The only thing that a girl really owns is her reputation. I hate hate hate this sentence. Every girl has her own special qualities that she owns. Please don't get me wrong, it doesn't mean that she can do what ever she wants even though it is wrong. But this sentence puts girls in a little box. This is not how to control girls, they will one day break out. Well, they are breaking out.
Recently I met a few girls who locked themselves up in little boxes because they are afraid of harming their reputation. Very simple things scare them. For example, when someone jokes around and tells them they like some guy that doesn't exist to tease them. Or they are afraid to be seen in some mall, because the uncle of the cousin of their father doesn't approve, when their parents actually don't mind. Or they are afraid to be seen talking to some girl who people are saying a lot of rumors about even though they might not be true. Or they are afraid to have a friend that doesn't wear the hijb (head scarf) or Abya (traditional clothing), even though she is a really nice person.
What bothers me the most is when the daughters argue "why not" with their families the answer is "The only thing a girl really owns is her reputation". This method is not going to work for much longer I assure everyone. A lot of girls don't abide to those rules anymore because:
1) they don't want to be controlled. Parents with some brains would explain and discuss the issue and I am sure it does wonders because it works with me.
2) Parents are afraid of the new, they don't realize that their children don't live like they did, their children's generation is another one.
3)Parents think they are protecting their children, when the only way to protect them is to educate them.
4) The girls want to think and make their own decisions, they refuse to be told what to do and what not for no reason.
5) The family is afraid that people will say that they don't know how to raise their daughters properly.
But I am happy to say that this only applies to a small number of girl nowadays. Some people abide these rules because they are afraid of the people's split tongues, and some because (even though they are Arabs) they can't differentiate between religion and tradition.