Sexual Revolutions

I was reading this post earlier and came across a comment that irritated me.  I am so tired of people giving these pat little answers to great, complex questions that arise everyday.  In this case an easy answer to why do men leave when their girlfriends/wives, ect…get pregnant was “well it’s that sexual revolution of course”.  Apparently the sexual revolution caused women to sleep with whoever, forgetting their power (?) and thereby allowing men to love ’em and leave ’em….

What part of the sexual revolution is meant?  The part where women finally joined the workforce, but had to wait and in some areas are still waiting for equal pay?  Or is it the part where women finally were allowed to express enjoyment in being sexual as opposed to shutting their eyes, and gritting their teeth for god and country?  Or maybe it is the part that gets everyone in a uproar, where sexuality in its myriad forms became part of the cultural fabric of the West.

You cannot just lay blame because it sounds good.  People are constantly laying blame on feminism for everything bad in society these days.  It is so easy to harken back to those idealistic days when a man was a man and a woman was a woman and everyone knew their place.  I churned the butter and you brought home the chicken for my pot.  What was idealistic about those days?  The illusion that’s what. 

A lot of the original intent in the women’s lib movement has been distorted because like anything else, when we create something without first considering our spiritual needs and our religious obligations, we take it too far, we get confused, we make wrong decisions, assumptions, and conclusions.
We made the wrong decision when deciding that if men can screw around , then so can we…  We made the wrong assumption when we assumed being sexual equalled no responsibilites,  We came to wrong conclusion when we concluded that we had figured it out.

People are always talking about how women have all this power and we LET men get away with this and that…what power do women have?  We live in a patriarchal society that has used it’s patriarchy to create a sexist environment that we have to live in.  No matter what revolution, or liberation we start, it ultimately ends up being used against us.  So I can sleep with whoever I want, but at the end of the day I still have to contend with the messages drummed into my head by our male oriented society that I am nothing without a husband.  Who cares about sexual liberation when all you want is to be proposed to?  

And then people bring up religion and say “well Islam offers true liberation!”…ok…but only if both sides follow the rules… Islam asks us to submit ourselves – it is the heart of our deen.  We submit to God first and then to our husbands, our fathers, etc…   If we happen to have men in our lives who treat us well – lucky us…     

I can accept submission from a religious standpoint, where my ultimate responsibility is to please God.  I can live in a patriarchal society without feeling like it takes away from me a woman, but I cannot live in a sexist or misogynistic society.  Don’t insult my intelligence by telling me to simply believe that Islam liberates women and if we are good Muslims then presto everything will be grand.  Islam liberates our souls, it liberates humankind, it liberates you only when you liberate yourself of this world first.  But to throw out platitudes like that, and then turn around and put down feminism leaves many women where exactly?  What have you offered them that is concrete and true to their situation?
We now live in a world where young women do not know the names of the foremost thinkers and constructers of feminist theory – and they prance around wasting and abusing what so many fought so hard for.  We also live in a community where young women do not know their religion, and how to truly free themselves so that they can be Muslim, feminist, spiritual, sexual and revolutionaries to boot.                                                                                           

That is the next sexual revolution…if you don’t like the last one, create your own.



Filed under Women

4 responses to “Sexual Revolutions

  1. UmmZaid

    Salaam’ Alaikum

    @@ I clearly didn’t mean feminism or anything having to do with women’s liberation that allowed women into the workforce or society as people closer to equality. But you can take and run with whatever you want.

  2. That’s what I was asking rhetorically….What do people mean then when they say sexual revolution? Like I said later on in the comments, it was more a culmination of things I have heard that made me “run with it”, rather than the one comment by itself.

  3. Asalaamu alaikum.

    This comment is the one that jumped at me: “We made the wrong decision when deciding that if men can screw around , then so can we… We made the wrong assumption when we assumed being sexual equalled no responsibilites, We came to wrong conclusion when we concluded that we had figured it out.”

    You are so right, but THAT is what the sexual revolution was about – women having the “right” to be just as nasty as men. That’s got nothing to do with the other ideals or fights of the feminist movement. When you talk about the “sexual” revolution, you are not talking about gender but about sex itself. That revolution was all about women having more sexual freedom thanks to the Pill, having more opportunity (thanks in part to relatively better economic freedom) for “free” sex, and the notion that everyone could make love all they want with whomever they want with no strings attached. It IS what women asked for and they have taken advantage of it, but then don’t want to take their share of the responsibility for the fact that it is now expected by men that women can have it all and deal with it. And the simple fact is that while our mothers fought for those rights, and the right to be considered equal, they did not in turn teach our brothers to view women that way.

  4. Walaikum Salaam…

    You’re right and I agree with you about women not accepting reponsibility…it is always so disappointing when people grab onto a ‘right’ and abuse it showing how completely they misunderstand the concept of freedom. Freedom of choice is a basic human right, that is what makes us human – our ability too choose between right and wrong- but it should never trump your responsibilities as a woman or a citizen etc…
    I spent last year arguing with people about that bloody show ‘Sex in the City’ set women back 20 years, inspite of their apparent sexual freedom!

    I agree also that our mothers did not teach our brothers properly, but I have been wondering lately where our responsibility ends with respect to that? At some point in time men have to accept responsibility and join the fight. We can only do so much…boys mimic the men in their lives, sometimes no matter what you try and instill.

    We are both men and women in a cycle that does not end…and our deen is for sure the only thing that can end it, BUT only if we understand it and ourselves properly. That is why I get so annoyed when people throw religion at you as a panacea…because very few of us actually know what to do with our deen. It is like a band-aid solution that we apply – but underneath the problems are still there.

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