Why we are fixated on women’s rights

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I have seen status updates of some of my male friends asking “why isn’t there a men’s day?”

Some say “how can women claim to be equal to man? what equality? God has created us different. we cannot be equated. are these people crazy. totally blasphemous.”

Another one says “isn’t this differentiation in itself? Let go of this fixation on women rights. Work for equal rights without highlighting ONE gender.”

Maybe they are rightful claims. But I choose to oppose. From time immemorial there is evidence that man, in general, has had a superior hand over everything of this worldly life.

From a religious point of view, from an Islamic perspective, we have to take into account the numerous instances where it is specifically admonished to the men to be kind to their women folk. Islam highlights the important role of women in society, in economy, in nation building, in spreading education. There is enough evidence. But that’s not my point doing this post.

My point is – the human race is dominated my men! That is a basic fact. Women naturally are made more sensitive, more adaptive and more docile. Society has taken advantage of this, ALWAYS. The reason a day is marked to highlight on women’s rights is basically to address this issue. The reason why Islam specifically addresses this issue is for this specific reason. Nonetheless, the society is run by men [for whatever reason – mostly I attribute it to women’s role and self-nominated commitment in the upbringing of their children, sidelining their own wishes] hence women’s rights are compromised and sidelined.

abused-woman-022713-400x300

In the Maldives, every 1 in 3 women between the ages of 15-49 has been a victim of domestic violence.

Seventy percent of Maldivian women believe, for example, that there are circumstances under which a man is justified in beating his wife. Infidelity and disobedience, most women accept, are valid reasons for taking a good beating from the husband.

One in every three Maldivian men who commit acts of domestic violence against women do so for ‘no reason’. One in four does it to punish the woman for disobedience, and one in five does it because he is jealous.

One in every ten man beats up his partner because she refused him sex, and the rest of them do it for any number of reasons  – lack of food at home, family problems, because they are broke or unemployed, because they are having problems at work, or because the woman is pregnant.

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Women are taught from a young age to accept their fate patiently. It is ingrained in their minds that being silent is the virtuous thing to do. The society teaches women to take things for granted. When atrocities happen, women naturally go silent.

Ministers Nasheed government

The Maldives government is run by the President with his cabinet of Ministers. The cabinet has only about 13% representation from the female gender. This translated into only 13% say in a women’s perspective in government policy making.

(note: the image above is from former President’s cabinet – the current cabinet is no different I believe)

Maldives parliament 2009-2014

The laws that the rest of us are to follow are made by the Parliament (taking into consideration Shari’ah of course). Maldives Parliament is made up of 77 elected members from the constituencies. The current Parliament consists of only THREE women (only 3.9% contribution in having a say in the making of law & regulation).

We witnessed the ill-effects of this when the bill on Domestic Violence was debated at the parliament. The absurd views held by some of the MPs dismissing the claims about domestic violence was disgusting.

judiciary

When it comes to the implementation and execution of the penalties against those who do not abide by the laws and regulations laid out by the Parliament, the ruling of the judiciary is quite significant. And what is disturbing is that there is only a very small number of women in the justice system. We have witnessed how the male gender aren’t able to fathom the severity and sensitivity of crimes committed against women. The popular ongoing case against a child of sexual abuse, being treated as fornication, is one that comes to mind.

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All this basically means that women’s issues, women’s struggles, women’s plight is quite substantially sidelined when it comes to policy making and execution.

I do not say that there aren’t men who are disadvantaged at the hands of society. However, in comparison to the opposite gender the men are way more privileged.

We need to learn to walk and work side by side respecting each others biological differences yet acknowledging intellectual equality.

21 thoughts on “Why we are fixated on women’s rights

  1. “Women naturally are made more sensitive, more adaptive and more docile.”

    I think it’s a mistake to say that women are the weaker sex. There is nothing in nature to suggest that the females of any species is inferior. Just look at female spiders who eat their sexual partners, or the lion prides where lionesses do all the hunting. Males may have evolved to be physically larger because males usually fight each other to get mates.

