Women in Society
hen one leaves the field of nature and enters the field of human societies, one’s view of woman and her situation in comparison to man changes. In this view, man occupies woman’s social place; however, this situation and man’s centrality in society is almost formal and superficial. The reasons for such a change of view are as follow:
First, the criteria for “value” are, to some extent, changed here. This is because the problems, obligations, and needs in a society mainly arise from its security and the guarding of the lives of its individuals rather than merely preserving the generations. Nowadays, we can see that the principle of reproduction and maintenance of generation is not taken into consideration very much. Most of the basic needs of societies in the order of importance include: security and defending one’s country, politics and proper government of the society, economics and providing for humans’ basic needs, employment and obtaining the vital resources for survival.
Security: Any society looks at itself as a living body and understands that maintaining life and providing for the welfare and health of its members depends on the life and health of the whole society and all of its members. This living body, i.e. society, requires, after air and food, safety in order to maintain its welfare, which directly depends on its security.
The establishment of security naturally requires the services of some members of society that are physically powerful and can defend others and fight in wars. They should also have strong nerves and souls, be courageous, and not fear danger and dealing with physical and psychological difficulties. Such characteristics are usually seen in men, and we rarely witness them in women.
This very prominent role of men in society has granted them a high social value in the course of human history. For this reason, in the early human communities, in which wars, attacks, and defense were the normal tasks of the tribes, ethnic groups, and even cities of the same land, men attained a superior position in the societies and turned into their centers. In fact, their social roles had brought them high social value.
Due to their psychological and physical weaknesses and little ability for fighting and enduring danger, women were considered second-class members of society. In some cultures, they were considered beings of low or even no value (due to the possibility of their being captured by the enemy and dishonoring their tribe) and thus humiliated or tortured. We will later evaluate such ideas and societies and discuss whether if men are responsible for protecting social security, women are responsible for protecting the generations and preventing the annihilation of societies. Therefore, both enjoy equal value and serve the whole humanity according to a kind of natural division of tasks.
Government and the administration of society: Another reason for man’s superiority and centrality in society is his ability to control and maintain general order. Apparently, government, which, in the real sense of the word, means the correct administration of the society and providing and programming for people’s welfare and security, depends to a great extent on the abilities that were mentioned in the part on security and defending the society. In this regard, we can refer to powerful nerves, controlled emotions, and a powerful will, which are usually seen in men rather than women. History has rarely witnessed the rule of powerful women.
Such priority and strength of men in government, politics, and the command of military forces have always been among the reasons leading to their authority in society and dominance over women.
Economics: In the history of mankind, the provision of food for the family and earning money has usually been the man’s responsibility. In recent centuries, in spite of women’s entry into the field of employment, they are still men who play the major role in providing for the family.
In the past, certain difficult tasks such as hunting, making dangerous and long journeys, and working in mines, jungles, and mountains required a powerful body, iron-like nerves, and strong will-power. Nowadays, too, the administration of economic affairs, particularly on a large scale, demands certain features that are usually witnessed in men. Women’s jobs in different fields of works, such as economy or production, are of specific, simple, and second degree types.
As mentioned above, all societies grant a higher value and place to the men due to their significant role in maintaining the security of the country, defending it, and administrating social and economic affairs. Women themselves also acknowledge such a priority, depend on men, and expect them to perform these duties.
History tells us that women have not only accepted the apparent dominance of men over themselves but also instinctively find it pleasant. Nevertheless, we might say that one of the reasons for men’s authority is women’s financial dependence on them. However, even in cases where women do not have any financial needs, we can still see that they voluntarily find men qualified for leadership and accept their dominance. Of course, as mentioned before, by men’s authority and leadership, we do not mean women’s subordination and degradation. This is another topic that requires an independent discussion.
Shouldering the heavy responsibility of providing for his wife and family is a virtue for a man. He accepts it with honor. However, as emphasized in social and religious principles, this does not grant him the right to inhuman dominance over his wife. For example, in Islam, this is a pledge that the man makes in return for woman’s critical role in the family; nevertheless, this does not make her indebted to him.
The second reason for man’s central role in human societies and his high social status in comparison to woman is his specific psychological and physical characteristics, which makes her need and depend on him. In this regard, we can refer to the following reasons: 1) woman’s bodily and muscular weakness and dependence on the man for doing difficult jobs, defending her and ensuring her security, 2) her being afraid of danger and accidents, 3) the man’s greater rational and logical authority and greater power in solving the problems of living in society, 4) woman’s financial dependence on the man in most peoples and families, and 5) women’s instinctive need to rely on men and yield to his leadership and management. Accordingly, even women themselves grant a higher social value to men and officially recognize their apparent dominance.
In a scientific analysis of the issue, man’s centrality in the society does not mean that woman is valueless and of a low status in society. However, most people, erroneously, consider these characteristics of women to be signs of their inferiority and men’s superiority in the society.
The above two reasons and their subordinate ones have always led to men’s dominance and women’s subordination in both civilized and pre-civilized societies. For example, the leader of the family, the master of the tribe, and the ruler of the country is almost always a man.
