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Stereotyping Women and its Transformations in NES

Idris Piran

It is not common sense, in any way, to construct or base our principles on prejudices regarding various concepts in reality, especially when the matter is related to a rational being like a "woman," who enjoys full capacity in the right and freedom of life granted to all without favor or guardianship from anyone or any other being. However, there are stereotypes imposed by the historical process and the reality inflicted on the minds, especially in the social and cognitive respects, and the behaviors derived from them accordingly, including this stereotype of the woman's personality in general.

From this perspective, we will discuss the formation of women's personality stereotypes by individuals and society and in particular, the depiction and personality of women in the geographical, historical, social, economic and political reality. In addition to the emerging administrative reality in NES, in general, and the development of women status, which did not break any noticeable and general stereotypical contexts regarding women as much as it resulted in their increased confinement and a shift in the stereotypical context derived from the social and cognitive reality, near and far from the image and personality of woman.
In the geographical, historical and religious context, we cannot separate, in any manner, the development, progress and progression of the stereotypical and intellectual transformations of women's personalities in NES, as in isolation from their reality and surroundings. Also, as an integral part of that historical process of women's personalities and the contexts of their development in Mesopotamia in general, except in geographical and cultural parts, which may be represented by the Badia in the southeast of Euphrates areas.

Likewise, in the same historical context and according to the cognitive and cultural fields that are noticeable and familiar to women and during the Neolithic era and its beginning, women were represented as ruling goddesses in their reality back then. Therefore, they were embodied in goddesses' images in the various spiritual philosophies in Mesopotamia, since the emergence of cities' roles in this region and the emergence of international thought in general, goddesses such as, Inanna, Aredvi Sura Anahita, Ishtar and …. etc.

This in turn resulted in the reverence of women and the continuation of their reverence. It created a behavioral personality of its own in intellectual, philosophical and spiritual successions and in cultural and cognitive patterns and forms, also, with similar and converging patterns in the cognitive awareness of Mesopotamian societies in general. However, it is no secret that women's roles gradually diminished, with the beginning of those ages and the succession of spiritual philosophies and cultures, in general, until women's images were formed and reached the prevailing stereotypes in our current era.

In the social and cultural aspects in the modern era, women have been subjected to a conservative culture, as a feature of society in its majority, which eliminated women's moral and human rights development compared to men in general. However, the society culture in NES and Al-Jazeera areas in particular, was - and is - more open to women's reality, compared to the prevailing culture in different urban areas in Syria. For example, women in the northern regions in general and Al-Jazeera in particular, according to the capabilities available therein and in recent decades, have actively participated in the educational system in all its joints and specializations alongside men, which led to the emergence of educated generations among most of women, and this in turn contributed in mitigating the close-mindedness. Consequently, this indicates the relative increase in the role and participation of women in the overall relations of society and at various levels, however it does not negate the discriminatory aspect towards women in society. Women are still deprived from different civil rights compared to men and are under men's guardianship, as he decides about her life affairs mostly. As for women themselves, despite their contemporary and civic practices in form, vivid tradition and consumption in general, they subordinate themselves implicitly to the inherited social culture norms and features and they have not been fundamentally liberated from them, in other words, they lack urban awareness and its appropriate behavior. Therefore, these contradictions have resulted in entanglement and suffering within the society, regarding all actual issues of women in relation to what men already own, like equality and personal decision-making to other matters that concern life commonalities between them. Women are rational beings with a free-will and do not need a guardianship to be imposed on them.

In the same context and in light of women's emancipation claims, even relatively, no emergence of an independent economy for women was noticed or recorded, neither individually nor in the form of any real and purposeful societal awareness in NES in general. This is despite women assuming different positions in the Self-Administration's institutions, or obtaining some job opportunities here and there. No kind of intellectual awareness was spread aiming at women's actual emancipation and not the formal and the consumer one or an aspect that is based on the principle that the independent economy represents the independence of decision and the relativity extent represents the emancipation extent for individuals and groups.

In the political and administrative context, the reality may suggest a significant participation of women in the various organizational, military, administrative and political sectors. We may witness an atypical shift in the military field, even in relative terms or in the average rate. Perhaps this is due to the great interest in this field, however we cannot describe her participation in other fields as the desired effectiveness. Therefore, women's issues do not require promotion only, as it has become an obligation for society to be totally saved from its constraints and confinements.

Regarding the general context and based on the cultural and cognitive pillars of society, there is a dreaded question about the confinement in the society, how it can be sorted concerning women's issues and the necessity to find solutions to them. As a man, I may be deeply enjoying patriarchal characteristics and the norms of the prevailing culture and accordingly I may not be interested in the complete liberation of women and their complete equality with men, simply because that makes me lose some of my privileges as a man who dominates all the details of social life and I may generally just not like this concept and on the other hand, women have become a heavy burden on me as a man. Hence, by virtue of women's current violations of the prevailing societal cultural norms and their effective legacies, then what are the available solutions to reduce this contradiction and confinement, particularly in the current and dire decade?

I inevitably believe that the radical solutions lie in paving the way by radical, progressive, conscious and imposing measures that guarantee the society's salvation in the first place from its cultural crisis and its actual contradictions. Hence, the solutions have come to impose themselves in the form of general civil laws that are enforceable and completely devoid of gender discrimination for individuals in equality before the law and in all life respects. As well as, keenness to exclude the definitions and concepts that entrench sexuality in the formulations of laws and courts entirely, in addition to activating and relying on the literality of laws for the various cases categorically and as equal individuals before the law altogether, which guarantees legal formulas from which no one can escape. As it ends the control of cultural norms internalized in the consciousness and subconsciousness of society in general and along the relatively small succession of time. Of course, this does not negate crude radicalism in the beginnings of implementation, given the complex cultural heritage in general, however, we must actively educate society and instill open-mindedness in an intensive and systematic manner, covering all aspects and details. The change in basic assumptions of societies requires painstaking and deliberate qualitative efforts, while discarding the formalism and the improving and consumer depiction of the details and issues of society, as is their case in the various societal depictions and manifestations in the country.

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