    The difference between the animal kingdom and us is that we have created societies where men are expected to be stronger.
    Displaying emotion is seen as a weakness for men. Men are conditioned from childhood to supress them, which makes women look like the more “sensitive” or “emotional” sex.

    Society bends over backwards to cater to men. Women are expected to be caregivers and take care of the men in their household. This made men superior only by social status. It does not mean that men are superior and women are inferior, in a biological, physical, or an emotional sense.

    Personally I think women are stronger than men. Just look at what women have to put up with throughout their lives…..the pain of child rearing….menstrual cramps…and all the shit they have to take from a society which deems them the inferior sex.

    • you made my day :)
      that’s one of the best comments for my rants.

      when I said “Women naturally are made more sensitive, more adaptive and more docile.”
      I did not necessarily indicate it in the sense of a creationist view. Neither did I mean it to indicate a weakness.
      I think I was trying to indicate the natural tendency (maybe it is man-made through evolution of the society and its norms). But also, in a biological sense, since we have to undergo this monthly cycle of hormones we become more adapt at dealing with pain and mood changes. we become adapt at handling gory stuff. through childbirth we are made tough – so as to bear any pain with dignity.
      And just because we give birth to the new generation of the human kind, the bond and the sense of responsibility women feel towards those wee ones is something that is biological, psychological, and emotional. there is no arguing on that. this tendency makes us women to sacrifice our ambitions at various times in their life. And this again makes the women more grounded and empathetic as well as more fragile when the other half responsible for the children do not take a fair share of the load. This again makes women tougher. At the same time this is where the weakness lies. the tendency to care.

      So yes, maybe nature itself meant us to be the ‘stronger’ one. But the society, for whatever reason, has ended up giving the superior power to the male gender.

      Maybe it’s their strength, or maybe it’s their indifference or apathy to pain that made them the so called stronger human beings. (I would like to add that there are very very sensitive, deeply caring, empathetic men just as there are indifferent women – but here we are talking about the bulk of the species :) )

      So yes. the society plays a significant role in stereotyping the gender and all of us, at varying degrees, become folly to this.

      P.S. Reading your comment makes me think you are woman. But reading your posts, I assumed you to be a man. :D I know this is a crazy thought. But I guess once again I am folly to the society’s definition of how a woman thinks and how a man thinks. excuse me for my assumptions

      • hehe :) phew!!!
        thanks for clearing the doubt. Though, I should say I was 99.9% sure my initial assumption was correct.
        Was just a bit cautious because you expressed such strong views in favor of women.

        Nice to meet you. We need more male feminists :)

  2. From a scientific point of view, the ‘women’ of any species is the stronger one. I am reminded of Tom Cruise’s bafflement in Steven Spielberg’s “Minority Report” when he asks his (woman) boss who among the three pre-cogs (two men and one woman) has the ‘minority report’. And she replies “The female of course” giving a look of disbelief at Tom Cruise as if he was asking the stupidest question on earth. It was such a LOL moment but very revealing, too.

    • wow :) another male feminist!!!

      thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.
      now that you mention that movie, I am reminded of Neytiri in avatar (don’t know why :) )

      • Because Neytiri is shown as a strong female character. James Cameron always shows his women characters as strong and independent. For example, Sigourney Weaver in “Aliens” who was nominated for a Best Actress Oscar from that movie. And if you really think about it, it was Neytiri who saves Jake Sully not once but twice at the end of “Avatar.” First she puts two arrows in the evil boss’ heart, then she gives Jake the breather to revive him when he runs out of oxygen. Cool, isn’t it? :-)

  3. One reason why males are treated as superior is the misconception that the sperm is actually the person, not the egg! Science has shown us otherwise. The egg is the real thing. The sperm is only a deliverer of genetic information so that each baby the woman gives birth to does not look like a clone of the other!

    • hehe.
      i have never heard anyone associate these misconceptions to the conception stage :)
      but maybe you are right.
      whatever it is, it is the society who creates this division and it’s the society (female included) who set the rules and trends.
      More men need to play a greater role in removing these prejudices.

