Oh. So then why do you do this?

That was the question a friend asked me when he implied that I wrote for an audience when I write here, and I replied, “I don’t think I really write for anyone. I don’t think I’ve ever really written for anyone.”
Sometimes people comment or send me a message saying “I really enjoy reading you, even though I’m not part of your intended audience.” And it surprises me, and I think but if I don’t have one, aren’t you? I’m glad you’re here.
I must give the impression that I have an intended audience. As a matter of fact, I think I came right out and said it in one of these posts. I think I’ve said even more about who my audience isn’t. You can find that information to your upper right.
“I got the impression you wanted to lecture terrorists about how they’re wrong to be terrorists,” he said half-jokingly.
“Yeah, I’m sure al-Qaida is following my blog closely.”
Terrorists know damn well that they’re wrong to be terrorists. They know the excuses they give are… excuses. I don’t care about explaining that this isn’t what God wants, because they don’t care. I was never interested.
But another understandable assumption has been that I’m using this as means of reaching those who really, actually do believe they are doing is what God wants–because we are inclined believe that they do exist, and they do oppress believing that oppression is the Message. They aren’t the ones blowing themselves up, they’re the ones actively oppressing women because they believe it’s what Islam dictates, and they are a greater number than suicide bombers. They really believe it, and if they knew it’s not God’s will as they think it is, they would stop at once, right? Right?
It would be naive to think so. They know, too, that this isn’t God’s message. They know this as well as the terrorists know it. I’ve learned that from, among others, the Muslim guy who randomly told me that women are not capable of being logical enough to be proper witnesses when I pointed out to him the exact text in the Qur’an that states a woman’s witness is enough. I showed him, and he went straight to an irrelevant exploitation of evolutionary psychology that had nothing to do with God. It wasn’t even accurate science, but who cares if I’m the one rolling my eyes, because what do women know of the nature of sciency sciencyness?
Have we learned nothing from the confirmation bias of non-Muslim American men? It doesn’t stop there. When women make any progress, we are bombarded with cries of outrage from men who say they fear misconduct or disorder or “reverse” sexism, even though we all know that this is not a competition, that allowing women to practice their God-given rights does not take these rights away from men. And yet there is resistance. They tell us that feminism is outdated now, but they’ve been saying that for centuries. Feminism became outdated when men could go to jail for drugging and beating their wives. “What else do you want? You’re getting too much power!” Feminism became outdated when women could vote. “What else do you want? You’re getting too much power!” Feminism became outdated when women could apply for the same jobs as men. “What else do you want? You’re getting too much power!”
And feminism is outdated today. “Your movement is useless now,” a man tells me. “It used to serve a purpose but now–“
Yeah, you know what? The douchecanoes who lived back when women were not allowed to practice their right to apply for whatever job they wanted believed feminism was outdated after that last accomplishment too.
I’m not here for them.
The third impression is that this space exists to explain to non-Muslims how ignorant they are to assume that the creep who posts Quranic verses out of context in the Youtube comments section to “prove that Islam is a violent religion” is onto something.
Educating a privileged majority is not my responsibility. I am happy to engage with those who have good faith and are really interested without gloating a presumptuous agenda, but if anyone’s looking for something to just confirm their bigoted beliefs about Islam and Muslims–you’re going to go on believing it no matter what I say. So I choose not to waste my time with you. You can use my hostile, dismissive attitude to prove that all Muslims indeed have something to hide. There, I’ve given you some great material. You’re welcome.
“Are you just doing it to organize yourself?” he asked. “Sometimes it sounds like you’re talking to someone. Your other stuff”–he refers to my creative writing–“doesn’t.”
“Little girls.”
Little girls who are not aware of their own rights because they have been taught interpretations that submit to patriarchy rather than to God. Little girls who have been taught histories with portions erased and traditions that have been modified since the Prophet’s time. Little girls who’ve been taught to believe that God doesn’t listen to little girls.
And so we put Quranic verses back in their contexts and correct mistranslations. These are not reinterpretations, they are not “liberal” or “conservative” interpretations. They are, if anything, the original interpretations. The rights that God gave to women are not negotiable by men or subject to liberal or conservative interpretations. These rights are absolutely clear in the Qur’an, and it is only cultural and political ideology that has modified them to be used as political weapons.
“For little girls like me,” I said.

