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Thursday, November 5, 1998
Houston, Texas
Volume 64, Issue 53






Staff Editorial

Letters to the Editor



About the Cougar
 

Ah, the simple joys of maidenhood

Amanda Mahmoudi

"Just like moons and like suns/With the certainty of tides/Just like the hopes springing eternal/Still I'll rise."

-- Maya Angelou

Just what is the certainty of tides these days?

More importantly, what is the certainty of anything these days?

Ask yourself this question about 20 times a day, and you will know what it is like to be a woman.

It's difficult being female in today's society. (That is probably the understatement of the year.) There are an infinite amount of issues females have to consider that males would never encounter. These issues include, for example, the role of women in society.

Is today's female role that of wife and mother? Are we only here to nurture others? Or were we put on this planet to kick some serious corporate ass?

Does every woman have what it takes to achieve all of the aforementioned feats? Would every woman want to even attempt such a struggle? Is the role of women in society determined by various individuals separately, or by all women collectively?

What's the answer? Is there only one correct response?

Whether they know it or not, females are confronted with such vexing questions and anxieties on a daily basis. Needless to say, it's anything but lighthearted fun.

Let us take a look at everyone's friend Jane, the epitome of a female college student in her prime.

Today, Jane is thinking about finishing her degree and starting a successful career. Tomorrow, she's wondering how she is going have time to find a strong, yet sensitive, man willing to commit and support her burgeoning career.

What would happen if something went wrong with him? How will Jane manage to raise 2.7 children whose father is only around at his own whim?

With the divorce rate steadily rising, who knows what the future may bring?

Then again, one evening on her way to her car, Jane may be robbed, raped, maimed or murdered. After that, Jane wouldn't have to worry about anything else. She would be dead.

Either that, or she would be physically handicapped for the rest of her life.

Good luck finding a man who will stand by you after that, Jane.

You may think I am not only overly pessimistic, but also exaggerating. I can honestly tell you that neither is the case.

What I am is female -- and a minority female at that. Life is no picnic, let me tell you.

But where should I begin? The day of my birth? Or should I start yesterday, when someone mistook me for an illiterate, blind Hispanic deaf-mute, yelling directions at me in broken Spanish, only to find out that I speak and have spoken English my whole life?

How can I, or we females, overcome these various hurdles hindering our liberty and our pursuit of happiness? Sometimes I wonder if it's even worth attempting. What is the use in trying to change things?

My education and my family are my top priorities. I am working hard for a fair chance at having a decent, comfortable life. My affairs are totally on point.

But that's not enough.

It's not enough because I do not plan to be a recluse after graduation.

I plan on having a wonderfully adventurous life in a society in which I feel respected not only for who I am, but what I am and where I come from. Certainly that isn't too much to hope for.

Hope does spring eternal.
 

Mahmoudi, a junior German and French major, is prepared 
to rise to the challenge of responding to your comments,
which may be sent to amahmoud@bayou.uh.edu.
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