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Frailty: Thy Name is “Not” Woman!
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Frailty: Thy Name is “Not” Woman!

Thus the greatness of the society lies in taking its individuals as an organic whole without the needle of bias bending either towards men or women

Post by on Monday, February 21, 2022

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God has bestowed woman with a unique personality which is in no way inferior to man. However, what leads her promising persona to wither out and to stagnate at times is the exploitation which she faces on different accounts. The social constructs developed vis-à-vis woman since time immemorial are, it is opined, bequeathed to humankind by religion! This notion could be rebutted quite easily by having a look towards the views of philosophers in general and that of Aristotle in particular, regarding the position and status women, especially in his Politics and Historia Animalium (History of Animals). 

However, practically we receive the news of the suffering of woman on different fronts intermittently. Domestic violence, now combined by acid attacks and chopping off the fingers, against the womenfolk has become a routine and she is made to suffer silently. Peer Vaer (the Valley) is also tormenting her women in diverse ways. This menace against our women should not be seen in isolation. Rather, it is one of the links (read, the worst link) of the chain of exploitation perpetrated against the women. Here, it is pertinent to note that household violation against our women is intermittently reported from the nooks and corners of the Valley. However, people at the “helm of affairs” least bother about this situation. If this trend continues unabated, it would rob us of the values which we have been heirs to.

This doesn’t mean that the women need any out of the box solutions to solve their problems. However, the need of the hour is that women should make their existence felt by desiring from the society what they deserve. And, for this purpose they in no way need to look for any imported solutions, like changing their life-style by having a different dress-code or the way of articulation. What is needed from them is the positive activism to first analyze the problems faced by them and then seek the right answers. This is because they have enough precedents in their socio-religious ethos to begin with and to bank upon.

Men, on their part, should not hold what is due to women: right treatment and the realization that women are not “aliens” from any other planet to the earth. They are not ‘others’ to this planet of ours. They are mothers, sisters and daughters. They are human beings first of all; performing not much less than the men, perhaps much more in certain areas because of their specific physical/psychological constitution. Our teachers put the role played by women in other way round as well. As per them, (this is a borne out truth), our births, our marriages, our festivities and our deaths would lose all charm and sheen without the active participation of women. Thus the greatness of the society lies in taking its individuals as an organic whole without the needle of bias bending either towards men or women. Any society where such a bias takes root withers out and a society where the genders are let perform as per their natural constitutions is bound to bloom and prosper. History of mankind testifies to this fact.

The Qur’an gives due importance to woman with respect to her “distinct personality” and makes her as much responsible vis-à-vis her independent decisions as much is man to his. With respect to the erroneous concept of woman being responsible for being the cause of every intrigue, perpetrated throughout the history, has been duly corrected by the Qur’an by highlighting the “independent resolve” of both man (Adam) and woman (Eve) in their “deviation” from the obvious commandment of God right after the event of “Creation”. (2:36) Likewise, for all their moral obligations both are treated as equal and independent to strive for their “salvation”. (33:35) They are also counted as the combined guardians of their children. (7:189)     

As such, our society as a whole needs to redirect its estimate of women. No doubt women have to rise to the occasion and do a self-service by “forcing” the society to vouchsafe the all-round prosperity of the womenfolk. Men on their part have to make it possible that women should not be maltreated and persecuted by the society in any way. All the socio-cultural platforms should be used to save this lot of humankind. Mosques, academic institutions, social gatherings, media and Mohalla Intizamia(s) should build not only awareness about but also “pressure” against the perpetration of persecution against the womenfolk. Woman organizations and woman activists should also come forward to alleviate the suffering of women. Let us respect, guard, honour and protect her so as to build a society where the genders perform their roles as per the Creation Plan of God.                                                                          


(The author is Assistant Professor Islamic Studies at GDC Kokernag. Email: alhusain@gmail.com)

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