Another woman who prefers not to be saved by Feminists


muslim woman against feminismfrom: http://womenagainstfeminism.tumblr.com/post/93296455850/http-womenagainstfeminism-tumblr-com-submit

Seeing her picture reminded me of the American woman who power messaged me yesterday all day to tell me what a cold hearted human I am for not wanting to save Pakistani women from their oppression. I her mind Pakistani women are not allowed by their husbands to leave the house, the only exception being under a tightly closed burka. Sending her an Express Tribune article about fashion obsession had no impact on her. Personally I find headscarves uncomfortable. When wearinng one in a few rural areas, mainly in order not to be recognised as a foreigner, I kept bumbing my head against things ;-) Many people also wear them to protect themselves from the sun, just like man people in Germany wear hats in summer. I personally don’t get sunburn on my head and prefer the fresh air to reach my skin when I am sweaty. But people have different preferences. This seems hard to accept for Feminists. I feel unconfortable in shoes with heels, with long fingernails, with unshaved legs, when walking … But I don’t declare people who don’t cycle everywhere, who don’t shave their legs, who like long fingernails, shoes with (high) heels … oppressed. People who say such things are in fact oppressive!

Musöim woman on WaF tumbl

 

14 thoughts on “Another woman who prefers not to be saved by Feminists

  1. I’ve thought about this burka issue a lot, and I think this person you’re describing probably finds burkas oppressive because in many parts of the world, they aren’t a fashion choice, they are mandated and expected. That’s when feminists have issues; when women are sometimes forced to cover in fear of immodesty or temptation. If a woman chooses to wear a burka because she wants to or finds it comfortable, well then that’s fine. You compared this with wearing heels or having long nails. In no part of the world are those mandated for women to have or wear, so it’s a rather weak argument.

    I’m not sure what the expectations are for women in burkas in Pakistan, but if they want to wear them or go without, I think it’s their choice. :)

    • The first probolem with the burka issue is that I don’t write about Saudi-Arabia but about Pakistan, where burkas aren’t very common. Clothing in Pakistan is very colourful and most women enjoys dressing up in free flowing ornamental patterned lawn, pretty much the same as in India. I think it’s called lawn because people tend to buy the fabrid and then take it to a taylor. That is how important dressing up is for Pakistani women. Not for all obviously, but going through all the various colourful garments at the mall and the boutiques (these were already stitched) was exciting for me, while I normally detest shopping for clothes. These are obviously for the relatively small segment of the Pakistani middle class and what you see in this article https://www.facebook.com/etribune/photos/pb.111457038871331.-2207520000.1406842169./945241318826228/?type=3&theater is even uppe rmiddle class. The style is similar for everyone though. The girls in the villages also wear loose colourful trousers and long shirts on top. Definitely colourful! When my friend and are visited the village that her father grew up in the family of the village ‘manager’ gave a us a bundle of fabrics to have stitched up for us. But my friend gave it away as it looked to villagey. The girls wanted many photos with me. I would like to share some but currently have no acces to them. I will put them up as soon as possible. Coming back to where this started I do find it utterly arrogant when people try to impose their orientalist ideas about Pakistan on me while I was there spent six weeks travelling the length and breadth of the country. I do not claim to know everything about the country – the main reason why I am only really starting to write about it 1 1/2 years after visiting and I felt I needed time to reflect and more research and many issues – but I can say with confidance that I know a lot more than anyone who has never even visited.

  2. On another note, usually feminists are concerned by bigger issues like gendercide, trafficking, honour killings, acid throwing, etc as those are seen by most as human rights issues, more so women’s rights because it happens to women at a higher rate than men. So don’t pit all feminists in the same boat by acting as though we are all so deeply concerned about burkas. You’re failing to mention the really serious concerns we have that are very legitimate concerns.

  3. I left two insightful comments on this post that politely questioned your interpretation of said America woman, and you deleted them? Was it because I was right and potentially made you look like a fool? How disappointing that you deleted comments in disagreement with yours, especially since you preach about the hatefulness of feminists doing that to you. You need to take some time and reflect.

    • I deleted nothing! I saw the comments when I was at work and did not find them insightful. They required a reply and after I had already secretly replied to another person who made similarly non insightful comments I did not want to risk losing my joob by replying to another similar one. What is it with you Feminists always thinking that other people have to be at your disposal at all times? I have a live as well and need to finance myself and work on my studies. Saw that same thing with a woman last night who asked the admin of of the #womenagainstfeminism facebook page something and then started writings tens of comments about how she was being ignored. I told her that she is not the only person sending messages to that lady but t no avail. Bear with me while I have some dinner and then I will reply to your comments.

  4. I see hijabs every day and sometimes burkas, and this is in the Netherlands where there is more pressure against wearing hijabs/burkas. In France there were Muslim women protesting burka bans.

    BTW I commented on this post that has been getting spammed on the WAF Facebook page: http://iwantedwings.wordpress.com/2014/07/21/a-response-to-women-against-feminism/

    “You do not get to exploit the suffering of other women on the other end of the world to further your agenda.
    You cannot point to a woman being raped somewhere else as proof of a ‘global patriarchy’ that also oppresses you when a man catcalls. [b]Feminism demonizes male sexuality so that a man catcalling in the West is just a lower rung where rape is at the top of the ladder.[/b]
    I spent half my life in a third-world country. Men go through shit too, different shit but no worse. Feminists and traditionalists both put women first when it comes to protection, so hundreds of men killed in a conflict and we’re so used to it, but the media will report how many women (and children) affected.”

    It’s been over a day and it’s still awaiting moderation.

    • I absolutely approve of your comment! Sorry for taking so long but it actually only showed up now and says that it was posted four hours ago. I very much appreciate your comment as I have gotten positive feedback on facebook but on my blog so far only have Feminists opposing my view that women and men have different challenges. While I haven’t lived there properly (which some Feminists used to claim that I had no idea what life is like) I have traveled the length and breath of Pakistan for six weeks and what you say describes exactly what I have seen.

      • Yeah, I know it can take some time, but there’s at least ten new comments from today on that blog, including some rather critical of the post, but mine hasn’t shown up… Oh well.

        Another thing about these countries: it’s always older women enforcing everything onto other women, from dress to FGM. Actually same for the ‘West’ to some extent. Bend It Like Beckham comes to mind.

        I’m getting tired of the “okay, there are problems but feminism’s ideals are good so you should call yourself one” schtick (that and the dictionary-bashing). Everything about it is about a cultish devotion to the label and making sure everyone uses the label. It sure doesn’t even matter to them if people already accept feminism’s purported goals, it’s rejection of that label that bugs the life out of them.

      • Actually, you know what? I’ll grant them that everyone who believes in equality is a feminist, I’m a feminist, we’re all feminists, almost all MRAs are feminists. Congratulations, the label is even more meaningless now.

  5. As a Pakistani woman, you’re simply ignorant. Don’t pretend to speak for all Pakistani women please. I’m tired of listening to privileged Pakistani women, and women as you, talk about how women in Pakistan are not oppressed. You’re not oppressed? Good for you. Really. But as a woman living in Pakistan, I have witnessed and seen horrible things and you don’t get to derail that. Nor can you derail the domestic violence, honor killings, zero rape acquittals, forced marriages, lack of education for women that plagues my country. I travel all over Sindh and I can never deny that sexism that exists. But yes, middle class and upper class women who don’t go through oppression definitely can and will continue to do so. Which is what guts me really. You don’t get to do that. You shouldn’t. You have every right to talk about how you don’t experience oppression or sexism, just don’t speak for all the women in Pakistan, because it is simply not true.

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