“Women and Children first!” yelled the brave soldier as the passengers, mainly women and children, were loaded onto a single lifeboat to save their lives. The women survived, but more than half of the sailing men drowned, leaving this incident to be remembered as an act of bravery and selflessness.
The Birkenhead Drill is one of the many incidents in history that speak of the valor and strength of man, and how he has been strong to face death in such times, while protecting the precious lives of others, particularly women and children.
And sure enough, this strategy has been, to this day, adopted as a standard emergency procedure in cases of crisis. Save the women first! Evacuate them from burning buildings and flooded villages to save their lives. Sure enough, every life is valuable, but what gives the woman this right to be treated on priority basis under such circumstances?
The answer is to go back to our perception of believing women to being the weaker sex. Men can take care of themselves, fight their way through storms and fire and still survive. In comparison, Women tire easily and fall weak.
To debate that women must be treated equally by all forms of law is another case, but to argue about them being equal in strength to men, is outright ridiculous.
Feminism is a concept that is aimed at providing equal rights to Women. For this purpose, feminists across the world go through all possible means to prove that women are equal to men. It was initially based on seeking equal rights to education and employment for women as men, and later on advanced to crafting the confused picture of the woman that is on display today.
Apparently, the woman is weak and oppressed, while she fights for her right to demand equality. Ironically, her weakness is a weapon used to justify her right to live life as she desires.
Women have been sent to this earth with an ability; to give birth, something which is impossible for man to achieve. With this ability comes another weapon: the weapon of love. As Dumbledore revealed to Harry (In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix), the protection that had kept him safe was in fact his mother’s love that caused her to give up her life for her child.
A woman is strong, when she is a mother, a daughter, a sister and a wife. She never compromises on her family. But to channel her love and strength into working for others and to feed her the nonsensical notions of oppression and self-pity, such that she walks out on her family in search for “Independence”, is perhaps one of the most insane notions that has been put in vogue today, and has ironically gained much attention.
Medical research has found that a woman’s blood contains more water (20 percent fewer red cells). Since there are lesser red cells to supply oxygen to the body, she gets exhausted more easily and is more prone to faint.
Women have three essential physiological functions that are absent in men; menstruation, pregnancy and lactation. Each of these mechanisms controls behavior and feelings significantly; hence their hormonal patterns are more complex and varied. This is also the reason why women are more responsive emotionally, and laugh and cry more readily.
Our bodies speak for us and display our sensitivity in our sharp and low voices, our soft skin, our short heights; and to a greater extent, the way we sit with legs crossed, and the way we carry a bunch of books, cradled at our chests like a baby; unlike men with rough voices, taller and bulkier statures and the way they carry books, with their arm looped over them by their side.
This should be enough for an answer to those who argue that women are stronger or even equal to men, while demanding equality in just about everything. To be termed as the “weaker sex”, in my opinion, should not be degradation, but a consideration. As a Muslim woman, I have been brought up to understand my position and my responsibility.
Islam has safeguarded the rights of the soft-skinned, kind hearted woman, and made man her protector. Islam has made it mandatory upon man to take care of the women of his house. In all relations, be it a father, a brother, a son or a husband, man has been made liable for the comfort, health, and clothing of the woman, as well as her happiness and peace.
Education, property and marriage, are all essential rights of the Muslim woman, where she gets to benefit as a ‘queen’. Her education is mandatory, and so is her right to property and marriage; and the excellent part is when she doesn’t have to pay for any of this. The man responsible for her is liable for providing her with these necessities by all accounts. Oppression? I think not, rather it would be best to label it as Value.
A big slap on the false face of feminism that yells against the oppression of a Muslim woman, often failing to realize that she is the Queen of her house. She lives a life of comfort and luxury, she does not have to step out of the house and work for a living, instead, stay at home and bring up the kids, a task, that today, is thought of as a burden.
In a demand for equal rights, this is enough of a reply to those feminists who say that Islam degrades women by forcing them to stay at home – as luck would have it, today, the working women face workplace harassment. And as cases of sexual harassment are also on the rise, women look for a guardian to protect them from the hungry wolves that haunt the streets of the West. Women are being objectified and compelled into believing that their bodies are the actual source of their success. Eventually, they starve themselves to death while trying to live a life of freedom.
This disappointing state of the perception of my gender has left me speechless quite often, when I see how hard my kind tries, in this struggle, to walk shoulder to shoulder with men. I fail to understand the point as to why a woman needs to prove that she has enough muscle as man, and can defeat him.
Men and women are the two components of this society and need to pay more attention to their jobs, and their responsibilities, rather than mocking one another and drawing out hate against the other gender. If I confess being weak, I am not being sexist about my own femininity; in fact, I am asking for protection, one that I deserve and one that my religion has provided me.
Some people argue that women in Islam are not allowed to lead an organization, and they feel that this is yet another form of oppression. Medically, as stated earlier, women tend to be extra-emotional and cannot take the right decisions in situations of crisis and urgency. Also, the reason that a woman’s statement to witness is counted as half, is keeping in view the fact that she can be easily blackmailed into lying. It could most often be under a threat, and much likely for the protection of her family and kids; she would lie to save them; while the man would not usually compromise upon the situation, and would not be easily bribed or threatened into lying.
God created man and woman and knows their nature well; hence gave out these laws that beautifully exhibit the consideration on His part, when a woman is not forced into praying at definite times nor forced into other essentials like the Pilgrimage and Jihad.
Islam has been, in fact, tougher on the Muslim man, that he must say his prayers in congregation at the mosque, and he must wear no more than two pieces of cloth during pilgrimage, he must take care of the family, bring up the kids in a proper manner, provide them with all necessities of life, i.e., food, clothes, health, education, and marry his daughters when they reach the right age. Man is time and again told to be mindful of his attitude towards women, and hence, if there is anyone who actually needs a break, it would be man himself.