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Feminism

–The things we think we know …

The feminist movement of the ’60s and ’70s wanted equality in the laws for men and women. They wanted women to get out of the house and into the workforce. They wanted to be able to wear whatever they wanted and not be harassed. We get that. But the Equal Rights Amendment was never passed.

Where are the feminists today?  As I look back to where we are now, I can’t help but see their movement was nothing more than a political platform that targeted women to get them to, hate home, motherhood, bras, marriage, and made them somehow desire a 9-5 job. To me, it seems like an obvious tax-generating scheme. It was good for the economy. Men didn’t seem to mind the new moral code and drug culture that was simultaneously ushered in.  Daycares eventually went up, clothing sales rose, car sales burgeoned.

Yeah, it wasn’t about us. It was about generating wealth and degenerating the masses.

The modern “Me too” movement is glaring proof that the feminists didn’t follow through. We’re still fighting for laws to protect us from abuse and harassment? Honestly, what did they do for women?

In order to realize our place in the world, we need to be able to know how other cultures are functioning.

Let’s talk about your most favorite subject. One that has been kept from you and purposely distorted. Muslim women who live in Muslim societies where Shariah exists, have many rights western women don’t have. Shariah laws prevent women from ending up on the street, or as a statistic, or as an Epstein sex slave—and I’m not talking about the dress or moral code nor the conduct of Muslim women. I’m talking about Muslim men who are 100% financially legally responsible for their female relatives. This is also not about ‘ownership’. This is about family and how it should function.

If a Muslim woman, be she wife, daughter, mother, or sister, is widowed, divorced, or unmarried– and is being neglected by her male relatives, she can go to court and have a monetary amount drawn from her son for example. It’s a court order. The man can’t run away from this. Not even to another country. He will be extradited. According to Shariah upon divorce, a Muslim father must pay support for all of his children even if they go to live with their mother.

You rightfully ask yourself: if this is true why do we only hear about the ‘poor oppressed Muslim women’. I’ve yet to meet a poor oppressed Muslim woman. Those who are will be a woman whose Islam has been abandoned by her or her family. Or, she is one who does not live where Shariah is enforced.

We have plenty of poor American women… why doesn’t our media shed light on such pertinent issues?

Islam is not a new religion. Our leaders have known all about it, at least since the early 1900s. It is unchanged religion that corresponds identically to the former revelations given to Moses down the lineage of Prophethood, to Muhammad, peace be upon them all.

The Shariah law is law extracted from the Quran. It is a way of life that creates a whole system where having a strong family unit is fostered. Strong families in any society are the wealthy and powerful ones. Let that sink in. Shariah prevents women from ending up on the street, homeless, and in poverty, or drug addicted, with their children in tow. Islam instills responsibility in men. A Muslim man can’t abandon his children. It’s not just considered immoral, it’s illegal.

The feminists: fought for abortion rights.

They fought for women to join the military.

They fought for women having equal opportunity for employment.

They wanted women out of their homes and into the workforce.

They spoke out about equal pay for equal work, but the ERA was not passed. Women still do not make the same salary as their male counterparts. This is another area we need to wonder why? Why did the feminists give up on this? I would guess, our male-dominated Congress has no reason to allow women, who outnumber men, to amass such equal wealth.

It’s a man’s world.

Marriage is in decline in the US. Yet women still continue to marry because they believe they are doing the religious, moral thing to do. They are placing a tremendous amount of trust in their spouse. The sad part comes when the trust is broken and they seek divorce or are divorced. Despite putting everything into their family; forfeiting a career, or just a good-paying job, they will face a judge and a canon of laws that contained nothing for them. Divorce American style is quite a humiliating process that is made public in front of strangers.

Ladies: There is no compensation for the thousands of meals you’ve prepared and served, nor the untold hours of housekeeping you did. Nor for raising your child. Unless you can hire a lawyer to fight for your rights to maintenance or child support. Child support should be mandatory. The best advice is: keep working and make sure all the work done on the home-front is split 50/50. Saudi men don’t have to help. They employ live-in domestic helpers, whether their wife works or not. It’s a die-hard custom.

