The myth of women liberation

The Myth of Women Liberation

Women have been severely oppressed for ages. All man-made solutions resulted in destroying families. Here's the myth of

Brief History

If you were in the 19th century -particularly in Britain- you would see the inhuman scene of selling women in the streets. This terrible phenomenon was called “wife selling” in which a man could sell his wife to pay his expenses better than just to divorce her. Back in the 16th century, a device called “scold’s bridle” was widely used in European countries. This device was fully designed to punish “the nagging woman”. It is like a metal cage worn on the head, with a metal bit that presses on the tongue preventing her from talking, eating or even drinking. Moreover, the scold’s bridle sometimes had humiliating signs; such as a donkey’s ear, twisted cruel-looking horns and a bell on the top to draw more attention to the wearer. These phenomena -and many more- indicate how women were treated as cattle, or even much lower.

Feminism

Any human with a complete mindset and normal feelings would feel bad on hearing these previously mentioned acts. But what about women who had the experience? Whom could they complain to? They felt men oppressed them, denied their rights, treated them like animals… and finally women decided to take revenge. She decided to compete with men and earn her own living by herself without any man controlling her life. And here appeared the term “feminism” as a result of severe oppression for decades, but did it restore women’s rights? Or in other words, was it really raised for the benefit of women, or the benefit of a third party?

Angry Women & Family 

Helen Sullinger, an American feminist said: “Male society has sold us the idea of marriage. Now we know it is the institution that has failed us and we must work to destroy it…”

She also said: “The end of the institution of marriage is a necessary condition for the liberation of women. Therefore, it is important for us to encourage women to leave their husbands and not to live individually with men… All of history must be rewritten in terms of oppression of women.”

Another feminist called Linda Gordon said: “The nuclear family must be destroyed… Whatever its ultimate meaning, the break-up of families now is an objectively revolutionary process.”

Also, Robin Morgan said: “We can’t destroy the inequities between men and women until we destroy marriage.”

Mary Jo Bane said: “in order to raise children with equality… we must take them away from families and communally raise them.”

There are lots of other quotes that show how women became angry on how men unjustly treated them. These angry women broke anything that could link them to a man, even if it would mean breaking their own families. In fact, the words family, marriage became ghosts chasing them whenever they hear them.

Who Funds?

Unfortunately, the feelings of these angry women were used for the benefit of capitalists and politicians. This fact was described by Nancy Fraser in her article published in The Guardian titled “How feminism became capitalists’ handmaiden and how to reclaim it.[1]

Also, Gloria Steinem -an American feminist- admitted receiving financial support from the CIA to support her activities [2]. Surprisingly, Steinem was one of the founders of Mrs magazine that supports the idea of the defiant, independent woman. She also supervised the Independent Research Service although she was already supported by the CIA.

Examples on Capitalists & Politicians’ Benefit

In fact, women going more through the field of work would bring more taxes on a greater portion of the society. It would offer more labour with less salaries and much more money spent on beauty products.

Feminism idea was a good marketing strategy for cigarettes manufacturers to promote cigarettes to more individuals in the society. An article published in the BMJ journals stated: “… cigarette, smoking among women in North America and northern Europe has become socially acceptable and even socially desirable. This was due not only to the dramatic changes in the social and economic status of women over this period, but also to the way in which the tobacco industry capitalised on changing social attitudes towards women by promoting smoking as a symbol of emancipation, a ‘torch of freedom.’”[3]

Another article in The Washington Post stated: “Cigarette advertising companies quickly co-opted the ideas of independence that women began to assert at the polls and in the workplace. They targeted women, conveying the notions that women who smoked were independent, attractive and even athletic.[4]

Strengthening individualism and increasing the gap between members of the society eventually weakens the demands to stop the greed of capital owners who represent 1% of the world’s population while they own half the world’s wealth according to an article in The Guardian.[5]

In addition, a book titled “The mighty Wurlitzer” described how the CIA uses this policy to break through segments of the society such as women and the black.

