Keep on keeping on…
As for the three verses you’ve brought up… Please know that when we talk about Islamic jurisprudence we’re talking about a comprehensive legal system, and to take one law in isolation without considering others or the larger paradigm of gender in Islam would be an unfair assessment.
This looks like another case of the genetic fallacy. If I come to a conclusion in a way you do not view as sufficiently comprehensive, my conclusion must be wrong. But that’s not the case. You have to do more than accuse me of failing to consider the “larger paradigm of gender” if you want to show that my assessment is unfair. Unless there’s a whole lot of other laws undoing the laws I’ve cited, you are simply asking me to consider a bunch of irrelevant rules. Why should I chase your endless irrelevant geese when I’ve duck-ducked the important ones already?
So for example, in Islamic jurisprudence, men are legally obligated to financially provide for their families whereas women can do whatever they want with the income that they earn. Thus a man is legally expected to use that income in providing for his family (including the women of his family) and his failure to do so can be brought against him in an Islamic court of law. The issue of unequal inheritance is based in a the fact that there are different responsibilities for men and women in Islam.
Here, in an exquisite irony, you reveal your profound ignorance of English common law while accusing me of ignorance of Islamic jurisprudence. The reason I know this is that you present this profoundly subtle and nuanced “paradigm of gender” to me as though there is nothing comparable in The West ™ that I could have encountered with my Eurocentric perspective.
In fact, the view you are describing, rather than being some sort of counterpoint to the construction of “Western women,” is almost precisely the situation women found themselves under 19th century family law. For decades, there was a legal philosophy of separate spheres – that women were the angels of home and hearth, and men were citizens who interacted with the political and public world. Women were held under a concept called coverture, where the wife was considered to be under the husband’s protection and authority.
Families were seen as extensions of men, with rights and responsibilities that entailed such as follows: a woman, after she got married, had no property rights of her own; married women could not sue or be sued; men assumed responsibility for torts caused by their wives. Women could not legally own property and had little claim to custody over their children. Any legal agreements made between a man and a woman were voided upon marriage.
Is any of this sounding familiar?
To add insult to ignorance, you reflected that on top of all that legalized humiliation and degradation of women,
I laugh a little bit on the inside to think that just 100 years ago in this country, no ‘respectable’ woman walked out of the house without her bonnet and a scarf.
If you actually studied the history of women’s rights in America, or knew anything about the reality of domestic violence, I daresay you wouldn’t be so quick to chuckle. Though I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt that you are not the heartless, ignorant fanatic you make yourself out to be.
I wonder if we would even be having this conversation at that time, or if you, Yakamoz, would be the same person with the same unshakable values in your contentions with organized religion and your admirable feminist indignation.
Don’t insult me by pretending to admire me. You and I both know that you do not admire my feminism. And you certainly do not respect it, if you chuckle imagining that 100 years ago, I may have had my sense of self ground down by an oppressive legal structure that treated me as mere chattel. In essence, you just acknowledged that legal systems of this kind, English common law and Islamic jurisprudence, are oppressive. You state flat out that you believe I would be so oppressed under such a system as to be fundamentally unrecognizable.
And you laugh to yourself at the thought. How utterly sadistic. Do you fantasize about watching from heaven the suffering of people in hell, too?
You don’t have to answer that. But I do believe, to paraphrase Christopher Hitchens, that the sadomasochism you demonstrate here is the sinister and creepy impulse at the heart of totalitarianism that religious faith engenders.