We can also add a third reason to the above, i.e. the instinct for dominance and ruling in men in particular, and males, in general. In the natural structure of human beings and some other animals, the male always dominates the female due to his psychological and physical power and superiority. For instance, we see that from the very early years of childhood boys use their physical power to dominate girls of their own age. This natural principle is also seen in families and societies in later years, during adolescence.
Such a natural and instinctive dominance is modified and limited to a great extent in religious (Islamic) and legal systems. On the other hand, women naturally take pride in men’s physical and psychological power and even feel that they need it. Women do not favor weak, obedient, and mild men, and we can even say that they hate them. A woman likes a man who can dominate her without hurting her or playing with her soul and character.
The sexual relations between a husband and wife and the quality of their bodily contact also reveals women’s acceptance of dominance. It is emphasized again that women consider this situation, i.e. men’s psychological and physical dominance over them to be useful for their security and life. This is because in a secret womanly view, men are the symbols of their own power and grace, as well as a means or weapon for securing the family and their honor. The more powerful this weapon, the more the benefits. That is why women easily surrender to men’s authority and endure the problems and difficulties of carrying these heavy but useful weapons.
Considering these natural characteristics of men and women, the law, too, has sometimes asked women to follow men so that the foundations of family are more firmly established.
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In a short study of the reasons for men’s central role in the society, we will cast a second look at the second reason (women’s psychological features and their related weaknesses), which has apparently lowered their status in the society and caused their downfall from the first place in nature. Here, we will inquire into women’s psychological characteristics – which are usually interpreted as their weaknesses and the reasons for blaming them – and see that they are, in fact, signs of power, and a lot of different occulted abilities and strengths are hidden behind them. They are indeed the reasons that make women dominant over men.
In spite of what appears at first sight and common assumptions, a kind of agreed upon dominance of the man is to the woman’s good and not in contrast with her superiority in the field of nature. Rather, we can say with certainty that man’s authority and leadership in society is, in fact, a guarantee for the successful accomplishment of woman’s natural mission – preserving the human species – and not the sign of her decline in society. As well as her central role and supreme position in nature, she also has her own place in society beside man and does not turn into a low existent there just because of what some people call weakness. This is a point that all women should primarily learn about and believe in.
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1. Physical Weakness
Unlike what most people assume, women are not physically weaker than men. Rather, it is the form and power of their muscles that make them appear weaker than men; otherwise, they are no different from men in their other organs.
The concept of women’s weakness is one of the common mistakes that came to Europe as the legacy of the early Jews, Greeks, and Romans and is still spoken of everywhere. The claim that women are the weaker sex originates in the historical view of man-orientedness.
Evidently, when men are considered the criteria for evaluation, women’s strengths and weaknesses are also determined in comparison to them. Since men are physically more powerful than women, the criterion for strength will be muscular and bodily power, which is normally greater in men than in women. As a result, on the basis of this illogical measure, women are considered weak and men strong. However, if the criterion for power is the ability to do the given tasks in the best way possible, our judgment of strength and weakness will be different.
As the power of an athlete lies in his muscles, the power of a philosopher lies in his reasoning; the power of a lawyer or judge lies in his judicial inferences; the power of an army commander lies in his military plans; and the power of a speaker lies in his speech. Thus we must seek where the power of a woman lies. In other words, one’s power is not always judged in terms of one’s muscles, because a physically strong man might be nothing more than a toy or tool in the hands of some men or women who enjoy a greater power of administration, thought, and management. There are several examples of women who have been physically weak but more powerful than men in such respects. As experience shows, in reality, men have usually obeyed women rather than vice versa. However, superficially it appears to be the opposite.
When comparing more delicate and bigger man-made machines and objects with each other, the observer should be careful not to be deceived by appearances and assume that a big machine is always more powerful than a delicate one. This is because delicacy is not the opposite of power. In other words, one should not mistake delicacy for weakness because, sometimes, it is technically more sensitive, accurate, and powerful.
Women’s psychological and physical delicacy, which is mistakenly considered their weakness, is one of their tools necessary for the performance of their vital role in nature. The relative delicacy and weakness of their bodies and muscles originates in divine wisdom and art of making. This is because He has not given them anything more than what they need to perform their main tasks. It is at this point that we can find out about the role that nature has given to them. She has not, in fact, demanded them to do what is beyond their capabilities.
God has always observed the principle of economy and eliminating redundancies in the creation of existents. According to a natural principle, women do not require powerful muscles to perform their natural duties and main mission, and men are responsible for providing them with security and welfare. God has given women the powers, organs, and specific physical and psychological features that they need. They are also more immune against diseases and can bear them better.
Women are responsible for the survival of human species and preserving the generations. They do not need strong and muscular bodies to give birth to children and take care of them. Thus, according to natural laws, women do not need to have bigger and stronger bodies. This is not a defect and, rather, shows their perfection. In other words, women’s relative muscular weakness in comparison to men is to their advantage. That is why God has appointed men to protect and support them and do the difficult jobs. Naturally, women are exempt from such tasks and do not have to shoulder laborious responsibilities.
