Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Elections headache

So, I have been making fun of the elections at the municipality level here in Lebanon. It is so easy to ridicule candidates and voters when you are not involved. Now, it is my turn to bear the brunt of what the reality is and as it turns out it is not funny at all. A friend of mine who has no clue about politics and who doesn't give a fuck about elections, not here not anywhere, told me how her father convinced her to go to the village (which she visits once every few years) to vote for the family's list. She argued with him for long about how she doesn't believe that she has the right to have a say in a village she barely visits and barely cares for or at least to have a vote equally to someone actually living there. She also complained about how she doesn't want to give her a vote to people she doesn't know only because her father told her to do so or because they are called "family" (her primary and real reason is that she doesn't want to make the long trip to the village). All her arguments were futile. At the end she went and she voted. Her father had to say one word only to make her change her mind, or more correctly to make her abandon this fight. He told her "you want people to make fun of me and say that your father has no say (impact) among his own children?!". When the battle becomes a feminist one against the patriarchal system represented by your own father, it becomes a different story. When my father approached me to test the waters about where I stand regarding the elections, I decided to play his own card against him, so I said "unless you want people to say that you have no say among your children, you'd better tell them that I will be out of the country on the elections day!". It worked out fine, for a short while only. Then the battle began all over again.

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