Moreover, the competition between parents will destroy the family and shaping the young citizens would totally become under the politicians’ control as described by the Washington’s post “Nuclear family meltdown.” [6]

Societies Free of Families

Unfortunately, the effects on society were severe. Families broke down and the percentage of the homeless children who ran away due to the continuous quarrels between their parents rose to historical numbers. According to Newsweek, homeless children reached 2.5 billion by 2013 [7] where The American Ministry of Justice specialized a section for the runaways trying to deal with their great numbers [8].Psychological disorders, physical and sexual abuse was spread among these runaway children where PEW website used the statement “they have to trade sex for a place” to describe the phenomenon.[9]

Independent Women Strive for Living

In fact, a girl who is independent of her family has to pay for her living and her studies on her own. She would have to work equally as men do, even if it is further beyond her capabilities. Sometimes, she has to agree to have a sexual relationship with her boss to not lose her job which is her only source of living [10]. Women working in restaurants suffered from frequent orders to immodestly dress to bring more customers. That leaded them to raise the slogan “We are not among the food menu.” [11]

Independent women were also used by a type of men who would immorally give them money to part-time rent their bodies. One of these men described having a girl this way as having a beautiful car which is much cheaper than marriage [12]. There is a website showing statistics on the age of girls and men doing this kind of business. It shows that the vast majority of these men are businessmen and leaders of great companies.[13]

Even the social security system wasn’t enough for women who decided to be independent and that leaded them to prostitution. A woman doing such work to earn a living frequently kills her babies by terrible means such as dilation and evacuation. In America only, there are 1 million abortions yearly. And according to The Centre of Disease Control, the majority of abortions are by unmarried women.[14].. which is another form of more and more oppression to female infants.

Sexual Objectification

The breakup of families, increasing prostitution and sexual business along with the media-promoted the materialistic view of women as a sort of “business” rather than human beings are results of this phenomenon. A published research made a survey asking a number of Americans on the attribute they most appreciate in women, and sexual attractiveness was on top [15]. This lead to a phenomenon called “sexual objectification of women” [16] which means seeing women as objects for use instead of human beings. Many researchers studied this phenomenon and mentioned that as a result, most women see themselves as materials. It also mentions that this view is magnified by the media, society and even video games where women are presented as décor and in advertisements. More and more women are suffering from body shame as a result of sexual abuse or inability to meet society’s demands to be appreciated.

Sexual Violence

The European union agency for fundamental rights published a report in 2014 titled “Violence against Women: every day and everywhere” that revealed the extent of abuse suffered by women at home, work, in public and online during adulthood and childhood [17]. Two years ago, the United Nations published a study with the headline “Overwhelming majority of women experience some forms of harassment, sexual violence on their daily journeys” [18]. Also, an article prepared by several institutions in France including the State Secretary for Woman’s Rights states that 100% of women were harassed on French public transportation [19] and the French media discussed whether this percentage was lower.

What about colleges? Studies reveal harassment is so common, and the numbers are rising [20]. According to a published study, about half of the female medical students in America were sexually harassed [21]. And in 2019, more than half of the female medical students in Britain faced unwanted sexual behaviour according to The Guardian [22]. This sexual abuse doesn’t respect a scientific degree, where there is sexual harassment by undergraduates[23] and academic professors [24]to female professors in colleges.

The American office for victims of crimes made a survey among adolescents asking them whether forced sex with a girl was acceptable, and about 36% said yes if he was excited, and 39% said yes if he had already spent money on her[25].

Several studies revealed sexual harassment in work offices[26], restaurants[27], clinics[28] and even parliaments[29].

Battered Woman Syndrome

A woman who suffers from battered woman syndrome may develop a learned helplessness that makes her believe she deserves the abuse and that she can’t escape it. In many cases, it’s why victims don’t report their abuse to police or not ask for friends’ and family’s help.

Battered woman syndrome is not trivial. In fact, it’s taken into consideration when  women murder their abusive partners.

A research in the United States that studied intimate partner violence who ended up in emergency rooms showed that about 93% were women, and 7% were men[30]. This violence could lead to brutal murder as in 2019, about 116 women were killed in France as a result of intimate partner violence.

Did “independent” women gain what they aimed for? Are they free now? or suffering from being exploited and enslaved by a wider group of men as well as companies?

According to the American office for victims of crimes, women victims suffered from shame, depression, humiliation, panic attacks in addition to physical diseases and aim to revenge.[31]

Case Analysis

To fix the problem, we should analyse it, understand the causes, and accordingly start the treatment plan.  