In return and by the hand of nature, God has granted men strong bodies and mental strengths in proportion to their natural and social duties to provide for their families, secure their safety, support them, and help women in doing their important tasks.
If, under improper ethical and family conditions (which might even have been created by his wife), a man harms his wife physically or psychologically (through the use of physical or verbal violence), it will be an exceptional, abnormal, and unnatural phenomenon. In fact, it must be considered a kind of disease that has plagued the relationship between the husband and wife. This is because men’s greater physical and psychological power is not intended to be misused in order to abuse the family. Rather, he has been given this privilege in order to defend his wife and children against harmful factors or enemies in the best way possible. As mentioned before, defending the woman is the man’s task, and that is why the necessary power in this regard has been given to him.
Fighting, defending, providing for food, and earning money by hard work outside the home requires strong hands and indefatigable nerves and a less sensitive heart. The above duties are called Qawāmmiyat in the Qur’an. The man is the woman’s Qawwām (support). That is, the woman should undertake all the responsibilities related to life, childbirth, and child-rearing. According to Islamic laws, even doing the housework is not obligatory for women. The heavy burden of taking care of the family is upon men’s shoulders. As Iranian women say, men are the pillars of the tent of the family.
Women have always posed the question of why men must be stronger than them, and, in a Qur’anic sense, why should men be a support for women rather than vice versa? This question results from ignorance of the natural and divine secrets. Even if God had created men and women equal in terms of strength, since women have their specific duties, and men’s support is vital for them, He would have put women’s share of power in trust with men, so that they would have spent it on protecting their wives and children. That is why Islam defends women strongly against men’s betrayal and cruelty. This is because men’s physical power must be used to the advantage of women rather than their disadvantage. In fact, the latter is a crime and worthy of punishment. Strength cannot be the man’s sole honor because many animals are stronger than him. A man’s honor is his responsibility of supporting his family, and this grants him a high value.
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Some people believe that women’s muscular weakness is the reason for men’s dominance and authority over them and say that it indicates women’s pure subordination to men. As mentioned before, there is no necessary concomitance between pure dominance and bodily strength. Defining dominance in terms of greater physical power is not a complete definition because it does not include the other types of dominance in the field of human life. It is a definition based on specific animal instincts and cannot be considered an all-inclusive one.
Related examples, such as the authority of kings over their servants (dominance of power), commanders’ authority over their soldiers (dominance of discipline and order), and the authority of managers of big workshops and factories over their workers (dominance of capital) reveal that authority is not measured in terms of physical power. Wealth, weapons, and other material, or even spiritual, tools can lead to the dominance of physically weak people over physically powerful ones. This is specific to mankind and not seen in other animate beings. Therefore, in order to learn about the real referents of authority in the field of humanity, we require a more profound study of the issue. In this way, human beings’ authority-related problems, including those of women, can be solved.
Apparently, power, wealth, thoughts, and even ethnic and political supports are tools of dominance. However, the story is different concerning the relationship between the man and woman. The reason is that the man’s physical power, his ability to protect woman, his financial power (if he has it), and the woman’s sexual and psychological need of the man’s power of thinking, administration, and policies for the management of family life can turn into some tools in his hands to dominate the woman and make her follow his orders. Nevertheless, through a careful study, we can discover that woman, too, has certain tools for dominating man. If we look at the issue from another perspective, man is feeble before woman and can be dominated by her. These two types of parallel dominance finally reach a kind of balance and, as a result, peace and quiet spread in families and societies.
In the light of His justice, God has created man and woman in such a manner that they can live together under equal and fair conditions. As it appears from the Qur’an and other Islamic texts, God created man and woman from the same soul or spirit. They are like an apple that has been divided into two equal parts, each completing the other. According to Divine justice, neither can purely dominate the other. Rather, each is given certain abilities and talents to compromise with the other and establish a fair relationship.
If man and woman were two independent units, it would be necessary for the world and human society to be divided into two different parts, one for men and one for women. However, in reality, a couple, consisting of a man and a woman, is a human unit. The differences between their talents and characteristics does not signify their separation from each other. Rather, they show that the purposes behind creation have been completely achieved. In other words, a share of the purpose of creation has been given to the man and another to the woman.
If man has been given bodily strength, woman has been equipped with weapons which not only protect her but also take her to the summit of power. Of course, this will come true provided that she knows about the gifts that have been bestowed upon her and uses them in the right place and way.
2. Emotional Weakness
Normally, women fear danger more than men. Therefore, they hate war and perilous situations. Their nerves are more sensitive and fragile than those of men, and that is why they easily lose their self-control when facing danger and start crying or screaming. Sometimes, they even faint.
Men usually view the above points as signs of women’s weakness of character and disability. Even during childhood, when playing boys do not like such womanly characteristics in girls of the same age. Therefore, they consider them to be weak and improper playmates and do not give them important roles in their games.
