A Voice for Me – Pet Rock

[warning]TW – Rape, Violence, Acid Throwing – This is a labour of hate. This is a gigantic rant over 8 hours in the making. This charts the absolute depths A Voice for men has plummeted in a recent article. It is long. It is not fun. It is terrible. I joke about it but I have to otherwise we will spend 18,600 words weeping at the heartlessness of the author.[/warning]

Plastic surgeons have a bad rep in the west. We think of them as money grubbers who appear to human vanity. That may be true, but it doesn’t mean they don’t do any good. I shadowed some plastic surgeons for a while and through that came across some remarkable people. Plastic surgeons who after fleecing the rich and famous would go to many parts of the world and take in children and women and some men who were disfigured and help them.

It was through this I found out about Orzala Nemat and her Illegal Shelters. It was also how I first came into contact with Afghan culture. One of the first pieces I wrote was about acid culture in Afghanistan and the shelters run by women often “illegally” in Afghanistan that try and keep women safe in an environment where the workers risk death and torture.

India is no better. India is widely considered to be in the worst 5 places on the planet to be a woman.

I wrote about Orzala in reference to the notion of honour disfigurement.

A large number of the women she was taking in were disfigured either with a knife or through the crime of vitriolage.

Imagine if you will walking down the street and suddenly you are hit with a liquid. It burns and produces spectacular damage. Your skin dies in seconds and the structure underlying them is eroded. you can literally feel yourself being eaten away. And through this all, the people around you gawp in horror not because they are vultures but because nothing they have experienced has prepared them for this. And as you scream they pay attention too you. And through this your assailant quietly drops his cup or walks away looking nonchalant. A large plastic cup and around 40 to 80 cents will get you a litre of battery acid (H2SO4 and HCl) from any mechanic and you don’t even need that much to scar someone. If you are feeling posh you can always buy Nitric Acid at around a $1.50 from any good jewellery store. It’s one of the cheapest ways to attack someone, hard to police and the damage caused is spectacular.

It is also a crime that mainly affects women. 80% of all victims are women.

In Afghanistan? When I wrote about it there was a drive by the feminists (Sorry! Feminazis!) of there to oppress men by providing safe spaces for women who were scarred to hide from the men or for women who were trying to escape the beatings and indeed killing that they so richly deserve to escape. Clearly these vile creatures were subverting justice. So much so that when asked, a US spokesman responded with.

“Gender issues are going to have to take a back seat to other priorities, There’s no way we can be successful if we maintain every special interest and pet project. All those pet rocks in our rucksack were taking us down.”

The reasons matter. It is done to create pariahs. To be beautiful is to be stared at because of unrequited desire. To be normal is to be stared at because of interest. To be disfigured is to be stared at because of revulsion and pity. The lack of social and medical systems to repair the damage mean that these women effectively become broken. In a society where women are prized as possession and who’s entire existence is determined by her value to men these women become valueless. They are burdens who cannot care for themselves, who cost vast amounts of money for medical care. They effectively are made even more worthless in societies that do not value women for anything more than housework and reproduction.

It is a calculated assault on denying women the little identity that they have left. Many women are fighting back such as Sonali Mukherjee who was scarred by acid. She became a symbol for a lot of Indians to fight against this when she went on to win the Indian version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire. The acid that blinded her cost her assailant less than 20 pence.

And I write as someone who has treated an acid case. The first one that I saw shocked me so much that I forgot the safety protocol. To date on my thumb is a patch of skin where the acid on hers touched mine. It is dead and calloused now. She was burned so badly her tongue had to be removed and she had to undergo hours of painful grafts and bone remodelling. I don’t know where she is or what happened to her. I don’t think there is any happy ending to that tragedy.

And through this acid attack came about a conversation with Afghanistani people about their culture. I mean I am a child of the 80s, I sigrew up with Rambo. How to reconcile the old “honourable” Mujahadeen with the new “barbaric” Taliban? About Honour and indeed about Faith.

It’s no secret that Afghan life is steeped in Sharia and in Islam. That even the moderate Afghanistani average joe may often hold views that would be considered fanatic in the UK or the USA. It is no secret that across Asia and indeed even in the west that Islam has a poor track record with women and it’s liberals struggle with public perception and the reality.

It is also no secret that the Men’s Rights Activists care little for the rights of men and are more interested in bashing women. My particular distaste for A Voice for Men stems not out of casual idiocy. But out of their usage of the Delhi Rape which resulted in the death of the victim due to perforation of the rectum by a foreign object as an excuse to make the claim that India treats women better than men which flies in the face of reality and was an action set specifically to deny women in India better laws to protect and indeed punish rapists. A Voice for Men stopped being about the whining of men who were brung low by  a woman but of a group of people who were complicit in supporting a dangerous viewpoint that excused the murder of a woman. In that single piece, A Voice for Men did a great disservice to men by implying that it was the woman’s fault for being murdered (While bemoaning the lack of attention the male victim of that tragedy got they bashed him for not defending her like the big burly MRA badasses would. They do karate you know. Black Belts to the N of every MAN that make up the movement).

So how can you sink lower than this. How can you top victim blaming and attempts to cover up the severity of gender apartheid in India?

