Rejecting Your Sense of Justice is Rejecting a Device of God

This post is brought to you by a bewildering conversation I had a while ago in which an XY tried to mansplain to me that his interpretation of a specific verse pertaining to women is not unjust because it is from God, and therefore [what is from God] cannot unjust. (Read: His interpretation is from God. That’s the blasphemous, sinful basis of his claim. Says Qur’an 3:78–79: and who say, “This is from God,” the while it is not from God: and thus do they tell a lie about God.)

After explaining where he had erred in his fallacious argument and how it had caused his misinterpretation of the verse, he naturally pulled one of these, and then declared my interpretation “interesting.”

What I found mind-blowing, and what I continuously find mind-blowing, is that men will argue that something is just and impartial “because it is from God” despite the fact that they really don’t believe it is just.

This is obvious, because on several occasions when I’ve debated over exegesis, they’ve attempted to ravel their losing argument into a pretty bow with something like “See? You used the Qur’an itself to liberate women! So we don’t need feminism.”

LOL so you knew your interpretation was oppressive this whole time, while you were trying to convince me it was “just” because the words are from God. I will decide what women need, and whether we need feminism, so please stfu. I don’t need a man to convince me that God’s words are just.

This mentality—in which men define what is just not by the reason that God has given them to employ, but through what they mistake as faith, while simultaneously confusing their own interpretations with the dictations of God—is blasphemous. We were created with reason specifically for this purpose.

Have We not given xir two eyes,
and a tongue and a pair of lips,
and shown xir the two highways (of good and evil)?
But xie would not try to ascend the steep uphill road.
(Qur’an 90:8)

Denying yourself the use of reason is to reject a device of God. We are commanded over and over not to proceed without knowledge or reason. Failing to employ our reason is a sin:

“The things that my Lord
hath indeed forbidden are:
shameful deeds,
whether open or secret; sins
and trespasses against truth or reason:..”
(Qur’an 7:33)

So when you truly feel that an interpretation is oppressive, and yet you continue to assert that it is not because you incorrectly believe that it’s a valid interpretation ordained by God, and then you sigh in relief when you realize it doesn’t say what you thought it said because surprise! you actually thought your interpretation was oppressive the whole time! it’s a dead giveaway that you’re (1) full of shit (2) attributing your own interpretation to God and (3) being entirely disingenuous about how oppressive an interpretation is / not employing reason in deciphering justice.

Say (O Prophet): “This is my way:
Resting upon conscious insight
accessible to reason,
I am calling (you all) unto God –
I and they who follow me.”
(Qur’an 12:108)

Behold, God enjoins justice,
and the doing of good and
generosity towards (one’s) fellow-humans,
and God forbids all that is shameful
and all that runs counter to reason,
as well as envy; (and) God exhorts you
(repeatedly) so that you might
bear (all this) in mind.
(Qur’an 16:90)

A sinner in Hell-fire will
say: “Had we but listened
or used our intelligence,
we should not (now) be among
the Companions of the Blazing Fire!”
(Qur’an 67:10)

Rant over.

Did Rush Limbaugh Seriously Just Tell Feminists That He Wants to Watch Them Have Sex?

Limbaugh, inventor of the infamous term “feminazi”, has insulted women across America.

If you haven’t heard, Republicans prevented women from testifying at the House contraceptive hearing and instead arranged for a panel of all dudes to have a dudely discussion about women’s contraceptives, and whether it’s basic healthcare that should be covered by insurance. In regards to this horrendous panel that involves zero people with a uterus and that blatantly exhibits the Republican war on women, Limbaugh reveals that he’s a dunderhead who doesn’t even know how contraceptives work.

This was apparent when, in addition to calling Sandra Fluke a “slut”, Limbaugh accused her of having “so much sex she’s going broke buying contraceptives and wants us to buy them” (Fluke never even mentioned her own sex life–in fact she framed her argument in terms of medical needs, describing a friend of hers who had to have her uterus removed because of a cyst, since she couldn’t afford contraceptives to treat it).

Contraceptives don’t work like that, asshat. You purchase condoms and other things* depending on how many times you have sex—but you purchase contraceptives a month at a time and you take a pill a day regardless of whether you’re having sex that day. Birth control pills also regulate periods and can serve several other medical purposes. This is basic healthcare, and basic healthcare for women has historically been dismissed (and continues to be dismissed) in this destructive patriarchal paradigm in which the state of being male is viewed as “normal” and thus what works for men is incorrectly estimated to work for women. Everything is literally built around and designed for men. If dumbasses like Limbaugh had periods or could get pregnant, contraceptives would be free.

Birth control pills are not something we pop in whenever we want to have a good time; there’s no relation between the costs of this medication to the frequency of sex. Of course, why the hell would any woman-hating asshole know this?

So Miss Fluke, and the rest of you Feminazis, here’s the deal: if we are going to pay for your contraceptives, and thus pay for you to have sex, we want something for it. … We want you post the videos online so we can all watch.

The fuck is wrong with this douchebag?

To even make such a suggestion to Fluke crosses to sexual harassment.

What a tasteless, immature, ignorant, hateful excuse for a human being.

It’s hilarious when cisgendered men talk about birth control / contraceptives / abortion and believe that anyone gives a fuck about their opinions, especially when they’re lowering the standards civil discourse by deflecting the argument with sexist, ad hominen attacks.

What’s with people referring to Sandra Fluke as a “co-ed”?! Seriously? Seriously?

*In case anyone’s forgotten, Rush Limbaugh was caught in a scandal returning from the Dominican Republic. And Sandra Fluke is the slut. Right.

You’re wrong: The Interpreting Islam Edition

(Fractions of this post were written in the comments section of Feministe, of AlmostClever, and probably other places.)