A close look to the problem will show that:

  1. Mistreatment of women by men led to social anger and feminism.
  2. Feminism led to family destruction.
  3. Destruction of families led to:
    • Increasing the number of the homeless children, leading to more sexual abuse, drug addiction, psychological disorders.
    • Women can’t afford a living leading to more prostitution and abortion which is another form of oppression to female infants.
    • Men not having proper, satisfying marriage relationships going into more illegal relationships, exploiting more “independent, free” women… and the cycle goes on.
  4. Social media, immodest clothing along with the previous conditions raised the idea of sexual objectification leading to sexual violence and harassment.

A Solution?

Throughout the whole article we objectively discussed the problem through numbers and statistics. It has been practically proven that man-made ruling is unfair giving the stronger party the upper hand over the other party where each one looks from his own limited point of view, and struggles for his own benefit regardless of the others’. No doubt, life is best regulated by a divine rule where rights and responsibilities are fairly stated. The Creator is the one who best knows what suits His creation, and goes in harmony with their nature. I would be totally objective to say that Islam has provided a solution for this social disease and even a prophylaxis from the earliest stages. In the following paragraphs we will discuss that.

Islam Supplies the Essential Needs of Individuals 

It is medically proven that normal people have innate tendency to the opposite sex, and that’s a form of God’s mercy to create intact families and have children. This tendency should be regulated through legal marriage and shouldn’t be ignored or brutalized leading to social diseases and violence.  Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said:

0 young men, those among you who can support a wife should marry, for it restrains eyes from casting (evil glances). and preserves one from immorality; but those who cannot should devote themselves to fasting for it is a means of controlling sexual desire.” [Muslim] (32)

God also directed the speech to parents and guardians:

And marry the unmarried among you and the righteous among your male slaves and female slaves. If they should be poor, Allah will enrich them from His bounty, and Allah is all-Encompassing and Knowing.” [Qur’an 24:32] (33)

Islam Teaches How to Choose Proper Husband

A man has asked to marry a girl, what’s then?  The girl and her family should be aware of choosing a good husband from the very beginning. It was practically proven that marriage which was only based on money, temporary beauty or fake love stories had sadly ended with psychological or even physical diseases and women are usually the victims. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) has put the standards for choosing a husband to your daughter, he said

When someone whose religion and character you are pleased with comes to you (requesting marriage) then approve his marriage. If you do not do so, then there will be turmoil in the land and discord.” [Jami` at-Tirmidhi 1085] (34)

On another occasion, a woman asked for Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) advice in men requesting to marry her, he said:

So far as Mu’awiya (the first man) is concerned, he is a poor man without any property (unable to take the basic responsibilities of marriage). So far as Abu Jahm (the second man) is concerned, he is a great beater of women.” [Sahih Muslim 1480] (35)

Islam Gives Girls the Right to Choose Their Husbands

The chosen husband should appeal to the marrying girl, and that’s a basic rule to insure the stability of the marriage and the permanence of love in the new family. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) prohibited obliging a girl to marry a man she dislikes, He said:

A previously married woman should not be married until her permission has been sought, and a virgin should not be married until her consent is sought.”  [Sunan an-Nasa’i 3265] (36)

Islam Fixed Men’s Treatment to Their Wives

Let’s say the husband is a good man and his wife loves him and chose him with her free will, but what then after marriage? There should be strict, divine regulations to insure the rights and responsibilities of both parties.

God said in the Qur’an:

… And live with them in kindness. For if you dislike them – perhaps you dislike a thing and Allah makes therein much good.” [Qur’an 4:19] (37)

God also said:

...and do not keep them, intending harm, to transgress [against them]. And whoever does that has certainly wronged himself. And do not take the verses of Allah in jest…” [Qur’an 2:231] (38)

Moreover, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said:

The best of you is the one who is best to his wife, and I am the best of you to my wives.” [Book 9, Hadith 2053] (39)

He also said:

Treat women kindly… You have rights over your wives and they have their rights over you. Your right is that they shall not permit anyone you dislike to enter your home. And their right is that you should treat them well in the matter of food and clothing.” [At- Tirmidhi] (40)

A Husband Must Fulfil His Wife’s Emotional Needs

A man being busy and working is never an excuse to leave his wife emotionally hungry leading to his own family destruction. Also, there is no excuse to leave her exploited by the evil.

