Child reaches age qualifying him to become his mother’s guardian

Al Hudoud is an Arabic news publication focused on satirical journalism. When asked how they deal with gender, their editor-in-chief Isam Uraiqat says “we deal with issues thorugh satire, not plain humour.”

“We don’t make fun of the issue, but of the people, the culprits and society,” he adds. “Communicating these issues in most traditional formats falls on deaf ears and usually preaches to the converted. We believe we are able to reach a bigger and much more diverse audience with satire and in this way challenge the way they see society and themselves.”

Al Hudoud’s stories are perceived by some readers as highlighting the absurdities of male guardianship, cleverly dissecting gender norms and masterfully shaming society for tolerating sexual harassment. At the same time, the stories “arouse strong emotions which are actually rarely just laughter. Sometimes it truly is just tears because of the seriousness of the issues,” according to Uraiqat. “Our audiences mostly react with mixed feelings. Even those who also laugh when they read our articles, still take the issues seriously. Many don’t perceive our satire as funny necessarily or as just entertainment. But at the end it is always different how people deal with it, which is great because it sparks a lot of deep conversations on these topics.”

By Salim Zennar (Al Hudood correspondent for prestigious affairs, who only remains free from harm until his blood is spilled)

Little Hammouda put aways his toys, coloring books and football; locking away his childhood after reaching the age that qualifies him to become the custodian of that lady who gave birth to him.

Mrs. Umm Hammouda has always forced her son to eat salads and okra, and once chastised him because he was late to school and scolded him as he was going to play football despite failing one of his exams. These are all matters that Hammouda will take into account, pushing him to treat her with more strictness and discipline, especially as he became responsible for her upbringing and guidance.

Hammouda confirmed that his days as the family’s useless son are over. “I sensed many shortcomings from mother – and on crucial issues. She needs monitoring of her performance, efficiency and discipline. From now on, she is forbidden from speaking to the shopkeeper and telling him the needs of the house. I will also begin censoring television programs that are unsuitable for her age, and she must ask for my permission before leaving the house after I ensure that she wears clothes that uphold my reputation and the reputation of the family”.

Hammouda stressed that he is only harsh with his mother for her own benefit. “She must find the right balance between rest, household chores and cooking and limit the time spent with her friends. Every failure by her now will be reflected on her in the future, and if she remains like this, she will face more severe consequences, this time from my father – not me”.

The article was originally published 28 February 2019 by Al Hudoud. Read the original here. 

Translated and edited by AlJumhuriya/Docstream

Navigating a changing world: media’s gendered prism

Navigating a changing world: media’s gendered prism

IMS’ media reader on gender and sexuality