Oppression is one thing. But acceptance of oppressive cultures by people who would have been victims themselves- if it wasnt for the luck of being born outside such societies- is another. Time and time again I am seeing first hand the blasé attitude from individuals that are in favour of damaging cultures, or do not feel we have a right to interfere. Granted intereference often results in increased tensions between nations and societies. And the most peaceful, most effective way I can have my say is in blog form. The simple fact that we do not care enough for those suffering in the same way we would if our roles were to be swapped is the main point of the post.
Recently I’ve found that I have argued this point with females more than males. This is for a couple of reasons. One is that females get the raw deal in the majority of countries, be it for religious reasons or not. And with that in mind when I see a females argument for religion, I cringe. The other reason even regarding the validity of the above statement, is that I have personally witnessed more passionate arguments to the contrary by females who don’t just disagree with my view, are offended by it.
I do not know fully a womans mind, certainly a challenge for any young man like myself (I doubt very few are surprised to hear). A challenge that may be left unconquered. What I do know is that I am left with a bitter taste in my mouth when I hear of domestic violence, violation of rights in various countries and the general degrading of the gender that brought me into this world. A lot of women share this mentality. Some however are much more hesitant to ridicule when it comes to criticising religious dogma and laws. A critical mistake that preserves sexism and other acts of discrimination even if it seems like being accepting of it is taking the moral high ground. An example would be a fairly recent one.
A picture circulated the internet (and may still be at the time of typing this post) by ‘Britain First’ comparing the attire worn by the Ku Klux Klan, and the wearers of the Niqab. The picture was addressed by a female friend of mine who quickly rubbished the comparison, saying that one was worn by a racist group, the other a chosen garment by those who want to represent their religion freely.
A point that is true to an extent.
I say extent, because there are millions of females out there who would be met with ridicule or even violence if they opted to take off this item of clothing in public. Not so much a stab at the wearers of the garment but at the practice.
And when in an environment free of such degrading laws it would seem, to me at least, that a more relaxed approach to clothing and headwear would be taken. However this is not the case. Some do, some dont.
Another big question is whether or not those who stick to the Niqab do so because they are dedicated to the faith and practice, or that the female in question fears isolation (or worse, which isn’t unheard of by any stretch of the imagination) within their social circle.
On the 17th July this year I spent a week in Kuala Lumpur, my first time visiting Asia. This is one Islamic country that I have admired due to the non conflicting beliefs in such a multi-cultural city and nation. It is certainly a city I would find happiness living in given the opportunity. And whilst walking the streets, it was my first real indication that those wearing the Niqab arent all bound by Islam, walking and laughing hand in hand with their husbands, taking selfies on Iphones, shopping for Nike shoes. It brought me comfort.
But still that irremovable bitterness that I feel only atheism can truly help to comprehend was keeping me from fully respecting the faith.
Even if it is solely down to the consent of the lady, the shame as a human-being that some of us, the more peaceful of the genders, feel it necessary to put in the added effort to cover themselves up to such an extent confuses, offends and embarrasses me. The same way that whilst some see Christian prayer as a beautiful thing, I struggle to see how getting on my knees to beg for forgiveness is anything more than a depressing act that will most certainly look both comical and primitive deeper into the 21st century.
But that is how we work. Because we don’t fully understand the nature of where we are from, we will stick to beliefs that have stood the test of time, regardless of the various ways they make us inferior. Many standing the test of time solely down to the use of fear and punishment to keep anyone from abandoning the faith. And maybe men are equally happy to degrade themselves in return for an answer, but being the dominant gender throughout history, it stands out all the more for women.
I would love to hear the opinions from both males and females on the topic. Of all beliefs. Any thoughts on this? I am particularly interested in the female perspective considering the conflicting perspective I have encountered on the topic.
Recently there has been very little that gets under my skin more than the acceptance of religions that do little but hate us in return.