Thursday, 22 April 2010

Feminism se gat

The other night Mother asked me if I’d like to take her car in for wheel alignment because she’s in the middle of one of her cases and doesn’t have the time to do it herself. So I responded sarcastically saying “No, I wouldn’t like to take your car to have its wheels aligned, but I will do it because you asked me to… just for you… because you want me to”. And off I was the next day, driving horrifically slow, watching tortoises outrun me, making my way to the damn wheel alignment place.

On my way there, I thought of how annoying it is to have to deal with constant car issues, ESPECIALLY when you’re female. In our home, it’s worse because we’re only females and often get stuck doing all the dirty work and it’s been this way for as long as I can remember. Anyways, it’s been one of those weeks and this is how it is ok…

My definition of feminism is the freedom to make my own choices… like whether I’d like to work or not… and to be able to think for myself and have my own opinions and beliefs on various issues and subjects… without having a man dictate what I should say, feel, think or believe. But that’s it right there. That’s where my definition of feminism ends.

Now too many of today’s females are often rallying around, throwing the word feminism about, without REALLY knowing the full implication of the concepts behind that banner. If you’ve read the works of Virginia Woolf and Simone de Beauvoir, including the interpretations and explanations behind them extensively, you’ll know that their concepts of feminism are very different to our contemporary pop cultural views.

What I’ve come to notice is that when people (I’m talking about women specifically here) become accustomed to having everything done for them on a daily basis, they tend to take those things for granted. And it’s usually those females who’ve never had to really work for anything in their lives, or who get everything they want under Daddy’s clutches, that over-utilize this word feminism because they’re secretly yearning for that freedom associated with feminist concepts… the freedom to be able to do things.

But for others, like me, it’s different because we've been doing things for most of our lives and quite frankly I’ve had enough. I’m tired of changing light-bulbs and worrying whether the car’s wheels have been aligned or not or if the bearing is shot again… and where I’m going to get a good mechanic from. I’m tired of worrying about stupid things like if the door is locked and if the alarm is on before I go to bed and that the lawn needs to be mowed the next day. And I know how to service my own car, change a tyre and a light bulb and do most of what a man can do around the house, so I don’t need to prove myself to anyone.

In a lot of ways, it’s worse for women today because we’re not only expected to go out and work, but to come home, tend to the household chores, cooking, laundry etc. as well as the children. (Not that I’m against working. But I’d like to work because I want to, not because I have to. And I truly believe that a husband’s duty to his wife is to see to her NECESSITIES and not her GREED aka WANTS and that if a woman WANTS too much that she must get a damn job and support those wants herself).

But for the most part, I hardly think its fair and as far as I’m concerned, fuck feminism. What has it given us aside from lazy ass men who don’t even want to make the effort to ask you out to dinner, never mind mow the lawn, fix the leaking pipes or God forbid, make tea and coffee for themselves.

If feminism means taking on additional responsibilities while having the man sit on his ass and watch you like a B-grade movie, then please take it back. I don’t need it and I don’t want it. I don’t want to deal with things that I shouldn’t have to deal with. Granted there are some men who require their wives to help them out, if say for instance, he has two cars and can’t drive both himself. But don't forget, that wife is getting laid, so there’s plenty of incentive to try and please the husband and absolutely no incentive for me to go trudging through town at a snail’s pace.

There are only 3 instances that would incite violence and turn me into a husband beater:
1. If he’s a chronic cheater;
2. If he has a small winky and;
3. If he expects me to go out and work and come home and do allll of the things a housewife has to do while he lounges away in front of the TV. 

The way I see it, my man must go out and bring home the macon and see to my damn endless car issues, and the light-bulbs, and the lawn and all the other male shit that belongs in the man’s realm. I on the other hand, would be too happy to sit behind a stove and cook all day and rear six children – 3 for me and 3 for him – and make all the cookies he wants, and join the PTA, and do charity drives, and mend his clothes, and run his bath, and give him a full body massage before he goes to sleep, check on the investments, and wake up early enough to make him breakfast and lunch. I’d be too happy to do all of that instead of worry incessantly about bills and plumbing and special parts that need to be ordered for the car and the gutters that need to be cleared and bushes that need to be trimmed etc.

