I would also like to premise this discussion by saying that I do not wish to wave my flag of "western feminism" at your faces - I simply want to engage in a discussion on how conscious women are of their rights, and perhaps how much they SHOULD be conscious.
I would appreciate your answers to the following questions. You do not have to answer all of the questions if you do not want to or do not feel comfortable doing so. I also apologize in advance if my biases bleed into my questions. My intention is not to impose myself or sound ignorant. There are certain values I believe in very strongly, and its pretty hard to hide my biases.
1. Do you believe Islam is a patriarchal religion? If so, do you have any trouble reconciling this?
2. Do you consider yourself a feminist? If so, how do you define 'feminism'? If not, why not?
3. How do you define what it means to be a Muslim woman. For the sake of this discussion lets say there is a new term called "Muslim Womanism" (sort of like the term "feminism"), what values and ideas would you attach to it? (ex, equality? motherhood?)
4. Do you wear hijab? If not, why not? - If you used to wear the hijab, and decided to take it off, what led you to your decision?
5. Should women be involved in politics (if so to what extent)? How do you feel about male politicians deciding laws for women?
6. What improvements do you think needs to be made toward the status of women in Muslim culture? For example, some women feel that there needs to be translations of the quran by women, or more female scholars to interpret the fiqh rules for women (as opposed to having a male ayatollah decide the rules for them). Do you think they might be unfair or unreasonable? Skimming through the a risalah for example, there is are some details I've always felt are quite difficult to follow, especially rules on menstruation.
7. In your experience, have you always been treated by men 'fairly' and respectfully? Do you ever feel inferior around community men to a point you feel uncomfortable? On a similar note, do you think the lecturers in mosques do a fair job talking about women's issues? Many of us have heard Ammar's rant about Muslim women who don't wear their hijabs properly. Are you okay with male preaches lecturing women about their hijab? or should women be the ones engaging in this discussion themselves?
8. How do you feel about female circumcision?
9. What are your thoughts about polygamy?
10. What are your thoughts about mutah? Does (or did) your virginity hold any special importance to you?
11. What age do you want to get married/What age do you think women should get married? Before college? After pursuing a career?
Once again, I do not expect you to answer ALL the questions - just the ones that you feel comfortable talking about. I would like as much participation as possible. Its okay if you have not given thought about some of these questions before (I know there are 14-15 year olds, and I would very much like their opinions too!).
Edited by Mehvish, 20 December 2011 - 08:34 PM.