In Presence of the Sun (92)
In the previous episode we talked about the western view on woman. It was said that according to Ayatollah Khamenei the western real view should be known from the western literature and not the claims and fuss on the rights of woman.
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution says that the oppression done to women in the western culture and the false take on woman which exists in the cultural and literary works in the west has been unprecedented in all historical periods.
Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei refers to a regrettable point based on detailed studies of the European sociologists, i.e. in the western countries women had no right on their properties and heritage; but when these societies needed women they spoke of woman’s right of ownership and this was another oppression against woman. The Leader of the Islamic Revolution elaborates, “Factories, which had just spread modern technology and industry in the west, needed worker but there were few workers and the need for more workers was sensed. Therefore, in order to drag women to factories and use their workforce – of course they always gave less salary to women – it was announced that woman has the right of ownership!... This is the extremist, false and oppressive vision on woman in the west and Europe.”
The extremist vision on woman’s rights and personality caused reactions by women. When a movement starts to the benefit of women in such an unjust climate, it will naturally be trapped in going to extremes, too. Thus, we witness in the history of Europe and west that, within a few decades, corruption and promiscuity began by those who claimed freedom of women. The promotion of this trend astounded even the western thinkers. Today, wise people and reformers in the west are so distressed and upset at the situation in their societies but they cannot prevent it. The extremist groups including feminists have dealt the biggest blow to woman in the name of rendering service to her; for, immorality and promotion of corruption and unconditional freedom between man and woman has broken up family structure in the west.
Feminism as unbridled freedom of woman or her equality with man in every political and social arena came to existence nearly two centuries ago. The words feminism and feminist appeared in 1872 for the first time in France and Holland. The pioneers of this movement were seeking to gain access to women’s political and civil rights equal to men and grant them the right to vote.
The second phase of the feminist movement began after the First World War with more vitriolic slogans and more extremist inclinations. The advocates of feminist movement demanded for thorough equality of woman and man in all civil, social, economic and cultural, and other domains and tried to destroy every boundary created by family or children.
Separating sexual relations from reproduction, unconditional freedom of women in sexual affairs, decrease of marriage and birth rate, increase of divorce, taking of high political and economic posts and so on were the main goals of feminists in this phase. This phase continued till recent decades. The feminist movement went to extremes to such an extent that absolute rule of woman and priority of woman on man in every legal, social and political domain and even negation of man’s being were the manifesto of feminists. Then some women, due to excessive extremism of this movement and its failure to materialize women’s real rights, rebelled against it and returned to the genuine nature of woman. Therefore, they deemed being at home and training child as the most important duty of woman. Thus, the western women were frustrated with years of chanting the mottoes of equality of man and woman and many of them were upset with feminist mottoes. So, ever since they have looked for a safe haven for achieving the real personality and rights of women.
Ayatollah Khamenei maintains that, contrary to all the fuss and claims on supporting women’s rights in the west, woman has never reached her real status. Humiliating views toward the female gender have persisted till this date but in the guise of modernism. Woman continues to act as the tool for propaganda and man’s hedonism far from her real personality and status. On the contrary, Islam considers woman as a respected and dignified creature with important rights in family and society. Islam’s view on woman is based on the realities of creation in woman and man and their innate needs.
Islam considers the essence of human being separate from gender but the duties and rights of man and woman differ as they are different in physical features, spiritual and psychological features. What is important is the observance of justice among human beings irrespective of their gender.
Ayatollah Khamenei says, “Islam advocates perfection of human being. For Islam there is no difference between woman and man. For Islam female gender or male gender does not matter; the human perfection matters. At one time the word is on man; at other it is on woman. On one occasion woman is glorified; on another man is glorified for they are the two parts of the human being. From the human aspect and divine aspect they have no difference with one another.”
Islam neither goes to the extremes as to promote feministic view to believe in dominance of woman over man and considering man as an extra creature; nor does it consider woman so weak that she is not able to fulfill her rights. This divine religion raises the moderate view on everything including woman. This religion doesn’t allow oppression against woman. Women can take part in all social activities that are compatible with their natural inclinations and needs. Woman’s value is related to her role in setting the ground for growth and perfection of family members and leading them in this path. According to the Islamic teachings women can more easily move in the path of God.
Ayatollah Khamenei notes, “The aim of Islam in defending the rights of women is that woman is not under oppression and man does not consider himself the owner of woman. There are limits and rights in family. Man has rights. Woman has rights, too. These rights have been highly designed with justice and balance. We do not say and defend what is spread in the name of Islam and is false. What belong to Islam are the axioms of Islam and self-evident truths of Islam. These are the things that consider balance between the rights of woman and man inside family.”