The women of Full Frame Media’s One Table discuss what it is like to be a woman in this region. Fayga Marks speaks about women leading from the back. Marineh Yacoubian tells us that she can be whatever she wants to be, and is not limited by gender expectations.
I come from a religious community and we have rights. Women may not always be in the front in the center of things but you can do a lot of things from the back and still have a big effect that’s what I truly believe I can do anything I’d like in my community. Are there extremists in the religious community that make women wear burkas and whatever? Yes, there are. But I live here, I’m a normal person I can shop, I can go anywhere. Yes, sometimes I ride in the back of the bus with the men in front but that doesn’t bother me. I actually like it. Personally it doesn’t cause me any issues. For some its like, “Oh, you’re extremists you hate women” In Judaism women have always led things. They’ve always been the ones to do things and then the men follow and so, like I said, I don’t believe you have to be the one standing in the front to have an effect sometimes you have to be in the back where no one can see you to change something to help something grow. For me being a woman, or gender, by itself is kind of… I work with the gender issue a lot I work with projects about gender I was raised, my Dad raised me as an independent person. He raised me he told me, “Get out of the box.” “Be whoever you want to be.” So me, myself, I feel like I’m a little bit of both genders It’s not just 100% female or male. So, sometimes I wake up feeling very girly, makeup, the clothes. Sometimes I feel like a lumberjack I’m like, “OK, messy hair just go build something, make something, Just punch someone in the face.” Maybe my little brother, just for fun. Get into a fight like a family type of thing. So for me, I feel it’s not an issue yes, sometimes i walk on the streets I live on the Arab side of Jerusalem, I walk there, they think I’m a tourist that’s why they don’t say anything. Sometimes they give me those looks “Is she a dude or a girl?” “What is she?” I don’t care what I am. I’m just a person, trying to live So I don’t really label myself as anything. I can do whatever I want whether it’s feminine or very masculine. I can do anything. That’s how I want, that’s how I am.