Likewise, when they grow into adults, some superficial people consider such apparent signs of weakness in women to be indicative of their low status in comparison to men and their authority and superiority over women. This childish feeling remains with boys until they grow into men and affects their judgment. Such unwise confrontations between boys and girls unconsciously create complexes in them and make them believe that girls have been created inferior to and weaker than boys. Obviously, such a masculine judgment in this regard is an unscientific and crude one and rooted in ignorance of the truth and the secret of God-given and innate differences.
Therefore, like their physical features, women’s emotions are also one of their other strengths. This is because they do not allow men to fight them and, on the contrary, make them feel responsible for protecting, helping and supporting them. It is an honor for a man to be asked by a woman to help her in dangerous and difficult situations.
God has placed certain emotions in women due to His Wisdom and the perfect logic of creation. The appearance of the so-called weaknesses in women follows their natural duty and role in nature, i.e. the heavenly responsibility of reproduction and preserving the generation.
In order to accomplish her tasks, woman should be more sensitive than man when dealing with enemies, danger, and natural and unnatural harms. Like security detectors, the higher their sensitivity and the sharper their sensors are, the sooner they feel danger and prevent it. With their delicate nerves, women do not take many risks and, as a result, do not have to confront danger as much as men do. This is necessary for women’s critical role in taking care of children.
If we set human beings’ natural sensitivity as the criterion, the equation will change and women will be considered more powerful than men. The reason is that sensitivity is one of the positive aspects of a system. However, in the law of creation, the criteria are different and are determined on the basis of the differences in roles and functions. In society, the man has the duty to defend and support his family, and thus extreme sensitivity, which is called fear – and is considered a privilege for women – is a shortcoming and weakness for men. The essential perfection of men or women lies in what nature has left in trust with them, and in the role that they are required to play. As the saying goes, we expect the lion to attack and the deer to run away.
3. Dominance of Emotions over Rationality
One of women’s other characteristics that is usually considered to be a reason for their weakness and inferiority and even leads to men’s dominance and authority in the society and family is that their emotions and feelings usually overcome their wisdom and rationality. This is rarely seen in men. In spite of having the necessary tools for rationalization, women usually allow their emotions to dominate their wisdom and intellect. That is why they are accused of being weak in rationalization. Having a delicate heart and tender emotions underlie women’s tendency to love and be kind and, at the same time, hate violence, harm, and enmity. They try to love others and be loved by them.
Unlike the general belief and popular and unscientific ideas, these emotions are not absurd and have been created in women for a reason. Thus they cannot be viewed as weakness for this group of people. On the contrary, according to the Divine Wisdom and the philosophy of the creation of humanity, these emotions and feelings help women to set the pulse of social and individual life, to remove tension from the body of the family or society, to help spread calmness everywhere, and to turn war and conflicts into peace and friendship. It is with this very tool that women can show their art and talent in taming men’s restless souls.
A comforting and loving role in the family and society is of great importance; however, it is often taken for granted. If women were also warlike, quarrelsome, and lacking in feelings of love and kindness, the family and, thus, the whole of human society would turn into a battlefield. With the disappearance of love and kindness the life of the whole of humanity would turn into a hell and, after a while, be annihilated altogether.
The woman’s kindness and comforting soul, whether she is a wife or a mother, is what transforms a man’s rough and adventurous nature into one abounding in the love of his wife, children, relatives and other people. God has placed such a talent and ability as a blessing in women’s nature and the Holy Qur’an has also introduced them as the center of calmness and peace. A woman’s collection of emotions is a fortress that can create a secret connection between a husband and wife and make them be kind to each other. A man’s natural and emotional need of a woman’s love and kindness is immeasurable. It is, in fact, one of the tools that decreases feelings of selfishness and dominance in cruel and oppressive men and turns them into obedient, calm, kind, and useful people.
Men guarantee the safety of society and the family, while women provide for the psychological and spiritual comfort and security of men, the family, and society. Moreover, they use their emotions to better accomplish the duty of motherhood, the training of their children, and the bearing of the difficulties of pregnancy and labor. Men do not need such tender feelings because they prevent the optimal performance of their social tasks.
Through nature, God has granted the important task of preservation of generation to women and placed in them all the necessary tools and prerequisites to carry out this mission in the best way possible. Since they enjoy such tender feelings and a high level of sensitivity (technically, since their sensors are extremely subtle and powerful), God has equipped them with other systems that decrease the life-threatening dangers of this extremely great sensitivity. In this regard, we can refer to some reactions such as screaming and crying, which are necessary for women and prevent the destruction and impairment of their emotional systems. Therefore, these states and reactions, which are apparently rooted in weakness, are created on the basis of the Divine Wisdom and have a logic behind them. In fact, they must be viewed as their useful sensitivities rather than weak points and defects.
