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BabyBeaverIsAKit

Feminists

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I can't speak for anyone else, but here is my problem with feminists...

I understand that, throughout history, women have often been systematically oppressed. And a backlash against this was inevitable. But I believe the feminists took the wrong approach in their trying to gain rights for women, for a few reasons.

Let's look at ancient Greece as our model misogynistic society (because, indeed, they were perhaps the most misogynistic of the ancient societies). What was Aristotle's argument for the inferiority of women? He may not have used these exact words, but this was his essential message: 'Just look at them!' They are emotional and lack the ability to control what he called the 'passions.' And this, he argued, made them inherently inferior to men.

Is it wrong to say that women are more emotional than men? That, generally speaking, they are not as rational as men? That, generally speaking, they are physically weaker than men? Are these statements really as demeaning and as negative as modern society paints them as being? The question I am asking is: who decided that emotions are bad and reason is good? I believe that modern, secular society has inherited the same bias against emotion (and partiality toward reason) of ancient misogynistic Greece.

So what was the feminist approach? They asserted that women were, in fact, capable of everything men are capable of. Meaning, women could be miners, soldiers, lawyers, generals, etc. just as good as men. I do not believe this to be the case. I think there are major physical, emotional, and psychological barriers to women performing such jobs as well as men. When a society is designed in a way that attempts to turn women into heartless mercenaries, then that society is not acknowledging the difference between man and woman. And this stems back to an ancient misogyny. Feminism tacitly supports the misogyny of ancient Greece.

I know my ideas are a bit jumbled but i hope I got my point across.

We need to change our idea of equality. We cannot lie to ourselves and say that men and women are equal in any way. There has to be acknowledgement and respect of their differences. And, most importantly, we must not set up a system in which manly traits are valued more than womanly traits (or vice versa, for that matter). Both are essential to the proper functioning of society.

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I would like to add a more personal reason: feminists tend to look down upon non-Western, non-secular societies (particularly Islamic society). I cannot be expected to be happy when my religion is labeled as a tool to oppress women.

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We cannot lie to ourselves and say that men and women are equal in any way.

In any way? We can at least agree to equal rights in the sense of the inviolability of human beings.

I guess it partially depends on what sort of moral theory one is ascribing to, but shouldn't there be some standard to basic rights as applicable to us by our human nature.

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I would like to add a more personal reason: feminists tend to look down upon non-Western, non-secular societies (particularly Islamic society). I cannot be expected to be happy when my religion is labeled as a tool to oppress women.

I have a question for feminists, how can they at one side argue for equal laws and everything for men and women, but another side condone the saying "women, children then men into the rescue boats in case of a disaster." IMO seems kinda contradictory. I mean shouldn't they say children, then men and women at the same time?

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In any way? We can at least agree to equal rights in the sense of the inviolability of human beings.

I guess it partially depends on what sort of moral theory one is ascribing to, but shouldn't there be some standard to basic rights as applicable to us by our human nature.

Sorry i meant to say 'every way'

I type fast so I make a lot of mistakes

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Salaam

we follow Islam as a religion and feminists have another religion namely " feminism" which blatantly and aggressively contradicts and conflicts with Islam

so we are either feminists or Muslims you cant be both at once otherwise your a hypocrite.

secondly the Isms are the source of all evils in the world because they are based on self centrism...

racism, sexism, nationalism e.t.c they are all regarded diseases of selfishness

to prove this point:

the problem on the world began with the Satan's selfishness when he said " I will not bow for HIM"

the key word is the selfishness the word I, me, my, mine my group my color my gender my race is above others...

examples of recent world disasters due to the desease of the "I"

world war one and two the Germans said that Thier race is above all and is a master,,, the whole world should be slaves for Aryans... the result was 70 million humans dead withing few years.

today the Zionists who emerged victors against Nazies put forward a similar ideology.. the Jews are the chosen nation of god and they are above others and others should be slaves for them,,, they control the world through the media and the endless resources and made a system where the majority of the world are slaves to a few elite.

this is what selfishness does, feminism is the same disease as selfishness and so is sexism against females or males.

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they turn everythin EVERYTHING to a "battle between the sexes" ...., they approach everything with a battle attitude wen it comes to men, anything u do she will b on the defencive, their whole purpose in life is to attack every move men make, cant STAND them

and they ALL have attitude

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I would like to add a more personal reason: feminists tend to look down upon non-Western, non-secular societies (particularly Islamic society). I cannot be expected to be happy when my religion is labeled as a tool to oppress women.

