For women who have good jobs and work really hard, it’s a question of ‘do you want to take five steps backwards by getting married and being relegated to doing all the chores without this correct equity in the marriage?
The pick-me attitude is both dangerous and deserving of compassion; dangerous because it is damaging to our collective existence as women and deserving of compassion because this game is unempowering even to the women who signal their virtues as distinct from the rest.
I acknowledge that once upon a time, our “aunties” were once Muslim girls, who unfortunately were subjected to the same experiences bedevilling young Muslim women of today. Due to the sexist structures put in place to uphold their oppression, they were unable to adequately navigate and dismantle their predicaments.
In the exercise of individual ‘choice’, ‘freedom’ and ‘agency’, this new image of the neoliberal female subject has become an autonomous consuming subject, for even while loving our bodies, we need to ask ourselves whether patriarchy and capitalism have a right to profit from it?
We don’t need men explaining the concept of equality to us. Women are not a group of dumb, confused individuals who have no sense of what they’re talking about and no idea of what they want. When we demand gender equality, we are demanding that irrespective of differences, the intrinsic equality of all human beings be recognised.
For what it’s worth, it’s important to discuss the sex scenes in ‘Bridgerton’ and analyse whether or not they are a representation of what good sex should look like. In this writer’s humble opinion, ‘Bridgerton’ sex is terrible and should never be a model or a “how-to” manual for sex. This is especially in relation to female orgasm because as women, we deserve better. Bad sex scenes are unfortunately common in a lot of TV shows and ‘Bridgerton’ is not an exception.
Hidden behind her layers of disappointment was a sense of rebellion which was expressed when she made her complaint to God: ” My Lord! I have given birth to a girl “. The emotions evoked were those of sadness and confusion. She knew that the environment in which she lived did not value the female child, practically forbidding women from having access to the sacred realm. Deep inside her, she wanted to trust in God, that in spite of having a female child, her wish for her child to be dedicated to the service of God could still materialise,
In Muslim circles, it has been appalling to hear people assert that the concept of Mahr – which is a compulsory marital gift that a groom must give to a bride – makes women the object of a transactional marital relationship. In other words, the husband purchases the bride in exchange for sexual and domestic services as well as unconditional obedience to him. If this is not a deliberate distortion of the true spirit behind the Mahr to pander to misogynistic cultures, then I do not know what it is.
The current beauty game is not an individual-based problem. It’s a manifestation of a broader toxic dynamic. For someone as powerful as an influencer to state that concealing a perfectly normal feature of her face and/or body is empowering isn’t just a statement of personal empowerment, especially when their brand is catered to a specific audience which includes young women in their teens and early twenties. It no longer feels valid to hide under the umbrella of “personal choice” or claim ignorance when your contribution to toxic beauty standards hurt young Muslim women who cannot live up to these ideals.
Women who don’t become pregnant have been presumed to have weak morality and stereotyped as promiscuous or masculine. From the snide comments about her chastity and medical history to the explicit confrontations about whether or not she has had an abortion in the past or has been using contraceptives to avoid getting pregnant, the issue of infertility is a leading cause of anxiety and mental health issues for many women.