Another point which is hidden beyond these so-called weaknesses is women’s talent for attracting, hunting and taming men. Their skillful – and sometimes even natural and unconscious – use of these natural features and talents that are placed in women, apparently in the form of weaknesses, will bring every man to his knees. Thus it is better to call the use of them the pretension to weakness. This is an instinctive feature of women and is used to prepare men to do difficult tasks voluntarily.
With His Wisdom and Knowledge, God has not given these apparently weak sensitivities to woman out of cruelty. Rather, they are intended to be used as tools to make her look more attractive to man. In this way, she can tame and dominate him. That is why she sometimes uses her weaknesses to attract man’s attention and hunt him.
Woman’s emotional expressions and tears are in most cases more useful than physical power to break and subdue man because resorting to strength cannot impress his beliefs and thoughts – and his so-called heart. However, the expression of womanly emotions, such as crying or feminine behavior, is among woman’s tools for overpowering man and cannot be easily taken for granted.
Physical strength and a coarse voice are not always signs of authority and power. Almighty God has created two types of dominance: the first is physical, and the second is spiritual and emotional. The latter is much more effective than the former. Tamers of wild animals are well-aware that in order to dominate them, the best policy is to be kind rather than cruel to them.
God has granted woman the power to dominate emotionally. However, she should be aware of this divine talent, gift, and inner strength and learn when and where to use it. She should also learn about her role and place in the family – and, as a result, in the whole of society – and not show her weakness by imitating the man’s physical or verbal (in the form of swearing or giving irrational answers) power. She should try not to lose her superior place and status of being a woman, i.e. establishing order and peace in the family and society and controlling the stability of others’ characters and conduct.
4. Material and Psychological Needs
Some people believe that one of the reasons for woman’s subordination to the man is her need for him. As mentioned before, this is a superficial, defective, and biased view of the issue. This is because they ignore man’s need of woman. In the light of His justice, God has created both men and women in a way that they need each other equally so that they can manage their family and social affairs side by side with each other’s help.
The most important of all these needs is sexual desire which is sometimes, erroneously, called the “maternal role” and viewed as a sign of woman’s weakness, inferiority, and neediness. Sexual desire is a feeling shared by both men and women. Here, in practice, a man’s need for a woman is apparently greater than the other way round. Moreover, a woman does not need to be a mother, and not being one does not decrease her value and dignity. Rather, it grants her superiority and power and increases her social value.
In order to raise his children and supervise the affairs of his house, family, property, and wealth, and even to maintain his social status, a man needs a woman. This woman, who is a member of at least half of the population, plays her role in society as a wife, mother, manager of the house, and sometimes protector of her husband’s social credence and position.
The existence of sexual desire in the man naturally makes him need the woman, and, as a result, the constitution of the family will be consolidated; the generation will survive; and the society will be protected better. Such a desire even leads the man to give a greater value to the woman and recognize her rights officially. In a sense, the man’s sexual needs make him follow the “de jure” diplomacy.
Provided that she is clever enough and refrains from disclosing her moral weaknesses, she can sometimes bring the man under her control in her married life by benefiting from this natural instinct. Unfortunately, in the 20th century some people, in the name of feminism, under the pretext of supporting women, and based on the claim that a woman’s sexual attraction and desire cause her decline and degradation and deprive her of her rights, invited her to keep away from men and try lesbianism.
Perhaps such false protectors of women were not aware that abandoning a correct relationship with men will not only degrade women and decrease their credence but also result in certain physical and psychological damage to them. This absurd idea, which is supported and publicized by Zionists, destroys even the extremely low culture and value of women in Western societies (in which women are only needed to satisfy men’s sexual desires) and disrupts human society. This portrays a dark perspective and future for women.
Having healthy and natural sexual relations is useful, and even necessary, for women from a hygienic and medical point of view. Likewise, quitting them are equally harmful both for men and women, particularly, if they are replaced by the unnatural and noxious act of homosexuality. If the false enjoyment of this act is not taken into consideration, it will do a lot of physical, spiritual, and mental harm to people. Such disadvantages might lead to mania or mental diseases and nervous breakdowns.
In the field of feminism, some of the women’s so-called supporters make some false complaints about their social degradation and say that motherhood is one of the reasons for this. Thus they invite women to pursue a masculine life and abandon their natural duties in this regard.
Such a perception of the above role is extremely superficial and the given conclusion is biased. Motherhood is so important in the structure of creation that most human powers and instincts can be considered as its prerequisites. A woman’s beauty, her physical and spiritual delicacy, men’s sexual desires and strong motivation for paying attention to women, and women’s use of tens of different natural and artificial methods in order to attract the opposite sex makes men gravitate to them either consciously or unconsciously and encourages them to share in the process of childbirth. All of this is at the service of an important goal, i.e. production of later generations (from pregnancy to childbirth and child-rearing). This proves the importance of motherhood and its natural, social, and human value.
