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In the Name of God بسم الله

Does Islam believe in equal treatment of Men and Women? (Help - Prof turned out to be ardent feminist)

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Salaam Brothers and Sisters,

So I took a course at uni which is commonly known to be a bird course (easy course). It turned out to be a social sciences/gender-studies/ feminism course in disguise :cry:.

The prof described herself as an ardent feminist.

I honestly tried switching out to another course as I'm not interested in this at all and would rather invest my efforts elsewhere, but everything else is full. So, looks like I'm going to have to put up with this, I guess it'll be an opportunity for me to learn about contemporary fitna lol. 

I just watched the first part of lecture 1, and she legit disparaged/villified/demonized motherhood and wifehood. And ironically, she's referring to those who promoted these aspects of womanhood and femininity in history as "cults". 

I am a little worried about the writing assignment because while I haven't explored the course yet too deeply, I'm almost certain that I will have conflicting and differing views with the Prof on like everything, one example would be that I believe in God and that ultimately everything should be done for His sake and according to the guidance He provided for mankind. Another example would be the fact that I don't believe that the scientific method is the only method to study phenomena/existence. I'm worried about my mark...do I stay low-key about my views and write gibberish my way through the writing assignments, or do I express my views in the course and risk my marks?

Any advice on how to navigate through this course as a believer would be greatly appreciated. 

Also: 

1. Would like to hear your answers on the following question - Does Islam believe in the equal treatment of men and women (OR Is the equal treatment of men and women the right way to go?) ? If so, what does this equal treatment mean and how does it differ with what the West and also modern feminists seems to be pushing? 

2. Please refer me to any Islamic books or other literature (including non-muslim works because oblviously she'll only believe that which is proven by science (funnily, she remarked that she'd love to even throw away biology if she could)) regarding women/femininity/gender-roles. To be honest, I haven't explored this topic too deeply on paper. I just believe that I generally know what encompasses the good and the bad pertaining to gender roles. I've done some quick searches online and in terms of non-muslims, I look forward to learning more about the views of the famous University of Toronto Professor, Jordan Peterson. The man seems quite impressive and bold, and very different than those in his field.  

@Ayuoobi @Mohammad313Ali

Edited by AStruggler
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2 hours ago, AStruggler said:

Salaam Brothers and Sisters,

So I took a course at uni which is commonly known to be a bird course (easy course). It turned out to be a social sciences/gender-studies/ feminism course in disguise :cry:.

The prof described herself as an ardent feminist.

I honestly tried switching out to another course as I'm not interested in this at all and would rather invest my efforts elsewhere, but everything else is full. So, looks like I'm going to have to put up with this, I guess it'll be an opportunity for me to learn about contemporary fitna lol. 

I just watched the first part of lecture 1, and she legit disparaged/villified/demonized motherhood and wifehood. And ironically, she's referring to those who promoted these aspects of womanhood and femininity in history as "cults". 

I am a little worried about the writing assignment because while I haven't explored the course yet too deeply, I'm almost certain that I will have conflicting and differing views with the Prof on like everything, one example would be that I believe in God and that ultimately everything should be done for His sake and according to the guidance He provided for mankind. Another example would be the fact that I don't believe that the scientific method is the only method to study phenomena/existence. I'm worried about my mark...do I stay low-key about my views and write gibberish my way through the writing assignments, or do I express my views in the course and risk my marks?

Any advice on how to navigate through this course as a believer would be greatly appreciated. 

Also: 

1. Would like to hear your answers on the following question - Does Islam believe in the equal treatment of men and women (OR Is the equal treatment of men and women the right way to go?) ? If so, what does this equal treatment mean and how does it differ with what the West and also modern feminists seems to be pushing? 

2. Please refer me to any Islamic books or other literature (including non-muslim works because oblviously she'll only believe that which is proven by science (funnily, she remarked that she'd love to even throw away biology if she could)) regarding women/femininity/gender-roles. To be honest, I haven't explored this topic too deeply on paper. I just believe that I generally know what encompasses the good and the bad pertaining to gender roles. I've done some quick searches online and in terms of non-muslims, I look forward to learning more about the views of the famous University of Toronto Professor, Jordan Peterson. The man seems quite impressive and bold, and very different than those in his field.  

