But lately I’ve noticed that these histories, not surprisingly, are frequently exploited by male privileged asshats for their own purposes: in most cases, to prove to non-Muslims that they (non-Muslims) have a misconstrued idea of Islam in the area of women’s rights. This is convenient; by citing history, sexist Muslim men are freed of the obligation to fight for the rights of women today and may instead fully continue with their reign of terror and corrupt greed. It doesn’t matter if Muslims are violating these God-given rights today, because in the theory of Islam, women are all free and equal and whatnot, and non-Muslims are just deluded.
This is all greatly amusing, to watch men frantically scramble to retrieve the history they’ve worked so hard to erase in order to save the face of Islam.
I’ve seen Republicans do the same, though with a different end–their goals are to prove that women are not marginalized because feminists are liars when they say women couldn’t vote until 1920 (FYI most women still couldn’t vote in 1920) because there were, like, three women who voted before then because they owned their dead husbands’ properties! Therefore, they don’t need all the attention they get today, because they were never historically disadvantaged. These are the same men who don’t care about rape statistics until they can use them to “prove” some racist point, like men who are minorities are more likely to rape than white men and that women lie about being raped or something.
Non-Muslim and Muslim men are all the same.
We know about this history, you asshats. It’s what we’ve been telling you for years, what we’ve been studying in the women’s studies classes you detest so much–the ones you believe there is no need for, until it’s convenient for you that it’s there, until you can twist it into an argument for your own use.
Get off my history and get off my rape stats–and get the fuck back in your place. Those are ours, and for us–women–to use.
It’s been a slow series, partly because I’m often too swept away by current atrocities to painstakingly unearth the past ruins of jealous men, and partly because they’ve succeeded so well in burying them that every trail circles upon itself in exasperating obscurity. We have been left with only one or two names of the women who were warriors, great poets and great lovers, the mothers who died for their children–and more deeply moving yet, the mothers who lived for them, of the women who crossed scorching barren deserts on their own legs, women who were soldiers themselves when men failed and who mourned the dead and nursed the injured, women who led men into battle as they rode before men on the backs of racing camels, yet whose daughters today in “Islamic” countries are not allowed to drive. And then the men, who panic at the history they themselves have destroyed, desperately proclaim “But we are good to women! Look at our history!”
And what about now? Don’t point me to the history of your fathers–you have no claim to that. What of the history you are making?
Or would you, in shame, erase this too? Erase all evidence of the existence of woman, whether glorious (for this works against you) or terrible (wouldn’t want to look like the abuser you are). As long as she is forgotten.
I will believe that your “Islam”–the Islam you have attempted to change to submit not to God but to your own insecurity and lust for power–is not anti-woman when you stop needing to convince me, when you stop needing to repeat it, over and over, to change the minds and perceptions of outsiders.
And now, after these centuries you’ve spent greedily concealing the past in efforts to steal from women our God-given power, you slink away, confronted by a larger enemy and plead, Islam gave women equal rights before any Western civilization.
Yes, it did, and you stole it. You lied, cheated, and murdered, shed the blood of my brothers and bound the lives of my sisters, sucked up to the Devil in every way possible so that you could regain your power.
Do you expect me to stand at the front for you now, when you’ve persistently pushed me to the back–behind veils, behind walls, behind barriers, behind doors, behind you? The Word of God did not strike fear in your hearts, but the perception of religiously foreign powerful men did? Pitiful. You don’t bow to God, only to power!
Don’t use my history to push your agenda–my history is for my daughters, and for my sons who stand beside them as their equals. For friends and allies, and not for you.
And that, is for what this section is and for whom it isn’t.