A woman’s sexual attraction, on the one hand, and her role of motherhood, on the other, are two powerful natural and social factors that attract men and give her place and status in the family and society formal recognition. Whenever this status is well-recognized, maintained and used by clever women, it has enabled them to reach high levels in society and even bring men under their control. On the contrary, whenever women have lacked the necessary intelligence and knowledge for maintaining their status, they have turned into sexual slaves and a means for the temporary satisfaction of men’s desires and whims. Or, at best, they have turned into child-making machines. The decline from such a divine status is nobody’s fault, but that of a group of women who have not made optimal use of their God-given gifts and talents and fallen into the trap of friendly-looking propaganda of the enemies of humanity, including those of women, or been captured by their own sexual desires.
Motherhood and having the children of a man who needs and loves children, in most cases, brings a kind of authority and honor for woman and makes her husband dedicated to serving her and his family more than ever before.
Some women, because they are unaware of their status or because of other women’s malice and bad teaching, view the responsibilities of motherhood as a compulsory job, hard labor, or the like. Now the question is, ‘why do they not make the opposite judgment?’ ‘Why do they not consider men as slaves who, in spite of their coarse voice and harsh behavior and spirit, stay at the service of their wives and families like captives, endure thousands of hardships, pains, and humiliations in order to provide for their comfort and welfare?’
6. A Sex-Oriented View of Woman
Sometimes, in addition to women’s outward weakness, which is viewed as a sign of their imperfection, the sex-oriented and whimsical approach to women introduces them as a means for satisfying men’s sexual desires. This by itself is considered a kind of weakness and the cause of their degradation and inferiority in the society. This is one of the big mistakes of some European societies and, as mentioned before, has been emphasized in Jewish and Christian religious literature.
Men and women are the two sides of a natural principle, i.e. the responsibility to produce and preserve the human generation. They complete each other and their copulation is based on the “principle of duality and matrimony in nature” and in creation. Accordingly, except for God (Who, based on rational and philosophical arguments, is one), all material creatures must complete the process of creation with a kind of duality and live in matrimony. God has placed the instinct for sexual desire in the nature of all animals so that they go towards the opposite sex automatically and, in this way, the purpose of the nature is obtained through a bilateral relation between them.
However, ever since early times, women have been recognized as the objects of sexual desire and men’s satisfaction in human societies. This erroneous point of view claims that men are the sole purpose of creation and, like other God-given gifts in nature, women have been created to give them (sexual) pleasure.
The above is a primitive, common-place, and far from natural principle to which religions and some philosophical schools have referred. As mentioned before, according to the law of nature, women are mainly responsible for raising children and protecting the human generation from destruction and annihilation. In order to help a woman to accomplish this task in the best possible way, a man must do certain tasks including having sexual intercourse with his wife, helping to raise the children, and providing for everything that his family needs.
The necessary psychological and physical tools are placed in women and men, respectively, to perform this task. If we do not say that women are more in need of men in order to satisfy their sexual desires, we must, at least, say that they are equal in terms of this specific instinct, and each plays the role of water in extinguishing the fire in the other. Here, the man has no superiority over woman and has the same share in this relationship.
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In order to illustrate the logical and natural relationship between men and women and their mutual need of each other which leads to a kind of contract and agreement (marriage), we can cite the following example: imagine a workshop or factory that specializes in producing a certain kind of product but cannot produce its raw materials. At the same time imagine another factory that specializes in producing the raw materials for the first factory and delivers them to that place. Both of them require each other and if one of them refuses to comply with the terms of the contract or contradicts them, the other one will suffer a loss. In fact, their cooperation and shared production is to the advantage of both of them.
Each needs the other, and the need of the producing workshop of the deliverer of the raw materials is not a defect or sign of its weakness. The opposite also holds true. That is, the need of the latter for a buyer for the production of the product is not a defect.
The relationship between a husband and a wife is based on a mutual need beyond which a great purpose – survival of humanity – lies. God has placed an instinct in the two sexes’ natures to drive them to each other in order to have physical and spiritual pleasures. In fact, they need each other in a logical manner.
Thus a woman gives as much sexual pleasure to a man as he gives to her. Even, according to some religious texts, 90% of the pleasure in the intercourse is for women and only 10% for men. There are also some ill-effects in this process for men.
However, the common view in this regard introduces woman as an inferior and lonely creature who is nothing but a means for voluptuousness and sexual pleasures and has failed to perceive the natural and scientific dimensions of this issue for two reasons: the first is her physical characteristics, such as her skin and the way she moves, and the other is her ingenuity in hiding her sexual desires and whimsical looking at men. The latter is rooted is a kind of pride and refusal and becomes manifest in pretending not to need men and keeping away from them. These two feelings, along with men’s tendency for power and authority, have turned women into sources of sexual pleasure and men’s only means of enjoyment. We can even say that they are considered the only womanly roles and their other values have been forgotten.
The other reason in this regard is women’s irrational pretensions in all periods, particularly in the present century, that take the form of nudity and presenting their bodies as a commercial product for men’s short term consumption.
