Sunday, May 8, 2011

Turning Points: The Voice of Sara Khan

What could be ways to truly help these women out?

1)Education-Islam does not say that women are the breadwinners but education helps because it provides an income for tough times, additional monetary support that may help in the future (if a husband dies), makes the arrogant male realize that his bad behavior will not be tolerated. However, many South Asian men have used this for their own advantage and seek wives with very grand academic ambitions (doctors, etc) that they can work as animals. Therefore, it shouldn't be a way for a single woman to advertise her net worth (alongside dowry, beauty, etc) but a way for her to provide for herself and support her husband, if the need.

2) Women need to support one another. Too often women, even Muslim women, challenge the virtue of marriage and seduce married men. I do not blame the women more but she can help in this aspect. Also, in-laws refuse to treat the daughter in law as a real daughter. Finally, women, like men, have their flaws and backbite quite too often. We live in a world of men and let what men want to hear be the way we communicate. Too often, this means slighting a woman. If we cannot have the courage to speak honestly, then let us atleast be silent...because Allah will speak both ways.

3) Women should not fear hard work. If women get divorces for real reasons (if there is simply no option left), they must learn to work hard. Good men do not like to see their women have to work but as women we should have it an obligation to ourselves that life is work and we should not fear this work, but embrace it as we do taking care of our children and homes.

Where are the Muslimahs? I think the point remains that, though much has changed, there are a few traditional values that persist in all cultures, though much more prevalent in Middle-eastern and South Asian (and Asian) cultures. A man success STILL comes from his economic standing whereas a woman's success parallels how successful of a man she marries. This is an unspoken truth masked by growing academics in women and "independence". It isn't something talked about but it is something felt. Furthermore, life for a woman on her own is difficult--culturally, economically, etc. For most Muslimahs, it is best to be thankful if they are not effected by the situation to remain out of it and feel blessed that they aren't. Most men, even good men, think that women rights movement is a direct attack on their manhood and ungratefulness. Therefore, the wives of these women make it simpler for themselves because they can. Is it selfish? Yes. However, if I didn't have a widowed grandmother, a divorced mother, I wonder if I wouldn't take the same path. Finally, if you can agree with me that marriage is the best way to have respect for women in these days STILL, then the very very very few "bad apples" will put down this movement bc it may give them access to the catchiest men. I have knownn women to say to their husbands that these women are trying to be like men and dishonoring men and that they don't know how to take care of themselves. These lines directly massage a man's ego because most good men, especially the successful, would like nothing more but to cherish their wife and show their power by how well they can provide for there family. Most men in America do not practice the acts in our country but they too seek self interest. The good men could careless bc they are doing well. The bad men will downplay these movements. The bad women will use this movement and black-mail it. The scared women/somewhat selfish women will remain silent and let time tell.

Finally, the Muslimahs who do have a voice in this matter do not say it in a way that is very effective. Women rights movement is not saying "Men, you are cruel and I want to work in the way you do. I want to be like you. I don't care for marriage or family or a husband. All I care about is my education." The women rights movement should say "Men, please see us as women, not items. There is a difference. The good men treat us like trophies to take care of, but not as humans with feelings and values. The bad m en take the power out ont hem in abusive ways. I simply ask to be recognized as your wife, a mother, a person who can study and work bc I have those facilities but my priority is my family. This may be through work or through the home or both. I want to be a good mother and a good wife. I want to be married and respect you as a man...just respect me as a woman." Most women who speak for women rights cannot say these lines, because most of these women have been betrayed by men. These lines would look desperation if the women rights women spoke them. However, this is not the case. And because these women could not speak them, do not have suiters lined up... other women take advantage of this women in a way most negative or, if they lack confidence, just watch the show. Is it right? No. However, men are the same way. Therefore, I do not blame my gender, even the worst of the women in it, more than I do men. They are trying to survive. Some by silence. Some by indifference. Some, and the ones I stay far from, in a way to turn good into evil.

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