Note: Names and identities of commentators will not be censored because – yes – you deserve to be embarrassed.
Feminism gets a lot of push-back in just the overall general world. The term makes a lot of people uncomfortable, mainly because the first thing that comes to mind when you hear “feminist” [for a lot of people] is angry white women with hairy armpits crashing a conference topless and bra-less. That’s not feminism. That is the toxic neofeminism – a dangerous spin off of the feminism that women like Shirley Chisholm, Eleanor Roosevelt, Bell Hooks, Malala Yousafzai and the likes have fought with their lives on the line to create and protect and project. It’s a dangerous spin off of the feminism that I was taught to me by my mother, and by my father – the same feminism that was taught to my brothers and my husband. The bizarre notion that women and men – are equal.
We’ve discussed feminism many times before on MissMuslim. From helping those who are unsure understand it and the importance of it, to explaining the dangers and toxicity of the aforementioned spin off also labeled as “white feminism,” – it is a beloved topic of conversation throughout our platform. Mainly, because feminism has allowed us to even have this type of platform to discuss these issues in the first place. And as much as we’ve already talked about it – you can never talk about it enough.
As a young feminist woman who hopes to better this world one day for the feminist daughter I hope for and plan to raise with my feminist husband, it breaks my heart to see other young women intentionally shying away from being labeled as a feminist. Women who have received an education, are working in their own careers, who are raising families, who are operating throughout daily life on their own minds and choices don’t seem to understand in the slightest that they wouldn’t be able to enjoy the lives they’re living without feminism. But that’s an entirely different issue that isn’t what I want to address in this piece. In light of a recent Internet blabbermouth, self-proclaimed representative to Muslims and speaker on our behalf, that claims to have attended Harvard (doubt it), I’d like to call out the issue of little boys like him claiming that feminism is ruining the Islamic family dynamic and that is encouraging Muslim men to consider themselves lucky when finding an “anti-feminist”, “anti-SJW Muslimah”. He even went as far as to say that men who marry feminists find out “too late” how feminism is “anti-family” and “anti-man”. See below…
- I’m 99.999% positive that anyone who has attended Harvard is required to possess some type of ability for deeper thought processes;
- No Muslim who has actually studied the Quran or the teachings of any of our Prophets (PBUT) would be silly enough to claim that feminism is ruining Islam because Islam IS feminist and;
- No confident, mentally stable, decent man would have the audacity to tie this statement to himself – let alone do it proudly. Why? Because it’s disrespectful to women. And confident, mentally stable, decent men are not disrespectful to women.
My deepest issue with statements like these – other than the fact that they’re a got-dam annoyance to my life – is that outsiders, non-Muslims, Islamophobes, etc. see this bullshit. It’s why their hatred for Islam and Muslims is either heightened or solidified. They see this – and THEN they see the comments…
…Like this one…
…And this one…
…And this these…
Maybe someone was on the fence about how they actually feel about our faith and those of us who practice it.
You don’t know.
Maybe they’ve never met Muslims before.
You don’t know.
Maybe they already made up their minds on how “they” feel about “us” and they were looking for something to just really drive that hatred home.
You don’t know.
Maybe they’re trying to be better about their feelings and open their minds to learning the truth.
You. Don’t. Know. What I do know, is that the little whiny boys above have;
- Given that person their first impression of what they think Muslims now believe about women;
- Fueled their firey hatred of Muslims and Islam because of how they now believe Muslims feel about women;
- Totally c*ck-blocked whatever positive thoughts they were beginning to open up to about Muslims and Islam because of how they now believe Muslims feel about women.
Aside from this rhetoric being just plain stupid to promote – this is straight up dangerous to the well-being of Muslims and for the progression and survival of Islam. I don’t care who you are or where you’re from if you are Muslim, your actions and your words are held over every other Muslim’s head. It’s a shitty reality but it’s our reality. The misogyny and distaste for seeing women as equals is what drives the rise in crimes against women in Muslim communities and countries. The degrading of feminism and those who subscribe to it is what causes women to be sexually assaulted and raped and murdered by psychopaths who were taught and promote the idea that women are solely on this earth to serve men. It perpetuates the notion that women are here to be in the kitchen, pushing out babies, and rubbing men’s feet when they return home from “work”, and when women don’t want to only do this (some do only want to do this, and that’s totally fine because that’s what #feminism is all about – choice) this mindset teaches that it’s OK to disrespect them, to abuse them, to call them nasty names and blame your inadequacies on them [strong women].
Islam promotes the idea of feminism – exclaiming many times throughout the Quran that men and women are equal to one another in the eyes of God. And, once again, the definition of feminism is the belief that men and women are equal. If you claim to be Muslim and support inequality between men and women there is nothing Muslim about you. You do not follow the Divine words of God throughout the Holy Quran – quite the opposite, you oppose them. You do not follow the teachings or way of life of our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) – on the contrary, you actively seek a way of life against his teachings.
“I shall not lose sight of the labor of any of you who labors in My way, be it man or woman; each of you is equal to the other.” – Quran, 3:195
For true Muslims, it is God’s word above all. Though there are many chapters in the Quran that are filled with proof of what I’m attempting to argue – this one line should be more than enough to end all doubt about the place that feminism rightfully has in Islam.
And in attempt to avoid being given the title of “man-hater”, this is not to say that men are the only anti-feminist loud mouths that are perverting Islam. Muslim women are just as much a part of the problem. We beat each other down, and question each others religiosity when we don’t agree on a woman’s “place” in this world. We spread rumors about women who are focused on their careers rather than marriage and starting a family – and vice versa – when we want different things out of this life. As women in mainly conservative communities, we need to empower one another – because there are enough people trying to break us down and take away our voices. The louder we are together – the quicker we can drown out the hatred of insecure boys attempting to pass off as pious men.
I am a 26 year old, Palestinian-Brazilian American Muslim. I am not some middle aged angry woman who’s been “divorced at least once” or old and lonely awaiting a sad version of Mr. Right. I do not hate men. I experience regularly scheduled periods once a month that do in fact, end. I can’t wait to start a family one day, Inshallah. I absolutely love being a woman and there is zero part of me that wants to “try to be a man”. I’m married to a pious feminist. I’m the daughter of pious feminists. I am the sister of pious feminists (ladies, the not-so-little guy is available 😉 and he is all about your rights). I’m a proud feminist.
Is your head spinning yet, Daniel?