This phenomenon which was started by Western women and publicized by anti-human movements and schools defined two roles for women: 1) the woman is a means of satisfying the man’s sexual desires; 2) the woman is cheap labor. Unfortunately, following this social phenomenon, which later turned into a habit and culture, women signed the document of their slavery unknowingly. In this way, they went back centuries, i.e. to the pre-historic uncivilized world and did not understand that they hold a higher place in creation. This is because they are the main pole of the nature and one of the two basic pillars of the human society. Moreover, they have various dimensions only one of which is the sexual one, which, of course, exists in both men and women. However, from the time women tried to introduce themselves as symbols and centers of sexual desire through their individual and social behavior, their other values were forgotten, and they were introduced as a means for the satisfaction of men’s passions and lust. As a result, from all that God-given glory, nothing remained for woman and she declined into a doll for men’s short-term pleasure.
Strangely enough, the women who introduce themselves as the symbol of sex by revealing their bodies and arousing men intend to prove that this is their most conspicuous characteristic. In this way, they ignore their other capabilities, values, and important responsibilities (which are no less than ruling a country in terms of importance) in nature and society and remain at the level of a sexual tool for men. The interesting point is that these men themselves sometimes complain about women’s low social status!
Like women, men also have a sexual dimension and role; however, we see that, by recognizing and attaching importance to their social role, they conceal the sexual one in practice and always try to introduce themselves as people with other various significant social responsibilities. What is the reason for the fact that in non-religious societies men are not recognized as symbols of sexual desire while woman are? Is it not just because women themselves have been guilty in the process of the degradation of their social rank?
In order to keep away from becoming the focus of lust and desire in society, in addition to religious (Islamic) laws and principles, women have access to certain talents and instincts. Women inherently pretend that they do not need men and take no heed of them (we can see this in Eastern women more than in Western women). This instinct, while being one of nature’s beautiful tricks for attracting men more towards women, raising women’s value in their eyes, and preventing their impotence, functions to prevent women’s identity from unidimensionality, protect their social status, and guard other feminine values in the society.
One of the philosophies behind women’s covering themselves (or hijāb) is to protect women’s social status and honor and safeguard them against becoming prey to sexual harassment and other threats. Women’s nudity in Western or westernized countries is publicized with the purpose of attracting men. However, it has sometimes had some opposite consequences and led to men’s impotence and heedlessness of women. As a result, women’s need for men has increased and, in spite of a rise in the supply, there has been a fall in the demand. That is why in Western societies a woman has a lower status in comparison to that in Eastern and, particularly, in Muslim societies. Moreover, there are fewer cases of marriage and forming a family in the West then in the East.
In the shelter of her hijāb and proper clothing, a woman can conceal her sexual characteristics and dimensions to a great extent in society. In this way, in normal social evaluations, her other personal dimensions and important roles (social, scientific, political, etc.) are revealed more clearly.
Like men, a woman must be an official member of an office, a respectable citizen in a formal or informal environment, an influential and learned person in a scientific and cultural center, a political person in a political environment, and, in sum, an efficient, active, and dignified person in any possible area. She should behave in a way that her sexual attraction, which is a part of her private family life, does not catch others’ eyes and is forgotten.
When a woman wears hijāb (covers most of her body), she is not a tool in men’s hands or a product for their consumption. As a result, she insures herself against threats to her life and honor, prevents men’s arousal when encountering them, and does not share in their wrong-doings or make them involve in inappropriate acts or commit any crime. In this way, she guarantees her own safety and helps to the establishment of security in the society.
Nowadays, by disseminating their destructive culture, the hidden hands of the enemies of humanity all over the world and, particularly, in the West, pretend that the necessary condition for the equality of men and women is that women should do whatever men do. For example, they should remove their hijāb, forget about their chastity, and break the fortress of their continence. This is the first step for driving women astray and making them deviate from the road of nature and fall from their true status.
The equality of men and women in their social rights does not necessitate, and is not concomitant, with their becoming naked or even working in factories. Rather, it lies in a woman’s concealing her strong sexual attractions and desires in society and outside the family. In this way, like a man, she will have sexual security, and society will have enough time to officially recognize her character and respect her significant natural and social roles, far from her sexual characteristics.
When dealing with the problem of the two sexes, Islam and other religions have always tried to establish a rational system as the norm so that both of them can accomplish their tasks, perform their roles, and respect each other’s God-given values and gifts.
A woman’s hijāb is one of the proper and rational divine traditions that has been established to encourage people to recognize all of her values rather than merely her sexual characteristics.
Controlling a woman’s sexual attractions, particularly her beautiful and seductive physical structure, at the level of the society (and not in her private life with her husband) is one of the wise and rational principles that can function efficiently for protecting public order in every community. This is because women’s sexual manifestations are not only totally to the disadvantage of their true characters, but also cause disorder, endanger social health, weaken the constitution of the family, threaten children’s psychological health, and even cause an increase in the rate of crime and murder.
An analysis of the terrible statistics concerning the level of crimes and murder, the unstable bases of families, the ever-increasing number of illegitimate children, and the bitter and destructive impacts of this phenomenon on future generations in the so-called civilized and developed Western countries reveals to a great extent the dangerous and ill effects of sexual freedom and women’s nudity or half-nakedness.