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was a practical model on how to fulfil his wife’s emotional needs. Although he was in the place of a president, he never missed a situation to make her happy.

He used to say in public she is the most beloved to his heart:

It was narrated that Anas said:

It was said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, which of the people is most beloved to you?’ He said: “Aishah.’ (his wife) It was asked, ‘And among men?’ He said: ‘Her father.'” [Book 1, Hadith 106] (41)

He used to drink from her glass from the position of where she drank.

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) narrated:

I would eat flesh from a bone when I was menstruating, then hand it over to the Prophet(ﷺ) and he would put his mouth where I had put my mouth: I would drink, then hand it over to him, and he would put his mouth( at the place) where I drank.” (Sunan Abi Dawud 259) (42)

He played with her.

 She also narrated:

I had a race with him (the Prophet) and I outstripped him on my feet. When I became fleshy, (again) I had a race with him (the Prophet) and he outstripped me. He said: This is for that outstripping.” [Sunan Abi Dawud 2578] (43)

 He Respected Her and Shared Her Interests

She said:

I used to play with dolls when I was with the Messenger of Allah, and he used to bring my friends to me to play with me.” (Book 9, Hadith 2058) (44)

Also,

One day the Prophet raised an end of a curtain revealing some dolls which belonged to her. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) asked: What is this? She replied: My dolls. Among them he saw a horse with wings made of rags, and asked: What is this I see among them? She replied: A horse. He asked: What is this that it has on it? She replied: Two wings. He asked: A horse with two wings? She replied: Have you not heard that Solomon had horses with wings? She said: Thereupon the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) laughed so heartily that I could see his molar teeth.” (Sunan Abi Dawud 4932) (45)

 She also narrated

By Allah, I remember the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) standing on the door of my apartment screening me with his mantle enabling me to see the sport of the Abyssinians as they played with their daggers in the mosque. He kept standing for my sake till I was satiated and then I went back; and thus, you can well imagine how long a girl tender of age who is fond of sports (could have watched it).” (Sahih Muslim 892 d) (46)

He respected her questions 

Aisha (his wife) narrated thousands of hadiths (sayings of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) responding to her questions.

He Taught Her Kindly

A’isha (The Prophet’s wife) reported that a group of Jews came to Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) and sought his audience and said: As-Sam-u-‘Alaikum (death be upon you). A’isha said in response: As-Sam-u-‘Alaikum and curse also, whereupon Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said: ‘A’isha, verily Allah loves kindness in every matter. She said: Did you bear what they said? Thereupon he said: Did you not hear that I said (to them): Wa ‘Alaikum.” (Sahih Muslim 2165 a) (47)

He Respected Her Jealousy  

While the Prophet (PBUH) was in the house of one of his wives, one of his other wives sent a meal in a dish. The wife at whose house the Prophet (PBUH) was, struck the hand of the servant, causing the dish to fall and break. The Prophet (ﷺ) gathered the broken pieces of the dish and then started collecting on them the food which had been in the dish and said, “Your mother (my wife) felt jealous.” (Sahih al-Bukhari 5225) (48)

Islam Made Men Responsible of Women

Each member of the family has responsibilities that match his abilities. Going through the field of work and facing difficulties is the basic responsibility of the man. God said:

Men are in charge of women by [right of] what Allah has given one over the other and what they spend [for maintenance] from their wealth” [Qur’an 2:34] (49)

Prophet Muhammad made money you spend on your family better than money you could spend in any other field. He said:

Money you spend in Allah’s way, or to free a slave, or as a charity you give to a needy person, or to support your family, the one yielding the greatest reward is that which you spend on your family.” (Sahih Muslim) (50)

Don’t Beat Women

Islam has prohibited violence against women or severely beating them. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) never hit a woman. In case of a rebellious woman who is about to destroy her family, her husband can lightly hit her away from the face without causing even a minute pain in the attitude of an advisor rather than a revenger. If a husband severely beat his wife, he must be beaten the way he beat her and she has the right to get divorced according to the Islamic legislation.