@Ayuoobi @Mohammad313Ali

Your professor will love your paper - Islam empowers women more than any other religion.

Women in Islam vs Judeo-Christianity

Rights of Women in Islam.

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16 hours ago, AStruggler said:

 I'm worried about my mark...do I stay low-key about my views and write gibberish my way through the writing assignments, or do I express my views in the course and risk my marks?

Salam my dear brother, I believe this is quite an interesting situation you've got yourself into I believe there is much you can learn from this Professor, considering that she occupies the more extreme levels of 'feminist' ideology. If you are able to stick in there and push for your own ideological beliefs against their fallacious presuppositions then you would be set for the majority of future encounters/predicaments you may face in your life. When it comes to your mark I think it is up to your tactfulness in how you convey your position in a manner which is academic, yet precise when striking the foundation of many of the points she is seeking to argue. 

For example, you could use any extreme example such as this one:

16 hours ago, AStruggler said:

disparaged/villified/demonized motherhood and wifehood. And ironically, she's referring to those who promoted these aspects of womanhood and femininity in history as "cults". 

And research about the importance of motherhood and how it is the most natural and sublime means of bonding between two humans, you can back this up using studies that focus on the mother's brain, as she nurtures her child. I wouldn't tread on the field of wifehood, because there is no way she would subscribe to any idea of 'submitting' some rights to her husband, or having a male hold any say in her endeavors. However, when it comes to bearing a child she can do so through a position of power, because essentially that is what her ideology is bounded upon - 'empowering women'.

If you were to take the route of comparing religions and showing how X religion is better then Y religion when it comes to the treatment of women she may concede to that, but then go on to show how she disagrees with the whole idea of a women needing to be dutiful to her husband - even if it is on the most base of aspects - so I think you should address the issue through an Islamic pen of morality under the guise of scientific ratiocination. 

In the same way the communists have Marx, these 'feminists' have Simone De Beauvoir. This French writer went so far to say that the fetus is a parasite and it is an impediment upon women, hence the vilification of motherhood you see from this professor. Therefore, you need to establish through an objective scientific paradigm how motherhood is crucial to the female, without bringing up the idea of having a husband - I believe it is essential that when countering her ideological fallacies to keep the female in this supposed position of power, so that you remain coherent as you sabotage her misunderstandings. 

I advise to not touch on the subject of wifehood and if you have to do so, bring it back to motherhood. Your aim here should be to understand this extreme ideology and also attack one of her core/fundamental points and establish a strong case against it, considering that she boasted about all these extreme positions she had towards what we may all call necessities, I believe that with such arrogance she has dug her own intellectual grave.

17 hours ago, AStruggler said:

Does Islam believe in the equal treatment of men and women (OR Is the equal treatment of men and women the right way to go?) ? If so, what does this equal treatment mean and how does it differ with what the West and also modern feminists seems to be pushing? 

Islam does not believe in the absolute equal treatment of men and women in certain aspects, due to the physiological, metaphysical, and biological differences that both counterparts occupy. I don't recommend bringing Islam in the picture unless it is addressed directly, because it will evidently serve as a double edged sword when you can have the high ground in being on the offensive instead of the defensive. 

You reach a certain point with these individuals, wherein seeking to appease them through ideas of equality, social justice, etc is futile, because you all may share these ideals, each will evidently carry their own understanding pertaining to how these ideals are defined, shared, and maintained. Yours being through divine guidance, theirs being through Utilitarianism and extreme feminism.

17 hours ago, AStruggler said:

she'll only believe that which is proven by science

Look up important studies that address motherhood and seek to argue from there the societal benefit and the overall wellbeing of the mother in terms of health and happiness, you can add flowery language in arguing how motherhood can be empowering, because unlike the male it shows that without women life would cease to exist and it is in their power to bear children or not. However, be weary of insinuating that women are 'child-bearers' instead show that this is another function that these females may occupy through their own free will - motherhood is another freedom a women can exercise if she would like and it shouldn't be shunned. 

You can only do so much and there is no way you'll be able to change her worldview through a semester's course, so I would say attack her weakest point and shatter it through her own philosophy, May Allah bless you and I pray that you will be a voice of morality and God-consciousness wherever you may be.

