Every time I go against Feminism and make arguments to people as to why I am not a feminist, I get put into a situation that makes me re-think that statement.
I had an argument once with a most beloved cousin of mine. He argued with me, stating that women need to take control of their lives and the reason women are where they are is because they don’t go and educate themselves and take their rights. I found myself saying out loud “the reason the women are where they are is because of men”
Oops…yip I said it. I am a reluctant feminist.
This story right here is the reason I say that women are not allowed to be educated and in charge of their lives because men make it so.
A facebook post in one of the groups I follow stated:
A very sticky situation:
A sister reverts to Islam and then marries a Muslim born brother who comes from an immigrant background. After few years in stressful marriage, two children or more and irreconcilable differences she decides to leave. He does not support her financially and is not willing to accept wrongdoing on his part. She tries with every Imam in the community to help her out and get Khu'l or divorce from him but they all avoid taking her case. Now she got the civil divorce but no Imam is willing to give her the Islamic documentation of the divorce.
What is your take on this? How should we as a Muslim community deal with a case like this one?
And then I read the comments. It took me a while to calm down. Like a couple of weeks. And so I answered:
I read through this post and some comments and I have to say I am shocked. Words like “sbar” “mediation” “One side of the story” really got me upset and I had to wait awhile before commenting so that I could be calmer. I will try to be as brief as I possibly can:
“A hadeeth narrated by al-Bukhaari in his Saheeh (4867) from Ibn ‘Abbaas, in which it says that the wife of Thaabit ibn Qays came to the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and said, “O Messenger of Allaah, I do not blame Thaabit ibn Qays for any defect in his character or his religious commitment, but I would hate to commit an act of kufr when I am a Muslim.” The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “Will you give him back his garden [which he had given as mahr]?” She said, “Yes.” The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said (to Thaabit), “Accept the garden, and divorce her once.”
Please note, the Prophet (SWA) did not tell her “be patient”, he did not ask for “the other side of the story” he did not request for them to go through “mediation”. If she didn’t want to be with him, she had to give back her dowry and he had to release her.
It does NOT matter what the other side of the story is. The fact is, she is a Human Being, a Muslim and she just happens to be female and has every right to decide how to live her life. Yes divorce is not something to be taken lightly, but by her seeking a divorce on several different occasions its evidence enough that she is taking it seriously.
This is not a discussion on whether or not the divorce is valid or warranted or not, but whether women in Islam have the right to make choices about their lives. Whether her reasoning is logical or not, she has a right to choose how to live her life and her husband, Imams and everyone else needs to respect that.
Generally I don't like commenting I feel like, its your opionion who am I to impose on that...but for this I could not keep quite. It seems that through out the comments, what she wanted was just ignored and reduced, to her obligation to her children and husband and religion. I am not saying that divorce should be granted for every women who doesn't like her husband at some point in time. But this like all else in this world it seems what women want for themselves is just forgotten.
I see all these women's programmes that are so successful and so many people attend, but pray tell why is every single one of those programmes given by men? What about the women? Why are women not advising other women? Do we not have the intellect or knowledge to do so?
I would like to point out one thing, if she was a man, he would have been granted the divorce, NO ONE would have told him to “sabr” or seek “mediation” or wonder about “the other side of the story”. Because you are given the responsibility of divorce does not mean that you should not be questioned about it, and more importantly, does not mean you should not give it when it is being requested. No matter how hard it may be.
Really I think this “boys club” mentality of the Imams needs to come to an end. And remember that they are custodians of knowledge and not protectors of male brotherhood. You are not taking the side of the women; you are taking the side of what is right. Let the women decide how to live their lives, just like you allow the men to.
I don’t like the concept of feminism. I don’t like the whole idea of a movement that gives women more work to do.
Something occurred to me. Men should love feminism. This allows for them to be helped financially, it takes the whole “family responsibility” off their shoulder for the mere price of changing diapers and washing dishes every other day. Men are given the choice to be more relaxed, more sensitive and have someone there to share the responsibility with. Really, I don’t get why men are not more for it.