The Muslim Feminist, and Other Mythical Beings
Calling oneself a feminist is an easy way to show the world how progressive and modern one is. It doesn’t require any real credentials either. If you say, “I’m a scientist”, you may be questioned about the nature of your research, and the degrees you hold. But granting yourself the title of a “feminist’ wins you a cheap nod, without any real inquiry to confirm if your claim is true.
A Muslim feminist does not exist. Trying to be one creates a kind of cognitive dissonance that can only be settled by:
a) Making extremely twisted and convoluted interpretations of straight-forward verses from the scripture
b) Drawing yourself away from the religion, or establish “separate magisteria” protocol, where your religious beliefs do not influence your social dealings. In other words, the word “Muslim” fades away until it becomes unreadable, and you’re left behind with just “feminist”.
Don’t believe me? Consider the following verse from surah An-Nisa:
“Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded.” (4:34)
In other words, what these feminists are actually saying is, “Yeah, I’m a feminist who believes that men are in charge of women”
The verse goes on further to explain how men are allowed to beat women if they behave inappropriately. Also note there’s no command in the Quran giving women the right to beat their husbands.
Here are a few more examples from the Quran. You’re free to investigate on your own if you’re concerned that the verses have been quoted out of context. They haven’t been, but it is a very popular debating tool among Muslims these days.
– “They question thee (O Muhammad) concerning menstruation. Say: It is an illness, so let women alone at such times and go not in unto them till they are cleansed.” (2:222)
I’m a feminist who believes that menstruation is a disease or a pollution.
– “…and get two witnesses, out of your own men, and if there are not two men, then a man and two women, such as ye choose, for witnesses, so that if one of them errs, the other can remind her” (2:282)
I’m a feminist who believes women aren’t as smart as men, or have a worse memory than men.
– “Allah chargeth you concerning (the provision for) your children: to the male the equivalent of the portion of two females” (4:11)
I’m a feminist who believes that a daughter should never inherit more than half of what the son inherits.
– “Your wives are a place of cultivation for you, so approach your cultivation whenever you willed and put forward for yourselves”
I’m a feminist who believes that…ah, nevermind! You get the point.
You can find a lot more on Google. If you think I’m using controversial translations, please feel free to check the websites that compare various translations. I have only used the generally accepted ones (mostly Pickthall and Yusuf Ali).
Just calling ourself a feminist doesn’t make you one. Feminism is about allowing the same rights and opportunities to women that are provided to men. No more, no less.
Don’t just adorn yourselves with fancy titles like “feminist” or “humanist” or “peaceful”. Your actions and beliefs must not be in open contradiction to what your describe yourselves as!