Ok - no offence intended - I would define a muslim woman as a sexual object. And that she enjoys it and does not see this as a problem. The fact that she enjoys it as much as a man, means that I also define a Muslim woman as equal to a man.
This isn't offensive at all. I agree with you to a large extent. I think Muslims, but also other cultures, have done a lot to sexualize every part of the female body.
The whole concept of hijab sexualizes the hair doesn't it? I mean, without this concept of covering our hair, would Muslims really believe that hair is erotic? or sexy? Other cultures certainly don't.
In Africa, for example, female breasts were never considered erotic until European colonists required women to start covering them.
So I agree that Muslim women have been highly sexualized, and this, to a large extent, reduces equality. But this does not fall into the fact that a woman who enjoys sex is necessarily equal to men. Because men aren't sexualized in the same way women are in public life (outside the bedroom).
I also disagree with you because I think its problematic when women conform to the sexualized roles that have been defined by culture, because this only perpetuates the problem don't you think?
Modesty is in manner. In the past it would have been in dress, however now, hijab is a kind of fashion. No I didn't feel liberated, I actually felt as though my freedom got taken away from me. For eg, i suddenly felt like I couldnt hang out with the hijabi friends i had or socialise with the opposite sex because I was not as accepted (by muslims). I dont think removing my hijab has changed me as a person; but it has probably led me to befriend people who I wouldnt have otherwise and therefore I have become a bit more Western (and subsequently anti-western).
This is actually very interesting. Thanks for sharing. I've actually always wondered what it would be like to take it off. It would be cool to start a thread and compare experiences, but from what I've observed there are not many the same boat as you on this board.
Sometimes I think its best if men also deal with womens issues because women are too involved. For example, a man would constitute sexual assault to be only extreme incidents. This is a good thing because otherwise, according to the female definition of assault, most women would be victims and therefore more women would suffer as victims. Also, consdiering women are naturally more emotional, maternal and caring, if women were to decide the laws regarding birth control, abortion etc, contraception would be abused. Sometimes hard firm laws are required for the betterment of the majority of society as a whole, even if this means a minority of women will suffer as a consequence; and I believe men are best suited in doing this.
But you don't think that men abuse their own privileges? I really disagree with you here. Male politicians play with women's issues all the time to gain popularity. In the US, for example, Obama recently signed a bill to reduce access to Plan B, which is a contraceptive pill also known as the "morning after" pill. It prevents women from getting pregnant should they have been raped, or if their condom broke, etc (but its not an abortion pill - it simply makes it impossible for a baby to be conceived). It was a clear publicity stunt from the perspective of American politics, because it was a move that neutralized the Republicans who weren't cooperating with him. But from a woman's perspective this is horrible; there are so many women who get raped everyday and rely on the pill to make sure they aren't impregnated.
In other respects too we see women's rights being abused: pornography laws, sex abuse cases (both in the West and in Muslim countries), inheritance rights (especially in the subcontinent).
I don't think men have done a great job at handling women's issues at all. Nothing can change, in my opinion, unless women actually get involved in the field.
No one is objective - and its not like men would never implicitly be involved in the law making process even if more women were involved in politics.
Why would you say that? This is a highly misinformed definition. All feminists simply demand some form of gender equity. Not all feminists are the same, and it would be wrong to categorize feminism under one general idea. In your opinion, are women's rights in the Muslim world "perfect"? Do you think they are, generally, treated as they should be?
- No, I do not consider myself a feminist. I define feminism as women attempting to take male roles...
- I dislike the idea of the term “Muslim Womanism”. I believe that role confusion a significant cause of the decay in western society.
So you blame women's behavior for men not being able to behave themselves? What do you think women should do to change themselves?If you are talking about modesty - even women who wear hijab and dress Islamically appropriate are still subject to all the problems "western" women are.
- I feel that behaviour has an impact on how females are treated by males.. ie, dress, places frequented and friends a woman spends time with. No, I have not always been treated fairly or respectfully by men. I do not feel inferior to men, but I have felt intimidated.
I don't consider my myself a feminist, because (as someone pointed out), feminism is not a word to describe real women's rights. It is a word used to describe women's cries to assume male roles. Why don't we see men protesting to be recognized as cooks, bringing up children, sewing, etc and calling it masculinism? its quite ridiculous. Women who are feminist in that sense of the word need to be more graceful: what we have is something to be proud of. Women make or break a community; decent, chaste, pious, loving, caring, patient women will bring up the best children, support and influence the best of husbands - and usually won't even ask for anything in return. This is the power of a pious woman. The opposite - a impious, unchaste woman is very much like what Imam Ali (a.s) mentions in his sermon ... like a scorpian.
Again, feminists generally are not fighting for men's roles. They generally, fight to varying degrees, for equality
and to be treated fairly in areas of law, political society and the media. Most feminists say things that are quite in line with Islam's views on women. There are some feminists like Catherine MacKinnon and Andrea Dworkin who have actually tried to outlaw different kinds of pornography. Doesn't that sound like something you would agree with?
