How to date a Natural Disaster: Hurricane Harvey

In Diet & Health, Featured, Sex & Dating by Liliyan HassanLeave a Comment

As you all may know, Hurricane Harvey has caused massive floods in Texas that has killed at least 47 people. When natural disaster strikes, people act differently than if that disaster was something like a domestic violence disaster. Women face domestic violence in such a large number that leaves them no choice but  to flee their homes needing to find shelter lest they become homeless. No warning signs are given to these women past a relationship advice that confirms to her that she is indeed living in a “flood zone”. And the specific forecast given to women says that indeed she is in the midst of a domestic violence situation that is missing only one thing: the violence itself. It is as if the weather man comes on TV and announces for the first time that, “people in Texas are about to experience a Hurricane”” on the day that it is to happen. People do not live their lives preparing for these things. People do not live their lives to secure themselves from such situations as if they are a matter of fact. So the woman flees looking for a shelter lest she becomes homeless in the great State of Texas where 80 percent of homeless women are without a home due to domestic violence. No one cares. People are not coming together to rescue them from these streets. People are not showing the most gracious side of themselves towards these women. They are just people who had an incident of bad luck. People do not take the time to say, “we are one…and no one should be out on the street”…. people do not take the times to say, “open your doors for these women…quickly! She has no where to go!” Yet water pours in…people carry as much as they can…and they are greeted with a love that these women wish they have received in their time of need…. and what a loving sight do these women see on TV when there is a natural disaster that just dismisses their experience?! Are they not worthy of such greeting?

People are showing their neighbors love by taking boats and jet skis and making sure the elderly is able to cross the street and people with children are able to escape… She runs out of the house to save her life that she was just told is not worth saving. She runs out of the house as if a 10 foot wave of water is about to crash in it within the next hour without previous warning. And she runs out of the house when the storm is eyeing her out of everyone else. When the water started to fill the streets of Houston and other areas, people just were devastated by all that would be lost in terms of belongings and in terms of the lives they have built. They took their dogs and cats and birds because it would be horrific if they were to leave them to drown. But she is left to drown on purpose out of all people. She has been pushed to a point where she came to realize that she is all the stuff she really needs. If you were to give her only half of what she owns, she would not be missing the other half. You have the police and the neighbors and the volunteers and the firefighters and all the people who wanted to show kindness in moment of need… I watch them on TV as they gather themselves together in a heroic fashion saving the lives of people who may otherwise have died. She needs to be her own hero at a time she feels the most weak. I am watching the TV and the News and there is a double tone to the way people react in terms of harm. There is a tone for natural disasters and terrorist attacks and mass shootings… when women see these events on the news, they are moved by the acts of kindness as people come together….yet, it is no where near the tone and the reaction that people display whenever a woman is hurt. Women, of course, must forget themselves for things to look better.

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It is indeed something that irks me. If 10,000 women were to be harmed by something, it is dismissed in so many ways and minimized in importance. And I know that it is minimized in importance because if merely more than 2 men where to suffer the same thing, it is an emergency situation that needs to be dealt with ASAP. It receives significance. It receives attention. It becomes the duty of all people to find a solution. Open your doors and let these people in; we need to show our best towards them in such disaster. But when it comes to her: here is a room for one night at a time…you need to line up outside at 5 pm lest there is no space left for you… and you need to be out of here at 8 AM. That would be a lucky deal for her if she can get it! As soon as men are part of the victims; you get diapers and you get clothes since staying warm becomes important all of the sudden, and money pours in highlighting all the generosity and acts of kindness from strangers. The reaction of people in such situations become similar to a stereotyped desperate woman who cannot believe that she has scored a date: the man walks in and she just loses it. That is the reaction of society when a man is harmed: it is like a stereotyped desperate woman who is going all out when a man enters her life—she is changing her nephew’s diaper in front of him to show how “motherly” she can be….and she is dressing her nieces in warm clothes in order to show her dedication to family values and health… she puts on a sweater to show that she is not cheap or trashy… and she cooks the best meal for dinner and she mixes the best of her alcoholic beverages because the time has come for her to share them. And I will tell you the truth that if a woman was to do these things, she may avoid getting drowned by a domestic violence hurricane or two. The reaction of the general public to a hurricane is that which a woman needs to do towards a man if she does not want to get punched in her face.

In everyday words without the added tone that comes from the situation itself, I need to say that I feel very insulted when acts of kindness are selective and specially when they are mostly selective against women as we are supposed to rush to the rescue whenever a man’s sock gets wet! I understand that I may be insulting some by saying that “hurricane rescue efforts anger me…how about women?” because it may appear that I am insinuating that I do not care about the victims of these hurricanes. But if people were to show that rescue effort towards women while they neglect those experiencing a hurricane… and if I was to say, “I am angered by the rescue efforts towards women while we are neglecting these people who are drowning”; then maybe you can begin to see how much more acceptable of a statement I am making. Maybe you would see the sexism behind the neglect of homeless women who have experienced domestic violence. When men are victims alongside women, it always turns into a national story that needs to be addressed pronto. An entire city can be brought down to rubble and it would be rebuilt in a matter of few short years. Yet, investing money to construct few buildings for women is something out of question. We have billions for water flooding our cities…. we are always short on cash when it comes to women. People having to flee their homes are people to be put back on solid grounds through the effort of all people. Women having to flee their homes are women who need to drag themselves around in order to find a place to lay their heads as she may finally end up on the street. Where are the strangers who drive by these women? Must they only be able to make it on a boat in the middle of the road for her to get a ride and a roof over her head?

Watching Hurricane Harvey coverage angers me…A LOT. I imagine the women who have been out on the street for months before the storm has hit to have finally find themselves on common grounds (or deadly waters) with others. The amount of courage, love, dedication, and heroism that is shown to others while having been missing for months towards these women is something that I hate to look at: it feels like a person is sitting there eating a buffet of food in front of a person who has not eaten for days. I like a more honest coverage when it comes to the news: take 10,000 women out of the thousands  of people rescued and just dump them in the water, why don’t ya? Take 10,000 women and dump them in the water as they are women who have been standing there before the storm hit. Take them and dump them since they do not count as part of the hurricane rescue efforts that makes for a heroic coverage. Rescue as many people as you possibly can and then at the end count 10,000 women and just take them back to a flooded street and dump them where you found them—-they should have been helped a long time ago and not just by a coincidence that is called, “everyone else’s natural disaster”. Shall I say, “Thank goodness people needed help so that she may receive some too?” or is that a bit insensitive? It is as if a hurricane has first struck the homes of these women… but everyone kept going without care…and only when the houses in the back were starting to flood did people feel forced to also give them a ride. Where is the love that I am seeing on TV when it comes to these women?

The generosity of strangers and the love thy neighbor and the friendly favor:
The wind blows against the bruise he gave her.
The nature of a disaster is that it is against nature.
Trees against the wind and wind against the water—nature against nature…
she against her—nature against nature… he against her: displacer
In a democracy, women got a dictator
ruling through violent behavior
If a word is love: their silence says they hate her
but the heavens try to explain her:
“Gather your stuff and the most important of your papers.”
“One purse—two at most.”
“Bring a few jet skis and any working boats”
The best made to stand on the side as the worst.
She flees and Harvey boasts.
Her tears talk up a storm…everyone flees their home:
“70 billion dollars: what helping her  now will cost”
I thought they loved a revengeful god
The generosity of strangers and the love thy neighbor and the friendly favor—
a storm batters much later for the Harvey dater.

About the Author

Liliyan Hassan

Founder: Go for Women

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