And for myself, because I need you.

Ozymandias’s Crushing and Venting Engine of Doom: Slut Pride

I have to reblog this, and I don’t think I’ve ever reblogged anything.

You can read the original here: Ozymandias’s Crushing and Venting Engine of Doom: Slut Pride. And here it is, reproduced:

(This post dedicated to the anon who keeps calling me a slut in the comments.)

I am a slut.

My cunt is not a prize to be won with wealth or game, it is not a gift given out of gratitude or insecurity. My cunt is for my enjoyment and pleasure, and for other people’s enjoyment and pleasure. I fuck because of the sea-green color of your eyes, or your sweetheart smile, or the way you move your hands that reminds me of someone I’ve loved and lost; I fuck because I like the books piled three-deep on your shelves, or a joke you made that had me laughing for five minutes straight, or the look of concentration you get when you’re shooting zombies in Left for Dead 2. I fuck because I love you with a passion that scares me, and because the idea of hurting you makes me shake in fear; I fuck because you’re cute and I have nothing better to do.

I’m not easy, I don’t go to bed with anyone (those old-fashioned slanders against sluthood). The muscle-bound jock holds no interest for me, nor the asshole spitting insults and witticisms; I prefer my boys shy, and quiet, and kind, and their hands tremble when they take that first tentative touch of my tits, my hips, my labia (both minora and majora).

A slut can be a virgin, or a sex worker, or a monogamous person married for four decades, or someone who goes out to clubs three times a week and brings home a different guy every time, or someone who has fuckbuddies, or a serially monogamous person dating around. A slut may be kinky or vanilla, high sex drive or sexually dysfunctional. A slut may be straight, or bi, or gay, or even asexual. A slut is nothing but this: anyone– man, woman, or other– who has exactly the sex they want to have.

A slut is honest to her partners about STDs, sexual history, other partners, kinks, squicks. A slut is honest with herself, about whether she can handle casual sex, a relationship or celibacy, and about what turns her on or turns her off. A slut has safer sex. A slut is good, giving and game for her partner’s kinks, and expects her partner to be the same. A slut, of course, wants explicit affirmative consent from her partners; but nore than that, a slut wants her partners to be enjoying themselves, because anything that increases the amount of good sex in the world is a good thing. A slut does not judge other people’s sex lives, as long as they’re happy and honest and safe; a slut expects other people to not judge hers.

A slut is a proud person having happy sex.

So write it across my arms in eyeliner, shout it from the hilltops and scream it in the concert halls. I don’t care. The word has no power over me.

I am a slut, and I am proud.

P.S. Morgan says he’s happy to be a beta male, because beta wolves get to nip at the alpha male’s heels, and the alpha can’t do anything without losing face. So nyeh.

To us, virgins, who love like sluts. And to everyone, whoever you are or whomever you’re with, who loves like sluts–
Because dammit there are entire universes and complexities in moments and in people. And I see them. And they stop me. Love is not an action, it’s a state of being, an indescribable depth.

It doesn’t stop.

Today a Muslim man tried to mansplain to me that one of my posts overlooked the fact that “men and women are different” and women have “feminine morality” (WTF?!) and that women tend to approach justice from a “care perspective” rather than a “logical perspective,” and scholars have decided when we need prefer the “logic perspective.” And then! Get this: he said that men are more concerned with equality than women are. (No, dumbass, they aren’t. That’s why we are here.)
And then he referred to a study to prove that women are caring and this prevents us from being logical. He did this in an Islamic Feminism group, and he identifies himself as a Muslim feminist.
This is so beneath me. I can’t believe I’m writing about it. If you’ve been reading this, you can probably predict that my reaction to him was, STFU and GTFO! But I couldn’t actually respond that way, because it would “prove” I am overemotional and “incapable of logic.” But of course, if a man responded by punching him in the face, he would be awesomely manly.
I told him things like “this crap is an exploitation of evolution.” and “let’s use ONE study as a blanket over ALL WOMEN. We would NEVER do this to men, because men are privileged enough not to have to represent their entire sex with everything they do” and “God has found her witness sufficient, who cares about anyone else? Not only does this claim that she is inherently different in approaching justice rather than these differences being a social construct, but that the ‘feminine perspective’ is inferior and the ‘logic potential’ (because caring people cannot be logical apparently) should be preferred over ‘care perspective'” and “the differences between men and women have been blown up to a degree to which they do not exist.” We are all viewed as archetypes of masculinity and femininity and not individuals.
You can see that in the entry we were discussing, I used only the Qur’an to dissect what God was telling us–that men and women are equal as witnesses. I threw out the misconception by presenting the actual text in the Qur’an. And so this guy comes along, pulls evo psych out of his ass, and reinforces the misconception through an irrelevant and obscure study, because he could no longer do it with the actual word of God. Men will stop at nothing.