It proves their short sightedness and narrow minded vision of what women's position has to be. Perhaps it is simply a backlash to old Christian concepts of gender relations, and then these people unable or unwilling to understand that such values cannot merely be translated to other religions and belief systems.

Many aim for secular models, and since they themselves have led to dysfunction and regression for women as well, many are left in disarray, with nothing more to show than aimless frustration.

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they turn everythin EVERYTHING to a "battle between the sexes" ...., they approach everything with a battle attitude wen it comes to men, anything u do she will b on the defencive, their whole purpose in life is to attack every move men make, cant STAND them

and they ALL have attitude

This is also true.

I remember a feminist once telling me how the term 'baby mama' is a misogynistic term. I was so irritated with her that I gave a rather rude response: 'Do you even know what you are talking about? Or are you just like to reduce everything to gender terms because you feel comfortable doing it? The term "baby mama," by law, CANNOT be misogynistic because there is a term "BABY DADDY" which has the same meaning but is used in reference to men!'

For those of you who do not know: 'baby mama' refers to a woman who has an unplanned pregnancy ('baby daddy' is the corresponding male term).

It proves their short sightedness and narrow minded vision of what women's position has to be. Perhaps it is simply a backlash to old Christian concepts of gender relations, and then these people unable or unwilling to understand that such values cannot merely be translated to other religions and belief systems.

Many aim for secular models, and since they themselves have led to dysfunction and regression for women as well, many are left in disarray, with nothing more to show than aimless frustration.

They could have used the model of Maryam (as) to pull Christianity out of that old mentality ... why didn't they?

Edited by baradar_jackson

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They could have used the model of Maryam (as) to pull Christianity out of that old mentality ... why didn't they?

I would guess that her position has been greatly diminished in Christian teachings over the centuries, especially among non-Catholics, whose influence especially over the Anglo-American sphere has been expanding over time. I think this parallels other things done as well, such as giving Jesus the look of a blonde hair and blue eyed European. This is the same kind of manipulation.

Many in secular post-Christian societies have decided to forget Maryam (as) because it reminds people too much of chastity and hejab, and nobody can profit and make money out of these.

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Babybeaver, you have opened a Pandora's box.

Sadly, as I can see from 10 or so replies so far, this is going to be another men vs women thread. Only few will look at 'feminism' for what it stands.

The most ludicrous thing is that those who are so eager to comment on feminism, either for or against, have superficial understanding of the whole concept. What is called feminism encompasses a broad range of ideas and practices. This should be enough to humble you. Let us see a handy example:

they turn everythin EVERYTHING to a "battle between the sexes" ...., they approach everything with a battle attitude wen it comes to men, anything u do she will b on the defencive, their whole purpose in life is to attack every move men make, cant STAND them

and they ALL have attitude

I can bet my last penny that the gentleman above doesn't know that he is talking about a tiny strand of feminists known to academia as "radical feminists". This attitude towards men is now completely discredited (but its remnants still get the most coverage) and the bulk of feminist work is not remotely representative of this mindset. It is directed at addressing the inequalities, pressures, implicit discrimination - often not easily identifiable - which women face at social, organisational and domestic levels.

Men should understand that feminism is not something that benefits and liberates women 'out there'. It benefits their mothers, sisters, wives and daughters. Which of us men here have their women working in professional jobs? How many of us men have females in family getting higher education? What about your mother and two sisters who voted for Obama in the previous election? How was all that made possible if not by feminist struggle?

Anyways...I am loosing hope in SC. So for once, I will act like a stone-thrower who won't disturb the beehive.

Edited by Marbles

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Men should understand that feminism is not something that benefits and liberates women 'out there'. It benefits their mothers, sisters, wives and daughters. Which of us men here have their women working in professional jobs? How many of us men have females in family getting higher education? What about your mother and two sisters who voted for Obama in the previous election? How was all that made possible if not by feminist struggle?

As you can clearly see, that is not how it has been implemented. Implementation matters more than theory.

