The other day we were out doing Archery as family. After my husband had had his turn, the instructor moved the archery board a foot or two closer saying “Baji ap idher se bhi nishana laga lain tou bari baat hai/it would be a big deal if you manage to even hit the board from this distance.”
The former feminist in me would have taken a serious offence at this assumption. But now I know what I am and capable of. I ain’t got anything to prove to anyone.
But still, challenge accepted!
This encounter did have me thinking this guy wasn’t wrong. But it’s the way he voiced it with a tone of contempt which really got to me. And I made sure I voiced out some of the truth I knew.
Allah certainly HAS made men PHYSICALLY stronger. But that doesn’t make women any lesser or weaker of beings.
Women with their own sets of strengths (not as tangible as big bones and muscles though) perfectly complement what men possess (or lack).
A woman can’t lift heavy (physical) loads (most of the time). But…
…a woman has the strength and capability to lift many unseen loads which keep the world going.
The strength to love and care unconditionally.
Perseverance and patience
Ability to understand and communicate, to nourish and nurture.
All of these things make these world a bit bearable and livable.
And not to forget, the most important of all, the ability to bear and birth a child and then care for it through the nights and years. That ain’t no man’s job.
Not comparing or building a case of who is better. We weren’t meant to be contemptuously antagonized against each other.
I am not for those gender wars.
That can be ugly.
And why be all that when we can be respectful of each other’s differences and exist in harmony, working together for the greater good in our communities.
Allah SWT says in the Quran:
The believing men and believing women are allies of one another. They enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and establish prayer and give zakah and obey Allah and His Messenger.Quran 9:71
Men do have status a degree above women…
…. but that’s in regards to their to their duties and responsibilities (feminists don’t lose it as yet please). And man, if only all men knew the amount of accountability that comes with this role Allah has granted them, they would crumble with the sheer weight of it. This seriously makes me glad that Allah made me a woman. Takes so much weight off my shoulders. Not that I don’t have my responsibilities to be answerable for but still. However, if we held ourselves accountable seriously for all our roles and duties, this world would be a better place.
The thing is Allah created two genders with very clear purpose. Both with different capacities and capabilities.
Men were created rough and tough, women soft and caring. Men protect and provide, women nurture and nourish. Men create the fort and women hold it down. They were created different not to compete with each other, but to lean on each other’s strengths and work together towards a common goal: pleasing Allah.
Together they make perfect ends of the equation, each complementing and completing the other. When this balance is disturbed by disregarding, suppressing, oppressing, competing and overpowering, chaos ensues.
And isn’t it chaos it is around us everywhere?
We are witnessing a failing society, falling apart at its core and giving away at seams.
And what would you expect of a building built on top of crumbling forts.
If only those who suppress didn’t forget their duties and used their strengths well. And if only those who are suppressed knew their rights and the strengths they possessed, what a different world it would be.
Anyhow back to the story…
Two shots later (straight to the bullseye btw ;)), the instructor awestruck (not exaggerating here) moves the archery board back in its original position. “Baji yahan se nishana lagayen/take aim from here.”
Me snickering to myself, ” Bachoo ab aye na line pe.” Now you are talking kid!
And this is how you challenge misogyny. Albeit gracefully.
We don’t always have to throw a fit you know ;).
And I am sure I set an example to remember.
Now tell me about your strengths. I will go first. I am a big-time empath. It has its downsides but I have finally started to see it as a significant strength. Your turn.
Also share with those who could do with a reminder about their strengths (as well as responsibilities;))