The contradictions of modern “social justice” never cease to entertain.
A few points on the silly outrage directed at a group of scholarly men who met up recently.
– Yes, I understand that everything that I have to say on this is irrelevant because I don’t have the specific set of anatomical features that would equip me with the correct cognitive frame and experiential background to opine on this or really anything else. Honestly, as a man, my power and privilege is so blindingly intense and overwhelming that it’s a miracle I can even function outside of just wallowing in a life of never-ending pleasures. Such is manhood, you see. It’s a burden. So you’ll have to indulge me in the below.
– To elaborate on the photo: isn’t it funny how confusing gender studies has made it for feminists? Why can’t a woman have copious amounts of facial hair? Why can’t a woman be stocky? Why can’t a woman dress like a man? Why can’t a woman say that she is a man and feel like she is a man? Are those outraged by “All Male Panels” like this one suggesting that there is a prototypical way that ALL women must look and that since they do not see such a person in the photo then that must mean there were no women present? THAT IS BIGOTRY in its UGLIEST form. HOW DARE YOU tell us what a woman is or SHOULD look like, you CIS-CENTRIC BIGOTS. Bruce Jenner must be spinning in his grave!
– Separation of the sexes and modesty are critical values in our religion. Just as there are all male gatherings, so too are there all female gatherings, as there should be. The only difference is, male gatherings are more visible, but modesty entails the female gatherings be less visible to the masses. It is modern feminism that has asserted without a shred of sound reasoning that the more visible domain, what they have dubbed “the public sphere” is the domain of power and therefore women are rendered powerless by not sharing that space and so they must be included in it, since the less visible domain, what they have dubbed “the private sphere” is the domain of zero power.
– As I frequently argue, we should not endorse this arbitrary distinction between “public” and “private.” And we should certainly not endorse the arbitrary feminist claim that the “public sphere” is the arena of power and the “private sphere” is the arena of powerlessness. In fact, typically, the less visible one is, the more power is wielded — just think of the CIA or NSA. This was something Muslim rulers even recognized, where even the Ottoman sultans would hide from public view and only go out in front of people in full niqab or other disguises. In any case, if visibility equates with power, then this destroys any conception of separation of the genders and modesty (and khimar/hijab even) and so it is critical we are aware of this and oppose this ideology at its roots because, whether we are aware of this or not, this ideology is what is slowly unraveling our communities and our youth.
– Is there such a thing as “the right to free assembly” that people value anymore? Not that anyone should value it, but this is just another example of how empty and meaningless that term is. Are Muslim feminist activists saying that at no time can these scholars join together, chit chat, spend time together, maybe take a group photo unless there is some “female representation”? Think about it. Isn’t that the essence of their critique? If 5 of them or 3 of them go out for an organizational dinner, have a conversation without any females present, isn’t that oppression and misogyny too according to this standard? A lot to analyze here, but I will leave it at that for now.
– Finally, I hate to say it, but this is the result of giving an inch to the feminist discourse in our communities. The same voices that have been enabled by our communities are now attacking our communities and causing all kinds of fitna. I hope there is an increasing awareness of this by our imams and scholars lest they be bullied by these activists and start to accommodate more of their ultimatums aimed at step by step “reforming” our religion.
– Let me make this very clear so that I am not misinterpreted: Supporting the just treatment of all people, including women is VERY IMPORTANT. But this IS NOT the same as supporting feminism, which operates on a different and continuously shifting, even incoherent understanding of “justice.” We have to do our homework. Do you know what feminism advocates? Who the major feminist thinkers of the past 70 years are and what they wrote? Do you know about their ideas and their goals for society? If not, why would you risk having any association with them or use their language for anything? Do you not fear that you might unwittingly lose your faith, all the while thinking you are doing good?