In its implementation, feminism does not address the needs of women en masse. I have a perfect example because I am from Iran (and Brother Mahdaviat can testify to this). I was watching a foreign news outlet one day in Iran (my grandmother has a satellite dish). This was around the time of the election, which for foreign media outlets was essentially a 'Bad news about Iran' barrage. They brought a guest, a female university professor, who was a part of the elites during the Shah's time. She was arguing that women in Iran had always had such a high position in society and that everything was wonderful for Iranian women before the revolution. One of her arguments to support this: 'we had queens who played an important administrative role.'

I don't need to tell you what is wrong with that statement. ONE woman having the power to oppress people is not meaningful for women en masse. It does nothing for women en masse, just as one man having such power does nothing to empower men. And that is the problem of feminism; how can it be working toward the advancement of women if all it does is attach importance to such meaningless and trivial symbols? A more relevant example would be the feminists who argue why female lawyers or female CEOs get paid less than their male counterparts. Who cares? Neither of those professions is honourable, and both the men and women who have such jobs get paid more than they deserve.

I will go back to Iran because it is the country which I am most familiar with: for 50 years we had a dynasty who made very strong efforts at pushing this ideology. And before the fall of this dynasty, what exactly had been accomplished for women? There were a small group of elites who had gained a standing in society and were respected as equals; this was the image which Mammad Reza exported and presented (quite falsely) as the reality for ALL Iranian women. And then there was the majority of Iranian women, who lacked formal education and really never asked themselves the question of how much rights they should or shouldn't have.

Our lovely secular, westernized, modern, advanced, enlightened, feministic government -- after 50 years -- left behind, after their demise, a FEUDAL society. In their stead came a radical, fundamentalist, backward, Islamofascist, anti-women government. Fast forward to today. Look at the literacy rates among women in Iran and compare it to 30 years ago. Look at the education level of women in Iran and compare it to 30 years ago. Look at how women are portrayed in Iranian media and entertainment and compare it to 30 years ago.

If secular feminism is so great, then why has an Islamic government done more for women in its 30 years than the secular feminist government did in 50 years?

Edited by baradar_jackson

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Babybeaver, you have opened a Pandora's box.

Sadly, as I can see from 10 or so replies so far, this is going to be another men vs women thread. Only few will look at 'feminism' for what it stands.

The most ludicrous thing is that those who are so eager to comment on feminism, either for or against, have superficial understanding of the whole concept. What is called feminism encompasses a broad range of ideas and practices. This should be enough to humble you. Let us see a handy example:

I can bet my last penny that the gentleman above doesn't know that he is talking about a tiny strand of feminists known to academia as "radical feminists". This attitude towards men is now completely discredited (but its remnants still get the most coverage) and the bulk of feminist work is not remotely representative of this mindset. It is directed at addressing the inequalities, pressures, implicit discrimination - often not easily identifiable - which women face at social, organisational and domestic levels.

Men should understand that feminism is not something that benefits and liberates women 'out there'. It benefits their mothers, sisters, wives and daughters. Which of us men here have their women working in professional jobs? How many of us men have females in family getting higher education? What about your mother and two sisters who voted for Obama in the previous election? How was all that made possible if not by feminist struggle?

Anyways...I am loosing hope in SC. So for once, I will act like a stone-thrower who won't disturb the beehive.

y am i not surprised with ur responce .....dry.gif

i was wonder wens marble comin to the women rescue no matter wat their position is....

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For all the angry people out there, feminism is not a hard and fast "religion" written in stone. It is an ideology and as such it is subject to change and different people have different interpretations of it.

Islam can be said to be a feminist religion in the sense that it says there are equal rights for both men and women. However it differs wisely from traditional, westernized feminism by adding that men and women have different needs. This is something America keeps hitting its head against. Islam also doesn't ignore the rights of men and the sanctity of the family by ensuring everybody has their fair share. Islam was the first to say that men and women are equally loved by the Creator, that men and women have equal rights, to acknowledge the need for realizing the different biologies of men and women without treating women like merchandise or men like gods and to in fact elevate women to a level that, if Islam was truly practised, is higher than that given by any other system.

So yes, I don't see the hate given to Islam's version of feminism. Islam is fairly feminist. Women can ask money for breast feeding, for cleaning the house etc. They don't have to bear their husband children if they don't want to. It doesn't mean that its recommended that they start giving themselves uncalled for airs and graces but Allah gave them these rights and who can question Allah?

But yes, show those bra-burning femi-nazis the door. Muslim feminists accept their gift of femininity as well as their Allah given rights.

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I don't get it, why are people so against feminists? What's wrong with women having ideals and standards?

