Today, I decided to pick up on a a posting by an Algerian blogger on Algerian women.
On Patriots on Fire, a post entitled “Algerian women serve no purpose” was recently published, which amongst other things states that some interviewed Algerian men think that Algerian women serve no purpose and that their interest is centered around marriage and Turkish soaps. Shockingly, the comments to the post seem to endorse the statement in the title.
I cannot deny that marriage and men are a recurring theme in some very popular blogs run by single Algerian females. Searching for a husband seems to be a favourite preoccupation of young women in Algeria. There is the famous slogan that girls at Algerian universities use which is diplôme plus un homme, which makes finding a man a priority for a young woman just as much as getting the degree. Indeed, some girls just want to go to university to be able to find a partner as the milieu offers more choice than one would find in the small community from which one hails.
Nevertheless, the interviewees or the blogger seem to suggest that there is a norm and that Algerian women by focusing on finding a husband or a partner seem to be shifting from the norm. But the need to find a male partner or a mating partner to be more biologically precise does not only occupy the Algerian female’s mind. Bridget Jones’s Diary and Sex and the City are very good examples of the pressure put on women in Western societies to be hitched once they reach a certain age and also to produce descendants. So, it is a bit unfair and shortsighted to imply that this phenomenon is purely Algerian or even Arab by reaching conclusions based on this fact.
On a recent assignment in a town not far from London, in a company dominated by women, I was surprised to find out that babies and children were the preferred discussion topic during lunch breaks, and that everyone made sure to mention the achievements, the concerts, the pantomimes, the sports days that their children were attending. These women were not without a purpose, 80% of them had PhD’s from top universities in the UK and in Europe. The question: ”Do you have children?” was asked by everyone I met, and someone went even further as to ask me: “Do you not want to have children?”. I decided to make a joke about it.
So, it is really only natural to try and find a life partner to fulfill a biological need and to pass one’s genes on. If people who are looking for a partner are thought to serve no purpose, then most of young people on this planet are useless.