  4. Women see men doing a lot of exciting things which men think is hard work which should not be asked for girls to do, just out of respect. Then women think they are not equal because they are too much respected to give easy tasks. Another fact is women are very moody, every second they can work coz of some stress, prejudice or something. The day when they are in good mood, trust me they are very good for spending hours for backbiting LOL :)

    • oh darn man!!! :)
      sit home and look after a family (of say even 5 people) doing the dishes, sweeping, dusting, mopping, cleaning, laundry, cooking (add to that dozens and dozens of roshi), shopping, ironing, running school rounds, homework, looking after the bills etc etc –
      that sure amounts to easy tasks [sarcasm intended – a lot of it!!!]

      I have had the opportunity to work outside and have managed to keep pace with men, doing things more efficiently compared to some men in the same profession. And let me tell you, that is exciting!!! It doesn’t just look exciting. In indeed is a thrill and gives a sense of accomplishment. Sure, working & achieving targets, constantly keeping yourself in the lead is hard-work (esp when we women are expected look after the household work too) but working at a profession also needs more intellectual capability and is challenging as well.
      and sometimes it’s relaxing too. and it is exciting to travel on official business.

      Compare that to those women who sit day in and day out doing the dishes like a robot.
      the dishes and any and all of the household chores can be shared by both gender. that’s what equality is about.

      you have annoyed a feminist.
      your comment about the female gender good at only backbiting is totally uncalled for.

      but, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for leaving a comment so that I could rant at you and everyone with a similar view. :lol: :)

  5. Please consider me also to be included in the list of Feminists :p
    But, ak baat hay — I think, the future is in the hands of women as they breed new generation. Couldn’t they bring up their children, specially male children in the way that they may become more sensible about the opposite gender.

    • arey vaa Rafiullah G – glad to know you sympathize with feminist views :) :P

      And I have to disagree with your point. It’s not just the women who hold the future of what our children mature into. A child comes into this world as a result of a man and a women. So how can anyone say one person is the key responsible person?

      The common mistake that we make is leaving women to fend for the children. When women sit home and do household work all day long, that person experiences fatigue after sometime – life becomes mundane and unbearable. This is worse when women are educated and yet have no role or no say in what goes on in the society. So the end result is the women ends up unhappy and this reflects on the parenting too.

      And for the children to truly appreciate both genders, they need to see the same example. If the father is out all day long and expects to be pampered when he returns with not giving enough compassion in return, there is nothing the women can do to make it any better, and the children take away the same lessons when they go into adulthood. I mean boys will learn to believe that the world revolves around them, and girls will learn to believe that women’s role is to be submissive. And this keeps going on as a vicious cycle.

      But of-course, there are families functioning quite well too. I am just talking about the majority group.

      And as for making male feel more responsible and more compassionate and to respect the value of women, we need to address the issue at school as well in our religious sermons. If all the Friday sermons keep brainwashing the boys and men in way that makes them believe they can order the other gender around, things will never change. The sermons need to preach more about mutual respect and our Rasool’s (saw) advice about treating women with dignity and to never ever harm them…

      Islam has such beautiful guidelines to protect and empower women. But it is sad that just because the leaders are predominately male, these guidelines are twisted in favor of men.

  6. This really shows how much society defines our views on these things. Just the fact that some men were even questioning how women can be equal shows it. How sad it is that we let society do that to us. But it also shows that to really change anything, society needs to change and it sounds like you’re on your way to creating that change. Keep it up with that spirit of yours!

  7. Blood-Ink-Diary

    A significant and brilliant post, dear Amira ! Yes, Maldives needs to be discussed in all her standards, follies, validity and wisdom — keep expressing what the pulse in you conveys to do.
    Brava. Cheers to go with it !

  8. WordsFallFromMyEyes

    You’re such a strong voice here, Amira. I just can’t believe this crap, CANNOT believe men have this ‘power’ – disobedience? refusing sex? My God, if the tables were turned…

leave a thread to follow :) merci

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