Reflecting Allowed

Maha Bali’s blog about education

On cockroaches, perception, and (believe it or not) gender!

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So umm this is kind of a joking reflection on roaches…

Why on earth are we scared of them? They can’t do us much harm, and we can kill them with some spray (squatting them is harder, remember they’ve survived on this earth as a species much longer than we have, resilient little rascals).

Hubby and I just killed one after, um, lots of screaming πŸ™‚ funny enough, when I am with a child or a weaker person in the room, I manage not to scream at roaches, I even manage to kill them. I do. But when my dad or mom or husband are around, I really can’t.

Well, today, we split the task: he sprayed the hell put of it till it died. We shut the bathroom door. Then we argued for about half an hour about who should pick it up and flush it, and how. We joked that our toddler was probably the only one in the house still brave enough to actually hold the thing (too bad she was asleep right? Lucky she didn’t wake up from our screaming, more like). Then I finally managed to do it, in oh, about 8 steps or so? Using the same “tool” three ways πŸ™‚ Because every time I would convince myself it was just a roach, it was DEAD, harmless…somehow, images of it returning from the dead and moving its antenna ominously kept invading my peace. The hubby sound effects didn’t help either.

But here is the thing. Butterflies and ladybirds are insects, too. We love them. I once wrote on facebook that I am an insect-racist: when I find a ladybird in my house, I let it out. When I find a beetle or roach, I’ll kill it.

Funny enough, I hear the English do not consider spiders unclean. To this day, I cannot understand why they don’t mind spiders. Sure, they’re arachnids not insects, but seriously? You don’t mind having one around? Would you like one to talk right by you? Or is it coz they are usually walking up walls rather than on the floor like a roach?

Then again, rationally, I don’t get why we are scared of roaches in the first place, so maybe the English have a point about spiders, then? Itsy bitsy spider and all that. But there is no itsy bitsy roach or anything, so this one must be universal.

On a high note, the Raid insecticide spray bottle has Arabic instructions on it. Arabic is a highly gendered language, but you can use the masculine form to refer to both sexes, so most instructions on items are written addressing the masculine. Huh. Not so on Raid insecticide! The instructions explicitly address a female user! Go figure! Feminist roach-killers…(or #Β£^€*Β₯€#) … Your choice

It was a fun way to end the evening, nevertheless and I wanted to share the fun πŸ™‚

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