My professor told me that men and women have different purposes, so we can’t protest how men are more “free”. We can’t protest on how wives have to do what the husbands say as long as it’s right. My Mom also told me that if your husband says no, then you don’t do it. However, there are feminists that are rebelling against this, they say that it’s sexist, women rights, equality, etc. What do you think about this? And what do you think about feminism? Sorry if it’s hard to understand.
It is true that men and women have different evolutionary purposes. I describe this in detail in my two essays Man’s Masculine Role and Woman’s Feminine Role in Family and Civilization and Civilization versus Feminism.
There are many types of feminists. Some of them believe in equal rights for women and there is nothing wrong with this. Others believe in women’s moral superiority and think that all men are inherently worthless
“I want to see a man beaten to a bloody pulp with a high-heel shoved in his mouth, like an apple in the mouth of a pig.” —Andrea Dworkin
“All men are rapists and that’s all they are” —Marilyn French, advisor to Al Gore’s presidential campaign.
“In order to raise children with equality, we must take them away from families and communally raise them” —Dr. Mary Jo Bane, feminist and assistant professor of education at Wellesley College, and associate director of the school’s Center for Research on Woman.
“The most merciful thing a large family can to do one of its infant members is to kill it.” —Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, in “Women and the New Race,” p. 67.
“We are, as a sex, infinitely superior to men.” —Elizabeth Cady Stanton
These are feminism’s leaders and intellectuals. They have high-paying jobs as university professors and administrators, pundits and non-profit executives. These are not some crazy outsiders, they are at the center of feminism, and it is people like this who run most women’s studies departments at universities. It is for this reason that women taught at women’s studies departments generally have a visceral hatred toward men, believing that no evil done to them is too bad, and believing that a woman has zero moral responsibility toward men and society, because she is infinitely superior to all religious and societal values.
Feminism’s leaders are some of the most bloodthirsty and poisonous people on earth, utterly selfish and self-centered, having zero empathy toward 50% of humanity (males), and rejoicing at the thought of men suffering injustice and murder.
Since we Muslims follow a balanced religion that considers men and women equally worthy, we must naturally reject this type of feminism for the doctrine of hate that it is, and instead of considering these dangerously bloodthirsty women leaders of women (as some female Muslim intellectuals mistakenly think), we must consider them enemies of Islam and civilization, for what they want is to utterly destroy our values and ideals to replace them with their male-hating, marriage-hating, abortion-loving and homosexuality-promoting ideology.
As for women who believe in the equal worth of men and women and simply want to promote equal rights and opportunities for women, then there is nothing wrong with them, although it would be better if they did not call themselves feminists, because the above is what feminism’s leaders are like. They should create a new movement that stands against feminism, rejecting its doctrine of hate and replacing it with something that works for women’s rights without wanting to carry out genocide against half of the world’s population.
In Islam, a man has “a degree of authority” over women in his household, as I explain in my answer Patriarchy in the Quran. The woman should always have the right to divorce and to agencies that protect her against abuse, so that the man is prevented from abusing his authority. But the authority is there nonetheless, and it cannot be taken away without throwing away the Quran. This means that his wife cannot make significant decisions without his agreement. If she wants to, she is free to threaten divorce to get her way, but while she remains a wife to her husband, her husband has this authority over her.
A woman is not forced into marriage; she is the one who chooses what man deserves to be her husband. If she marries a man as cultured and intelligent as herself, then the question of authority may never come up, since the family functions comfortably, with both the man and the woman enslaved to the interests of the family, rather than their own personal interests. Neither of them seek power or privilege over the other; they both work for the same goal, the project in life.
So the man’s extra authority is something that only comes up if the woman wants to do something that goes against his wishes. In such a case, she can argue with him, she can ask for the support of her family and his family to convince him, and if the matter is important enough to her, she has the right to ask for divorce. So this authority is not absolute, like a short-sighted view would suggest; it is balanced by the woman’s right of divorce, and by the fact that in Islamic societies all women have universal income guaranteed by their male relatives, so that they are not reliant on their husbands in order to be fed, clothed and sheltered, if they leave the husband, the male relatives are required to do provide these for them.
Before marriage, a woman is free to ask her husband to give her equal authority, and he is free to either agree or not agree, since marriage is by the agreement of both sides. The Islamic view is that the system of giving men more authority in the household than women is beneficial to both of them, by giving them happy and stable families. When it comes to traditional marriages, some short-sighted people focus on the one unhappy and abusive marriage they find and ignore the 9 happy and peaceful marriages around them, and use this one example to “prove” that there is something wrong with the Islamic system.
Regardless of the system, there will always be unhappy and abusive marriages. The Islamic system claims to lead to better marriages, families and societies on average; having a lower rate of unhappy and broken marriages and families. If in Western societies the rate of unhappy marriages is 20%, in an Islamic society it might be 5%. And while all major Western societies have below-replacement fertility rates (their societies are slowly but surely going extinct), conservative Islamic societies all have above-replacement fertility rates, meaning that they continue to thrive, even in developed societies like Malaysia.
Another sign of the healthfulness of the Islamic system is the low suicide rates in peaceful Islamic countries. The suicide rate of the United States is four times greater than that of Indonesia and Egypt, for example.