A lot of people accuse feminists of not wanting to offer real criticism or engage in debate. This is absurd, because we argue all the time. We even argue about benign shit and indirectly accuse writers of not writing from approved lists of topic. We jump at every opportunity to argue. Just not with you. Because you, are an imbecile. You will bring up shit that we’ve already addressed and successfully countered to the point of being SICK of the topic, and you will act like you’re a fucking genius and you’ve come up with it for the FIRST TIEMZ EVARS. You will assume that, because we are women and feminists, we have not studied this and critiqued our theories against it. Because women are not capable of logical critiquing! LET ME SAVE YOUR SOUL WOMANZ!
I took the time to tell him–a “feminist”–all this, but if he responds, I’m not going to bother. There are bigger problems. There are actual things to be done.
If you’re a man, please check in your privilege at the door. Because I really, really don’t want to deal with it. Thanks. And thank you to the men who have commented here and are actually in the pursuit of justice.
I will probably be taking down this post, because it does nothing productive being here, and because I just wanted to vent. ‘Cause, you know, I’m emotional like that.

I am leaving it up, because women are fickle.

40 Volumes of Muslim Women Scholars

EVERYTHING I HAVE BEEN SAYING IS TRUE! ]:< Men are insecure douches who have modified history in fear of women rightfully practicing the power given to them by God. Instead they’ve stolen this power from women and manifested it into their own tyranny.
Mohammad Akram Nadwi set out to collect dictionary entries for female scholars; originally, he suspected he’d be writing a single book, but uncovered 40 volumes worth of material.
FORTY VOLUMES. Insecure theologians have attempted to discreetly bury 40 volumes worth of women’s history.

The erosion of women’s religious education in recent times, Akram says, reflects “decline in every aspect of Islam.” Flabby leadership and a focus on politics rather than scholarship has left Muslims ignorant of their own history. Islam’s current cultural insecurity has been bad for both its scholarship and its women, Akram says. “Our traditions have grown weak, and when people are weak, they grow cautious. When they’re cautious, they don’t give their women freedoms.”

And yet,

When Akram lectures, he dryly notes, women are more excited by this history than men. To persuade reluctant Muslims to educate their girls, Akram employs a potent debating strategy: he compares the status quo to the age of al jahiliya, the Arabic term for the barbaric state of pre-Islamic Arabia. (Osama Bin Laden and Sayyid Qutb, the godfather of modern Islamic extremism, have employed the comparison to very different effect.) Barring Muslim women from education and religious authority, Akram argues, is akin to the pre-Islamic custom of burying girls alive. “I tell people, ‘God has given girls qualities and potential,’ ” he says. “If they aren’t allowed to develop them, if they aren’t provided with opportunities to study and learn, it’s basically a live burial.”

Unbelievable that he would need to persuade them at all. As I’ve said before, the fact that we have not heard of these women is due to active modification of history. It is purposeful, forged by men who fear loss of power and are insecure about their own masculinity.

From a Times article:

[…]Akram has found evidence of thousands of muhaddithat, or female experts in Hadith, the deeds and sayings of the Prophet Muhammad. He has found accounts of women teaching men and women in mosques and madrassas, touring Arabia and the Levant on lecture circuits, issuing fatwas, and making Islamic law. Who knew that in the 15th century, Fatimayah al-Bataihiyyah taught Hadith in the Prophet’s mosque in Medina, and that the chief male scholars of the day, from as far afield as Fez, were her students? (Such was al-Bataihiyyah’s status that she taught at the grave of the Prophet, the mosque’s most prestigious spot.) Who knew that hundreds of girls in medieval Mauritania could recite al-Mudawwana, a key book of Islamic law, by heart? Or that Fatimah bint Muhammad bin Ahmad al-Samarqandi, a jurist in medieval Samarkand, used to issue fatwas and advised her far more famous husband on how to issue his?

