The Reality of Being a Stereotype Breaker in a Very Stereotypical Egyptian Family

By: Zeinah Hesham

When you’re a stereotype breaker in a very stereotypical Egyptian family !

There are certain stereotypes that are known to all men and women in this country , in fact those stereotypes slowly start morphing into traditions and rules that we must follow . Those stereotypes include women acting lady-like , feminine and classy whilst men have to be strong , dominant and almost animal-like.

However this stereotype has changed over the years and has been broken by many. Despite that , when you are on of those people who is rebelling against them – you will still be met with the judging eyes of your aunt , the headshake of your mum and the disappointment of all those around them.

I’m not speaking about whom you happen to fall in love with and what person chooses you , I’m speaking about the small things that make you happiest – be it Dancing , Getting drunk all year round or getting involved in fist fights even. All those activities aren’t typical and they aren’t accepted either.

If you’re a talented sensitive boy that is passionate about dancing you will most likely get the talk from your dad about how Dancing is a girl’s hobby and how you cannot raise a family if you become a dancer and uttermostly will you hear the words that ‘this is not what I thought of you’. As if your life actually has to be a montage of what everyone thinks it should be like. On top of that don’t forget that they will most likely point out that Dancing ‘makes you gay’ and will make you less attractive to women.

If you’re a fit strong girl that is passionate about fighting or maybe lifting weights , you will most likely get the talk from your mum and your nosey aunt. They will scold you and start saying how this is not the hobby for women to take in and that it is not lady like yo uptake such leisure activities. They will also point out how unattractive it will be if a girl is stronger than a boy and how this should be the argument for you to stop what you’re doing immediately .

I agree that nowadays it has become much better for men and women but if you pay attention , how normal is it for the genders to have interests that are typical for the opposite sex? How much does a family support that? And how much does a family push those interests away?

How much does a dad force trucks and football into his son’s mind? And how much does a mum imprint her daughter’s mind with beauty and fashion?

A girl is not just someone who’s feminine , someone who wears dresses , puts on makeup and says please and thank you.

A boy is not just someone who protects you from danger , someone who enjoys drinking and partying , checks girls out and plays football.

We are human beings. Our genders do not define what we should like and dislike. Our body parts are not deciding factors of whether we choose to pursue a career in the fine arts or in applied sciences.

At the end of the day we get to choose who we are , we choose who we want to be and you do not get to decide what is gender appropriate or not.

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