It’s very interesting to observe the dynamics of the Middle Eastern blogsphere mainly the differences between the blogging styles of Arab men and women.
Lets talk about women first.
For Arab women to be able to completely express and protect themselves it feels like they have to blog anonymously since an Arab woman’s morals are judged by every single word that is uttered on her blog.
If a woman talks about going out with the girls (or guys) partying , dating, or even if a woman is married and talks about her marriage openly or what have you is harshly judged and criticized, called slut or immoral. Some people go as far as jumping on her blog like vultures jump on a dead carcass making it VERY rare that you see a blog written by an Arab female that tackles any of these subjects un-anonymously.
Now if a woman chooses to reveal her identity she sensors herself in fear of the socity and it’s pressures. And you will rarely see arab women sharing their pictures openly.
What contributes to Arab women bloggers censoring themselves is the “community feeling” in the Arab blogsheper due to the small number of bloggers in the Middle East which becomes even smaller when divided by country . The small number of bloggers makes the intrenet replicate our society.
It is really hard being an Arab woman on-line.
On the other hand Arab men are free to talk about their sexcapades and having a hangover and being so drunk and what happened at this club or that club and suddenly instead of it being a shame it is actually considered funny and they are applauded for their sense of humor and honesty.
One thing though in common between Arab men and women bloggers is political and religious self censorship; fear of the authorities in the first case and the wrath of the religious people in the second case.
So if you are trying to escape your society by blogging and writing you will find it duplicated on the Internet. If you express thoughts that are different or that are not acceptable then you will be shamed, criticized and shunned.
Honestly, thinking about the whole thing just depresses me.
What are your thoughts on the subject? How do we overcome this problem? When will we truly be able to express ourselves without being bullied or harassed?
Talk to me.