Pulled out of Nowhere: Music is Haraam, Supposedly

Music isn’t forbidden. This assertion isn’t in the Qur’an. Anywhere. Find it! I challenge you.
The idea that it’s haraam comes from ahadith. Men are not allowed to make forbidden what God has made permissible, so it’s pretty incredible that people believe the hadith is valid when it contradicts the Qur’an. It’s also pretty incredible how easily we play around with the word haraam.

Say: ‘Have you considered the provision God has sent down for you, and you have made some of it unlawful, and some lawful?’ Say: ‘Has God given you leave, or do you forge against God?’ (Qur’an 10:59)

We are not allowed to make unlawful what God has made lawful (and vice versa.)
Now of course, to music there are conditions under which music is lawful and unlawful; there are limits to everything in Islam, so it’s not something exceptional. Islam is wary of excess, for one. If it’s beginning to take over your life and to cause you to neglect everything else, there’s a bit of an issue. If the content of the music is forbidden (i.e. encouraging violence) it is then that the music becomes forbidden. It is forbidden when it sways you to sin.
Many scholars believe that it’s inevitable that music will sway you to sin, thereby concluding that it is always unlawful. They are overstepping their boundaries, and I hope they are aware that they must answer to God.
It sort of reminds me of the hadith that reads, “When a man and a woman are alone together, the devil is their third partner.”

I think the person who wrote it realized that the devil is everywhere anyway, but it doesn’t just sound as good to say… “Whenever one man buys lentils from another man at a shop, the devil is their third partner.” Or my favorite? “Whenever a woman is in a crowd with 40 other women, learning to knit, satan is their 41st partner.” —KufiGirl

Restrictions on music, just as on everything else. Common sense. Other than the unexceptional obvious, it isn’t forbidden.

No, it’s not just a joke.

A study published in 2007 explains in its abstract,

The results of two experiments supported the hypothesis that, for sexist men, exposure to sexist humor can promote the behavioral release of prejudice against women

To which I say, OF COURSE!! Who doesn’t know this?

A lot of people, apparently. I don’t believe the results of this study are only true for sexist men. I believe it’s true for everyone, and not just with sexist jokes but with other types of discriminatory jokes as well. And I believe that anyone who doesn’t think so, anyone who believes they are above this and can remain unaffected, is the same fool who believes that he/she is not brainwashed to at least some degree by advertisements. The very fact that you find it funny means that you are affected.

And yet shock humor is not only prevalent but popular in our culture, for reasons I cannot fathom. Because it’s cool, I guess? I went to high school with hipster racists and liberal sexists. These are people who make a racist or sexist comment or joke in order to appear above it all, claiming that if they were really racist or sexist they would be serious, not laughing and finding it funny. Because, you know, racist/sexist/oppressive people never use making fun as a weapon to torment you. Besides, how can they be racist when they have friends who are minorities or women or both? They can’t, of course! They are being ironic! And everyone laughs, because it’s so witty and cool. After all, that’s why it’s a joke–because we all know it’s ridiculous, right? Right?

Racist/sexist/oppressive jokes perpetuate stereotypes at their very core under the guise of satire. It’s in advertisements, movies, television shows, and even serious news. The Huffington Post, supposedly a liberal and progressive news site, regularly dismisses the complaints of women who are frustrated with their history of not only underhanded bias but blatant use of linkbait strategies to trade objectifying photos of women’s digitally dismembered bodies for hits. Advertisements are filled with “ironic” sexism, racism, classism, and ableism, leaching off stigma achieved through hard feminist work to twist out selling material.

They do so in the same way television and movies attempt to repackage strong women so that they appeal to men, conditioning us to redefine strong women as sexually appealing–to men. Because she fights with swords and kicks ass, that must mean she is empowered, and we should totally ignore the skimpy outfits, belittling nicknames, sexually suggestive positions in action scenes, and the fact that she is a secondary and disposable character in the plot. You can’t watch an action movie without this repackaged male-defined version of a strong woman–a sex toy with masculine strength. (Looks like a woman, acts like a dude! It’s like she’s one of the guys! This is true empowerment, ladies. Femininity is stupid. Be more like men! But don’t look like one. You still have to be hot.) We are not that stupid, Hollywood. You are leeching off the achievements of feminism.

