Monday, July 24, 2017

Our blog (mis)mentioned in "Asia Inside Out" by Harvard Press

In the chapter of Asia Inside Out entitled "Marriage and the Management of Place in Southern Arabia" written by Mandana E. Limbert, our blog is mentioned as a reference.

Odd to use, especially the 2010 ramblings of three crazy, 20-something American, and Canadian girls, as an academic reference without interview, in something published by Harvard, but hey, I've worked in academia, I know social science is a fake science. I can let it go.

...Although I am offended the author purports our blog "aims at "European" women looking to formalize their marriages with Omani men (and also gain Omani citizenship)".

This is total B.S., and not our blog's aim. Our blog is about us, our lives, our thoughts, our mad ramblings, our guide to our lives, and love, in Oman.

It is not about helping Europeans marry Omani men, or get citizenship.

They also said the blog is founded by "European Women." One of our original authors, an American, would find that complimentary I suppose, but me, as a CANADIAN, I don't. I feel, again, belittled and misrepresented. Expat living in Oman but growing up around Arabs even in Canada, isn't very European, hate to break it to you. Anyways.

We have written about marriage laws, about our marriages, about the madness of contemplating all that due the current and past restrictions, but seriously? This as the aim of the entire blog? A blog about our lives, and life in Oman? As if men would be the total aim of a blog about such. As if marriage would be the total aim of a blog about such. I found that assumption and statement to be belittling. Not that my work on the blog is greatly researched, or provides something to literature, or anything substantial. But it is a blog. If you are gonna write about something, fact check your statements and assumptions. Also, the author probably already knows this, and was scraping the bottom of the barrel, but blogs aren't the BEST reference for academic articles.

I did like how the author used all the viewpoints from our comments sections about the marriage laws. I like that the author mentions how the majority of Muslim European and North-American women find these laws to be un-islamic. I do dislike that they use a rambling rant post about slavery/being able to marry as something legit for the article. That was a rant post written by someone really depressed, not a fact-based post. Come on Harvard. This is social sciences, not Juliard auditions, why go for drama?

BTW, that Saudi Sheikh written for a fatwa did reply. He said modern slavery can't exist, because dividing up slaves was stated as only to be done by the Prophet Mohammed himself, and that Muslim women born free cannot be made slaves by other Muslims. FACT CHECK please. ANYWAYS... that was always a little random rant meant to dramatize the whole horrible issue of the laws, not to be anything people would quote for any scientific or educational purpose lol.

The article itself proposes that the author researched on maids marrying Omani men in Bahla especially. If true, okay, great. That is useful, collected information. It mentions the laws. Again, useful information. It also mentions other blogs, while I never read them, I feel like they were maybe misrepresented as our blog was, for the sake of adding "spice" to the chapter.

STOP ORIENTALIZING everything, please. If you are a legit legal researcher or anthropologist writing about Oman's marriage laws, I suggest surveys of the Omani populations' opinions about marriage laws, and qualitative interviews with some selected subjects. Combine this with comparative studies from other Gulf states, like KSA, Kuwait, and UAE and bam, you are legitimate Academic gold, baby.

...But, if you want to mention our blog, we do interviews for anthropologists. Always have, always will;). We have a contact email. Marriage laws in Khaleeji/Gulf states suck. We'd like to help high-light that, but not make European women and all Asian housemaids look like desperate-to-stay romantic or pragmatic money-grubbing losers that will "do anything to stay" like the article comes across like.

So, will I buy the book?

Maybe, I dunno. I only read the one chapter. But do I trust everything printed by social scientists from Harvard Press? Obviously not;).

Academics. If you can't blind them with brilliance, then baffle them with bull-shit;). That has been my experience working in academia anyways lol, so all is forgiven Mandana E. Limbert. We know what an "overly honest methods" for social scientists bit would look, like don't we?

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