Women should DEFINITELY be more involved in islamic knowledge, we need more female scholars as a matter of urgency, particularly in the western countries - more 'western' speakers who have really studied the traditional way. As for interpreting fiqh rules, it takes many many years of study to reach ijtihad level, and even then, according to our scholars women cannot be followed in matters of fiqh. I don't understand why, perhaps its because women have so many other responsibilities that this one is best left to men - who knows. Nevertheless, I don't think fiqh rulings are 'unfair' - anyway, they aren't designed or taken out from 'male scholars' - these scholars just interpret what Allh wants from us according to the Imam's and the H.Prophet. The rules of menstruation are generally very much misunderstood anyway...
To emphasise: male shcolars DONT take out rules from their pockets. They research ahadith and quranic ayahs, and make rules according to these, so its not their 'opinion' rather its their 'interpretation'
personally I would be very cautious in claiming there is a bias present.
There is always
a bias present in the interpretation of anything. How do you know men who interpret the laws aren't like the men here on shiachat who have been clearly brainwashed by precepts of their own cultures?
West , west ,west ,west and some more west
Why dont we learn something from the west? Fighting for humanity and justice for all? The west that you cant stand opened the doors for you when your own countries kicked you out, they teached and gave you rights to . Islam was the 1st relgion to give woman rights and the west have taken that idea from us.
Why do we just look at the negatives , why not adopted the postives?
When you start studying islam thats when you question, you dont just study you need to understand why that concpte is like that and you have to put it to practices. The problem isint the islamic law within it self but with the way muslims addresses certain conceptes. Yes the way a person teachs ir speaks about an issue determines whether a person will accepte or reject the concpte.
Socity is dominated by men. Imam Ali(As) said " One who comes into power often oppresses", very true in alot of causes.
Lets have look at how sone men use relgion and power. Woman get raped and some muslim make them look like crimanilies . The woman gets raped and imprisend under the act of "zina" and adultery, the woman gets the punishment and the men walks out like his the victim under islamic law apperently.
Why dont they take the womans word? Why does she need four witness, why do they look at her like shes the one breaking the laws. Why do they use islam to justife unjusticiful acts? If woman are seen equal in gods eyes then why cant socity take them seriosly to , why do they try to mock them?
Why do some men take the premission and other rights to literal and attempte to control and make it seem like woman have no say and try to keep them in drakness?
Check out the talbins using islam to hold woman back from studying and burning their face if they go to schools. Why do some muslim hate it when woman speak? Scared?
Some woman get treated like drity because of muslims that claim to be relgious.
Why do some relgious people opress people under the shirah law? Why do they just insult people that airnt on their level, why do they force people to do or wear something they dont want? Well the west arint the ones that make up oppresstion all the time , its the muslims themself . Open the tv ah look woman dont get to choose to wear hijab in iran. The talbins will kill you if you drop and show your skin accdintly. Yeh they have their own rules but they still use islam to justife what they did. Can we blame them for thinking where oppressed , no you cant because womans rights are overshadowed by certain men. Islam is not the oppresser but its muslims that give this image. Can you blame them for rejecting islam when they come to the west? Your meant to teach not just throu hadiths and force them and if they disagree with a powerful person they get death threats. Some Relgious figures try to cover certain rights.
We blame the west and culture for the problems we have but dont realise that we are the problem. We give them the oppertunity to speak. Their laughing at us because we condrated ourselfs. Islam comes in peace , some muslims come with aka 47.
Islam doesnt leave people that are being tutored but some muslims do.
Yes I am sympathtic with woman that take off their hijab because some have been forced by their parents and get beats , I have seen this happen to alot to pakistains, and I have seen the bruses with my own eyes. Nothing should be forced in the name of islam, it should be a free choose, but the ones that take it off and on for no reason what so ever then just dont wear it because some of us wear it out of free will and then we have to sit and explain to people that where not all oppressed and woman do have rights in islam. But some muslim men try to make it seem like we dont using all sorts of hadiths.
Woman can be in any field they wish, they have proven themselfs and can do anything. You name it, they have done it. Even men can do what woman can do lol were equal. They can be ayatollallahs but not sure if they be alive by the time they get to that level. theirs this saudi lady cant remmber her name but she always comes on arabic channles and you should see how the shiks talk to her and looked at her, like shes talking alot of bs when infact she has good points , when I remmber her name I post it.
This was such a great post. You hit the nail on most of the points I've been trying to make. If there was a woman's movement that set out to fix these problems - wouldn't that be a form of feminism
? It could be under a different name; I've got a pretty dull imagination, so I came up with the word "Muslim womanism". You've clearly identified things that need
to be fixed, and these things can't be fixed overnight, and certainly not until there are some hardcore institutional changes in Muslim countries. What I think we need is a discourse that expands on the things you've highlighted above. Women deserve equality, and I don't think any of the posts here disagree with me on that. We just don't want equality as it has been defined in the west, which is fine - but its still "feminist" no matter how "western" that word is associated with.