A Voice for Men has managed it. It has defended the culture of discrimination in Afghanistan. And all I could do yesterday when I read it was go “What the fucking fuck”. How fucking bankrupt morally and culturally must you be to defend a culture infamous for it’s brutal treatment of women. There are a handful of countries worse for women than India. Afghanistan is one of them.

This is not a battle you can win and even if you could. EVEN if you could do you think you should win it? Do you think that the world is benefitted by enforcing the status quo of women being maids and uteruses and whipping practice?

Girl Writes What AKA Karen Straughan thiinks it’s a decent status quo. Her video’s been transcribed and put up on A Voice for Men.

“Avi! You Man among Manginas!” you say. Surely AVfM are merely hosting this. And that the MRA surely cannot support this. To which I respond jocularly “You ain’t seen nothing yet” and on a more serious note “This is a gigantic piece. Not because I enjoy hurling gigantic walls of text at my readers but because there is a gigantic amount of things wrong with the piece and comment section. Both have to be taken together as a whole in order to understand how vile this is and how this is probably more detrimental to men’s rights than anything else because it showcases the real agenda of the people involved in it. That they aren’t interested in fixing the problems in society that negatively affect men, they are interested in bashing women.

So without further adieu let’s stop the backstory and play with my pet rock. He may not bite but I can fucking whip it at your arguments with decent speed.

The journalist, a woman named Mika Rekai, and I…we had an interesting discussion. She seemed quite pleasant, though that doesn’t mean she’s not planning on writing a hit piece. If she isn’t planning on writing a hit piece, it’s probably a toss-up as to whether her article will make it past the editor’s desk, something she admitted could well happen, but that’s a whole other story.

No No… I don’t think we should censor people like Karen. Otherwise their martyr complex would explode and 2000 years down the line our descendants will have to to put up with an MRA jumping up and down on Emeline Pankhurst’s monument (Buxton) preaching about how Elam died for your negs.

Anyway, we’ll see. But some of her questions got me thinking. At one point I told her that what was once radical feminist thought is now mainstream–not mainstream feminism but mainstream culture. That if, for instance, you walked up to anyone on the street and said, “Women were historically oppressed,” their answer would be “of course”. And I’ve even seen MRAs, and MRM-friendly people such as Christina Hoff Sommers, parrot this line of thinking–that women in the past were oppressed because they were women.

I want to know what history book Karen has been reading. Women in western society got the right to vote in most countries by the 1920s. The UK being the big embarrassment as it only got full suffrage in 1928, much later than it’s ex-colonies (It allowed women to vote but only if they had qualifications earlier so I suppose it’s small steps…). They had to fight to get the rights that men had in society.

That in the places where women are valued the most, they spent the majority of human history being second class citizens.

Ms. Rekai responded with something along the lines of, “Wait, so you don’t believe women were oppressed?”

I said no. I tried to explain myself, though I don’t know if my arguments were as cogent as they could have been. And I mentioned a conversation I’d recently had with my sister, who has some bit of knowledge of the Canadian military and its operations, about certain customs in Afghanistan. Specifically the local custom followed when people sought medical care at free clinics run by the military or NGOs. The tradition there is men first, children second, women last.


I am not the only “person like myself”. There are people I know who work with Afghanistani and Pakistani Pashtun. I know people who have served in Afghanistan. This is without my own contact with such patients.

I have never heard of a single hospital or clinic post Taliban that provides medical care on the basis of gender rather than severity of condition. Neither have my friends who have worked there. Neither have my friends who work there at the moment. One of my supervisors spent time there as a doctor and she hasn’t seen this either. I also have experience in Iraq, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Not one of these places have treatment by gender. I also have friends working in Somalia and in Egypt and there is no such gender bias here too.

Now there may be some bullshit clinics that I am unaware of that do this but, I personally could not find any anecdotes to support this statement either through experience or through the experience of others.

However, under the Taliban though women were restricted from receiving medical care and there was a single hospital in Kabul that was set aside for them. In addition the destruction of intelligentsia meant the loss of doctors who were women who fled the depredations of the Taliban who banned male doctors from seeing female patients and prevented an entire generation of women from becoming doctors resulting in the destruction of the Afghan health system (It had one. Soviet Union weren’t as villainous as you think my fellow Rambo fans).

And even today many women do not get the healthcare they require because there are insufficient female doctors (Since women weren’t educated and the systemic destruction of women’s education has resulted in a culture where few women are given the chance to get the education and even fewer are allowed to take that chance and even fewer get the quallifications and are allowed to act on those qualifications to enter medical school and get the training to maybe pass and become doctors). It will take decades if not even a century to rectify all of this and correct the desolation of women’s education in Afghanistan mainly because it is opposed by the men who dominate their culture. You need to change not just the education of women but also change the culture where men oppose their education.

Now, I had asked my sister if she could figure out some reason other than “men are privileged” or “because penis” to explain that custom. She said, “Well, yeah, I suppose the reasoning for it is that if the man dies, the whole family is toast. That if the man gets too sick to work, the whole family suffers.” At the same time, she attributed that state of affairs to the fact that under Taliban rule, only men were allowed to work outside the home–that men were, in fact, the only ones allowed to even LEAVE the home unaccompanied.

