Feminism Friday – thoughts on trans feminism and Islamic feminism
If anyone had asked my idea of what trans feminism is, I would have seen it from exactly the other side. I would have said trans women ought to be concerned with feminist issues. Like, ask not what your feminism can do for you– Ask what you can do for your sisters.
2. When it comes to Islamic feminism, I have always believed both at once: It works for the sake of Muslim women–and it is accomplished by Muslim women. The latter part of this is particularly important to emphasize.
I have to be uncharacteristically restrictive here and say only Muslim women can carry it out.
I'm sorry but that's the world we live in which makes it like that.
I like when non-Muslim feminists lend support, but it has to be quiet, not overt.
When non-Muslims lead it, Muslim women's rights go backwards.
When Muslim women do it all, they can advance their rights.
The patriarchal Islamist forces gain and hold power by inciting us versus them–
“them” being the west–and women's rights are always the first casualty in this struggle.
Already you can't say feminism because it has the reputation of a white western Christian imperialist plot against the Muslims to destroy Islam– which is total bollocks but they get ignorant people riled with that kind of crap, using fear and hatred to gain and hold power.
So in the Muslim world progress in women's rights needs to be indigenous and the work entirely of Muslim women themselves.
Many women of color felt alienated by second wave feminist leadership that was seen as overwhelmingly white, western, privileged classes who had no clue about other class issues or people of color, thus third wave feminism arose to meet a great need.
Affluent white western women have accomplished much on their feminist issues… but what about the rest of the world…
The need in many areas is more acute than ever, and feminism's focus and center of gravity needs to head there.
That's why I'm an Islamic feminist. I need to say to my non-Muslim sisters, to paraphrase Bob Dylan, please get out of the way if you want to lend a hand. I hope this will be understood in the positive constructive spirit in which it's meant. Shout out to my girlfriend Vicki for holding this dialogue with me.