Feminism and Male Chauvinism are terms that are used very loosely. The slightest words, ideologies and mannerisms are taken out of context. It all boils down to our need to belong to movements without any knowledge of what they mean. People make the worst kind of inferences when they are ill-informed, even though there is a plethora of information at the tip of our fingers. Our lack of understanding of these concepts have also contributed to the rise of rape in various ways.
I want to ask the men of my nation. If you are true Muslims and believe in the Prophet (SAW), then you also know enough about him and the way he treated women around him? I don’t need to say anything more. What I need to understand is where in a Muslim society such as ours, did the concept of male chauvinism come from? Who, in what point of history stood up and said, This is the way we will treat women from now on?
Daughters will be considered a burden, a mother who taught us how to speak, will have no say after we have become grown men and a wife is a replacement of a maid for me and my parents. When did we push religion and it’s guidance aside only to concoct a society of our own that challenges all of our religious teachings? How is respecting your women, weakening your manly ego? How is treating someone with kindness and care threatening to you as a man?
A man’s pride should be based on his accomplishments, the way he manages his family and if someone considers themselves lucky and blessed for having a son, brother, husband and father like you. How do you feel any pride after you have hurt someone? When you know someone is crying because of you? When someone is miserable because you are in their lives? Before being a proud man, I suggest you think like a human first.
Maybe that’s why God gave women the ability to give birth and not the man, so that he may never forget to respect a woman through which he exists on this earth . Do not mistake this for her weakness; it is a power no man has. So brothers, revert back to your Islamic teachings in which the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) himself has said “The best of you is the one who is best to his wives”. He was known to stand up out of respect, when his daughters entered the room. He did his own work and would help out with household chores. We don’t need to look at any society to improve ours, we only need to open our Holy book and read the Seerah of the Prophet to know what a real man is.
To the women of this nation, what does feminism mean to you? Feminism is not the ability to wear revealing clothes and shaming a man for looking at you. If it means to break all boundaries of modesty and have the freedom to do anything as you wish, then that’s not feminism either. Feminism is the emancipation of women and a fight to give them equal standing in society. It does not give you the right to abuse men, to challenge their natural urges and then shame them. If women’s liberation lies in the ability to wear skimpy clothes freely, then you might as well not wear anything. You don’t need fashion to pursue women’s liberation.
In a conservative country like ours, when women fight and justify their freedom by dressing liberally, you are serving the purpose of men who want to ogle at you. You are not liberating yourself; you are only subjecting yourself to more humiliation. Every aspect of our lives must be in balance. Any extreme end can tip the social balances and create havoc in society. You shouldn’t want to go the extreme end just because you don’t want to wear a hijab. Even if you don’t wear the hijab there is a level of decency one can maintain and carry it with class.
Weakness has been associated with men. (Please refer to 4:28). It is a man who must have control over his desires. However Allah put the onus on women to cover themselves. Allah did not ask men to cover because women don’t have that weakness towards men. When women argue that they want to dress liberally, you are only fulfilling what men want you to do. How is this feminism? The perplexity of our particular society is that, if a man looks at you, thats harassment or he is a creep, and if they criticize your attire, they are regressive.
Pure Intentions- “Bus Neeyat Achi Ho”
“Our intentions are pure” is another excuse women use. Ok, let’s explore that. A Western non-Muslim woman with a skirt, can walk around freely in her society. She can go to the church in that skirt and display herself in front of her elders and children. Eastern/Muslim women, I ask you this, why don’t you pray in the same clothes? Why don’t you walk in a masjid in the same clothes? Display yourselves in front of children in the same clothes? Why don’t you wear it in front of your conservative relatives? Can you wear those clothes in a room full of men?
What we do is outright hypocrisy. What has fashion got to do with your intentions? You want to bare skin and want men to think you are Pakeezah? Ladies, you can’t have it both ways. You cannot shame men when you are the one choosing to display yourself like that. Men don’t care what your intentions are when you are serving their purpose.
WHAT CAN BE DONE?
When respecting and protecting women will become the norm amongst men (In Sha Allah) only then our society will prevail. No society can be in balance when men are walking around abusing women and women go about challenging men in the name of feminism. They each have boundaries. Its crucial we understand what modesty means in our conduct towards the opposite sex and the way we present ourselves. Respect, honor, and humility belong to both genders. This kind of women’s liberation is not a cure for our societies fallibility and this needs to change soon.
Parents need to implement these idealogies from the beginning. They need to eliminate the differences between a daughter and a son. They need to teach their sons to be respectful of women and to treat them with kindness. A daughter has to be empowered in a way that she does not grow up to disrespect men. She must be taught what her rights are as a woman. Both need to be taught about their limitations and how to conduct their roles in life according to what is permissible by religion. Not culture. Religion ! If we follow culture, we are bound to be right in some places and gravely wrong in others.
True feminism and masculism are defined by God in a way that protects, respects and preserves the defined roles. How can we challenge that? and why should we try and change a perfect order that is prescribed by the One who created us? Today’s concepts of feminism and masculinity demeans our roles, disturbs our soul and forces us to act against our true natural selves. We don’t want to realize this because our ego has become bigger than reason and our soul.
We are constantly trying to prove we can be like the rest of the world even if it means losing our religion in the process. We have to compete in the Paris Fashion Show because either we can be a Naik Parveen and have no existence or we can be famous and rich. We have to make movies like India, because we are no less talented than they are. So what if we have to strip our women half naked and add an item number or a questionable scene here and there to keep the audiences (meaning men) interested. We just need to make bigger award shows and show the world our fashion and talent even if the rest of Pakistan is starving and doesn’t benefit in anyway possible.
It’s moronic when ladies want to assert their liberty just because they want the freedom to wear indecent fashion. Its equally absurd when men want to contend their masculinity through indecent behaviour and force. Our societies predicament will only be fixed when we call out on these hypocrisies. If your mannerisms are not aligned with your true ilk, don’t use that term please.
I Leave You With a Question..
Lastly, Why are burqa clad women in the West viewed as extremists? It has less to do with religion and more to do with society’s acceptability. It is not the norm here to dress this way, that is why there is an opposition towards such an attire. Western people want to understand why but fail to accept it. That’s exactly whats happening in Pakistan right now and even places like India.
If the West can take drastic steps by implementing anti-hijabi/burqa laws, so that their society looks more secular, then why do we fall weak at the hands of our media, the entertainment industry or our high-elite society? Why do we allow them to change our society? Just because we are democratic nations does not mean we are secular too. Then who do we want to become now? People living in Pakistan, not the West, are the ones who are losing their religion, their culture and their values. Please contemplate.
Until next time. Take care.