Qualification for benefits often rested on men, such as food aid which must be collected by a male relative. The possibility that a woman may not possess any male relatives was dismissed and many of the men in power were surprised at the degree of international attention and concern for “such a small percentage of the Afghan population”. Remember this was a nation where many of the men had died in war or indeed in fights resulting in many women who had no “male figures” and who now had no jobs. Many families didn’t have jobs and considering the entire female orientated parts of medicine and education and all government workers who happened to be women were out of a job? This was a lot of women with no way of existence and the ensuing economic downturn ensured suffering for all.

For rural women there was generally little change in their circumstance, as their lives were dominated by the unpaid domestic, agricultural and reproductive labour necessary for subsistence. And the majority of women in Afghanistan live in the rural sector. The rise of the Taliban and the fall of centralised power meant the fragmentation of society into tribalism as human society will always crave structure and if the bounds of society are broken it will merely revert to a more manageable unit of society. Unfortunately this means tribalism…

Now, I mentioned to the journalist, Mika, that the Taliban had been very clever in how they forced both genders into very restricted and regimented sets of roles and duties. They restrict the freedoms of those who value safety over freedom (women), and they thereby impose the role of protector/provider–falsely naming it “freedom”–on those who value freedom over safety (men).

They may have forced both genders into restricted roles but the role they forced women is arguably worse than the one they forced men. And a word in your ear. Plenty of humans have claimed that they value freedom over safety. It’s an easy thing to claim when you are surrounded by comfort and indeed have freedom to say something like this. Historically, however… most people wish to be safe. This is not a failing. I feel explicitly claiming that “if the Taliban Came Here I Would Oppose them” is more the fantasy of a person who has never had to make that decision. You may as well say “If  a war broke out, I would be on the front lines! Unlike those cowards!”.

Many Americans wouldn’t know what Dad’s Army is. It’s basically a show about one of the British Home Guard. It was a comedy, and laughed at the kind of fight a bunch of old men would have put up while their young men marched off to kill and die. And the first episode that was ever shown in colour was one called “Branded”.

One of the characters resigns after he finds out that he couldn’t kill a mouse. If he couldn’t kill a mouse how would he kill a German? He admits that during the prior war he was a conscientious objector. Ostracised throughout the episode and called a coward by the men who had never been to war or who treated it like a game he demonstrated his courage later on by saving one of them from a burning building exercise gone awry.


While recuperating they find a photo of him receiving the Military Cross. When asked what he got it for since he was a conscientious objector, he responds with “Stretcher Bearer”. He got it for saving lives. He went into no man’s land under gunfire and saved lives. In doing so he had the most combat experience out of all the members of the home guard there but never showed off about it. Because he didn’t need to.

It’s silly but it stuck with me. Whenever I hear people say that they will do an extraordinary X or Y in a hypothetical situation of stress, We honestly don’t know how we would respond in such a situation. Now I may be a weak beta mangina but my first medical emergency had me terrified. I still get terrified during Vivas and case presentation. If faced with a decision of importance I hope that I can do the right thing and in the right situation.

Ask yourself. Do you think you would survive telling the Taliban how much you love your FREEDOM!

And then ask yourself. Do you think the true patriots of France during the VIchy period were running around painted in French flags telling the Nazis to fellate donkeys or do you think they were quiet men and women who nodded along to their masters then charted troop movements and marked out targets late at night without anyone knowing?

The Taliban’s treatment of women leaves no doubt that had Karen betrayed her gender by valuing safety over freedom unlike us freedom loving men (I personally prefer the safety of life than the freedom of death. What can I say? Mangina…) would have been killed. All those who valued freedom recognised the fact that the Taliban gave no fucks about anyone lest of all themselves (Say what you want? The Taliban are fucking brave) and promptly left. It was not a fight they could win.

To make this statement is to try and blame women for not opposing the band of religious fanatics who didn’t care about anything else apart from the literal interpretation of Sharia law and who’s ideal society was the tribalistic one of Mohammed and armed with automatic weapons. The fucking Soviet Union could not beat them. The armies of Europe still struggle to defeat them and the technological gap between the two sides may as well be dragons and wizards. And you think a bunch of women who have none of these things are going to fight them.

WIth what? Harsh language and scones? I have heard of victim blaming but to blame an entire gender as responsible for their own denigration because they were unwilling to fight heavily armed religious lunatics with no respect for human life is utter madness. Who the fuck are your role models? Mme. Antoinette?

RAWA (Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan) used to fight for these issues. It was founded by a feminist.

Meena Keshwar Kamal fought for the women of Afghanistan. She did not value safety. She valued freedom. She was assassinated by Islamic forces. She was just 30 when she died. RAWA endures but at the time a lot of it’s members were forced into silence by a force willing to kill them and those they love. Meena’s husband was murdered too for similar activities.

That is, if you have two people and one of them is ordered to stay home, and you tell the other he is free to go outside…well, what do you have? You’ve got two people stuck in their roles, not just one. Is the second person REALLY free to decide what he wants to do? There are only two of them, and one is confined to the home, not allowed to work. Someone has to go out and perform the tasks that require interaction with the world. Neither of these people are free. And one of them is at significantly greater day-to-day risk in a place like Afghanistan. Hint: it’s not the one who stays indoors.

Yes. The men CAN stay at home if they want to. There was no law saying that men have to work. It’s that with the complete banning of women from open society and the legislative crippling of both their ability to learn and their ability to work, men HAVE to work or the family starves. This places an inordinate amount of power on men who literally control the household through their actions.