Women won the right to join the military but even the toughest of them who reached fighter pilot level, came out publicly, telling that they were raped, sexually harassed, and badly discriminated against. Granted there are success stories but having its own military court system, these women must’ve come away feeling vilified and scarred.

We need to take these injustices seriously. We need to keep them in mind when our politicians stand at the podium pre or post-election, to tell us in their brainwashing monotone mode that we are the ‘freest, most privileged women on earth.’ We are the hardest working women is more like it. We are mothers and we work full-time, mostly out of necessity, not boredom.

The women who led the ‘feminist’ movement in the beginning, were either not married, or had no children. Gloria Steinem, who is 86 today, married for the first time in 2000. Betty Friedan was married but had no children. Susan B. Anthony was unmarried with no children. Her work was mostly about the anti-slavery movement.

What women want and need today are laws protecting them in marriage and after divorce. Of course, we want equal pay. Our culture is screaming for change. We have skyrocketing domestic violence. 92-year-old men and women being attacked on the streets. We have an abortion being used as a means of birth control. These are all signs our society is sick.

What do we value if we don’t value life, the elderly, women, or children?

How many women have to suffer or die before laws are enacted? One woman per week is murdered in Australia. In 2014 in the US, three women each day were killed by an intimate partner. This figure is up—it is closer to four women a day, (Fridel et al, 2014). We need to drop our fantasy mind-set. I’m afraid of what’s coming for the country I’m in. I’m afraid it’s going to exchange the Shariah for something much less. We have a very low crime rate here directly related to having the Shariah and Muslims following the religion.

The ERA amendment if passed will guarantee equal legal rights for all American citizens regardless of sex. It would also require states to intervene in cases of gender violence, such as domestic violence and sexual harassment; it would guard against pregnancy and motherhood discrimination, and it would federally guarantee equal pay.

I won’t hold my breath. Few feminists addressed the deadbeat dad issue 80% of divorced women with children faced back in the 1980s. Instead, they swept the problem away and came up with solutions like correct the problem, by getting women more earning power so they wouldn’t ‘need’ the child support payment! Obviously, such feminists weren’t speaking on behalf of women. They were speaking on behalf of men. Let men off the hook…once again, not making them legally responsible for the children they father.

Even Hillary Clinton came to the Middle East and urged women to continue working outside the home even if they got married. It’s sound advice, but it was unneeded here. For one, Saudi women have been working as professors, doctors, and dentists for decades. Ms. Clinton didn’t address the reality of how the Shariah already protects women’s status and wealth even if they are stay-at-home moms. No one can touch the property or income of a Muslim woman and she does not have to spend a single penny on her children’s welfare even while married. The women here didn’t need an American politician telling them how to live.

 So, what do you know?

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Laurie Hill
Laurie Hill
Laurie Hill holds a Liberal Arts degree from Pennsylvania State University and a Certificate for Writing Social Commentary, (2006). Having traveled to many countries she is a passionate promoter for world peace for all people and all religious thought, as long as its base is non-violent, and respects individual freedom. An aspiring novelist with three completed novels she is currently working to publish her third. She has resided in Jeddah for twenty-eight years.

7 COMMENTS

  1. Hi Laurie.

    Thank you for sharing your perspective on this issue. I do read a lot of generalizing in what you wrote about feminists and our laws, but I think that is pretty normal when we are writing about things we believe in. A fellow feminist and psychologist – Dr. Jessica Taylor – recently wrote an article that I think may give you some insight onto a part of the feminist movement in the US that you haven’t read about.

    https://victimfocusblog.com/2020/06/18/to-my-radical-feminist-sisters/

    The US is a mycologist and white centered culture. I’m a domestic violence survivor. I left my spouse in March of 2019 and he’s still bringing me to court and using our legal system to abuse me. I’m glad I was able to save for my retirement as I’ve been able to afford an attorney on my own. Does it suck? Yes. Does he pay child support? He does. It’s actually something he could get arrested for if he doesn’t pay it.

    I think the system you speak of – Shariah – sounds very interesting. I’m sure parts of it are great. And I’m sure our culture could learn a lot from those laws. I’ve personally never heard of it until I read this article. So thank you for sharing it.

    I’m an advocate for getting domestic violence seen for what it is. I want the laws to change, so I reach out to my senate reps and house reps. It’s time to take our platform to the next level. We’ve gotten a lot done so far, but we need to do more.

