Equality, womanhood and why I am not a feminist
Let´s talk about a widely hated and over-socially-constructed topic:
Equality of men and women. Is that what it stands for? Well, if that is what it stands for, I am out. Women don’t have the same circumstances than men do. I am out because that would mean that we want to be equal to men. I am out because you say women don’t have the same circumstances than men do, so they need to be uplifted to get to the level men are. That implies that:
Men are superior.
Feminism implies the superiority of men, and the want of women to be set equal to them. Wanting to be equal means they are better. Get it now? I don’t wanna be equal to men.
The Muslim Woman
I am a woman and I am proud of being a woman and having the circumstances of my hormones, my ability to think complex, my strong feelings and the fluctuations of them, being able to make life, and the ability to persuade my partner to do anything I want just by being the most feminine version of myself, being able to work and earn money for my self only, not needing to hustle to make my family eat, not needing to provide financially but being able to contribute emotionally, care-ingly and socially, the ability to hide myself from outside views to guard my value.
Let´s be very pragmatic about what women gain in Islam. Imagine, my ability to have my own enterprise (family) with my home-grown workers (kids) and my investor (husband) building my own company culture (household values) and train talent to take over the enterprise (kids grow up and take responsibility for the family) to sit back and enjoy the beauty of my business (retiring, reading books, looking at birds, traveling the world, cuddling my grand-children). And yes, If I want to have a side-hustle/passion project (job), that provides me with income. I don’t need to share this with anyone if I don’t want to, and on top of that, I´m asking the investor (husband) to get a manager for the enterprise (nanny/cleaner/cook etc.) while I am busy with my side-hustle/ passion-project.
That is what I gain from Islam. Not feminism.
Disclaimer: Don’t get me wrong, this is the most ideal version of it. I am privileged if I could do that. But if I live in a poverty environment, I will want to contribute with my hustle to my family and let my husband not have the pressure of such circumstances. And also, in any way, these things are your rights in Islam. Whether you want to take them or not, is your (you as a family unit) choice. Say your husband wants to stay home and home-school the kids while you go out work? That’s your personal choice and totally right. But at least you know the rights that are given to you, can be implemented whenever you want.
Let me now outline feminism for ya´ll(and please read the disclaimer to save your hate comments).
What feminism gives you:
Option 1: Calling you “traditional” (being a devoted wife) and “backwards” (housework and raising children) or even barbaric (homeschooling) while telling you, you are giving no value (money) to the country because you are not “economically contributing” (hustling for minimum wage) and you are not progressing (doing the same as a man).
Option 2: Complementing you on your value (money) because your are “economically contributing” (working nine to five hustles) while degrading your value (paying you less), calling you a workaholic and claiming your kids are suffering the modern ambitions (because you have a nanny to watch out for your kids) while telling you that you degrade your husband’s masculinity (if you earn more).
So basically, they want you to be like a man and still be a woman. Applied feminist politics expects women to be everything at the same time. We get equality*, but no justice.
*also: we get equality by forced regulations, which are in itself discriminating against who? Men. Compromising one for the other, that’s applied feminism.
I don’t believe in equality
The base for feminism is, that men and women are socially, economically and politically equal. So no, I am not a feminist. Because I don’t believe in the economic and social equality for women. I believe in the justice for women and men in society. I believe in just contribution of economic, social and familial responsibility. The laws and rules are the same in terms of spiritual matters.
