feminism cont.

So, I started some of the controversy here and then left abruptly without finishing things up as I got a little caught up in the real world outside of FB.. I won’t be too long and I don’t intend to start another long debate, or post further long comments, as I hope to be as precise and concise as possible.
 
That said, (point 0.1) I do realize it is Ramadan but I don’t think that means FB threads are always a waste of time, and I do think that they can be a means of healthy, productive dialogue, if and when we can control our emotions and report our observations and feelings objectively.
 
And with that said, (0.2) I’d like to first make a confession that I only commented on this thread and started the controversy, as well as sharing the article on my one profile, not because I am such a believer in the author (whom I don’t even know) or the website, which probably is just looking for clicks, piggybacking off of the “War on Men” article (published on Faux news I think?).  No, my aim is really much more subversive and somewhat in the manner of a troll (address my comments or you cannot pass me!), so may Allan forgive me if I’ve caused undue stress to anyone reading this thread, but I do this sort of thing, and I don’t think I’m the only one, to gauge the community every now and again and especially concerning how women will react to this kind of narrative.  It is a kind of social experiment you can say, I like to see how the mainstream feminist mode has progressed, if it has at all, the general sentiment in the community towards it, and the main issues people, both men and women, currently feel need to be addressed.  It is crude, yes, but simply a bi-product of our ever-invasive technologies I’d say.
 
That out of the way, it needs to be stressed (1) that no one is saying women are not marginalized or even oppressed and maltreated here in American and all over the world, and it’ somewhat sad to me that the conversation shifted mostly to this kind of argumentation.  (And I’m pretty sure the article does not either, though I wont’ bother reading it again because it’s way besides the point.). What we are saying, (1.2) me and whoever I think is on my side, maybe the author of the article, maybe not, is simply that the mode of mainstream feminism is insufficient, ineffective and, on the contrary, actually likely more subversive and damaging to the movement of fair and proper treatment of women than it ever realizes.
 
The reasoning for this is very simple and something I said earlier, though since it was dismissed early on I will restate it again: (2). “Feminism is many, many things”, and because of this it becomes easily misconstrued and used as a tool to join in to the power games (politics) of society (mostly men).  The basic counter to this was not really a counter at all, but rather a “your logic equates directly to [insert some other logic that I don’t agree with here]”, and in this case the other logic was how Islam is viewed by those who don’t understand Islam.  Another comment says he doesn’t see how it is “relevant that there are different branches of the movement”, and I believe I can address both points at once.
 
First (2.1), the fact that Islam is wrongly perceived by those who don’t understand Islam is precisely the same exact problem that feminism faces:  because there is no basis of authority or even a consensus as to how to interpret the doctrine when it comes to the image of Islam (except for those whom Allan has mercy upon), there are all these many sorts of factions who decide to take matters into their own hands, and is they distort the image of Islam.  Now, (2.2) at this point, we need to make a distinction between the “image of Islam” and Islam as it actually is preserved by the Quran and Sunnah.  In the latter case, the doctrine and authority is obvious and simple; our prophet ﷺ is the greatest of creation to ever touch the face of the earth, and the example of his life ﷺ is the doctrine and its proper interpretation; when Aisha (may allah be pleased with her was asked “what was the prophet ﷺ like? Her answer was simple he was like the Quran, I.e. كان خلقه القران (his character ﷺ was the Quran).
 
And now, ask yourself, if you are any advocate of mainstream feminism,  what is its basis, its authority or its doctrine? (2.3) Notice that you cannot make the distinction between the image of feminism and feminism itself, as we can with Islam and the problems it faces, at all.  Not even close.  You may be able to call upon some proponents of the movement, or name some prominent women (or men) here and there, but there will be no consensus, for the most part, and most likely no one will even know who you are talking about.  With the “image of Islam” this lack of current representation is truly a problem, and it’s because of a lack of leadership with, not only the youth, but our modern scholars as well, that Islam is portrayed so poorly and re-interpreted in so many violent and disturbing ways.  With the “image of Islam” we (and I mean us youth) must realize that we are the authority, we are the basis and the embodiment of the doctrine, and we must realize the weight of this responsibility at all times, may allah guide us all.  But with the image of feminism, there is nothing else to fall back on.  As Muslims we know there is a true Islam that is uncorrupted and pure, but as proponents of the fair and proper treatment of women, can we ever really rely on a true and pure feminism?  I don’t think so.
 
Again (1 re-stressed).  This does not mean that women are not maltreated or marginalized, it simple means that feminism as it stands is grossly ill-equipped to combat the problem, and more-often-than-not is readily reduced to nothing more than man-hate, like it or not.  It doesn’t matter one bit if this is not your position as a “feminist”; it comes with the territory, and unlike the defamation of the image of Islam which has roots to fall back on, feminism has nothing else but its current equivocal state.
 
(3) The only mode of feminism I recognize and accept is under the much broader field of historical revision.  All of the claims about how women are not treated equally, not paid equally, not given equal opportunities etc. are largely unfounded and repeatedly debunked and then re-introduced and debunked again.  Whatever the case may be, I think it’s too hard for any one person to say, and we’d need adequate and reliable research (i.e. leadership) to really say anything about such societal and economic issues; in other words, it is certainly not just up to feminism.
 
(3.1) The reality is that women are very large contributors to society, they are of course the mothers of society, and the real historical problem is how this is easily overlooked.  Hence the importance of historical revision.  And in this increasingly post-modern era we have an advantage in assessing the issues which our predecessors did not.  In this regard, I recommend everyone like and follow the page The Salafi Feminist, who, though I respectfully disagree with on many occasions, centers much of her narrative and work on historical revision, bringing to light what we don’t know and don’t hear about regarding the contributions of women in the past.
 
Last thing (4) I want to say is how Islam and specifically the Qur’aan prepare us and equip us to be able to combat these poorly constructed arguments and movements and to see them for what they truly are.  When you have a book where every single letter is not arbitrary or without purpose and significance, where every single word, sentence, and phrase contributes to a singular coherent message of the oneness of truth, you learn, very quickly, how to disentangle the bits and pieces of anything and everything else which falls short of its majesty and splendor.  May allah make the Quran the spring and brightness of our lives and our chests, and may he make it a means for dispelling our fears and worries, and may entrench us in a deep understanding of its meanings and wisdoms.
 
TL;DR version:  you have Islam, the Qur’aan and the sunnah of the final messenger of Allah ﷺ you don’t need any -ism of any kind. 🙂 Full stop.  Wallahu a’lam.
 
I think I know some of you, I don’t know most, but Ramadan Kareem to all, and again, my apologies for any undue stress I might have induced with my comments; may Allah accept our fasting and may he accept all our worship, whatever form it may take.

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