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Ask your feminist professor if gender discrimination is as bad as racial, ethnic, religious or caste discrimination in her mind. I’d be curious to know what she says.

This is because gender is very different from other human distinctions like race, ethnicity, religion, sect and caste. These distinctions result in actual communities, where rivalry and antagonism can be very real. But the gender distinction is fundamentally different. The ratio between men and women is universally 1:1 (more or less), and the relationship between men and women cannot be compared to the relationship between different races or religious communities. Men and women marry each other and give birth to each other, it’s a much more complex relationship. You can never separate men and women completely into separate communities.

But it seems to me this radical feminism is premised on the idea that men and women are separate communities, like how Whites and Blacks are separate communities, and therefore, women as a community deserve equal treatment and rights. If I was you, I would just ask the innocent and non-controversial question “is discrimination on the basis of gender as serious or as bad as discrimination on the basis of race?” These days, racism is a bigger thing than sex-based discrimination, so you might want to cash in on that in posing this question to your feminist professor.

Edited by Cherub786
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Just now, Cherub786 said:

A few years ago I was in college and had a feminist Italian professor who was also openly Marxist (especially on her Twitter account). This was also an elective course (Intro to Politics or something like that). The moment she saw me, with my thobe, kufi and long hair (I look like a typical Taliban except my beard is very sparse), she knew I could potentially be trouble.

As I recall, in college I never really participated in class conversations nor did I even attempt to make friends from my classmates. Most of them were international students from Punjab India, usually Sikhs. But I also avoided the local Canadian students. I just did my work, showed up for lectures and exams, and then left the campus as soon as I was free. I deliberately avoided participating in the class discussions this feminist professor loved having with her students. But I always aced her tests (which were fairly easy).

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28 minutes ago, Cherub786 said:

But it seems to me this radical feminism is premised on the idea that men and women are separate communities, like how Whites and Blacks are separate communities, and therefore, women as a community deserve equal treatment and rights. If I was you, I would just ask the innocent and non-controversial question “is discrimination on the basis of gender as serious or as bas as discrimination on the basis of race?” These days, racism is a bigger thing than sex-based discrimination, so you might want to cash in on that in posing this question to your feminist professor.

I would suggest reading up on the most notable feminist academics, they understand this complexity real well. Fact is, it's not feminism that you're reacting to here, it's YouTube lefties that never read up beyond a few articles here and there, finding just being angry over anything as some virtuous act. 

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This post reminds me of how frustrated I tend to get with mainstream feminism. While it makes sense to look back into history given that it's entirely written by men, and give it a feminine lens (like how we just assume that Marie Antoinette was this horrible gawdy personality, but now understand that she was just a young woman player her part as a royal), the notion that women were entirely separate from their respective religious/cultural identities is rather ridiculous. The notion that Islam for instance was just a patriarchal religion when women played such an active part in it, including people like Khadija (a) who was the first to convert to the religion, is to erase all of these women's histories, as well as strip Muslim women of today of their spiritual ancestry. It's really a crime to be honest. 

I don't know whether you'd need to write in an Islamic tone, but maybe you might want to. To get the A, I would suggest reading Amina Wadud's books. She's a self-declared Muslim feminist, and while quite controversial, I've found her work quite interesting. The book Quran and Women is this pretty interesting approach to the Quran through a distinctly self-aware feminine perspective. 

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7 minutes ago, Cherub786 said:

Who do you recommend?

Most of what I know about feminism comes from listening to Gloria Steinem, and reading about it on Wikipedia.

Depends who're you into. The most popular are those like Germain Greer. But I do love marxists feminists who approach male-female relations through class dynamics, given that, for me, the best way to understand power in today's world is through understanding the materialist underpinnings of it. 

I would first suggest reading this stanford page on the feminist perspectives on class and work https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/feminism-class/, then move along from there. Sorry I can't give more, drawing a blank at the moment.

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26 minutes ago, BleedKnee said:

I don't know whether you'd need to write in an Islamic tone, but maybe you might want to. To get the A, I would suggest reading Amina Wadud's books. She's a self-declared Muslim feminist, and while quite controversial, I've found her work quite interesting. The book Quran and Women is this pretty interesting approach to the Quran through a distinctly self-aware feminine perspective. 

Amina Wadud has no credibility whatsoever. Apart from her radical feminism, I’ve also seen Afrocentric or African nationalist tendencies in her.