Excellent thread BabyBeaverIsAKit. According to me people who think that women are inferior to them in any way, are pagans.I know it does sound a bit harsh but i can't help it. Ya can easily observe this kinda behavior in Eastern culture. When it comes to Eastern women,they don't have many of the rights that men enjoy.Misogynists are afraid of women 'coz women are excelling in every walk of life and that's their main inferiority complex especially people who are a part of Manorial system. Regarding Ur question,there's nothing wrong in having a different ideology or merits. Atleast,i do think so and I'm not gonna blame ya for having a difference of opinion but let me say that Ya've nailed yourself.

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It would be helpful if the term feminism was defined before debating the issue so that people are actually addressing the same topic.

According to Wikipedia – in my attempt to be generic – it is as follows:

The term Feminism can be used to describe an academic discourse, or to describe a political, cultural or economic movement aimed at establishing more rights and legal protection for women. Feminism involves political and sociological theories and philosophies concerned with issues of gender difference, as well as a movement that advocates more gender-specific rights for women and campaigns for women's rights and interests.

I don’t see anything wrong with that definition. If one has mothers, daughters, sisters who can benefit from individual rights in a secular society that are already guaranteed in Islam, why would one oppose this?

Prior to women’s movements in the west, it was not considered important for a woman to have access to an education, unbiased legal protection or even responsible medical care. Women now can be well educated (which research shows directly benefits their children - boys and girls) and their voice is heard in legal matters – they can even be represented by a woman lawyer. Women’s health needs are very different from men’s health needs and this is also now recognized. Reproduction is dangerous. Many women died in childbirth and from complications of childbirth – there are now women’s health centres that specifically seek to ensure that women have access to health care specific to these needs. . In addition, only recently, has it been recognized that women (in addition to men) have heart attacks and need guidance and monitoring to avoid cardiac events. How could the fact that women have heart attacks been “missed”? Previously, cardiac research and preventative strategies were geared toward men only. Women were invisible – off the radar.

I think the method of some women trying to reach these goals is what has hurt the idea of secular women’s rights – and by that I mean gaining rights already guaranteed in Islam.

Radical feminists, just like misogynists, are a destructive group and are not productive to society. Any belief system that seeks to undermine and deconstruct the foundations for 50% of our population is obviously not good and should be given as little power as possible.

Slamming women with the term “feminist” is meant as an ugly insult. It is one that is used frequently on this forum – as a way of stating disagreement – and, to me, seems like a broadside attack against an entire gender. I am not even sure what someone means when the say that other than it is said with emotion (anger), sometimes bordering on hate. I find it frightening – regardless of who is being hit with it. I don’t agree with generically slamming someone with the term misogynist either – same reasons. Perhaps if someone has an issue with someone, they could address the comment or behaviour specifically – people are more receptive when they don’t feel the need to take a defensive posture.

OT but addressed in this thread....Why is being emotional considered a weakness?? Empathy, intuition and insight are manifestations of emotion – who would want a mom or a wife not capable of understanding men’s hurts and needs with just a “feeling”? Men have the gift of being more logical and women have the gift of being more emotional. We are fortunate to have that in each other.

All people need to be embraced and recognized for their value and given rights and protection as afforded any human regardless of their gender. How does this differ from the teachings of Islam?

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Salaam

If you want to define feminism as 'justice and proper social rights for women (such as access to education, equal pay for equal work,etc, I don't think anyone who is just and rational and not living in the cave ages could argue with that.

However, 'feminism' as an ideology as developed in the West took many ideological forms, not just the above (which are very basic). Some of these forms are ideas which are not socially beneficial and, in particular, conflict with our religious views as Muslims.

Sachiko Murata said it well in her book The Tao of Islam in the introduction where she says that Western feminism cannot be properly applied to the Islmamic world because it developed in a non-Islamic context. In other words, ideas developed in a Western context, under largely Christian influences (including very negative ideas about women in the Bible), to deal with Western problems, cannot be automatically superimposed or enforced on Islamic societies as an instant solution. Rather, solutions to social problems in the Islamic world (including injustice towards women) should come from ourselves.

(I am paraphrasing of course)

A lot of feminists, for instance, assume that the religious dialogue regarding women is negative in Islam because there is such a negative view of women among many Christians... however, the two views are not the same.