And if for any reason, I have to go and work and be a part of his realm by bringing home 50% of the macon… then for damn sure he’s going to do 50% of what needs to be done in the woman’s realm… i.e. the cooking, cleaning, laundry, tending to the kids etc. etc. It’s only fair. And THAT is as far as my concept of feminism goes. Personally though, I don’t want to work when I have my kids. And I’m not one of those women who WANTS all the time, frankly the less I have the better. I want to sit in my little hut with two spoons, a mug and a kettle and be the caretaker of the family … yes me… a ticket for domestic bliss for one please! I want to be the WOMAN, not the man. And thankfully, my religion supports this and my rights as a female :D

This post is in no way referring to any individual, or a reflection of any recent discussions I may have had, and is just a culmination of thoughts and events that have manifested over a substantial amount of time after considerable contemplation and deliberation ;)

"As a woman I want to know that I can worship in a mosque, debate and add to Islamic intellectual knowledge, and be respected for this. For me this is ultimate equality." (Amen Sister!)

Title colloquial Afrikaans pronounced 'feminism-sir-(gutteral)gut' meaning feminism's arse.

12 comments:

  1. I am so on that train with you!
    The problem is that people use the term 'feminism' without realizing what the true definition is. Granted, that you get different types of feminists. From the ones who just want equality to the ones who basically blame men for all their problems. The problem that I have with the extreme ideology is that it does exactly what it accuses men of doing. They assume that women have no say and no power in society, which is not the case. Many women, in different societies and cultures have power. They are not really ‘the weaker sex’.
    The other thing is we define what is powerless through western standards, trying to live an Islamic life. It does not work! As a women I want to know that I can worship in a mosque, debate and add to Islamic intellectual knowledge, and be respected for this. For me this is ultimate equality.
    Oh and Bwahahahahaha at point 2!

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  2. Feminism...it's for the birds.

    I actually wrote a ridiculously long comment, submitted it and then it got lost :/
    Darnit blogger, darnit!

    So it's for the birds :)

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  3. Yep ladies. Apparently not many others share our sentiment lol ;D

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  4. AA- Azra,

    One cheap plug deserves another:

    http://brnaeem.blogspot.com/2009/04/am-i-sexist-jerk.html

    I think there is a fine balance out there that so many females are in dire need of...

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  5. So what you're saying is, you're frustrated with what feminism has become, and you're tired of responsibilities that come with having a car, paying bills, plumbing and and the consequences of other modern 'freedoms'.

    Why define yourself as a feminist at all, then? We're already hearing you roar.

    You say you want to be the woman, yet you outline terms and division of labor in percentages. Clearly you want to call the shots.

    I don't think you want a real man. Sounds like you want a neutered boytoy to compliment your lifestyle, and what you can extract from him.

    Domestic bliss has no ticket. But with expectations like these, it may also have no hope.

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  6. Naeem - Wasalaam. I love the plugs, keep 'em coming. What you quoted from her blog in your post is 100% true and I couldn't agree more, theres a balance that is seriously lacking. I've come to believe that there are two kinds of people in this world: those who were allowed to be kids and those who were reared as adults.

    I come from the latter and the result is that until recently - and after a tumultuous and traumatizing life - I want simplicity. I don't want any drama or petty issues plaguing me in adulthood.

    However, I've seen that with people (women especially) who've never had any *real* difficulties in their lives, they're always craving for some kind of drama... they're always looking for that *something else* - looking for ways to rebel against nature or society or whatever - because they've never had to "fight".

    But when you've been "fighting" your whole life, you just want to sit back and let someone else fight for you.

    alija - I've never proclaimed to be a feminist, I merely stated my perception of the definition of feminism. And I dont associate wanting to think for myself with feminism either, since Islam gave women rights long before feminism even came to exist.

    What I've merely stated is that I'm tired of having to deal with what I call "male" responsibilities since I don't have a father, brothers, uncles or a husband at my beck and call to see to the heavy lifting.

    Your assumption that I "clearly want to call the shots" is amusing. Guess you can put that crystal ball away, it aint working for you because you're talking to a girl that refuses to even make simple decisions... like where to have coffee on a date, leaving it up to the guy to decide... never mind clamouring to "take control".

    And I find it thoroughly amusing too, that you THINK you know who I am and what I want. I've never shy-ed away from responsibility, in fact I've been working since I was 7 years old - making my own money, paying my own way. And even now, as a 28 year old adult, I can't remember the last time my parents supported me financially.