Aid was also given to men rather than women. Women in effect were restricted to housework, field labour and breeding. While “neither of them are free” men are MORE free than women in this society. To claim otherwise is to completely ignore the reality of the situation.

  • Women should not appear in the streets without a blood relative and without wearing a burqa or niqab.
  • Women should not wear high-heeled shoes as no man should hear a woman’s footsteps lest it excite him. No seriously. Women were blamed for walking like women. The sound of a woman’s footsteps was believed to excite men.
  • Women must not speak loudly in public as no stranger should hear a woman’s voice.
  • All ground and first floor residential windows should be painted over or screened to prevent women being visible from the street. (BTW? Rickets and Vitamin D Deficiency due to Burkha and Purdah is a thing)
  • The photographing or filming of women was banned as was displaying pictures of females in newspapers, books, shops or the home.
  • The modification of any place names that included the word “women”. For example, “women’s garden” was renamed “spring garden”.
  • Women were forbidden to appear on the balconies of their apartments or houses.
  • Ban on women’s presence on radio, television or at public gatherings of any kind.

There are horrible stories like when the female staff of state orphanages were sent home all the female children stopped receiving exercise, proper food, education and healthcare. Since they had no male relatives they had no social mechanism to care for. They couln’t even BEG. Read the rules. What do beggars need to be successful?

Many of these women are dead or are lost from the statistics.

I don’t think Karen has talked to any “expert” on Afghanistan.

Women in Afghanistan lacked any rights of mobility, education, employment, The forcible confinement of women from public life has effectively destroyed a large segment of Afghanistani women and their natural development. Studies have show depression rates of 97%. Drug abuse is rife and women get even less support than men in Afghanistan. In many places women aren’t even allowed to bathe and this prevents them from expressing their faith as women MUST bathe if they menstruate if they are to go to a Mosque.

As for safety? I am afraid Karen is wrong here too.

Afghanistan has the highest rate of childbirth and the highest infant mortality and the highest maternal mortality and morbidity rates in the world.

Roughly 5.8 live births per woman AVERAGE. This is a gigantic number. Remember India’s population is “exploding” thanks to a birth rate of just above 2. The average woman in Afghanistan has 6 child births. Each birth has a 1.4% chance of death of the mother. Roughly 10% of Afghan Women die in child birth. 25% of women are over the age of 18 when they have their first child. There is often no spacing of births either. This means that Afghanistan also has the highest rate of disability. There are just 3000 midwives in the entire nation and even fewer obs/gynae.

And most afghan women are not allowed to seek healthcare by their men or because they are not allowed by their men to seek male doctors who make up the bulk  of Afghani doctors since women were banned from education and were systemically forced out for decades. Male doctors who have been forced to study a “talibanised” medical system where the knowledge of Obs/Gynae is frankly negligible.

And the problem is it’s easier to kill doctors than train them. I quote Letters from Iwo Jima for this.

“Here is the uniform of the American medic. Study it. Many Americans will risk their lives to save this one.” – Captain Tanida

In 2010 the Taliban attacked the Indira Gandhi Children’s Hospital in Afghanistan. In an act of supreme heroism, Major Jyotin Singh saved his patients by wrestling a suicide bomber and shielding them with his own body. Major Jyotin is a doctor. No one can ever take that away from his name. With nothing he saved the lives of dozens of patients. Jyotin died that day. So did 18 other people and 38 people were wounded.

They were killed because they were doctors and because they were Indian. They were all volunteers. They all went to save lives and for charity. Many of the injured were treating women.

Women doctors don’t wish to work in Afghanistan because they would be targeted even more than “normal”.

It was not always this way in Afghanistan. Prior to the 30 years of proxy warfare that ravaged their country, Afghan society was quite progressive, relatively speaking. Most westerners would probably be surprised by the number of older women confined to their homes by the Taliban, and barred from paid work, who were educated professionals. But people who understand how societies operate understand that safety and prosperity go hand in hand with the relaxing of often stringent cultural and legal standards. When the Soviets invaded, all that progressiveness kind of went out the window. And after thirty years of other societies taking a wrecking ball to Afghanistan, they found themselves back in a Dark Ages of poverty, conflict, subsistence living, and regional warlords interested in grabbing land and power, crushing the poor and the hapless under their boot heels to do it.

Actually the Soviet Union was a massive civilising factor when compared to the forces that the United States unleashed in response. Historical revisionism? Really?

The majority of the progressives lived in the cities. Like India this was a small group of highly visible people for the simple reason that farmers don’t write newspapers or take photographs. When you watch British TV you aren’t watching The Adventures of Farmer Ted and his Combine Harvester. You are watching Dr. Who and Wire in the Blood.

Same logic here. Around 70% of India lives in the rural sector. Afghanistan’s was higher (at the time? 90% of India was rural) at the time. Karen here is looking at 10% (even if we are charitable? 30%) of the nation and claiming it was progressive. It would be like looking at Kanye West’s house then claiming that all black people were rich and had no taste.

The Taliban offered order. A top-down method of controlling the chaotic that was, at least nominally, based on a moral doctrine to which most Afghans already subscribed to one degree or another. It offered to slash back the power-grabbing of warlords, and replace it with a life-path for ordinary people that, while repressive and totalitarian, appeared on the surface to be a safe one, so long as you didn’t step off its tightrope breadth.

