful for future development and that motivation plays a great role in this process.
Finally, the article “Sometimes Divorce is the only Answer” penned by Ayhesha Almazroui (2015) regards problems and cases when conflicts in families make it unmanageable to remain in marriage. A bright example of such cases is domestic violence, which may affect not only wives but also children. The author claims that it may be much better for a child to go through parents’ divorce than to live in the atmosphere of constant stress and conflict, which may adversely affect the child’s psychological condition.
As the article “Times Change, but Should Our Marriages too?” is concentrated on the concepts of early marriages, I would like to make my point that early marriages in modern society are not so popular as they often restrict a woman’s development as a personality. It happens so because instead of getting education and evolving in all life spheres, women, who are mainly younger and who often have significant age difference with their husbands, have to focus on only one – family life. Another disputable question is arranged marriages. Of course, such acquaintances “can take away the stress of looking for a partner”, but they increase the stress of getting used to an unfamiliar person in the context of closeness and marriage. Therefore, the success of such marriages in most cases is the matter of luck or, at least, toleration.
The article “Dubai Divorces up, Emirati Weddings down but Mixed Marriages Rise” provides data on the increasing number of divorces. However, there is no data on when the marriages that failed had been contracted. Probably, people started to understand that if their marriages did not work (for many reasons, for examples, family violence, alcohol and drug abuse, jealousy or because of the fact that the marriage was arranged and spouses had nothing in common), they did not have to stay unhappy forever and there was a way out. The divorce certificates, which were issued this year, may be for marriages contracted 20, 30, or even 40 years ago when the power of traditional marriages was still strong.
When writing the article “Single Mothers in UAE will Shoulder the Blame after Most Divorces”, Ayhesha Almazroui posed the question: How to live after divorce? I believe a woman, who decides to leave her husband, should be prepared for the consequences both psychologically and economically. It is necessary to prepare the background: to find where to live, where to work, how to earn for life, whom to leave a child with because feminism means not only additional rights but also additional responsibilities.
The statement in the article “Blaming Social media for Divorce is Shortsighted” claiming that contemporary people blame social networks for unsuccessful personal relations is absurd. It seems the same as blaming alcohol use, work addiction, or any other action or state, which may be overindulged. It is known that too much of anything is bad. This works for social media too.
The article “Personal Crisis Leads Emirati Women to Reach out to Others” makes people give a more optimistic look at the opportunity of finding a woman's personality and place in life. The author shows a great example of how a divorced woman can become successful and do something she likes and something useful to help other women.
The problem of fear of being judged by society after divorce is described in the article “Sometimes Divorce is the only Answer”. Of course, people are social beings, and we cannot completely disregard the attitude of society, but there are some cases when staying married may be harmful both physically and psychologically. Such families are unhealthy, and the most terrible thing is that such an unhealthy attitude towards spouses may be passed to the next generation, creating an endless chain of domestic violence. Thus, sometimes divorce is the only way to save society.
The articles definitely should not be treated as advertisements of divorces. The authors just want to change society’s perception towards this social phenomenon and the still existing trend in patriarchic society to put the blame on women. Thus, it is highly important to understand that it is not a shame to make mistakes, it is much worse not to correct them.
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