J string

Maha Noor Elahi


I hate to disappoint my readers because my article is not going to be about the you-know-what string is..!!

The string that you are thinking of doesn’t exist in my dictionary because I’m a good girl, so get that G-string out of your head and focus on my J-string.

Assumingly, you’ve formed a negative idea about me from the words above, and that’s where the J-string starts. It starts in our minds, develops in our minds according to our limited understanding, and then spreads to the whole society as if it were the bare truth. Judging others after having very few encounters with them is our aching habit.

It’s like a string of misleading interpretations of others; every off-putting judgment leads to another, which makes our lives a series of unfair first impressions. Unfortunately, the problem is exasperated when we tend to rely on our first impressions and our faulty judgments, which are based on appearances, gender, family background, and country or city.


If a lady is wearing (Hijab) with (neqab), she is oppressed and has no freedom of choice. If another lady is not wearing Hijab, she is free to some and cursed by others. If a girl is wearing Hijab, we assume that she is ugly and has something to hide, and probably cannot afford to dress up in a trendy style. If another girl is dressed up in a fashionable way, she is probably showing off or is planning on catching a husband. If an employee succeeds at work and gets a promotion, he is definitely a suck-up; “don’t you remember all those hours he used to be at the manager’s office?”


If a female writer writes about love, she must be in love, and if she writes about women’s rights, she must have had a frustrating love affair with a man who dumped her for a younger woman.
If a woman is pretty, she is an air-head, and if she is successful, she must be a failure as a wife or mother. If a girl sneaks away from a gathering to have a conversation on her mobile, she is most likely to be having a secret love affair (I wonder why no one interprets this behavior as an act of mobile etiquette!). If a man takes his wife to have a romantic dinner, he is surly cheating on her and is trying to cover up his nasty secret! If an acquaintance doesn’t reply to your email, they must be doing it on purpose because you are starting to mean nothing to them.


Our J-string continues to grow harsher, more serious, or more ridiculous depending on the situation, but in all cases, it continues to grow in an unfruitful way. It seems that everyone is obsessed with everybody else’s business, and we whether we like it or not are part of this demeaning and dehumanizing behavior as long as we keep watching it silently without doing something to stop it.

I wonder why we keep busying ourselves with other people’s lives while we ignore the important details about the closest people to our hearts! I wonder why we keep judging others according to our limited understanding and knowledge of them, yet we never pause to ponder about our imperfections, losses, successes, and achievements that need to be fulfilled!

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