It is no secret that humans are attracted to shiny things. This fact is evidenced by the popularity of such products as the iPhone, gold, diamond jewelry, shoes with studs, chrome bumpers, and many other examples. Scientists have been interested in figuring out the psychology behind the human obsession with shiny objects, leading them to conduct research on the topic. Similarly, psychologists are also interested in knowing the reason for people’s attraction to slogans and quotes.
Their effectiveness is due to the largely subconscious process of “priming,” which influences our thoughts or actions; and increases their speed.
One such slogan that has attracted the masses is that of gender equality or women’s empowerment. Different societies have assigned different statuses to women. Some granted her absolute status; others relegated her to the lowest levels of society. In some societies, a woman is treated as a man.
Why is there an imbalance? Why is there confusion? What’s the solution? Why does a woman’s status change from time to time? Is she not a human being, or does she not have her own worth? Why is she denied or being denied her own rights? Or why is she viewed through a male lens?
It’s very clear that the treatment given to women, especially in European countries prior to the feminist movement, was inhumane. In medieval Europe, women were denied the right to own property, to study, or to participate in public life. At the end of the 19th century, in parts of Germany, a husband still had the right to sell his wife. Women were prevented from conducting business without a male representative, be it a father, brother, husband, legal agent, or even a son. Married women could not exercise control over their own children without the permission of their husbands.
This kind of suppression led to an extremely severe outburst in which women started demanding equality, which led to another tragedy. Yes, women needed to be free from those shackles they were tied in! However, feminists eventually got off track and mistook women for men. But woman is woman, so she will remain.
The slogan of gender equality seems to be so appealing; it sounds so pleasing that, deliberately or accidentally, most of us have fallen for it. But I don’t. The reason is simple: I am a Muslim, and, Alhamdulillah, I am privileged to have those rights, which a woman must have.
But the question is, why don’t I support feminism? Yes, I don’t support it. Because all that glitters is not gold. I am opposed to women being oppressed, to their rights and individuality being denied, to women being forced to perform inhumane tasks, and to women being denied their respect, dignity, and femininity. I am against the idea of feminism promoting equality between men and women. There should be equity instead of equality because a man is a man and a woman is a woman, and so they will remain. Anyone who wants women to pretend themselves as men should then, in the same breath, ask men to pretend themselves as women, because if you are denying the femininity of women, then you should deny the masculinity of men as well. Why should a woman become a man if a man can’t be a woman? Is this feminism, which snatches away the womanhood of a woman, worth supporting?
Wait! Let me clarify how this feminism has destroyed families, society, and the mentality of human beings as a whole.
Garridy Brown Hamilton, an American lady, writes in TOXIC: How Modern Feminism Has Destroyed American Society, “I believe husband-hood, wife-hood, fatherhood, and motherhood to be the greatest possible occupations that any human being could possess. Ultimately, so many in our modern society are selling themselves short. They flock to other passions to fill internal desires that can only be filled by occupying these God-given roles in society.” It’s true that in order to prove themselves equal to men, women rushed to those occupations that were and are not compatible with her very nature. She thought or she was made to think that giving a good upbringing to her children is the job of old days, serving strangers being a air hostess seemed her to be a respectful job, but giving the same care to her family appeared to her as captivity behind the four walls of home. Homemaking is not something to feel ashamed of. But our environment, especially the media, has portrayed it in such a way as if homemaking is slavery. The passion of women for being hired at high-tech corporations has filled their pockets, but their souls are not content. The cult of both working parents had an adverse effect on children. In 1970, 31% of American households featured two parents working full-time jobs. Since then, that number has climbed nearly 50% to a total of 46%. This means that nearly half of kids growing up today do not have a parent or do not witness a parent playing the effective role of a household manager. Studies have shown that having two parents working full-time has a variety of negative impacts on children, including psychological
effects, behavioural changes, mood swings, and a lack of parent-child bonding (WOW Parenting, n.d.).
In fact, feminism is riddled with contradictions. Here are a few examples (from a long list):
1. Feminism claims to be good for women, yet being a woman is not good enough for feminism.
By denigrating things that women tend to excel at (being empathetic, nurturing, and having and raising children), feminism seeks to strip women of their very womanliness.
Feminism opposes femininity, forcing women to view their own innately feminine qualities (like modesty, chastity, nurturing, etc.) as suspect and as weak, unimportant, and less than men. It creates an artificial equivalence between masculinity and power, thereby masculizing women, stripping them of their femininity. Feminism devalues traditional femininity and pressures women to adopt masculinity.
Women end up changing themselves by stifling their emotions and natural female tendencies so they can act more like men.
So which is it? Is being a woman not good enough, even though feminism claims to be good for women? Is femininity not good enough for feminism?
2. The foundational premise of feminism is that the patriarchy exists to subjugate and abuse women, so basically, men are bad. But the irony is that feminism is also pushing women to be like men (see point #1).
So which is it? Are men bad and thus not to be imitated, or are they superior and thus to be imitated? It can’t be both.
3. Feminism claims that men and women are equal in every way: equal strengths, equal roles, equal everything!
Yet by doing the above (points #1 and #2), it actually teaches women that men are superior. If women are pushed to be less like women and more like men, then the feminist implication here is that men are better. That is why we want to be like them. That is why we are ditching our own natures in order to adopt theirs.
So which is it? Are men worse than women (“men are trash!”)? Or are men equal to women? They can’t be worse than and equal to women at the same time.
Feminism can’t seem to make coherent, consistent points. It is based purely on theories that are inherently self-contradictory and self-defeating.
Thankfully, we don’t need feminism.
Feminism doesn’t have a monopoly on the well-being of women. We don’t need to adopt the tangled mess that is feminism in order to secure rights, comfort, or happiness for women. “Within the system of Islam, we find the divinely-ordained balance of the rights and responsibilities of both genders, leading to well-being and harmony.”