Through The Mind’s EyeJealousy: Is it men’s or women’s right?! [Archives:2007/1105/Community]

November 22 2007

Maged Thabet Al-kholidy
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In the Arab and Islamic societies, jealousy is considered as a basic human feeling not only towards relatives or people but also towards things related to dignity, religion, society, etc. in this article I comment only upon the personal jealousy particularly that takes place between lovers, and husbands and wives.

Actually, the reason of this feeling is a matter of culture. The sexes may naturally have this feeling. But a problem occurs from time to time about who has the right to be jealous, the man or the woman.

I am not going to say my opinion about this right now. In this issue, I just shed light on this topic and leave it for you, dear readers. It is a critical issue, and all can give suggestions and opinions. Here I present some of the common views of some people. But most of them look partial to their sex. You, however, may give unbiased views so that a better conclusion can be drawn to settle such a social topic.

Though some people consider jealousy as a common feeling of both women and men, some others look at it differently with certain reasons and justifications. In this case, a man gives the right to the woman to be jealous exactly like him, and he respects that. Similarly the woman admits the jealousy of man and also she respects that.

Some men, however, look at jealousy as a right of men only. They restrict women's behaviors, especially wives, with the claim that they feel jealous for them.

On the other hand, such men reject any right of women's jealousy, advocating that they are men and they can do anything since it is not considered as a social shame as in the case of women. They behave freely even if their wives are there with them.

Such men take the right to marry more than one wife as a pretext. For this reason, they may love, make relations, flatter, marry, ect. Nobody can blame them. But if the wives do any thing like these, it is taken as a matter of religious and social disloyalty to husbands and to their families as well.

Some men are with the idea that women can have jealousy. But they do not have the right to take any procedure against them. Women in such a case, can not shout, or stop men to do any unlikely behaviors. They have only the feeling to be jealous. So they must do everything for the husbands in order not to look for other. Men in this case take it as a mere feeling that a woman has only to be positive to the husband, i.e. she should offer him all means of comfort and enjoyment.

Some men are very aggressive and firm in this point. They consider themselves as the controllers of everything. Wives for them are just wives who must only follow all the men's orders.

Such men do not believe in jealousy at all. For them, women must follow their instructions and orders not because their jealous but because they should follow husbands in everything. Similarly, women have no right even to think of jealousy or any other right.

For women, on the other hand, some of them consider jealousy as a right of women only. They have some reasons for this. One of the reasons is that they should control the men's behaviors under the umbrella of jealousy. By this, they think that men will obey them and no longer think of doing anything like establishing relations with other women, or to marry.

In such cases, women even stand against of the husbands' work with women. Sometimes, they keep the men's money and never give them unless they get sure what for they need any sum of money. They observe all the men's behaviors and contacts, claiming that it is only jealousy to them.

To some women, men have no right to feel jealous towards them. They advocate that they are self-confident, and they are not doing any thing wrong even if they contact other men for formal or informal relations.

They also advocate that men can do many things if they have chances. A man can, for example, divorce the wife, or marry another one. Nobody can stop him. But women can do nothing like these. “It is the right of women to be jealous not the men”, they always say.

The above cases are there at least in our society. They make me, and hopefully, every one of you to think about the topic so that a better understanding can be offered to the whole society. As I said in the beginning of the article, this is not my viewpoint; it is only a survey of the common attitudes in our society. You, as readers, can make the discussion further through writing your comments and opinions, sending them for publishing to the newspaper. A better comment and opinion is the one which deals with topic impartially through the mind's eye.

Majed Thabet Al-kholidy is a writer from Taiz, currently doing his M.A. at English Dep, Taiz Uni. He is an ex-editor of English Journal of the University.