Sunday, January 23, 2011

OPNO wants to... slap somebody at the office

Everyone in Oman that I know seems to have a maid except for me. I could have one. I can afford it. But I don't really need it, so I just go, 'nah'.

But what I really need to do right now is go slap some guy.

K, first off. Dear blog audience, let me tell you 2 stories, and YOU TELL ME, when is it okay to slap somebody.

Story #1

There is a pretty young American girl working for my company. She's the one who makes minutes for the meetings, distributes the faxes to the right people, edits company documents. Outside of her working time, she met an Omani guy for coffee. Whether or not one can judge this Omani guy's intentions [I usually go for the worst 1 year into the country now], she likes him, and they go on dates. This does not interfere with her work at all, and actually, no one can prove anything at all that they've kissed or slept with eachother ect, only that they had coffee once. He is not a co-worker, she's always been the MOST AMAZING person in the job that we've ever had. Also, she is also that one at your company, that if any of the women working there had something bad happen in their personal lives, that they go to. Say their husband was divorcing them, or their dog or cat got run over, she was always the one who'd make extra time to console and offer advice so the others in the office could get back to business as usual.

But what do these co-workers, her office family do, when one day, her boss comes up to her and slaps her hard across the face, leaving his handprint there, do?

They laughed. They actually laughed.

They laughed because the boss said to her after he slapped her, in reference to the Omani guy she had coffee with because she was lonely and far from her friends and family, "You came here to work, not make a slutt of yourself. Your behaviour damages the company reputation."
End of story number one: PLEASE NOTE, STORY #1 is just to make the GCC ARAB audience THINK of maids differently, as people.

Now my question, being that girl's behavior did not hinder her job, and thus, should not leave her accountable for the company itself, can I slap the crap out of that guy?

Can you say, that a company has the right to control what she does outside of her working hours providing it is not breaking the laws of Oman even if she might be hurting herself and doesn't know it?

If you are one of those who said, slap the crap out of the dude, and, of course not OPNO, let me tell you story number #2, story like it really happened:

There is a decent looking young Philipino girl working for a maid agency. She's the one who runs after the children, changes their diapers, cleans up after the entire family, cooks everyone food, and still has the patience for kisses and hugs during tempertantrums. She is also the one that female family members go to for some kind words to cheer them up when something bad happens in their lives. Outside of her working time, she met an Omani guy for coffee. Whether or not one can judge this Omani guy's intentions [I usually go for the worst 1 year into the country now---and if I was her family, I'd go slap the Omani guy or demand he offer to marry my maid if he wants to court her since this is actually a requirement of HIS religion], she liked him, and they met twice. This does not interfere with her work at all, and actually, no one can prove anything at all, that they've kissed or slept with eachother ect, only that they had coffee twice with lots of folks around. Unlike some other *BAD* maids I've known, the Omani guy is *NOT* the husband of the Omani woman she works for. She isn't hitting on family members. She is lonely, had a horribly hard life, and hopes that some decent, kind, well-off stranger may marry her and save her children back in Philipines from a life of poverty. Which is similar to what *ALOT* of Omani women I am friends with dream of too BTW. She isn't doing anything that deserves a whipping in Islam such as fornicating (you need a witness to that) but nonetheless, she is returned by her "family" to the maid agency. But a "family" member half-laughs when they hear that...

The boss at the maid agency slaps the poor miskeen girl hard across the face, saying, "You came here to work, not to make a slutt of yourself. Your behvaiour damages the company reputation."




Because somebody should. Slapping a woman is like, the lowest of the low, unless of course, it is me, OPNO, slapping you dude first and for no valid reason, then, btw, hit me back, I am up for it.

But I doubt she insulted you crimey maid service operator. She never hurt you at all, or even her family. The only one she COULD HURT was herself in this case.

I wanna slap him sooooooooo bad. Just cuz you own a visa doesn't mean you own a PERSON. They have hours and beyond those working hours, and WITHIN the laws of the country, their lives are-and SHOULD BE-their own.

