Thursday, April 17, 2014
Islam & Feminism
One of my closest friends is Muslim. And in the country we both live, her religion isn't well considered. Islam has grossly been caricatured as this fanatic religion that wants all "white" (these are not my words) people to disappear from the planet and who intends to overtake the whole of earth. Doesn't that sound like some Mars Attack movie scheme? Well, many Europeans actually firmly believe that type of gross statement I maybe over caricatured. One of the greatest problem that Europeans mostly have with Muslims is the way women are supposedly treated, and this is automatically linked to wearing a hijab. Hijab is the veil that Muslim women wear to cover their hair in order to show their respect for their religion, Islam. It has somehow become popular that hijab wearers, and thus Muslim women, are not independent, that they can fundamentally not be feminists. But I have a problem with that... How is that not discrimination? How can you say that Islam diminishes women, when you can find similar ideas in Judaism and Christianity? Now, whether religions in general undervalue women is another debate, that I do not wish to engage yet. But how can you say that a Muslim woman cannot rime with being a feminist, when a christian woman can? And who said that any person cannot have two distinct beliefs? Why this focalization on Muslim women? I do not get it.
My dear friend I mentioned above, is a Muslim young woman who, like many of her friends, wear a hijab. Now, she, like her friends, make their own decisions. they study, they go out, they laugh, they have opinions, they have intelligence, culture, ethics, etc. What makes them so different from other young women? The fact that they cover their hair? What if I didn't want to show my ears? What if I felt bad about showing my arms? What if I had chemotherapy and didn't want people to see my bald head? Couldn't I wear whatever it is that I want? How is that kind of decision different from not wanting to show our hair? Do you get my point? Why do we care so much about Muslim women's decisions? Did you know that many Muslim women do not wear hijab because they fear society's gaze? Because they fear they'll be discriminated? Because they are forced not to? How does it make our society feministic to ban women to wear something that they feel is a part of themselves and how they want to show themselves to the rest of the world? How do you help women emancipating themselves by preventing them to find a job? Oh you might be one of those people who believe that they have a choice to make, and it's theirs to take. Really? Is that really a choice? Or is it not a trap? How is it a choice that will make women feel good with themselves to ask them to either choose between their faith and their emancipation as productive beings? Would you yourselves see it as a choice if you had to choose between wearing something that you feel is a part of you (your dead mother's necklace, a long-sleeved blouse that hides your scars,etc.), and thus not being allowed to work, or go to work with something of you that is missing, and that makes you feel bad or even ashamed of yourself?
I'd like to share this TedTalk's video on how Islam and Feminism have nothing that prevents them from coexisting:
Then I'd like to post, once again this video by the youtuber Pearl Daisy, that shows the horrible and shocking things that you can find searched on Google about either Islam or Muslims:
And then a video by this same youtuber, in which she explains what the hijab means to her and what are the misrepresentations tat people have about hijab in general:
And finally, a last very short video by Pearl Daisy where she's angry because of what she heard people saying about hijab wearers and how they are not free because of they wearing a hijab:
I hope my article was of some enlightenment to you!
Have a great day, and keep your mind sharp!