For instance, a lot of Christian-influenced feminists complain that we need to 'reform' the bible or religious dialogue to make God less 'patriarichal' or male-centred. However, as Muslims, we don't really have a major problem with God being portrayed as 'too masculine' in the Qur'an. Nonethless, I met an Iranian feminist who gave me a big lecture about how Muslims need to reform religious thought to make God seem more 'feminine'. (I was like, of all the problems in the Muslim world, THIS is what you focus on?? But anyway)

This is one example of incorrectly applying a feminist idea to the Islamic world

A friend of mine did an excellent thesis comparing ideas of feminist thinkers to Islam to see how they compare.... I hope she can publish it in some broader form because she did a good job getting to the root of it rather than just giving propaganda, which is what a lot of people do. It was a very good analysis.

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Our lovely secular, westernized, modern, advanced, enlightened, feministic government -- after 50 years -- left behind, after their demise, a FEUDAL society. In their stead came a radical, fundamentalist, backward, Islamofascist, anti-women government. Fast forward to today. Look at the literacy rates among women in Iran and compare it to 30 years ago. Look at the education level of women in Iran and compare it to 30 years ago. Look at how women are portrayed in Iranian media and entertainment and compare it to 30 years ago.

If secular feminism is so great, then why has an Islamic government done more for women in its 30 years than the secular feminist government did in 50 years?

Women in Western societies now hold jobs in governments as President and Prime Minister, and many at Ministerial level, and have done so for a long time. Iran has just appointed its first female Minister after 30 years.

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Wasalam

Wanting to wipe out gender roles or remove gender specific behaviour is a radical and destructive idea - and I dont think it falls within what most women think of when they think of making sure that their rights and the rights of their daughters are respected.

I think the term feminist has become a catch all for all things done by women - helpful and non helpful. There was a need in secular societies for women's rightss to be addressed. I dont think feminism needs to be applied to Islam as women's rights are already guaranteed. But in terms of it affecting us, we live in a secular society and are bound by the rules that bind women, and so need to be aware of what these rights are.

Lumping all the movements of women under one category and then condemning it on the actions of a few is not balanced. There are men who have some pretty bizarre ideas as well but we dont judge all by the actions of a few.

Most women want to know that they are recognized as a valuable group in society and want to know that their right to flourish - not just exist - is upheld. Most women are not radical feminists - just as most men are not misogynist.

Edited by Maryaam

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Wasalam

Most women want to know that they are recognized as a valuable group in society and want to know that their right to flourish - not just exist - is upheld. Most women are not radical feminists - just as most men are not mysoginist.

I agree, most feminist movements are just seeking equal rights for women, as throughout history, womens rights were curbed, ineligible to vote etc...

I have no problem with women seeking the same rights as men, same pay for same job, equal representation in government etc...

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salaam alaikum

if you define feminism as vaguely as a movement wanting to give the women more rights then no one would disagree with this sort of feminism because all humans are equal in gods eyes and every human deserves his god given rights... however the reality is that the feminist movement referred to in our time and age is a specific selfcentric political movement which revolves around gender worship and favours a group of humans above others for no reason other than the gender.

our prophet has prophesised and warned us against this movement.

The current feminist movement has its own values which contradict Islam and contradict all the heavenly religions. Its a movement that believes all religion is made by MEN to cater for the desires of the MEN that's why it resorts to secularism and combats religion aggressively.

this movement is destructive to the family and to both genders because it advocates that the female doesn't need the male.

the reality is that both genders need each other...

this leads the females to becomes lesbians out of pride and hate for men...

it also advocates bias and the number one enemy of feminism is islam because it regards islam as a system that runs 360 degrees opposite to its values.

they regard the prohibition of islam of a woman to be a judge as an unjust discrimination

the inheritance of the female half of the male as an unjust discrimination

the right given to the man to multiple marriage as an unjust discrimination

and the list goes on

if you want to know the effect of feminism you can see it in your own judgments:

In addition, only recently, has it been recognized that women (in addition to men) have heart attacks and need guidance and monitoring to avoid cardiac events. How could the fact that women have heart attacks been “missed”? Previously, cardiac research and preventative strategies were geared toward men only. Women were invisible – off the radar.

woman have generally always had better health than men and the proof is that in every society you will see the life expectancy of the men is 5 years or more lower than the women... This means the women are living longer yet the bias running through your lines is trying to picture it the other way around...

of course women's health should be cared for,,, and I hope their life expectancy increases and becomes 10 years or even more years better. but all humans have the right to be cared for and the notion that the health of the women is ignored as opposed to the health of the man is not true,, in most statistics women visit doctors and hospitals much more than men,, this means the majority of the resources of the health systems in the whole world are used by the women... so why would a claim like yours find its echoes amongst the feminists ?