And you can’t watch a comedy without finding hipster racism or liberal sexism. And it has an affect, on everyone.

“Almost dropped my phone.”

“Of course. Women can’t be trusted with technology. What? I was just joking. You take things too seriously.”

But you have to laugh. You MUST find this type of humor funny, or you’re too uptight and you just “don’t get it.” You’re too sensitive. Feminists have no sense of humor. Women are too emotional, and by reacting, you are proving my point.

People are uncomfortable when I don’t feel a social obligation to laugh. If I don’t find it funny, I won’t laugh. Eat it, bitch. It’s not my fault you’ve been sucked up to by people who feel the pressure to laugh for the sake of politeness/appearing chill and that you consequently believe you’re hilarious like an American Idol contestant who’s been told for a lifetime that he/she can sing only to make a fool of his/herself during auditions.

And that’s another thing. In addition to being problematic, it actually is not funny. Really. There’s no wit. It’s just random and weird. I’m doing you a favor. You’re welcome.

UPDATE. I figured this is a perfect opportunity to compile a list of things that make me laugh, since it’s such a damn mystery.

Monty Python
Lucille Ball
humor breaks in horror movies
the Onion
Libba Bray
Calvin and Hobbes
Molly Lambert
my friends
first season of The Big Bang Theory (went downhill after that)
first season of Modern Family ” ”
roller coasters
nerdy jokes
J. K. Rowling
Bad Hemingway Contest essays
Jill Filipovic’s commentary
Sarah Haskins

Rene Magritte parody

“The Importance of Being Ernest”
And satire that is actually amusing.

Eve and Adam (Hawwa and Atom)

In Islam, the story of the first woman and man is detailed very differently from the way it is in Christianity. Unfortunately, though, the story is considered so basic that young Muslim children are rarely formally taught about creation and consequently adopt the culturally dominant Christian version, believing it to be the same in Islam.

So, what I will be doing is emphasizing the differences. What I will not be doing is attacking Christianity, or any religion for that matter, so if you are reading this as a Christian you can rest easy. While I understand why it comes up, I get pretty ticked off when other Muslims attack Christianity to “prove” that Islam is the “better” religion. Or when anyone attacks members of another religion to “prove” xirs is the better religion. The only thing that actually proves is that you’re an ass, and that you’re so insecure you can’t defend your religion without passing judgment on everyone else. Also, interpretation of events can be turned against anyone, you fool!

That being said, one difference is that in Islam, God does not send Eve and Adam to Earth as punishment or purgatory. The two were actually forgiven after they were expelled from Paradise. Rather, God had created them to reside on Earth in the first place, as messengers:

“Behold! I am about to place a creature on the earth who will inherit it.” (Qur’an 2:30)

This is God speaking to the angels, who are all at once alarmed at Adam’s free will.

They [the angels] exclaimed, “What, wilt Thou set therein such a creature who will do corruption there, and shed blood, while we proclaim Thy praise and call Thee Holy?” God said, “Assuredly I know that you know not.” (Qur’an 2:31)

As you can see, it is obvious that Adam was created to live on Earth. God knew, because God knows everything, that Adam would sin. And when God introduces him to the angels, it is clear in the angel’s astonishment that Adam was to be placed on Earth, as the angels feared he would destroy it. (God’s response to this was that Adam had the capacity to learn, and that the angels did not know what God knew [what is destined to occur and with what reason].)

Sending Eve and Adam to Earth was not punishment, but a fulfillment of where they had been destined to live and teach their children for some time before returning to Paradise. And so, Islam does not have the concept of Original Sin. Everyone is born innocent, and no one “inherits” xis parent’s sins.

Also, it is not only Eve who bites into the forbidden fruit, it is not Eve who bites into the forbidden fruit first, nor is it Eve who led Adam astray after she had fallen herself. Adam and Eve clearly approach the tree together after Satan persuades them both:

Then Satan deceived them in order to reveal their imperfections and fallibility to them. He said “Your Lord forbade this tree lest you become angels or become immortals.” And Satan swore to both, man and woman, “I am a sincere adviser to you.” (Quran 7:20–21)

Here is another difference. What persuaded Adam and Eve to eat from the tree was not knowledge or sexuality, but the promise of immortality:

But Satan whispered to him, “O Adam! Shall I lead you to the tree of eternal life and ownership that is ever-lasting?” (Qur’an 20:120)

and, also interesting, ownership.