Amina Wadud says that there is more potential for “Islamic feminism” in southeast Asia (Indonesia, Malaysia) than in the heart of the Muslim world (Middle East and South Asia).

This might have something to do with the more egalitarian culture and social structure of that part of the world from its pre-Islamic days.

I also believe there is a greater tendency for matriarchy, or at least weaker patriarchy, in certain societies where there is a lesser degree of sexual dimorphism.

Physically, the peoples of southeast Asia are less sexually dimorphic than people of the Middle East.

This also explains why Indonesia and Malaysia are the most culturally liberal and “progressive” region of the Muslim world.

The notion of masculinity, which radical feminists term “toxic masculinity” is not as strong in southeast Asia as in the Middle East.

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On 9/19/2020 at 2:05 PM, Mohammad313Ali said:

Salam my dear brother, I believe this is quite an interesting situation you've got yourself into I believe there is much you can learn from this Professor, considering that she occupies the more extreme levels of 'feminist' ideology. If you are able to stick in there and push for your own ideological beliefs against their fallacious presuppositions then you would be set for the majority of future encounters/predicaments you may face in your life. When it comes to your mark I think it is up to your tactfulness in how you convey your position in a manner which is academic, yet precise when striking the foundation of many of the points she is seeking to argue. 

For example, you could use any extreme example such as this one:

It is indeed. 

You're right, inshaAllah.

On 9/19/2020 at 2:05 PM, Mohammad313Ali said:

And research about the importance of motherhood and how it is the most natural and sublime means of bonding between two humans, you can back this up using studies that focus on the mother's brain, as she nurtures her child. I wouldn't tread on the field of wifehood, because there is no way she would subscribe to any idea of 'submitting' some rights to her husband, or having a male hold any say in her endeavors. However, when it comes to bearing a child she can do so through a position of power, because essentially that is what her ideology is bounded upon - 'empowering women'.

If you were to take the route of comparing religions and showing how X religion is better then Y religion when it comes to the treatment of women she may concede to that, but then go on to show how she disagrees with the whole idea of a women needing to be dutiful to her husband - even if it is on the most base of aspects - so I think you should address the issue through an Islamic pen of morality under the guise of scientific ratiocination. 

In the same way the communists have Marx, these 'feminists' have Simone De Beauvoir. This French writer went so far to say that the fetus is a parasite and it is an impediment upon women, hence the vilification of motherhood you see from this professor. Therefore, you need to establish through an objective scientific paradigm how motherhood is crucial to the female, without bringing up the idea of having a husband - I believe it is essential that when countering her ideological fallacies to keep the female in this supposed position of power, so that you remain coherent as you sabotage her misunderstandings. 

I advise to not touch on the subject of wifehood and if you have to do so, bring it back to motherhood. Your aim here should be to understand this extreme ideology and also attack one of her core/fundamental points and establish a strong case against it, considering that she boasted about all these extreme positions she had towards what we may all call necessities, I believe that with such arrogance she has dug her own intellectual grave.

Jazakallah for your advise! Very wise, thank you for directing my thinking in this way.

On 9/19/2020 at 2:05 PM, Mohammad313Ali said:

Islam does not believe in the absolute equal treatment of men and women in certain aspects, due to the physiological, metaphysical, and biological differences that both counterparts occupy.

Makes sense. 

On 9/19/2020 at 2:05 PM, Mohammad313Ali said:

However, be weary of insinuating that women are 'child-bearers' instead show that this is another function that these females may occupy through their own free will - motherhood is another freedom a women can exercise if she would like and it shouldn't be shunned. 

Oh defnitely. I don't plan to bring in Islam at all either. 

On 9/19/2020 at 2:05 PM, Mohammad313Ali said:

You can only do so much and there is no way you'll be able to change her worldview through a semester's course, so I would say attack her weakest point and shatter it through her own philosophy, May Allah bless you and I pray that you will be a voice of morality and God-consciousness wherever you may be.

That's true. I grealy appreciate your ideas, they were really helpful.

Listening to stories of others who were in my shoes, I think it'd actually be best for me to lay low...I think I'll choose to write about something more mutually agreeable...such as the issue of violence against women. 