I agree that we as Muslims have ignored the sport for the women because we do not provide the suitable sports facilities and environment for them and that problem is due to ignorance and not intended against the females specifically , its just due to the inconvenience and cost of trying to arrange swimming pools or sporting places for females only.

and i was always against this problem because even the men get harmed by this as their women get fatter and fatter and less healthy,

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I frankly do not understand why men feel so threatened by feminism. At the end of the day, women will still be women and will continue to be at a natural disadvantage/advantage when it comes to certain things. We are naturally different in certain ways and these differences tend to naturally define gender roles and such for most of us. No movement or revolution can alter the process of nature. The fact that they are seeking equality when it comes to rights and privileges only bodes well for your wives, sisters and daughters. It really makes for a healthier and more balanced society for everyone. Obviously though there are certain females who take this rights struggle totally out of context and make it a part of everything and anything that they discuss. This becomes annoying and fuels the already negative perception of the concept.

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I agree that we as Muslims have ignored the sport for the women because we do not provide the suitable sports facilities and environment for them and that problem is due to ignorance and not intended against the females specifically , its just due to the inconvenience and cost of trying to arrange swimming pools or sporting places for females only.

and i was always against this problem because even the men get harmed by this as their women get fatter and fatter and less healthy,

wasalm

I will agree to one point - the point of ignorance. It is the breeding ground for many things. I also agree that women do not have equal access to sporting facilities.

Inconvenience and cost are not excuses for not meeting the needs of 50% of the population - 50% is not a minority group to be dealt with when "extra" funds become available. It is even more important for women to have private centers as they do not have the same freedom for physical movement as men do in public.

If fear of men being harmed by their fat women actually motivates men to reognize that women need equal access to sports facilities and thereby better health than I am all for fat phobia.

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salaam

I forgot to add something

by the way do you know who caused the heart attacks of the women to increase?

feminism

feminism forced the women take up roles of the men and this caused a lot of harm to t he women.

the poor women has to work like a dog just like a man even though she is pregnant

imam Ali says " the woman is a flower not a strength hero"

many poor girls have to search for jobs just like me while pregnant.

The man is told that the female is just like you and she doesn't need you so its okay to make her pregnant and walk off because custody is on the female and the kids are her ownership.

... so he makes the babies and he walks off then she kills the kid before its even born and here you have the biggest crime being committed on earth where millions of kids are murdered yearly by your role models under the crime of abortion.

the second thing that feminism told the women is be free and be naked its your human autonomy... but they didnt tell her that we will use your nudity to sell our product and your nothing but a cheap sex object...

so who has made the woman into merchandise? how come they claim that Islam made her into an object? what is more objectifying than using your appearance to sell products and the moment you loose it you get thrown into a retirement village to die slowly because you have no family ( that you know) and you probably have many kids that you don't even know?

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I frankly do not understand why men feel so threatened by feminism. At the end of the day, women will still be women and will continue to be at a natural disadvantage/advantage when it comes to certain things. We are naturally different in certain ways and these differences tend to naturally define gender roles and such for most of us. No movement or revolution can alter the process of nature. The fact that they are seeking equality when it comes to rights and privileges only bodes well for your wives, sisters and daughters. It really makes for a healthier and more balanced society for everyone. Obviously though there are certain females who take this rights struggle totally out of context and make it a part of everything and anything that they discuss. This becomes annoying and fuels the already negative perception of the concept.

Darn!! - Good post. I cant mess with it. :Hijabi:

+1

Edited by Maryaam

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It's a useless group of ideologies, as is any ideology apart from Islam. As pointed above, there is such a variety of definitions and movements when it comes to this term that one must first define what one is talking about. But even beyond that, why at the end of the day would a self-respecting Muslim or Muslima feel the need to tack on some additional qualifier to their understanding of something so important as gender and family relations? Are they not satisfied with what the religion itself teaches that they feel the need to add on the "Yes, I'm a Muslim but I'm a _feminist_ Muslim"

There will be some areas that we will be in agreement with feminists on, but, the same might be said of almost any ideology, e.g. there are areas we'll be in agreement with fascists on, so, should we start calling ourselves fascist Muslims? Inevitably, there will come a point of conflict between the two ideologies and one will be forced to make a choice. If you discard the feminism (or whatever ism) in that instance, well and good, but what's the point then of calling yourself a feminist when you only agree with it when it says what your religion already teaches? Wouldn't that be an unnecessary redundancy? Alternatively, if you go with the -ism and against your religion, what then does that say about the sincerity of your faith in the latter?

