Women are like cats. Men are like dogs. We are beautiful but practically useless, opportunistic, manipulative, and cruel; men are honorable, loyal, intelligent, and useful. A real woman should be shy, passive, and obedient, while a real man should be outspoken, aggressive, and unyielding. In this gender war, it’s quite obvious who is winning here (hint: our cute and loyal pups).

Image via returnofkings.com

We live in an era, where on the surface, it may look as if society has grown past these generic stereotypes. In Maya Diab’s latest music video, Sabaa Terwah, for example, we are introduced to her night with seven men; flaunting her sexuality, she elusively escapes into night with her mysterious persona – enhanced by her vivid blonde hair and luscious red lips – by blowing up the house, and essentially, killing all seven men.

Instead of playing the submissive and helpless damsel in distress, she assumes the stronger role of protagonist, taking responsibility and in total command. Maya certainly asserts her control, but it is through the use of her sexuality and violence. Is that really so empowering? Or are we simply reinforcing a misogynist message?

Image via everydayfeminism.com

Gender clichés in popular media don’t just involve females; our male counterparts are just as guilty. Take Joe Ashkar’s latest music video, Jern El Kebbe; Joe is in love and would like to ask for the female’s hand in marriage. At the request of her father, and in order to prove his worth and strength, Joe shows he’s manly enough to pick up the extremely heavy jern el kibbe (the device used to make kibbe during our grandpa’s and grandma’s times). These typical reinforcements of the male stereotype only further damages one’s sense of self, paving the way for males to feel inferior.

Gender stereotypes limit our potential and lead to a state of incongruence, where our current self-image does not meet the vision we have of our ideal self. Instead of importing these threatening messages to our youth, doesn’t it make more sense for celebrities, both women and men alike, to use their popularity as a means to foster feelings that promote a higher self-worth?

But by all means, let’s continue to woo over many of our beloved pop artists who are indirectly rooting for gender inequality and the dominance of the social and cultural patriarchy system prevalent in our beloved oh-so-liberal-not-really country of Lebanon.

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