The girl deserves to find her Prince Charming, albeit, I TOTALLY don't think the coffee Omani dude was that, more like your run-of-the-mill wolf in sheep's clothing, but I mean, every girl deserves that.

And before you accuse people of bad things, think about it. If this girl WAS a Muslim woman, yeah, she shouldn't be dating. But does she REALLY have a family to match-make for her back in her home country???? {the maid in this story I knew personally, her intentions would ONLY BE honorable, even if she trusted the wrong man, as women are wont to}

And if she was NOT muslim, is it any way YOUR right to blame her for ANOTHER Muslim's (the guy she went on the date with) behaviour?

Actually, I know alot of maids in Oman, that married good, decent, previously unmarried husbands. If you are a Muslim family, SHAME<> on YOU for NOT WANTING THAT FOR YOUR MAID.

So I soooooooooo totally want to slap the guy that slapped the maid at the agency.

But I know, he'd probably get me arrested if I slapped him.


You mean, OPNO, the ROP TOTALLY CONDONE phsical abuse of women?

Well, in the cases of maids and some other imported workers, dear readers, I will tell you how Omani minds work on the issue, and dearest, beloved Omanis, who I esteem and love for all the good of you, and wish to change all that is wrong with you, do not take offense.

To Omanis, the maid, regardless of her religion, is usually seen to be a member of the household.

That means, that while she is most often not TREATED as a female family member, she is expected to behave like a female family member.

If a female family member went out on a coffee-date with an Omani guy, her brother might slap her.

This, to the ROP, is a "it's for the family to fix it" kind of thing. Most Omanis get it, even I do. I don't think it's right, I mean, go slap the dude she was with too, if you wanna be fair and just ect... but if the Omani female family member was lonely, and wanted to find her Prince Charming, her Omani family would help her find someone good ideally, someone who would not take advantage of her.

This "family member" per se maid is not treated as a family member in the same regard. She is often not regarded AT ALL socially, so her lonliness, and often the poverty-stricken circumstances of her life, are even worse, and yet no one worries for her finding something better in life. She is treated thus, as an object on loan from the maid agency, not truly a family member.

So I don't believe "family" justice should apply to maids in Oman AT ALL.

I should TOTALLY be able to SLAP that dude that slapped the poor maid.

What would I have done? I would have taken the girl aside and warned her about men that use women, and then I'd endeavour to see if the Omani coffee date was serrious or not, and if not, I'd help her to find a real, decent man who could help make her life better.

But then, I treat maids as people in the first place.


I'm Farsilla said...

:O seriously if i become dat girl i will just slap him back. he has no right at all. i dont care if get fired but still. n i will do police report.


Anonymous said...

AGGHHHHHHHH, I hate people like that who think they are better than the people who work for them!!!!!!

The american girl should sue the guy that slapped her and he should be terminated from the company as there is no rule in Oman that supports verbal abuse let alone phyisical abuse at work.

In my company there was this foreign guy that cursed an Omani employee, the Omani employee reported him and he was immediately sent back to his country.

Boxie said...

such a sad story, but ya I see how the ROP would see that as a family problem that is for them to fix. They do not get involved in family problems after all.

Omani Princess (not Omani LOL) said...

Silla: I wish she would do as you suggest, but she's afraid of the police and she's at the mercy of maid agency to get her back to philipines.

Anonymous: I just switched the ethnicity of the Philipino maid to American admin and made the maid agency to an office so that people could see how hypocritical it is in Oman, how maid abuse is allowed. Like you said, IT IS AGAINST Omani law, but who will defend them????

Me, and a few others alone, totally isn't enough. Re-education for the entire populace on the situation is needed.

Boxie: You and Pixie would know that first hand wouldn't you?

♥ααℓiα♥ said...

Would I slap him?? Just a slap? Nope I would do a lot more than just slapping and the only reason my Ex got to beat me was cuz he had kicked me to the ground making me unable to get up.

OMG I hate violence against any person and when it's a man vs. a woman that just makes me see red.

Those 2 stories are horrible!!!!!!!!!!

