Stop Unjust Laws against Lebanese Women!
There is this law in Lebanon that allows a rapist to marry his victim, thus avoiding being prosecuted for his ‘’crime”. This country is so beautiful and filled with smart and lovely people but unfortunately there is this collective lethargy or amnesia. The majority of people in the country are outraged about this law and other laws that deprive equal rights to women… such as the inability of a Lebanese woman to pass her nationality to her husband if he is not a Lebanese nor to her children, while all male Lebanese can marry anyone of any nationality and their spouses and their children get automatically full citizenship. That does not surprise me.
What horrifies me and so many others in Lebanon and around the world is the apathy of the citizens who do nothing about it. Yes, there are pockets of protests and women rights groups that are trying to reverse these discriminatory “laws”. Their just specks of light that will soon die out in a sea of indifference.
You know we all wonder why Lebanon is in constant chaos. Some say corruption, some that that is the way it always is, still others say why bother, at the end of the day no matter what you do, vote, protest, those in power will never change. So they fold their arms and do nothing. We saw the protests about the garbage. We are all affected by it, yet who showed up? A couple of hundred out in Downtown didn’t amount to much. Let others go protest and actively participate in movements for rights and change, while we cheer them from afar.
Have any of you ever really thought about these deplorable laws? Truly sat down and really honestly thought what these laws imply? Let’s give it a try. Think for a moment that your daughter, niece, cousin, friend, neighbor, happened to be raped. I said raped. What would you do? Would you allow your daughter to marry the rapist to keep the honor, the name of the family or whatever other lame excuse you can come up with, over the fact that someone just raped your daughter? Where I come from we believe every rapist should be killed, if people do not wish to go that far, at the very least, castrate the beast so he will never do this ever again. Where I come from the question of honor is of little importance as it is in these parts. Yet we consider rape a crime and the perpetrator goes behind bars. Here there is all this talk about honor. Frankly, if we are going to talk about honor, the only honorable thing is to acknowledge that rape is a crime, pure and simple. The only honorable thing is to condone rape and call it a crime. This law is a criminal act against all Lebanese woman. It robs the victims of their right for justice and rewards the rapist with the right to go free and continue to abuse freely of the victim. This is outrageous in this day and age to see a country like Lebanon trample the rights of its female citizens.
The biggest disappointment is to see this apathy. Are you not outraged by the violation of your rights. All Lebanese women are being slapped in the face. Your rights as citizens of this country are being trampled. What are you going to do about it? I am sure you don’t like these archaic demeaning laws. Are you outraged enough to try to mobilize and fight for your rights?
The sad thing is that if you do not fight against these laws. When this crime occurs you will realize the horrors of these laws placed against you. Will anybody care or come to your side? Sooner or later, more rights will be taken from you. What you don’t defend you lose. What are you teaching the new generations of men and women with your apathy? You are teaching them that women have no value, that they are less than men. Women can be used and abused and nobody will care. So if women do not care for their fellow women, and stand together, why should men care for women’s rights? Would men respect women in the future? Why would they? When this law says they can rape any women and then marry them and get away with rape.
Is this the kind of a country you want to live in? Would you want your daughters, granddaughters, and all other young women to live in such a place? Do you? Don’t justify the unjustifiable with honor talks, patronizing rhetoric that this is a patriarchal society, please don’t. Just be contentiously honest with yourself and call rape, rape. Stop hiding your heads in the sand. You have to stand with each other. Women it is time to love and help one another.
Lebanese women, you are so smart, more than you can imagine. And you are worthy of achieving all your dreams in life. You have power, you have a voice. You have and are raising Lebanon’s families. You are part of Lebanon’s work force. It is time to fight for your rights. You, your daughters, and granddaughters have the right to walk in the streets safely knowing that if anyone of them is ever raped they do not have to ever marry the criminal who raped them or have his children.
You have the right that if you ever fall in love with a foreigner you can give him and your children your Lebanese nationality. Your husband and your children can live in your country, Lebanon. They can study in your country, Lebanon. They can work in your country, Lebanon. They can inherit in your country, Lebanon. This is YOUR country. You are citizens of Lebanon and you are worth the same rights as any Lebanese men. It is time for all of you to claim your inalienable rights to this, your country, your Lebanon.