One of the most important problems of today’s woman is her wandering between two opposite poles and having doubts concerning which to follow. One of these poles consists of religion, ethics, social and human order, which invite women to refuse to transgress taboos and selling the guard of her character (covering herself by wearing hijāb). They also encourage her to high-mindedness and magnanimity of taste.
The other pole that follows its own advantages (and possibly the spread of corruption among human beings) and has various names and masks uses women’s nakedness and impiety as a tool to collect money and draw huge benefits. The advocates of this pole view women as a beautiful object or commodity, as well as a commercial product.
One of these poles is the women’s friend and the other is her enemy. It is the woman herself who should decide which to choose provided that she has the power to make the right judgment.
Woman is the much-loved and honored creature of God and, as the saying goes, “the art of creation”. God wishes for her, as a human being, to have grace, honor, reverence, and prosperity. Accordingly, He has prohibited anything or any act that blocks her access to them. It is a great mistake and childish idea for women to assume that God has been unkind to them by setting certain restrictions for them such as wearing hijāb! One who believes in this idea is as foolish as a jeweler who views the security recommendations of the police enmity to him or all the jewelers and wishes to leave his goods unprotected in his shop at night and go home.
A woman’s means of prosperity and true happiness (her physical, spiritual, and behavioral advantages or her sexual attractions), which can give order to her life, are threatened by those thieves who want to rob her of her character and use it easily for their own or other men’s temporary pleasure. They also intend to use her for commercial purposes and to obtain more benefits. That is why Islam and various philosophies have arrived at the conclusion that, due to the specific features with which they have been created and are the means to their happiness and well-being, women have to be more careful about themselves than men. In fact, they must make a fortress around this invaluable treasure and do not allow the eyes and hands of the enemies and violators of chastity endanger their security.
In almost all human cultures, there have been people or even objects that have been kept away from being met or touched by ordinary people and respected greatly. In the sociology of religions, they are called “taboos”. The elders of tribes and the religious leaders and prophets of divine religions enjoyed the same privileges and were referents for taboos. It is important to emphasize that in the culture of divine religions, woman enjoys the station of a taboo. That is why she is called “haram” in Arabic. This name is only given to holy places. Like other taboos, no one, except for people who have the right to do so, has the right to touch or watch a woman.
In its sociological sense of the word, a “taboo” is a thing or person who enjoys a kind of sacredness and respect, and ordinary people are forbidden to have contact with it. Otherwise, they have sinned and, thus, will be punished by unseen forces and rejected by others. Taboos have always existed in this sense in all religions, cultures, and lands.
In a religious culture, the woman has such a station, i.e. unlike what is nowadays considered a kind of advanced culture in the West, she enjoys spiritual sacredness, and there are certain rules for touching and shaking hands with her. If these rules are not observed, the order of society will be disrupted.
Woman herself, due to her not being a lifeless and indecisive person and enjoying all human rights and values, is to take this respectable station into consideration and does not remove her covering. She must also observe certain rules, principles, and limits when having physical contact with others. She must not shake hands with men or have any bodily contact with them so that her honor and public order are secured. This limitation is worth the resulting social discipline, honor, respect, and values. In fact, they make the possible difficulties and pains of wearing hijāb easy to endure for women.
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The points discussed in the part on women’s status in society prove that, in spite of the so-called weaknesses in women that come to mind in comparison to men and function as excuses for feminist propaganda, they have some talents and capabilities which, if used properly and consciously, can help them learn about their social status and value and true God-given place. In this way, they will look at themselves as one of the main pillars of the society, as well as the center of nature.
As mentioned before, with the natural abilities and tools that have been placed in her in the form of various emotions, in spite of her outward weakness, woman can even influence man’s physical strength. If she fails to do so, it is because of her own weakness and does not indicate nature’s cruelty. In fact, as the natural and essential rights of men and women are equal, so are their authority and power, provided that we do not limit them to physical strength.
Historical evidence also indicates that women have sometimes managed to become the real rulers of their houses, families, or even countries. In such cases, their husbands, despite their outward strengths and social position, have obeyed their wives’ will and decisions. Even in normal life, in which men are apparently violent or cruel, women’s secret but final and true dominance and superiority are still perceivable.
Woman’s true weakness and the main reason of her fall from a high level of honor, glory, and grace, which (according to the text of the Holy Qur’an) God has granted to her does not originate in men’s cruelty and society’s abuse of them. Rather, it lies in her taking no heed of her true place and unfamiliarity with the “philosophy of woman”.
. Of course, a woman can gain physical strength if she wishes to. That is, it is not forbidden for her to strengthen her body, but she does not need to do so.
. It is written in a hadīth that bravery and generosity are perfections for men and defects for women.
. Chapter al-Room: verse 21: “And of his signs is this: He created for you helpmates from yourselves that you might find rest in them, and he ordained between you love and mercy…”
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