    And apologies for whatever circumstances you may be in, that would lead you to project and make these assumptions about me.

    You see me? I've been a leader my whole life, a warrior, a fighter at the fore, always first in line at battle. And I don't regret a minute because I'm a better person for it.

    But now, its time for my REAL MAN to step in and take over that reigns... not some "boytoy" I can slap around but someone who can take care of me and our kids physically, mentally / psychologically and emotionally as well at the very LEAST. And I will reciprocate by taking care of him and his needs too.

    You call it expectations, I call it being the MAN of the house... the way nature and God intended it to be!!!

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  7. Amusing you was not my intent.

    Our faith and traditions as Muslims delineate roles for men and women. But most of us today are wrapped up in rebelling against, reconciling, or diluting their cultural inheritance.

    Often the tragic result, is a confused cacophany. You may know everything there is to know about feminism, and other -isms, but little clue about how to truly live an Islamic lifestyle.

    If you're really trying to align yourself with what Allah and His Mustafa (s) intended, try some humility. Spend more time with holy people, even if they're not fun. Pray that you may find such friends.

    But don't fool yourself into thinking your desires are in tune with divine guidance. Virginia Woolf has no clue about that, anyway.

    Yes, there aren't many Muslim *men* out there. But a real man, wants a real woman.

    Would he want you? Are you worthy of being considered?

    Or are you too busy being superwoman, and wearing the leader/warrior chip on your shoulder?

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  8. alija - It may not be your intention, but your continued assumptions and postulations certainly are amusing.

    Like for instance, your assumption that I have "little clue about how to truly live an Islamic lifestyle" and that I don't "Spend time with holy people" and that I should "Pray that I may find such friends".

    I find it hilarious and entertaining, especially since you obviously don't know me and you don't know my lifestyle AT ALL.

    It is very foolish and ignorant of you to come here and read the 2% that makes up my life... those parts of my life which I choose to share with the Blogosphere, and make all these assumptions about the kind of Muslim (and Woman) I am. What I say here, is what I WANT YOU to read, but don't think for a second that you know me based on this 2% (or what I'm NOT saying).

    You know absolutely NOTHING about me or my lifestyle - and two of the commentators on this thread will concur.

    Incidentally, I've already relinquished my title of Superwoman (a while ago) and don't have time for chips on shoulders because I live in the present - the here and now.

    And I don't need to prove myself or my womanliness to you - those around me and those who have met me, and the ones who choose to care about me know full well who am I and what I am about.

    (& Who cares about Virginia Woolf, I certainly don't)

    I have to wonder, is it a habit of yours to go around to strangers sites on your self-righteous high horse, telling them how Islamic or rather, Un-Islamic they are. Wonder what the Prophet SAW would say about that, especially since the messenger led through inspiration, not dictation.

    Next time, why don't you practice some of that which you talk about - humility. After all, making assumptions about people and then judging them on those false assumptions is a sin ;)

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  9. Azra,

    This back and forth is entertaining me as well.

    Dictation? We're just having a spirited discussion. It's clear I've struck a nerve, forced you to think, or provoked you to respond.

    And that's what I wanted you to do :)

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  10. feminism has lost its meaning. i look up the definition and there's a long winded explanation that explains nothing. well nothing clearly.

    i liked this note :What we so often forget is that God has honored the woman by giving her value in relation to God—not in relation to men. But as Western feminism erases God from the scene, there is no standard left—except men. As a result, the Western feminist is forced to find her value in relation to a man. And in so doing, she has accepted a faulty assumption. She has accepted that man is the standard, and thus a woman can never be a full human being until she becomes just like a man.

    When a man cut his hair short, she wanted to cut her hair short. When a man joined the army, she wanted to join the army. She wanted these things for no other reason than because the “standard” had it." from www.suhaibwebb.com/islam-studies/a-womans-reflection-on-leading-prayer/

    anyways. out of curiosity: are you going to make the guy that proposes to you, drop his pant so you can inspect his package before deciding to marry him?:P

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  11. fathima - lol! I may ask my Dad to help me out with the guy LOL! I think such things don't really matter if your souls connect y'know. You just make it work.
    Thanks for the link BTW. Nice read ;)

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  12. wow some argument u ve been havin:P
    i totally agree with u on wanting a MAN in the house and taking his responsiblities and you takin yourz:) thats the way life should be everyone doing their part.

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