Backing up for a minute, we can see Eve and Adam needed not to desire Knowledge, for God had given it to them already along with the Law of Free Will when they had first been created:

Then God endowed humankind with the capacity to attain knowledge (that the angels would never have.) Then God showed the angels certain things and said to them, “Tell Me if you have the capacity to learn about things in the Universe, in case what you say is true.*” (Qur’an 2:31)

*Remember, the angels were of the opinion this new creation was not only destructive but useless, as angels already have the ability to do everything they are commanded. ([…] While we proclaim Thy praise and call Thee Holy?” 2:31) They were referring to not only verbal worship but faithfully striving to carry out commands. They could not, however, obtain knowledge unless they were commanded. In the next verse God commands Adam to share some of the information with the angels.

Knowledge and the ability to attain it was already a characteristic of humans. The tree itself was the tree of discord,

We told the early humans, “Reside in this land which is Paradise. Eat the fruit thereof as you please. But go not near this Tree of Discord. If you branch off into parties, sects, or groups, you shall replace your Paradise with Hell.” (Qur’an 2:35)

So by deceit Satan brought about their downfall. They tasted of the tree of discord and started to divide into branches. (Qur’an 7:22)***

As in, the moment they indulged in the tree, their own personal interests and desires of ownership rather than the well-being of all humanity conquered their minds. Accordingly, because they had made this choice, all of humankind would now be separated into insignificant races and sects and groups, amongst which they would pettily quarrel and battle over land and objects they wish to own, so occupied with the separate branches that they cannot see the unifying trunk, so overcome with greed that they forget that all of humankind is one:

All humankind were but one community and are meant to be so; then they differed. Had not your Lord decreed the Law of Free Will for humans, your Lord would have judged their disputes immediately. (Qur’an 10:19)

And it is because of our free will that we carry on this way, and it is because of our free will that we have the ability to change.

In addition to these differences, there is an interesting obscurity. Although it is very likely Eve was created after Adam, this is inferred (as opposed to directly stated) from the fact that Adam converses with God and meets other creatures who are commanded to bow to him in what appears to be Eve’s absence:

Recall when We said to the angels, “Bow before Adam,” they bowed except* Iblis, he refused.” And thereupon We said, “O Adam! Verily this is an enemy to you and your wife[…] (Qur’an 20:116–117)

*Another difference: Iblis–the future devil–was a jinn, made of fire, not an angel made of light, though he was so pious he stayed with the angels. The English translation (“all the angels bowed except him”) gives us the impression that he was an angel, but in Arabic grammar, the greatest plural in quantity takes over the other nouns; as there were more angels than other creatures, only the angels are mentioned by name, and the minority is included in addressing the majority. This is one of the many examples of why it is so important preserve the original language–anyone who believes that Iblis was an angel would naturally believe the Qur’an contradicts itself here, as angels do not have free will and therefore would not be able to refuse to bow.


And thereupon We said, “O Adam! Verily this is an enemy to you and your wife[…] (Qur’an 20:117)

As you can tell from the verse, God mentions Eve as though Adam is already familiar with her. Eve existed before the two were placed in the Gardens of Paradise, but probably not before the other creatures were commanded to bow. The closest we come to the Qur’an revealing directly who came first is the following verse:

Humankind, fear your Lord, who created you of a single soul, and from it created its mate, and from the pair of them scattered abroad many men and women; and fear God by whom you demand one of another, and the wombs; surely God ever watches over you. (Qur’an 4:1)

which confirms that one was created from the other, but doesn’t directly specify who from whom. We can only guess from the fact that Adam dialogued with God earlier that he was created first. The exclusion of this information suggests, at least to me, that it is not important.

Somehow the story of creation always captivated me. On top of how I was always fascinated with angels and jinn and “supernatural” beings and unique qualities unknown to us in this world, there are so many things at play: jealousy, promise, self-control, doubt, tragedy, sacrifice, choice, love, forgiveness, selflessness, and desire. This choppy entry doesn’t do it justice–this is the analysis without the art, since the purpose of this post I’ve broken it down without telling the story.

***Not a translation. Explanation–Shabbir Ahmed