Sophia's Peace Work

Friday, June 27, 2008

Recently, we had some girl/boy trouble in our office and I was telling my father about it and he wrote:

You should mention the ancient Greek play by Aristophanes called "Lysistrata" in which the gals didn't like the war that boys were fond of fighting and withheld any sexual contact until they until they would cease going off to war. Of course, it was a comedy, and we all know that the Muslims have no humor. Come to think of it, I wonder if it would still work - send a letter to Ms. Bush with this sort of suggestion.

Leaving off my father's opinions concerning Muslims and their ability to take a joke (my Dad is a typical American when it comes to his opinions about Muslims despite the fact that he doesn't know any personally that I am aware of), I doubt this would be a useful example here for afterall, the problem is likely caused by the complete estrangement between young men and young women already. With so many sexual taboos and the facts that a) muslim ladies withhold sex until marriage and b) young muslim boys, atleast here in Iraq, are too poor to be able to propose marriage, you have a situation that isn't so conducive of peace. In fact you have a situation where they all behave like sex-starved idiots.

Fortunately most of them are just silly kids with good hearts, but occasionally, as this girl in question seems to have found, you run across one that has a mean streak. And the girl responds foolishly only to make matters worse. Unfortunately, the girls in these situations, either subtly or overtly, always seem to be the ones that lose out the most in the end. The supervisors have taken matters into their hands and made decisions about our young lady without consulting her (they defend these actions and I do not doubt that they think they have the best intentions, but to me you don't make such decisions about a women here without talking to her first otherwise your action comes off looking paternalistic). And already the blame game is started. Another women from our office came up to her and told her, "Look, he's a nice boy, afterall. Everyone likes him and maybe you are wrong about him and you shouldn't make trouble for him." It being clearly implied that, 'you're just a woman, you can't win, so you should just put up and shut up' .... Good Lord! Men do not need women to act as their apologists!

I don't necessarily know what the best course of action is and I would hesitate to say I could judge accurately (my boss seems to think he knows the full story but I know things about it as well that I highly doubt he could possibly be aware of) ... it doesn't really matter who did what to whom and who should take more of the blame; both made mistakes and in the end, the managers cannot sit in judgement of the fault. No physical harm was done by one towards the other and the damage was purely psychological and emotional. But it affected the work and so management must take an action. I just think it is critical that both people in the equation be treated in the exact same way. If one is to be given a leave, both should be given a leave. If one is to be reprimanded both should be reprimanded. This way there can be no comparison made between them by the rest of the staff and the people in question can not say, "I was badly punished, while the other was just slapped on the wrist."


By the way "Lysistrata" loosely translated means "she who disbands armies"


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