|Photo Courtesy: odessy|
Of late there has been A-lot of buzz in the gender world about gender equity, equality, women empowerment and what role feminism plays in all of them. If you are like me, what comes into mind every time someone declares herself a feminist is basically, someone who empowers herself and other women, so that they could take down the societal norms of discrimination and injustice done to them in this man’s world. I see nothing but good intentions here.
The buzz however, arises because people have begun claiming that the boy child is now being neglected. And this is having the same effect as the previous conditions the girl child faced before empowerment – before feminism. I am not going to open that can of worms today. Instead, I am going to focus on the source of it all.
It is apparent that I am not a woman, nor have I any plans of becoming one anytime forever. So it is only but fitting that someone with intimate understanding of what being woman means, take you to through what I believe, is the most accurate depiction of what we, as a society, are facing, in relation to all the buzz and definitions going around regarding this issue. Below is part of a speech a British woman gave out concerning this subject:
“Liberal values have placed the pursuit of individualistic whims and desires as its paramount; nurturing a dangerous mindset among men that they are free to treat women, as their desires dictate. Resulting into epidemic levels of harassment, violence, abuse and rape of women within western societies. Sexual freedom has spurred a culture of promiscuity, aspiring rates of teenage pregnancies, abortions, STDs, single mothers and adultery, resulting in the breakdown of marriages and families.
The western concept of gender equality has also brought its own sets of problems. Firstly, placing the role of Breadwinner over homemaker devalued motherhood. And then, what was in theory, to produce the habitual woman, in reality, produced the do-it-all superwoman; who continue to shoulder the burden of household responsibilities, but now also had to suffer the strains of financially maintaining the family. Moreover, it failed to stem the tide of abuse against women and deliver the respect that was promised. Because western feminists fail to realize, that the greatest enemy of women’s rights was the Capitalist System.
The capitalist system has made a business of constructing and normalizing a culture, where women’s bodies are the product, and men’s desires the client; in advertising, entertainment and sex industries; cheapening her status, contributing to discrimination and abuse of women and harming the cooperation of men and women in the society. This toxic ideology, whose moral compass is defined by the dollar sign, has and always will place protecting profits, over protecting women’s dignity and rights.
It has encouraged the beauty, fashion, diet and cosmetic surgery industries, to prey on the insecurity of women regarding their appearance, constantly bombarding young girls with unrealistic images of what constitutes beauty, crippling the self-esteem of those who are unable to match this template; leading many to view their bodies as the passport to success and causing society to value the worth of women upon their looks, rather than their minds and skills.
Capitalism has exploited the language of liberation, empowerment and choice, to exploit women. So while living under the shadow of this system, women will always face an uphill and eternal battle to secure respect, break glass ceilings, and fight discrimination and abuse.”
Epic, I know. In short, feminism has never been the problem. It is the result of the capitalistic system—a child of it almost. Because where ever exists feminism, there most always is a norm of societal downplay of women’s right. And in this case, capitalism is the main sponsor. But it doesn’t stop there.
What I did not tell you about this speech is why it was made. Statistics collected for Britain and the US showed a staggering increase of the number of people converting to Islam, majority being women. This is surely dumbfounding because everything about Islam to women is oppressive; their dressing, abuse, restrictions. I mean come on. Right?
Below is the beginning of that speech. This is what she had to say about that:
“In the UK, around 5,000 people convert to Islam each year, the majority women; mostly young and well educated. In the US, of the 20,000 that convert each year, 75% are women. Over the last 2 decades, there has been a huge rise in women turning back to Islam, East and West, embracing its beliefs, dress, practices and lifestyle. Rejecting social liberalism and adopting Islam as a social and political framework for society. And poll after poll of the Muslim World, show increasing number of women wishing to live under the Islamic sharia laws.”
I have to admit, I was a bit shocked at this claim. With the current ISIS phenomena and media coverage on how oppressed Muslims, especially women are, I had to check this one for myself. Lo and behold, it was crystal truth, and more. Have a look-see for yourself: Fact-tank.
So why is this happening?
“Firstly, they have understood that practices such as forced marriages, honor killings and the seclusion of women from society are from cultural traditions, and not Islam. Secondly, they have recognized that the governments of the Muslim World do not represent Islamic rule, where the monarchies, secular democracies, military dictatorships or theocracies; they’re non-Islamic autocratic states, who have failed dismally, to protect the rights, dignity and security of their women; turning a blind eye to abuses, persecuting women wearing hijab, imprisoning rape victims, striping women of economic and political rights, and proving totally inept in providing adequate access to education and basic needs.
It is these regimes that have been the main cause of misery for women in the Muslim world, NOT Islam.”
The rest of the speech you know.
I must acknowledge that this puts some of you in a weird positon, but hope that what you’ve read will keep you reading this last section.
Prophet Muhammad (upon him be peace) is considered the most important individual to ever preach Islam in the creed of Islam. He is the pivot of this religion. There is a saying among the Muslims that,
‘Every successful man needs a Khadijah (ra)’.
She was the first wife of the Prophet. She was also the first person to embrace Islam.
The first person to die for Islam was a woman; Sumayyah bint Khayyat.
The greatest scholar of Islam was a woman; Aisha bint Abubakar (ra)
The person who loved the Prophet the most and would accompany him to give da’awah (sermons) to the people, and was always there for him when the people offended him, was a woman; Faatimah bint Muhammad.
One of the greatest fighters in Islamic history was guess what, a woman! Khaula bint al-Azwar. She fought on horseback, disabled many enemies and even spurred the men to push forward during the conquests of Islam. So don’t you dare say that Islam is oppressing women because as much as it might suck being disarmed and disabled by a woman, every instance arrives to the evidence that women were the forefront of this religion.
And they still can be.
My opinion and advice to everyone reading this is that, we would never have to need feminism or the karma of the boy child argument if it wasn’t for the system of capitalism. Blame everything on that and if you can, be smart about it and step away.
My advice to the Muslims, especially sisters, today’s feminism is an endless hurdle to define yourselves. Empower yourselves to destroy the cultural epidemics that flaw this religion to the world and re-establish yourselves to your rightfully deserved thrones on this kingdom of Islam. Because you, my dear sizs, are half of this society. The pious among you are better than the best things of this world and the best among every man in this world, is the best to You. What a man can do, the history of Islam has proven that a woman has done better.
But be feminists of your religion.Because only then can you be strong enough to help empower the rest of humanity.
And Allah knows best.