July 2008

Improvements have been made, however I still believe we still live in a male dominated society. Up to some time ago, women going to work were shunned upon by some conservatives.

However, the arguments the conservatives give are flawed. A woman’s place is in the kitchen or taking care of kids. If women go to work they will have more ‘temptations’ for cheating (as if this does not apply for men too!) along with many others.

What’s my opinion? Should a (married) woman be able to build a career? Definitely. Is working a cause for temptation for a woman to cheat her husband? I don’t think so. If it is such, first it was the postman or milkman and now it’s the colleague. Is it OK for me if a couple change roles and the man takes care of the kids and took care of his house? Sure, why not. Should the male keep control of the money and ‘give’ some money to his partner for necessities? Of course not, though unfortunately some people still seem to live in the Middle Ages.

What I find irritating is not the fact that many women choose to work but the fact that they have to work. The reason is obvious. We may have a better standard of living than before however purchasing power is diminishing. I’m not quoting the NSO here, but from what I hear form nearly everybody I meet and my own experience. The worst 2 culprits are the ever increasing rise of property and that of energy.

I would love a partner coming home and telling me about her achievements, what she’s done and how her career is going. What I wouldn’t like is a partner that never wanted the job she has anyway, but has to do it, coming home like a wretch and thinking about quitting – until the next electricity bill comes and we would have to change our minds.

Some say more marriages break down since working women started to increase. Obviously it is a phenomenon that is happening but can one be open-minded enough to look for the reason of all this? Living in a rat race, usually you find both couples doing a full time job and at least one of them having also to work part-time just to make ends meet. Then there are the house chores to be done, after you’re at home dead tired.

Talking about temptations (adultery), I also think it comes from the same obvious cause. If the man or woman sees his colleague much more than his partner the temptation is much higher (though falling for it is still a matter of weakness). If a couple had an argument and went to work, tensions will accumulate since they may have to wait days, maybe weeks to find some free quality time when they can trash things out, after the problem would have probably escalated.

What about children? I have beautiful memories of my father playing football with me, and my family together playing scrabble in the evening. How many couple can afford such quality time today? Now children are playing a memory game instead – trying to remember who their parents are – mum and dad? Grandma? The nanny? Neighbour? No one at all?

Can we be mature enough and address the main problem instead of pointing fingers at lack of morality or Catholic values. This is nonsense. If a couple remains together just for the sake of not committing sin, or looking in a bad light with neighbours and extended family, I ask myself what kind of healthy relationship is this?.

May I point my fingers to land speculators who deliberately let the price of property increase, crooked politicians who decline to invest in alternative energy just because you will see the results after election comes and the other party might be in government; among others.

Give our couples a break please. A healthy relationship is such a beautiful thing. Stop spoiling it for your egocentric purposes.


Rachel Corrie is the kind of girl every parent should be proud of; definitely I would be as her parents were. Proud as much as sad when she was murdered at the young age of 24.

Since the tender age of 5 Rachel was a person who could not stick much of the wrong doings of humankind – war, greed, injustice, famine and environmental destruction. And at the age of 5 she made her first public speech regarding these issues. I can imagine how proud her parents were seeing their daughter talking about the value of other human beings’ life and dignity, the same values she inherited from them.

Still proud, but also worried, Rachel’s parents saw her grow up and at the age of 24 going to Gaza in 2003 with only one mission – to show her disapproval against the injustice the people of Palestine were going through. She went with non-profit NGO International Solidarity Movement (ISM) and wrote home regularly talking about her anger and sadness witnessing these people, especially the children being harassed, humiliated arrested and murdered. She wanted to do something, an irresistible urge against helplessness in such a situation.

One practice the Israeli regime was doing was destroying homes with bulldozers with the excuse that there might be terrorists inside, leaving a lot of people including many children homeless, if not also hurt and murdered.

One day Rachel had had enough.

She placed herself and camped in between large Israeli bulldozers and premises where Palestinians lived. She believed that though her life was as equal as any Palestinian human being, being American would deter the bulldozers harming her. Unfortunately she was wrong. After some debate the bulldozers continued their job, crushing poor Rachel cold bloodedly, as no one had expected.

I bet that despite the sadness, after the initial shock, Rachel’s parents couldn’t help continuing to feel proud of their daughter.

Maybe one reason for writing this is also a personal thing. While people like Rachel give me hope that there is much humanity and goodness in humankind, I also feel guilty and helpless. I wish I was like Rachel, but I confess that compared to her I’m a coward.

The second reason is quite different. I want anyone reading this to know this story. I want to give my minuscule tribute so that Rachel’s blood wouldn’t have been split in vain. I want to show my appreciation to all the Rachel Corries we have never come to hear about, and I’m sure there are quite a substantial number of these.