اِنَّ الۡمُسۡلِمِيۡنَ وَالۡمُسۡلِمٰتِ وَالۡمُؤۡمِنِيۡنَ وَالۡمُؤۡمِنٰتِ وَالۡقٰنِتِيۡنَ وَالۡقٰنِتٰتِ وَالصّٰدِقِيۡنَ وَالصّٰدِقٰتِ وَالصّٰبِرِيۡنَ وَالصّٰبِرٰتِ وَالۡخٰشِعِيۡنَ وَالۡخٰشِعٰتِ وَالۡمُتَصَدِّقِيۡنَ وَ الۡمُتَصَدِّقٰتِ وَالصَّآئِمِيۡنَ وَالصّٰٓـئِمٰتِ وَالۡحٰفِظِيۡنَ فُرُوۡجَهُمۡ وَالۡحٰـفِظٰتِ وَالذّٰكِرِيۡنَ اللّٰهَكَثِيۡرًا وَّ الذّٰكِرٰتِ ۙ اَعَدَّ اللّٰهُ لَهُمۡ مَّغۡفِرَةً وَّاَجۡرًا عَظِيۡمًا
Indeed, the Muslim men and Muslim women, the believing men and believing women, the obedient men and obedient women, the truthful men and truthful women, the patient men and patient women, the humble men and humble women, the charitable men and charitable women, the fasting men and fasting women, the men who guard their private parts and the women who do so, and the men who remember Allah often and the women who do so - for them Allah has prepared forgiveness and a great reward. [Al-Ahzab 33:35]
So yes, I believe in the equal value of men and women in front of Alllah and yes, as the prophet (PBUH) implemented it, I do believe in the equivalent right on education.
I endorse fair opportunities, but I don’t think we can claim equality if we are the diverse humans we are, with the diverse abilities, strengths and weaknesses, interests, psyches, physics as we have.
... And the diverse responsibilities that we have. Imagine you have a company, and every single employee of yours has the same tasks to manage, the same things to do and has the exact same contribution in everything to the team. Would you grow? Obviously not. Because where is the team here? It´s just a group of sameness, a repetition of one and the same talent. For the business women in here, check out why a relationship functions as a business. For now:
Not an upgrade
I am a woman and I do not endorse feminism. I believe in justice in the responsibilities and opportunities of men and women. We are not the same, so I am not trying to be equal to men. Because I know as a woman, I can do more and I can do better than men in many areas, and I think a man (be it my father, my brother or my son) can do more and better in many other areas. I am not interested to compete in these areas for equality to them. That would be a downgrading for me, not an upgrade.
اِنَّ اللّٰهَ يَاۡمُرُ بِالۡعَدۡلِ وَالۡاِحۡسَانِ وَاِيۡتَآىـئِ ذِى الۡقُرۡبٰى وَيَنۡهٰى عَنِ الۡفَحۡشَآءِ وَالۡمُنۡكَرِ وَالۡبَغۡىِ ۚ يَعِظُكُمۡ لَعَلَّكُمۡ تَذَكَّرُوۡنَ
Indeed, Allah orders justice and good conduct and giving to relatives and forbids immorality and bad conduct and oppression. He admonishes you that perhaps you will be reminded. [An-Nahl 16:90]
AND NOW YOU, share with us your opinion and share this conversation with a sister.
Q: What are your thoughts on feminist narratives? Would you consider yourself a feminist, do you fight for gender equality? Why or why not?
Leave your answer down in the comments, and share your diversity with us.
Disclaimer: This is a merely personal view of an individual life. None of this is supposed to reflect or exemplify women, reverts, Muslims or even Islam. Self-identification is not to be seen in relation to a group but merely in relation to oneself. One might share this identity but must not publicly announce its speciality or an imagined community created by such. The sharing or not-sharing of identity (with ethnic, cultural, spiritual, gender-specific, nation or whatever other forms of identification) is neither good nor bad but remains personal and private to oneself. The author is voicing personal opinions and rejects any generalization or speaking-for-ization but rather aims to shed light on one of many diverse stories of one of many diverse individuals in one (or more) of many diverse contexts. Also, the author tends to create grammatically incorrect words to clarify perceived phenomena, opinions or feelings. This blog might include discriminating terms which are emotionally loaded by a long history of oppression and suffrage. Do not read this if you get offended by the cruelty of ignorance. This is still a place for peace and love, the way we all strive to live out our purpose.