Yet more historical revision. The Mujahadeen represented the rural aspect of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Pakistan was their “Supply Centre”. Kashmir and Afghanistan were their areas of operation. They represented the rural pashtun and inculcated and utilised the “honour” of Pashtun culture to fight. It used religion and honour as a method of forging these toughened men and survivors of a culture of near constant feuds and inter-tribal violence into a fighting force funded by Pakistan, the Middle East and the USA. Using these tools they fought an increasingly brutal war resulting in backlashes which increased the brutality turning Afghanistan into a tar pit. It was simply not worth fighting them. You weren’t blowing up their fortifications, they were destroying your missiles with theirs sheds.

The warlords are precisely that. Local tough guys with their tough guy boys. The Mujahadeen that “saved” Afghanistan didn’t know how to run a country. So the country fell apart into the most stable possible society. AKA tribes of local people. This was something that already existed and was commented on from the writings of the Mughals to the British to the Soviets. Tribal warfare was derigeur. That the locals were adept at warfare due to the fact that they were alive. All those who sucked at war are dead. Every man was a soldier first and farmer second.

The Taliban did not win by hearts and minds. Using their control of the Pakistani side of the North West Frontier Province and the Madrassas they built up an army of fanatics while the Warlords squabbled. They effectively wiped out their opponents through military force. Not by faffing about offering people safety. They were “just another warlord” with just as capricious a rule set. It’s just that they were the big fish in the region. The entire Afghanistan was not under their control. They “spoke” for Afghanistan as they were the majority and they had Kandahar and Kabul.

The Taliban offered a narrow fundamentalist interpretation of the social and moral structure that already existed within the culture. And it represented a codifying of what had previously been random–unlike under the warlord system of regional government, under the Taliban, you at least had some idea as to what behaviors would get you shot in the back of the head.

One thing the Taliban didn’t do was completely rewrite Islamic law pertaining to female privilege and male obligation.

If you were a woman? All of it would get you shot in the head. Or you know. Raped and shot in the head. Or doused in acid.

And here is the root of things, they way I see it. Afghanistan became a society where leaving your house was taking your life in your hands, and where there were few opportunities to earn money or generate productivity, but where people still need to eat. And under Islamic law, women bear no economic responsibility to anyone. Not even themselves.

Yes. They don’t bear any economic responsibility because they cannot bear any economic responsibility in the same way that we don’t let 12 year olds bear economic responsibility. They were banned from working so cannot be responsible.

I watched a video not too long ago where a Muslim woman named Zara Faris spoke quite persuasively about how Muslim women do not need feminism.

For those who wish to see this Video? Look here.

I don’t know about you but I have never had to defend women personally using my skill in the manly art of pugilism and my ability to grow facial hair..

Fetch me my Fighting Trousers

It goes on and on. It’s basically a series of straw men about feminists wanting to dominate men and gain more power. It’s probably fine as a debate tactic since debates are seldom won on sane arguments (Just ask Ed Brayton) or veracity. No one’s there googling her arguments.

The entire video is a defence of Islam (A religion that forces her to cover her hair up in public lest men rape her due to her tantalising follicles.) against the accusations that it is a religion that is biased and discriminates against women.

It’s entire basis is a series of MRA arguments and relies on the ignorance of the audience to garner points. And it’s fitting that the MRA use it to flog their bullshit because it’s the same bullshit. Just because a woman says the same bullshit doesn’t make it valid or else Judgy Bitch’s “Steubenville Rape Victim had it coming to her” post should have freed the two rapists and sent them on their merry way while the rest of the world laughed at the victim…. This is a woman with no sense of irony considering in most Islamic nations she wouldn’t have been allowed to speak.

It then goes into a defence of Islam. And it’s shockingly naive. I said earlier. That in trying to fit reality to Islam there is less science done in Muslim nations than applied theology. What ensues here is applied theology where Islam becomes a liberating force for women where a woman’s wellbeing is secured at every stage of her life. My personal laughing points were Islamic Marriage Rites (Lol Polygamy and instantaneous divorce) and political participation (AKA None) and in particular “dress code”.

For those who have watched this? A simple destruction of her argument. The complement of vocal power, earning potential and domination in all aspects of society (that matter. Being the king of housekeeping pales in comparison to not being eligible for participation at the highest levels of society) is not silence, clothing restrictions and inability to be a part of the public space. Now these may be rules in the idealist Islam that she lives in but the reality is far far removed. The majority of the world’s Muslims do not have the opportunity that she has to demonstrate this work rule.

One of her arguments was that Islamic law does not specifically prohibit women from working–on the contrary, Muslim women can not only work under Islamic law, but they need not share their earned income with their families. Basically, if a Muslim woman has a job, the money she earns is hers and hers alone, while her husband remains obligated to provide any and all economic support for the family, including the necessities his working wife requires for her own upkeep.

Women are allowed to work in Islam, subject to certain conditions, such as if a woman is in financial need and her employment does not cause her to neglect her important role as a mother and wife.

It has been claimed that it is the responsibility of the Muslim community to organize work for women, so that she can do so in a Muslim cultural atmosphere, where her rights (as set out in the Quran) are respected or in “Islamic Conditions”.