♥hind♥ said...

WOW what a sad world. I wouldnt be able to work at this place anymore.
Slapping is way too much. but when you come to a foreign country to work u should learn from their culture. For them it seems to be shameful to sit in a cafee with a man. So doing this would be considered like for example *pictures of you drunk or even nude pictures* here in the west.
No boss would like that. But slapping someone in the face?? NEEH thats sad.

Omani Princess (not Omani LOL) said...

Hind: Actually, the sad thing is, in Oman, it isn't shamful enough for the slapping of white western expats working in Oman to be sitting in cafes with someone they aren't married to. Yet, for a miad to do the same, suddenly it is "ayb"/shame enough for deportation and phsycial abuse. Which is why I am so angry because people don't see it for what it is.

Aalia: I totally agree. You know my stance at chucking popcans at pervy perpetrators;D

♥hind♥ said...

Its hard to imagine for someone like me, who doesnt care about race and whereabouts. Seems to be a big problem in mideastern countrys.

Anonymous said...

I would kick his you know what!! This is ridiculous. So many maids are mistreated and suffer in silence. The problem is that no one is standing up for them, or not enough people are doing it.There has been more horrible stories than the good ones in the ME. I am so pissed! sf

nida said...

Oh the injustice! Sure the American girl could go ahead and report the issue because she is not dependent on the job, while the 'poor' maid is. I've read so many stories even here in the US where 'undocumented' Mexican maids are being abused by their rich white folks. It makes me sick to my stomach. The issue is that these women have no security blanket, and their 'employers' can do what ever they want them with just a plain threat that they would be deported back if they reported the abuse. So most stay quiet and let the abuse go on.

Also, its not always men abusing their maids, often women do too. There should definitely be more protective laws introduced in these host countries, so that this crude behavior does not go unpunished.

Even non-Muslims have rights in Islam, and these rights should be respected! These women are human beings too!

Anonymous said...

Violence is not an answer, so you shouldn't want to slap him back, because you are better than that. ;) Instead, women should learn martial arts. If my boss, or anyone else, tried to slap me, their hand wouldn't touch my face in the first place... It's shameful to hurt someone weaker than you and that maid should not put up with abuse. Unfortunately, as long as they are willing to put up with it, it will continue. One of the reasons this sort of thing happens is because the abuser knows he can get away with it...

As for the coffee date, or whatever, it's sad that women have those hopes. If he's drinking coffee with you he's not going to be a good husband, even if he does marry you, which won't happen... Women should not put themselves in such vulnerable positions, in my opinion.

Andrew Brown said...

"Just because you own a visa doesn't mean you own a person". Well said! That one sentence really says it all brilliantly! Stories like this really make my blood boil but thank you for posting the truth. It's a human rights violation that happens on a daily basis here in Oman.

♥Amal said...

I don't think she deserved to be slapped (That's just wrong!), but I wouldn't like it if my [hypothetical] maid was going out with men all the time. It does kind of reflect badly if people were to start noticing and saying "Why is your maid always out with men?" or something, you know? If she wanted a husband, I would help her find one in a more halal way.

meg said...

This is a good example of 'white privilege', where 'white' (not necessarily caucasian but someone from a western culture or society) people get treated differently for no reason. Basically, racism. It is disgusting behaviour, but I do not think you should slap this man for doing this, I think he needs to learn WHY what he did was wrong, and that it is racism.

From the last couple of posts, I see that you have a very feminist perspective, which I think is great. When I say feminist, I don't mean 'bra burning, man hating, crazy hippie lady' I just mean that you see inequality and that you see that it is not fair (like the praying in Mosque post about the man not letting you in) and it is against Islam. This is one of the things I really respect about Islam, and thank you for sharing that with me.

Disgusted said...

I'm appalled at the acceptance of the fact that sitting in a public coffee place with a member of the opposite sex can be seen as wrong. It's not against the law.

What is wrong is this obsession with appearances - the people acting inappropriately as per the cultural norms here aren't in public coffee shops and slavery has been abolished.

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