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A ______’s Guide for Living in a Patriarchal, White-Supremacist, Rape Culture
That’s the title :)
So yeah, we’re working on the revolution, and it’s coming surely but slowwwly. In the meantime though, we still have to live in this bullshit oppressive culture. And as people who yearn for and work for gender equality, it gets really taxing living day in and day out in a culture that constantly poops all over everything we stand for. It can get discouraging, and sometimes leaves us thinking “what’s the point?”
Well I hate that! >:(
The words “A Girl’s Guide to Living in a Patriarchy” popped into my head this morning as I was waking up (yeah, feminism has consumed my life ok), but I tweaked it because obviously girls aren’t the only people who live in and get hurt by a patriarchal society; everyone does: she’s, he’s, ze’s and others. As I started getting more serious about putting this together I wracked by brain for a good-sounding, all inclusive word to replace “girl”. The only one I could think of was “people” but that sounds kinda mehhh so I decided that it would be a lot nicer and more personal to leave a blank, so that the reader can fill in whatever they identify as!
The point of the zine is for peeps to share their feelings about living in a patriarchal, white-supremacist rape culture, as well as sharing the ways they personally deal and cope with it. The little rebellions and revolutions we have for ourselves everyday, that may not seem like a big deal (examples):
I honestly could fill pages and pages myself (as I’m sure everyone else could), but what good is something like this if it’s only coming from one perspective? We all live different experiences, but sharing them can help unify us and make our movement stronger. So I want submissions! It could be in any form you want, a story, a list, a poem, a drawing, a song, whatever. I don’t have any really any rules or guidlines except that I ask that you be inclusive in the words you use, and that I won’t tolerate any hate toward any groups (unless of course if that group is willfully-ignorant bigots and meanies. Hate on them all you want)
I’m taking submissions starting right now, until…I’m not sure yet, I guess until I feel like I have enough? I’ll figure it out.
So please submit to firstname.lastname@example.org (make sure to let me know if you want to be anonymous), and spread the word!
I hope this can be a source of comfort, strength, inspiration, and/or morale.
*also, if you have any comments about how this could be more inclusive or just better in general feel free to inbox me!
*also also, a little while ago I mentioned that I was thinking about doing a zine about black folks and our hair, and a few people responded; I haven’t forgotten, still want to do that too :)
I often receive questions like this regarding my choice to be a Muslim feminist. I keep the queries pending until I find an elucidative explanation behind my decision while looking for equally unbiased, clinical descriptions of Muslim Feminism (sometimes Euro-centric feminists tend to shun Muslim feminism by misunderstanding its definition and agenda; which is highly problematic).
I found Rachel Woodlock’s analysis on the Islamic gender movement highly apt and enlightening but also very crisp and easily understandable for first-time readers. I decided to share it with my followers and leave it in the open for those who’ve inquired on various occasions.
Who is a Muslim Feminist?
A Muslim feminist is one who adopts a worldview in which Islam can be contextualized and reinterpreted in order to promote concepts of equity and equality between men and women; and for whom freedom of choice plays an important part in expression of faith.
A fine distinction is thus drawn between the Qur’an and the concepts of sunnah and shari’a—which are considered by Muslims to be divinely inspired and suitable for all times, cultures and contexts—and the human fallible interpretation of these sources which can be revisited and revised as society needs. In the words of one writer, the morality of the Qur’an always superscedes the morality of its interpreters.
To delve a little further into this topic, Muslim feminists argue that Islam was born into a misogynystic and patriarchal society of the pre-Islamic jahiliyyah. Because the Qur’an is situated firmly within a historical context, it naturally recognised and addressed this patriarchal society. Thus there is in the Qur’an a hierarchical double layer which as interpreters we must take into consideration when applying the text to our lives and our societies.
Firstly, the Qur’an has an underlying ethical worldview which firmly promotes equality and egalitarianism for all human beings. This is the most fundamental layer of human interaction. Thus, the Qur’an says in translation to all men and women: “verily the most honored of you in the sight of Allah is the one who is most righteous”. (Al-Hujurát, 49:13)
Secondarily, the Qur’an recognises the pre-existing problems in society and lays down time-bound and contextual measures to address these problems, and to allow human beings to move towards the underlying ethical worldview. Thus the Qur’an recognises the problem of slavery and provides methods for its abolition. Muslims feminists would argue, likewise, the Qur’an recognises patriarchy but provides methods for its eventual abolition. Thus, verses which appear to situate women within patriarchal structures, are temporary contextual measures, rather than being universally prescriptive.
Islamist feminists often hold the view that Islam promotes a patriarchal structure of family and society, but which isn’t inherently oppressive to women. The Muslim man is the head of the household, but he should not be a tyrant in his own home. A woman’s rightful nature, according to Islamists, requires that her role is primarily that of home-maker and care-giver to children. Paid work is a secondary option which must not conflict with her primary role.
Islamism is found in the revival movements such as the Muslim Brotherhood and Jama’at-i Islami and Islamist feminists include Zaynab al-Ghazali.
What is Secular Feminism in the Islamic World?
Secular feminism refers to feminist movements in the Muslim world which have drawn their inspiration from Western models which view religion as part of the ‘problem’. That is, Islam is part and parcel of the oppression that women experience in the Muslim world, and so secular feminists will situate their calls for reform outside the religious paradigm. They are not interested so much in reforming Islam, but in promoting a secularised version of sociatal governance which allows for equality of men and women.
Historically, secular feminists in the Muslim world were largely drawn from the upper-middle class and include figures such as Huda Sha’wari who founded the Intellectual Association of Egyptian Women in 1914 and who, after a visit to Rome, famously removed her face-veil after stepping off the boat in Cairo.
While secular feminists have had some success in parts of the Muslim world, however because religion, for better or for worse, plays such an important role for the vast majority of Muslim peoples, it is secular feminists inability to work within the religious paradigm that hinders its progress.
While studying Muslim feminism and secular feminism in the Islamic world, one must be rational enough to understand that relativity plays in the entire movement. For one Muslim feminist, religion is highly important for their life to function properly; for another Muslim feminist, religion institutionalized into societal and political pillars obstructs their liberty. Both should refrain from defining and imposing emancipation for/on the other.
I agree wholeheartedly with what Jessica Yee said: “We are not equal when initatives to support gender equality have reverted yet again to “saving” people and making decisions for them, rather than supporting their right to self-determination, whether it’s engaging in sex work or wearing a niqab.” Source: Introduction Feminism For Real: Deconstructing the Academic Industrial Complex of Feminism.
For more, read about the three main approaches towards Islam under traditionalism, modernism and Islamism here.
141 notes (via fuckyeahchoice & mehreenkasana)