In the case of feminism, I don't really see how one could honestly maintain the two identities. Even all this talk of equal rights and so on is inaccurate from an Islamic context. Equal rights would mean a woman would have the legal rights to do whatever a man could do, both would have equal penal codes, everything would be the same between the two. But this is _far_ from the case in our laws. For instance, a woman cannot be a qadi (judge). A woman's inheritance is (usually) less than that of a man's. Women do not have the inherent right to divorce. Women are required to cover themselves in the presence of non-mahram men. Men are allowed to have multiple wives at a time, women may have only one husband. For certain punishments, gender will make a difference, so for instance while a male apostate is killed, a female one is not. The diyat of woman is less than that of a man. And so forth. Then there is the subject of ethics, where the view of Islam in regards to male and female relations in society and the family is certainly not an equal one, but would likely be considered more "patriarchal" with men holding the positions of leadership whether on the macro level or within the family unit, and with the two holding different responsibilities clearly demarcated by gender. What feminist who is true to their feminism would agree to such differences in laws and ethics? But, such is our religion. So in the end one has to make a choice (if they're being honest and are educated on these differences). Islam or feminism? You can't really have both if you're to be true to one or the other.

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I don't get it, why are people so against feminists? What's wrong with women having ideals and standards?

Its very simple really and that is because it goes against established convention. Far from being wrong I think almost everyone would agree that it is right that women have ideals and standards, the crunch is when these conflict with conventional ideals and standards.

Much of the animosity towards feminism has a direct parallel to the animosity towards abolutionism in the eigthteenth century. Both are part of a more general liberation movement for oppressed peoples resulting from rational thinking coming to the fore in the enlightenment. The conventional thinking back then was that black peoples place was by nature to work for white people and that this was in their own interests. The same argument using preconceptions about the nature of women is used now to justify womens subservience to men and all the same kinds of excuses as to why they aren't subservient etc. etc. are just the same. Given time and social development the animosity gradually subsides. The worste is those women who really believe in all the excuses and oppose it just as very many slaves who actually opposed their own liberation, so pervasive are the myths conventions are built on.

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Ha! I've been "liberated". They can take it back. :dry:

Its a common phenomena. There are plenty of Russians and East Europeans who long for the old days behind the iron curtain. Even some prisoners long after the security of life behind bars. No one said changes in society were easy.

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I'm profoundly disappointed by so many of the posts here. It highlights the difficulty of doing effective outreach here; you can do your effort as an individual, but then there are a dozen knuckle dragging who insist on shouting out their disturbing (mis) interpretations. It's a miracle and testament to the goodness of the essence of the faith that despite the fervent efforts of born Muslims to present Islam in such an unflattering light, that anyone does end up coming to the faith here. God be praised.

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I'm rather curious how you managed to derive that I long to be oppressed. I just don't appreciate being forced to function as the man and the woman in the family. What is the advantage of being allowed to vote if I don't have time to learn about the issues because I'm working 50+ hours per week to feed my family, then coming home to a group of near-strangers to feed and comfort? What is the advantage of being "allowed" to show off my body to strangers if it causes society to view me as an object for entertainment? Why the the world should I long to be able to pee standing up? What is wrong with being allowed to be myself and feel pleased with who I am?

I dont think the few issues there encompass exactly what feminists are trying to achieve. Maybe after working 50+ hours per week doing the same job as a male worker, you should also be expecting the same hourly payrate etc..., and not less just because you are female etc...

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Certainly I should get the same pay as a male doing the same job. However, my point is that I should not be forced or pressured into working the same hours as a man, especially if I don't want to.

Nobody is forcing you to do so as such. Women should not really have any right to say, well I have children now, so the state should pay me X amount of money so I can live well and not need to work, whilst a single man should be forced out to work etc.. or else face very little benefits. Especially when there are very few jobs arounds, and its not like a man is choosing not to work.

Edited by Irishman

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