  • The work should not require the man or the woman to violate Islamic law (e.g., serving alcohol), and be mindful of the woman’s safety.
  • If the work requires the woman to leave her home, she must maintain her ‘modesty’ just as with men.

Due to cultural and not religious beliefs, in some cases, when women have the right to work and are educated, women’s job opportunities may in practice be unequal to those of men. These rules can be used to discriminate as “women are not picked for high demand jobs” because they are expected to care for the family (in fact the Taliban’s argument is that women should care for the family and not have to trouble themselves with careers at the cost of the children!) and so hiring them would mean an inferior worker as they keep having to put family first. Again the notion that women will be cared for no matter what has lead to the discrimination of women  since men “Need the jobs” but women are there for “fun”. Oh and economic pressure is one of the accepted reasons for a woman to work unlike what Zara Faris said. That one’s a bloody lie. It’s a rosy and unrealistic view about the reality and application of Islamic law. Christian law says Honour thy Father but plenty of Christian kids still have a rebellious teenager phase. 

It’s also because the income of women was meant to be utilised for the education of children.

And lest we forget. An-Nisa 34 exists. AKA “If your wife gives you lip and doesn’t do as she’s told you can totally hit her”. Still want to keep defending it?

I work with a man from Lebanon who confirmed this tradition for me. He has a wife and five children, and works two jobs to support them. His wife stays at home, and that’s exactly where he wants her. Not because he’s being a dominating, repressive, misogynistic man, but because if she CHOSE to work outside the home, he and their children have no right to the smallest share of her income, and yet he is still required to provide for his wife’s basic needs. On the other hand, if she were working, daycare would become a “necessity”, and it would be my coworker who would be stuck with the bill. In other words, if his wife CHOSE to work outside the home, to pay for luxuries only she had any right to indulge in with that money, he would have to take a third job to make it possible for her to do so.

And what’s she going to do with this money? You make it sound like Muslim women go outside and earn mad cash then come home and roll around in it going “MMMMMMM MMONNNEEEYYY” while setting it on fire just to spite the family or spending it on “women’s stuff” (Pictures of Cats and 50 Shades of Grey?).

This is such a bizarre idea that somehow these women will keep the money rather than contribute to the household that they live in. It’s like the man goes out to bring home the bacon (okay maybe not bacon….) busting his arse for hours a day to keep food on the table and the woman spends all the money on lipstick and hair.

Because women be crazy right? Women be bad with money? Women be spending all your money on shoes and er… Faberge Eggs (Listen the last lady I dated was a Russian Countess and in 1900…).

So wait. Is this a woman who doesn’t work because if she works she will have money that she spends on “luxuries” while he has to spend it on child care because “LOL Islam”. Yeah? No. No one is that fucking moronic. It’s either a handy excuse to create a housewife or a lie.

And this is…well, I suppose it’s great for a lot of Muslim women when times are easy. Not so great when things are harsh.

Because Muslim women don’t understand money and economics? Oh how stupid of me.

Dear Muslimah. I read on A Voice for Men that apparently you have difficulty understanding economics.

A simple dictim to get you started. The total amount of expenditure must equal or be lower than the total income unless you are absolutely sure that excess expenditure over a single time period can be made up for over other time periods. In effect? Money in must exceed money out.

And if you have a family you should pull your bloody weight. Apparently everyone is starving while you spend your money on frivolities.

Because when you have a group of people who MUST use their productivity to support themselves and others, and another group who are entitled to be supported by the productivity of others, and no obligation to even be productive… well, when the shit hits the fan, which of these groups is going to be barred from taking the few available jobs? Will it be the group who must use their income to support themselves and other people, or the ones who don’t even have to support themselves?

I thought the market place of jobs was equal and didn’t discriminate between genders for jobs? And this is indeed the argument used to discriminate against women and indeed for the glass ceiling in many Muslim nations despite modernisation and the adoption of the nuclear family where both mother and father “work”.

The fact that MRA and their lady brigade are seriously arguing the same fucking argument we had in the 1950s? .

Under Islamic law, a woman with a job can technically allow her own children to starve, even if she has the money to feed them. If those children DO starve, it is her husband who will be considered socially, morally and legally accountable for failing to provide the necessities of life to his children. And while I doubt there are many women who would actually do this, it’s how the law is written.

Yes, but under Islamic Law the man can simply punch the woman for disobeying his orders. Now I am not saying that Muslim Men are all punching their wives but that’s how the law is written.

You should be very very careful quoting Islamic law around someone with the Internet.

In Afghanistan today, a woman with a job (a job she doesn’t need because under Islamic law she has an entitlement to be supported by her husband, father or son) is not just taking that job from a man, she’s taking food out of the mouths of that man’s family. If she takes a safe, easy job (as women are wont to do), then the man she displaces will have to take a more dangerous one. If he’s killed, she’s taken the provider away from the woman and children who depended on him.

Why do you work when you can  marry some rich man? 

I am sorry, I was wondering what a Lady MRA is doing pushing the gold digger stereotype. It’s the gold digger right?

Do you know why women want to work in Afghanistan? Do you know why they should work? Women want to work because it’s “freedom”. It is having the same rights and same obligations and being treated the same as men.