This has been brewing for a while, but today I read a discussion that pushed it over the top. AlmostClever is so lovely and patient, and a much better person than I am for putting up with such bullshit.

The bullshit has to do with other Muslims, but I will get to that in a second. On a similar note–

One of the very understandable and sound criticisms of nonreligious feminists has been that if the interpretation of religious texts is subjective, and that if everyone is equally correct in interpretation, then everyone is cherry-picking and violence in the name of said religion is as equally justifiable as the good in the name of said religion, and there is nothing to say that terrorists or fundamentalists or sexists are wrong.

A few days ago I said the following:

Because let’s face it: despite literature’s reputation of being all warm and fuzzy and deep and “there are no wrong answers ’cause everyone’s right all the time and rainbows and kittens and cookies!”–you can be wrong. You can be so, so wrong. Not only in interpreting literature[…]

And that applies to religious texts. Not everyone is equally correct.

Those who act violently in the name of Islam blatantly ignore peaceful verses in the Qur’an and cherry-pick so that they can confirm their own beliefs and actions. I, on the other hand, am not cherry-picking. I’m not picking and choosing from only peaceful Quranic verses. I still accept the verses that refer to violence, but in order to fully accept them–and in order to fully accept every verse–they have to placed in their proper contexts, and when you do this you can clearly see that practically every verse that fundamentalists use to back up their violence allow for such behavior only in self-defense.

I suppose it then becomes a question of whether or not they believe they are defending themselves, but to me that is a question that is outside the text. My point is that a fundamentalist can say, “This is what it says!” and I can argue that they are interpreting it incorrectly, and be right. When interpreting any kind of literature, you can’t just pull things out of your ass because “everyone is right and interpretation is subjective!” There are right and wrong interpretations. You have to be able to argue yours. You can’t claim that Moby Dick was a mermaid, or that East of Eden was a war book, or that the main character of The Great Gatsby wasn’t a total asshole. Okay, maybe that last one’s up for debate. You can’t claim that The Great Gatsby was materialism-enthusiastic. Better?

But being a woman, it doesn’t matter how well you can argue your interpretation. It matters that you’re a woman.

So what we end up with is not just nonreligious feminists telling us we don’t know our own beliefs by claiming that they aren’t compatible with feminism because men are the ones who ultimately decide what religion is (according to their implication), but fundamental Muslims telling us we don’t know our own beliefs because they are objectively asshats.

To be absolutely clear, I don’t find criticizing a religion disrespectful, and I don’t find criticizing an individual’s beliefs disrespectful; what I’ve found disrespectful is the assertion from some feminists that because I would suggest that my beliefs are compatible with and supportive of feminism must mean that I don’t know my own beliefs (and yes this has actually happened to the point of armchair psychology), regardless of how much time I spent with study and analysis, because if I did I would agree with privileged sexist men, and instead I think they’re all gits with no reading comprehension.

I find it so frustrating when non-Muslim Western feminists tell me about feminism and What Is Feminist and What Is Not Feminist because they think my religion makes me incapable of understanding and fighting or something. Excuse me, but while Islamic feminism may not have been called Islamic feminism, feminism in Islam is much older–and took off much quicker with much more fiery passion (before patriarchy shat all over it)–than feminism in the West. As a matter of fact, it is built in to the religion.

But white women own everything, so they define feminism. And men define religion, because THAT IS SO FEMINIST.

And I don’t see how anyone can’t identify the contradiction–I supposedly don’t know about my own religion because I don’t find it intrinsically violent, but those douchebags with male privilege who have stolen the rights and power derived from the religion itself from me for centuries to twist it into corrupt political weapons are not only right* to say IS intrinsically violent but also to ACT upon the violence they interpret because they’ve got their religion down? My interpretation is incorrect, and What The Religion Really Is is violent because men have made it violent, but What The Religion Isn’t is my non-violent interpretation of it, because that interpretation is wrong–it must be wrong because it doesn’t have the necessary privileges to back it up in masses and allow it to explode into validity. In other words, privileged asshats FTW!

*right as in without it being supposedly a case of “cognitive dissonance”

Claiming that my interpretation must be incorrect because men are the ones who define religion is anti-feminist. And if you believe otherwise, you are wrong.

Now that I’ve dissed certain other feminists, back to certain other Muslims!

You don’t have to identify as a feminist to be Muslim, but Islam is INTRINSICALLY a feminist religion. Islam has ALWAYS BEEN an INTRINSICALLY feminist religion. There is proof after proof after proof. And if you believe otherwise, you are wrong. You are wrong about either feminism, or about your interpretation of Islam.

If you are Muslim and:

your interpretation of Islam inspires violence, you are wrong.

your interpretation of Islam is anti-democracy, you are wrong.

your interpretation of Islam is anti-woman, you are wrong.

your interpretation of Islam forces gender roles, you are wrong. See above.

your interpretation of Islam encourages body policing, you are wrong. See above.

your interpretation of Islam encourages the murder of adulterers and apostates, you are wrong.

your interpretation of Islam encourages the murder of LGBTQ people, you are wrong.

Because you are actively contradicting the peacefulness of the message. Amongst other things, including very very CLEAR verses. Want to argue about it? Great! But I’m warning you: you’re wrong.

Because all interpretations are not equally correct.

Muslim men who attempt to define feminism for me, men who tell me what I can or can’t wear, men who tell me that I should or shouldn’t work, men who tell me what my rights are and are not according to the false version of Islam they preach need to be slapped back into place. I plan to have children. How will I raise daughters in this world? Women are abused and raped and murdered and brainwashed. There is no time to be polite. Any man speaking on the matters of women needs to STFU unless they receive a personal invitation from yours truly, or from a woman who is also arguably correct in her interpretation. Also this person is awesome.

Islam will be reclaimed.