Among the incoherences of feminism is that it argues for equality even in situations that disfavor women and work against the interests of women.
For example, Muslim feminists argue that it is wrong that the Sharia prohibits women from praying and fasting during menstruation. If men are able to pray and fast, they argue, we should be able to, too!
As some scholars mentioned, prohibiting menstruating women from praying and fasting is a mercy because of the weakened physical state caused by menstruation. But these feminists insist that preventing women from praying and fasting is the work of evil patriarchy oppressing women for the benefit of men. How men benefit from this is a mystery, but these details ultimately don’t register in the feminist equation. Wherever there is a difference between men and women, which is ubiquitous in the Sacred Law, the feminist alarm bells go off and there can only be one simplistic, asinine explanation: “Evil Patriarchy!
“In actuality, Islam recognizes and accommodates for the subtle differences between men and women because the One who sent Islam is also the One who created men and women with their vast array of similarities and differences. Given these variances between the sexes, in actuality, mirror equality would be oppressive because it would force one sex to bend to the standards that apply to the other sex.
Here is the important conceptual point: Feminists cannot give up the concept of mirror equality because they know that other than mirror equality, there is no objective standard by which to judge whether true gender justice is achieved.
Think about it. If feminists acknowledge that the sexes are different and therefore women should be treated “equitably” as opposed to “equally” and there is room for variances in law to account for said differences, then where do we draw the line? EVERY instance of different treatment could be chalked up to different nature/creation of the sexes. EVERY difference in gender role could be attributed to and explained away by reference to difference in nature/creation between the sexes.
Why should women be primarily socialized to take on maternal caretaker roles as opposed to men, who should be socialized for bread-winning roles? Difference in nature. Why should women dress a certain way as distinct from men? Difference in nature. Why should women be barred from becoming imams while men fill that role? Difference in nature. Why should the role of khalifa and state leadership be reserved for men and not women? Difference in nature.
All gender differences can be rationalized in this way, which is a nightmare for feminist philosophy. So to avoid it, feminists have to insist on mirror equality, but that also causes conflicts and incoherence, as we saw.
This is one among many of the conceptual problems that plagues feminist thought, but Islam and the Sharia are completely free of these problems. Allah has given each of us a different position and place in society and in our families and He will judge us according to our taqwa, not according to our wealth, our status, our leadership, our position, or any of the other criteria feminism is obsessed with.