God said:

So righteous women are devoutly obedient, guarding in [the husband’s] absence what Allah would have them guard. But those [wives] from whom you fear arrogance – [first] advise them; [then if they persist], forsake them in bed; and [finally], strike them. But if they obey you [once more], seek no means against them. Indeed, Allah is the Exalted and Grand.” [Qur’an 4:34] (51)

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said:

… In case they are guilty of open indecency, then do not share their beds and beat them lightly. But if they return to obedience, do not have recourse to anything else against them…”. ([At- Tirmidhi] (52)

Islam Protected Women Even After Divorce

 But what if the two of them cannot live together anymore? There are solutions.

And if you fear dissension between the two, send an arbitrator from his people and an arbitrator from her people. If they both desire reconciliation, Allah will cause it between them. Indeed, Allah is ever Knowing and Acquainted [with all things].” [Qur’an 4:35] (53)

 But if no solution works? Islam give them the right to get divorced preserving the rights of both parties

… either keep [her] in an acceptable manner or release [her] with good treatment.” [Qur’an 2: 229] (54)

 

.. But give them [a gift of] compensation – the wealthy according to his capability and the poor according to his capability – a provision according to what is acceptable, a duty upon the doers of good.”  [Qur’an 2: 236] (55)

 

But if you want to replace one wife with another and you have given one of them a great amount [in gifts], do not take [back] from it anything. Would you take it in injustice and manifest sin? And how could you take it while you have gone in unto each other and they have taken from you a solemn covenant?” [Qur’an 4:20] (56)

 

Lodge them [in a section] of where you dwell out of your means and do not harm them in order to oppress them. And if they should be pregnant, then spend on them until they give birth. And if they breastfeed for you, then give them their payment and confer among yourselves in the acceptable way; but if you are in discord, then there may breastfeed for the father another woman.” [Qur’an 65:6] (57)

 

Let a man of wealth spend from his wealth, and he whose provision is restricted – let him spend from what Allah has given him. Allah does not charge a soul except [according to] what He has given it. Allah will bring about, after hardship, ease.”  [Qur’an 65:7] (58)

Islam Treats “Sexual Objectification”

Islam encourages men to pay attention to the religion of a woman and her good character rather than her physical beauty. The Prophet (PBUH) stated the reasons a man marries a woman, and advised men to seek religion. He said:

A woman is married for four things: for her wealth, for her lineage, for her beauty or for her piety. Select the pious, may you be blessed!” (Al-Bukhari & Muslim) (59)

Also, God mentioned names of some women in the Qur’an as role models for men and women to follow. He said:

And Allah presents an example of those who believed: the wife of Pharaoh… And [the example of] Mary, the daughter of ‘Imran, who guarded her chastity, so We blew into [her garment] through Our angel, and she believed in the words of her Lord and His scriptures and was of the devoutly obedient.” Qur’an (66:11-12) (60)


Islam Guards against Sexual Harassment

Islam prohibited any single illegal touch between a man and a foreign woman even shaking hands.

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said:

Stabbing one of you in his head with a thread of iron is better for him than to touch a woman who is not permissible for him” (61)

A Muslim woman also narrated:

I came to the Prophet (ﷺ) with some other women, to offer our pledge to him. He said to us: ‘(I accept your pledge) with regard to what you are able to do. But I do not shake hands with women.’” (Book 24, Hadith 2984) (62)

Furthermore, Allah says in Qur’an:

Tell the believing men to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts. That is purer for them. Indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what they do. And tell the believing women to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts and not expose their adornment except that which [necessarily] appears…”  [Qur’an 24: 30-31] (63)

O Prophet, tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to bring down over themselves [part] of their outer garments. That is more suitable that they will be known and not be abused. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful.” [Qur’an 33:59] (64)

Conclusion

Women have been severely oppressed for ages. But looking through practical life and statistics we find that man-made solutions are behind destroying families. Being independent of men has made the situation even worse, leading to the immoral use of these angry women for a third party’s benefit. Islam -being God’s final true legislation- has made an effective regulation for life. It organized the relationship between men and women where it beautifully balances between the responsibilities and rights of both parties.


References

 

 

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