On 9/19/2020 at 4:35 PM, Cherub786 said:

Ask your feminist professor if gender discrimination is as bad as racial, ethnic, religious or caste discrimination in her mind. I’d be curious to know what she says.

Hmm interesting question.

On 9/19/2020 at 4:35 PM, Cherub786 said:

But it seems to me this radical feminism is premised on the idea that men and women are separate communities, like how Whites and Blacks are separate communities, and therefore, women as a community deserve equal treatment and rights. If I was you, I would just ask the innocent and non-controversial question “is discrimination on the basis of gender as serious or as bad as discrimination on the basis of race?” These days, racism is a bigger thing than sex-based discrimination, so you might want to cash in on that in posing this question to your feminist professor.

Deep thoughts/suggestion.

On 9/19/2020 at 5:14 PM, BleedKnee said:

the notion that women were entirely separate from their respective religious/cultural identities is rather ridiculous.

I fully agree.

 

On 9/19/2020 at 4:43 PM, Cherub786 said:

A few years ago I was in college and had a feminist Italian professor who was also openly Marxist (especially on her Twitter account). This was also an elective course (Intro to Politics or something like that). The moment she saw me, with my thobe, kufi and long hair (I look like a typical Taliban except my beard is very sparse), she knew I could potentially be trouble.

Haha nice. Where was this, UofT, RyeU, YU? Maybe we should link one day, I can show you the Shi'i hotspots in the gta :NH: 

---

From what I remember hearing (with like 55% accuracy), don't quote me, the Islamic standard is to just wear clothes that are decent/good according to/befitting of the society that you live in...

I remeber reading somewhere that when we're looking at the actions of the Prophet (s) to determine the sunnah/mustahabat/mubah/makrooh/haram, some acts we take as sunnah in a literal/phiscally-emmulated kinda way while for other acts we take the essence of it (e.g. maybe the essense is to dress modestly/nicely in society, and not necessarily a thobe...(and the jurists do ijtihaad to decide what we take and how we take it...)

So while in a western academic society, there's no obligation (and maybe even recommendedation) for you to dress that way.

But I'm not sure on all the above, haven't read up on the topic of clothing and Islam properly.

Anyway, I also remeber a scholar saying that it's mustahab to wear an aba during prayer. I believe it's also reccommended to wear headwear when using the toilet...

 

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@AStruggler the general answer to this is the following:

Human being is a species under the genus "animal." Other species include cows, horses, etc. In as far as a human being is an animal, he shares characteristics with all other species that fall under the genus; for example, he exists in space-time, eats, drinks, moves around in 3 dimensional space, and has a will. In as far as he is a separate species from other species under the genus "animal" he has different characteristics: for example, he thinks, has conversations, laughs, etc. 

If you understand this genus/species distinction (which is meant in a logical sense, not a biological sense where speciation is usually defined in terms of the ability to mate or not. Logically, the genus/species relation is just a general to more specific category of things) then we can move on to the following:

Man and woman are two species under the genus "human being." That means that in as far as men and women are both human beings, they share certain characteristics such as the ability to think, to laugh, to worship Allah, etc. In as far as man and woman are two different species (i.e. two different "types" of human beings) then they differ in certain characteristics. For example, men are generally stronger, women are generally more nurturing towards small children etc. 

Allah has placed laws for men and women qua their being human beings that is the same, because they are the same as far as their humanness is concerned. He has also placed laws on men qua being men and women qua being women. Therefore there is a general equality in as far as both men and women are human beings, and there is a difference being made in laws in as far as men and women differ. The law therefore agrees with human nature, the nature of men and the nature of women.

Academic references:

-woman and her rights by shaheed mutahhari

-sexual ethics in Islam and the west by shaheed mutahhari

-the hijab in islam by shaheed mutahhari

-anything written by dr. warren farrel

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That said you are likely to do poorly in this class if you openly challenge your mushrik professor's views. She sounds like an intolerant, radical, extremist feminist that is the leftist version of takfeeri wahhabis. She is a takfeeri. She will make takfeer of you for not adhering to her liberal mushrik religion.

What you should do is pick a topic that doesn't fully clash with her worldview, such as talking about hijab as empowerment or something. Maybe try Edward Said's book Orientalism to get some leftist talking points that don't necessarily conflict with Islam.

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