    • Joanna,
      I’m sorry you have been through such torment. You are actually one of the luckier ones if you can believe that. In the US because each State has their own set of laws and practices, how one’s divorce and settlement unfolds is dependant on where one is. I have a niece battling her X now for 3 years and it is a nasty story.

      I’m not a feminist, I’m not into politics, but we get drawn into these areas due to our system ignoring our basic human rights… I’m just a normal human being who is disgusted by the negligence and pain people cause one another and they get away with it, as you’re sharing due to the laws.

      thank you for sharing. I will check the link you supplied.

      • I hear you! And I appreciate you. :) I know I’m pretty lucky, yet still tormented, which is insane.

        Aside from laws, it comes down to (in my situation at least) a mentally unstable person who is severely out of touch with reality. Thankfully, due to COVID19 and the tele-court situation, I’m able to have the proper paperwork ready prior to hearings. In court, he could lie about our tax returns, but I don’t have the paperwork with me to show the lies. Now, I have more time to provide the needed paperwork. Without that time, it would be he said/she said. And after 15 months, the judge has finally been able to see the forest for the trees.

        I think a lot of people get away with abuse and IPV because “the system” doesn’t understand. I lived in an abusive relationship for 11 years and didn’t understand, how could I expect someone else to. And frankly both family court judges in my jurisdiction are men. How would they understand something they’ve never been privy to. It’s my job to share my story and change their opinions.

        Thank you for ramping me up again! There is a lot of work to do and I know my voice is important in that arena.

  2. I was very interested in this article because I firmly believe that other cultures are an enrichment, but we need to deepen them, perhaps living them if possible. And anyway, don’t judge even if we don’t share that culture.
    For example, I read the World Bank’s “Woman, Business and law 2019. A decade of reform” report, which examines the evolution of gender equality in the workplace in the last ten years. The report states that many improvements have been made, but persistent gaps remain. In the Middle East and North Africa, the pace of reform is so slow that the gender gap is growing. Achieving gender equality, the study concludes, requires much more than just changes to the laws. We need sustained political will and leadership on the part of women and men capable of changing deeply rooted cultural norms and attitudes. Starting with family and schools, I add.
    I personally try to get informed and not to judge on bias.
    The reason why we judge so precipitously is to be found in our ego. In a conscious or unconscious way, we need to feel better than others or to express our refusal in front of a certain attitude. By judging, we close the doors of empathy.
    Until next time.

    • Aldo, please forgive my very late response.
      You made me think about something… when we say “Middle East” we must point out where we are talking about because my Middle East, is not Israel’s Middle East, or Jordan’s, or Tunisians. We are all divided, maybe even no 2 are alike, which is another problem.
      For example, male and female professors here at universities make the SAME salary. I don’t believe that even compares to the US which should be a leader in equal rights issues…
      I really do appreciate your opinions and open minded spirit Aldo. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Wow, what a different and interesting perspective, Laurie. My mother was a “women’s libber” in the 60s and I can assure you her sole reason for doing so was her desire to be able to stand at a bar (women had to maintain a 6 ft distance), to be able to walk into a restaurant in slacks (women had to be “dressed”) and to earn the same amount for the work she was doing. Perhaps the movement had a more nefarious purpose, but I would have to do more reading to begin to understand that.

    From my perspective, I don’t need protection as you describe. Nor do I want that. My life partner, my husband, and I live in partnership and we work together to move our family forward, whatever that takes. The idea that he would be in some form of “ownership” of me is as distasteful as slavery.

    I do agree with you that we are in a difficult place in our society, challenging long held norms of all kinds, including the family unit. What I love about this evolution is that it redefines the family to be more inclusive. Any time of evolution is messy and it is very messy now. But ownership is not the answer, at least in my mind. I respect that other cultures see this differently, but this is my perspective.

    • Carol dear, I appreciate your input. The 60’s era wasn’t mine but I do have three older sisters and I do recall their participation in events. You need to go back to read what I wrote! I clearly stated, there is NO ownership in Islam. Men can’t divorce their pregnant wives, a woman’s wealth property and income is hers alone and can’t be touched or used unless she wants to…

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