When the first government of the new Afghanistan nation convened they were effectively forced to allow (they didn’t want any) female MPs. Female MPs who are routinely sexually harassed and belittled. Female MPs who are there to fill seats. Any proposals made by them are downvoted on principle and the election of female candidates was treated as a beauty contest.

This argument here is faulty because it doesn’t understand economic growth. You need both genders working to create a modern society because society is labour intensive. You cannot have large numbers of potential workers sitting at home twiddling their thumbs (or indeed groaning under the weight of a repressive society where leaving the house results in death).

In Afghanistan this means getting the few women with skills back out into the workforce. This Means Affirmative Action.This means that jobs that would have gone to men had women been under the Taliban now are going to go to women. This is is going to create a normalisation of the notion that women are allowed to work and do what they like. This is to repair decades of gender apartheid. This is to train a new generation of doctors and teachers.  Things needed to build a nation. The Taliban seek to destroy this. Women and students are regularly targeted and killed.

To make this argument as a Muslim Man From Afghanistan would have had me go “You are a product of the Taliban era. Their vile ideas have poisoned your mind and their utilisation of a conservative view of Islam has destroyed Afghanistan”. It’s a “fear” and it’s the same fear that people had in the 40s when women took over men’s jobs in the factories for the War. But it was proven wrong. We aren’t seeing a massive failure of society because women went to work. There are not hordes of unemployed men because women took their jobs. What we saw is an expansion of economy. Where more jobs were created because we had more workers to do those jobs. And even when the shift from manufacturing to service economy occurred in the UK and indeed the USA, the “female excess” still didn’t somehow deny men a job.

To say it as a privileged woman and as part of the MRA brigade is a fucking travesty. You are literally ignoring the horrendous treatment of women in Afghanistan and the utter reality of Afghanistan of a total lack of basic support aimed at women in order to push the notion that women don’t have it so bad in Afghanistan and so feminists such as Orzala are not needed to protect them?

No. This is unacceptable. You are a vile human being. You are as bad as those who support the Taliban. Because they believe these things because their religion tells them to through their Mullahs. You? You have no excuse. You willingly chose to fuck over and poison the struggle of women in Afghanistan so you could win brownie points for your brigade of MRA seals who clap their hands and go arf arf arf everytime you bash women for them.

Likewise, if her daughter takes one of the few available desks in school, someone else’s son may be denied an education and the future job he will be obligated to take, to support both himself and the people who are entitled to his support, will be less well-paying, and the quality of life of multiple people will suffer.

The systemic lack of education in women has ensured that women cannot have any future or agency.

To have the privilege of guaranteed education but to seek to deny it to others is a crime. The women who have come back to Afghanistan to teach risk death to ensure that the young women of Afghanistan will have a future that isn’t just “behind a curtain” and hidden away from society to suffer alone and in silence.

But one that’s bright.

You may have wasted your education (this clearly is a waste of English) but these young girls do not. They are willing to die for their words and their numbers. In India I have seen schools where the boys sit at desks and the girls sit on the floor. There are women in Afghanistan and Pakistan who WANT to sit on the floor to get an education. The women who teach them risk death too. Many have come back home to teach.

When women got educated in schools, men didn’t suddenly stop getting an education. Education is a start, it lets women have the same knowledge base as men and so allows them to effect the same knowledge on their environment. This means both groups have an equal set of skills that allows them to be hired.

This means you can take bigger projects with twice as many workers because you are now blessed with an excess of them. In addition? It allows women  to run businesses of their own and create jobs. Karen’s argument is that there are a set number of jobs out there and once they are filled that’s it. There is no job creation and the economy is fixed rather than something that can grow to fill needs. And Afghanistan?

Oh it’s got a lot of needs.

It still doesn’t excuse this.

And Islamic law and custom is so strict on this set of entitlements and obligations that in Afghanistan, you can find 13 year old boys selling themselves as sex slaves to provide for their mothers and sisters.

The sexual abuse of young boys in pedarastic relationships is a major problem with many soldiers having to turn a blind eye to the practice because it would lose them a lot of support from local translators and the fear of cultural imperialism since in Afghanistan you are considered “A man” at that age. You grow up fast in such a culture.

Islamic Law in most Islamic countries punishes homosexuality with imprisonment. Seven muslim nations carry the death penalty for it.

Afghanistan is one of them.

However Bacha Bazi (or Boy Play) is not considered sex as much as “fun”. Unfortunately for us it’s still sex with a minor. It’s an extremely common practice and while the Taliban “OFFICIALLY” looked down upon it, it still occurred behind closed doors. The punishment was still death.

And if 13 year old boys are turning tricks due to poverty then surely it would be better to let their mothers get jobs and educate their sisters so that the next generation of 13 year olds don’t have to turn tricks to feed their mothers?

Echoes of this set of entitlements and obligations resounded in the western world after feminism had its way with the second half of the 19th century. Prior to that time, a woman’s income and property was subsumed by her husband, but depending on where you are, that all changed sometime between the mid 1800s and the turn of the century, at which point women’s income and property rights in the west actually became a carbon copy of what exists under Islam.

Yes. This much is true.

