written by Theresa Corbin and Maryam Lautenschlager
We, as Muslim woman, have handled the ignorant, arrogant hypocrites with kid gloves for far too long. We have been pushed well beyond any person’s limit. The gloves are coming off!
We will freely admit that being a Muslim woman comes along with so much patronizing and splaining it is maddening and exhausting.
But here’s the thing- we hardly ever experience such splaining from Muslim men. Nah, it comes from non-Muslims of all kinds: doctors, engineers, beauty school drop outs, republicans, lawyers, paralegals, democrats, men, women, children, hand puppets (seriously)… *catches breathe*.
For sure, there are Muslim men who support the patriarchy and even toxic masculinity – nothing to do with Islam. We have never denied this. In fact, a lot of what Theresa does and researches and writes is because she is calling bullshit on this phenomenon within the Muslim community. But even the patriarchy supporting Muslims do not belittle us, disrespect us, or shut us down like the ignorant, arrogant, hypocritical non-Muslims do.
So the kind of non-Muslim (please note this is not every non-Muslim, but it seems to us to be the majority) we are shining a light on come at Muslim women, trying to tell us about how “bad” our faith is for women and how oppressed we are, blah, blah, blah, ignorance ad nauseam.
The ignorant we are confronted by seem to think all Muslim women need to be “rescued” from the “evil snares” of this “barbaric” religion– they assume that no woman would be Muslim if given the chance to “escape”. Our agency and choice is brushed off as if we can’t think for ourselves or make informed decisions.
And just for fun, please, for real, tell us how exactly our hijab is oppressing us? What exactly is it keeping us from doing? What part of agency does it take away? Think about it for real instead of just regurgitating what has been parroted to you too many time to count. If it is our choice to wear, why do ignorant people think they get a say?
What these ignorant non-Muslims fail to recognize is that they either 1-have no idea what even the most basic tenet of Islam is, 2- have only ever looked at the faith through serious bias they are only trying to confirm, 3- just parrot whatever they hear from the news/legit bigots, or 4- are incredibly emotional about even the thought of Islam to the point where they cannot even have a rational thought about the topic. And most are victims of all four.
They fail to recognize that ESPECIALLY here in the West, you cannot be Muslim without a huge amount of bravery (you try walking through Wal-Mart in the dirty south with a hijab or even just looking Muslim in any way). They fail to recognize the knowledge Muslim women must have to back up their active choice to be Muslim and live Islam (because we are constantly being berated with loaded, suuuuuper ignorant questions).
They fail to recognize that we, as individuals with agency and thinking minds, absolutely have conviction. Try mindlessly doing anything this unpopular. It doesn’t freaking work. They fail to recognize that we do alllll of this with grace and still manage to face the rest of life’s trials. It’s ironic to think that if any of these ignorant types had to show half the bravery, knowledge, and conviction Muslim women do, they would fall the hell apart.
So, if you have any opinions on Islam, you better back that shit up with proof, evidence of which cannot come from Fox “News”, Breitbart, Evangelists, or active bigots *rolls eyes*.
Please, STFU about FGM and Shariah law if you don’t have academically sound knowledge or sources beyond what random thing you heard from a white guy on the “News” during a 15 second clip or the Facebook meme your high school drop out uncle posted *rolls eyes again*.
Here’s a thought! Why not listen to us and our understanding of Islam? Why not ask an actual Muslim woman about her lived experience instead of telling us about our own lives? Heck, there is a whole blog here of Muslim women’s actual knowledge and experience. Why not understand that we not stereotypes, that we are dynamic, multi-dimensional, thinking people? We know-giving people dignity is just wacky!
But wait! There is more. Muslim women are constantly being told about our own religion. This is called Islamsplaining and it is arrogance slopped on top of ignorance. We are belittled, talked at, and shut down at every turn. Our knowledge, experience, and perspective is minimized and brushed aside because our “saviors” assume and treat us as if we are feeble minded, weak willed, and brainwashed.
If our narrative doesn’t fit their fantasy of what Islam is and how “oppressed” Muslim women are, we are attacked online, in public, and at a minimum told that our experience is the exception, when we know it is actually the rule.
Those who are so dead set on attacking Muslim women fail to recognize that Muslims actually study their faith. We generally know A LOT about it. We know the history, the text, the context, the science of authentication, and the spirit and the letter of the law. Heck, we live it every day!
If you are not a Muslim, you don’t get to tell us about Islam. If you have not even studied Islam from legit sources, you don’t get to tell Muslims about their faith. You just don’t. Period. It’s arrogant.
If you believe Islam oppresses women, you can sit down, shut up, and listen to an actual Muslim woman on the topic. You can even raise your hand and ask non-loaded, non-leading, respectful question (of someone else because I, Theresa A. Corbin, am so done). But you don’t get a say. You don’t get to tell us about our faith or experience. You don’t get to belittle us while simultaneously trying to “save” us.
As if arrogant ignorance weren’t enough, the best part is the hypocrisy that comes out of this class of non-Muslim. Susan Carland, a woman, a Muslim convert with a PhD in Islamic and gender studies, and the author of the literal book on fighting sexism (buy it now!) within Muslim communities talks about her experiences with this particular brand of ignorant, arrogant hypocrite:
It’s uncanny how often people try to demonstrate their concern about the alleged oppression of Muslim women by humiliating them. (The Guardian)
This is dead on. Because any genius knows that the answer to oppression, imagined or otherwise, is to humiliate the potential victim and also humiliate the people actually working to stop even the potential for oppression. Sure. Super helpful (for the figurative language impaired, this is sarcasm *rolls eyes yet again*).
Yes, Muslims have issues. Not Islam. Muslims. But many, many Muslims (men and women) recognize this and are doing their best to pull back the rug and sweep that sexist crap up using actual Islam as the broom.
So, if you think it’s cute to be “concerned” with Muslim women’s rights and at the same time also humiliate and belittle Muslim women-you are, without a doubt, an ignorant, arrogant hypocrite.
So, please sit down, Shut! Up!, get out of the way, and get to work on fixing your own sexist crap. Because you are living a delusion if you think your own kind-race, religion, or what the frack ever-doesn’t have its own misogynists *rolls eyes so hard they fall out of head*.
Please send all complaints, grievances, emotional injury claims, and other nonsense that we don’t care about to:
1234 No One Cares Blvd.
None of Your Business, Texas 450500
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