A story in the Milwaukee Journal from 1912 illustrates this quite well, in its examination of the tactics of British suffragettes who used a loophole in the law to turn their husbands into prison-cell activists by manipulating the exact same legal and cultural standards at play in Afghanistan. To elaborate, a married woman’s income and property had been emancipated, by feminist activism, from the institution of family for some time–not just from her husband’s influence, mind you, but from anyone’s benefit but her own. However, her husband’s patriarchal obligations to finance her “necessities” remained intact, and one of those necessities was the burden of taxation on her income. If she earned income, her husband and children had no right to it, but her husband, not herself, was the person obligated to pay tax on that income. If he had no means to pay–after paying for all the material necessities of the entire family, including his wife–it was he who would be imprisoned for tax evasion.

Editor’s note: See that 1912 story here. –DE

Ah yes.

The story of Mark Wilks and his tragic jailing at the hands of his horrible wife who gave a new weapon to those suffragettes! A story in the Milwaukee Journal? I can do one better.

You see Mark and his wife (in the Milwaukee Journal? She’s Mrs. Mark Wilks!) Elizabeth were BOTH SUFFRAGETTES. They discovered a legal issue where men are “Responsible” for the actions of their women. And they both lobbied and protested for tax reformation with regards to women. Namely that women should be entitled to the same privileges and responsibilities as men and should not be beholding to men to pay their taxes. The “Horrid” suffragettes thought it was unfair. For Men.

So as a protest. Mark agrees to go to jail for a crime he did not commit. Elizabeth dodges her taxes. Mark gets sent to prison for it as an act of civil disobedience since Elizabeth had her own business and the Suffragettes at the time were demonstrating that if they did not have the vote then why should they fund the government from their businesses?

Dear MRA?

Please Research Your Villains.

What I find amusing in all of this, since in the west these circumstances had only emerged due to feminist activism, is that Islamic law had enshrined these particular ideals of women’s liberation long before the Declaration of Sentiments was signed at Seneca Falls in 1848, or even Mary Wollstonecraft’s Vindication of the Rights of Women was penned in the late 1700s.

Yet Islamic nations are some of the worst for the treatment of women. Funny that Islamic law is specifically vague and power in the household is still given to men with women beholding to them in many other ways.

This is why the idea of male privilege is so fucking bogus. Privileges are entitlements. What men have had through history wasn’t entitlement, because it was a necessary element of their obligations–a tool handed to men because it was needed by men in order to fulfil their legally, economically and socially enforced obligations to women and children, not because penis.

Yes, men need all that education to go keep women in lipstick. Men need to vote because women are too interested in corsets. Men need to have jobs because women need to care for babies.

Privilege isn’t a tool. You are.

There are duties and there are rights. To have a duty necessarily entails having a right. The rights granted generally facilitate one’s ability to perform one’s duties. If one has no such duties, the rights required to fulfil them are not only unnecessary, they may actually be detrimental to the ability of others to fulfil their duties to you.


Rights come before duties. You have the right to say the idiotic things that you have. There is no duty you need to perform before you are allowed to sprout well poisoning bullshit and stamp all over the women of Afghanistan who are fighting for basic equality.

My duty as a medic doesn’t let give me rights to do stuff. I can’t get away being racist to the Dutch (I am not racist to those Orange Wearing Stroopwafel eaters) for example. The rights we have may be made better and easier to perform through the duties we have (Eg. My right to employment leads to my duty as a doctor which leads to me earning the money to allow me to avail myself of the right to purchase a house).

You are trying to excuse the differences and privileges men have in society because they are more likely to work while denying women who work the same privileges and differences. And you are also denying women in Afghanistan the right to work and the right to get educated so that they can work.

If you have a duty to be productive economically and utilize that productivity to economically provide for yourself and others, you must have a right to engage in activities that result in economic productivity. If you have a duty to make sure you and others have the material necessities of life such as clothing, shelter, and food, then you must have the right to determine that the money is spent on clothing, shelter and food. If you have a duty to protect yourself and others, you must have a right to make decisions for yourself and those you protect, and a right to place yourself in danger.

These duties are no longer associated by gender in our society. Joy of joys, men are no longer expected to always bring home the bacon because women can do it now too.

If you don’t have those duties, you do not need the rights attached to them. In fact, you having those rights may actually interfere with the duties of others to provide the entitlements you enjoy through their obligation.

Bollocks. Rights are universal and not associated with duties. We aren’t Rome where you only got certain rights if you did things for Rome.

This is disturbing to say the least. That there are women who would happily give up the right to vote if it meant they were not working because the right to vote initially was associated with land ownerships and taxation.

And when everyone’s living on the bottom tier of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, you’re probably not going to be given those rights, because you having them would interfere with the ability of those who do to perform them, for you or for someone else who is entitled to them.



The bottom rung of Maslow’s Hierarchy is money enough to buy food, shelter and warmth. I for example am at this stage. I gain the other bits by typing insanely long articles about wankers. Okay fine! I have other parts of the pyramid too in Tiga but if we ignore her for the purpose of the argument, I am at the bottom.

I refuse to have my rights taken away by some Taliban Supporting MRA because she doesn’t want to use her rights.

A husband cannot fulfil his duty provide for a wife if someone else’s wife displaces him from the workforce. A husband cannot fulfil his duty to ensure his family has the things they need if he doesn’t manage the family purse. A husband cannot fulfil his duty to protect a wife if she is not required to duck when he tells her to duck.

I have heard this argument before. As I wrote this I realised what this is.

If it wasn’t for those foreigners I would have a job.

If it wasn’t for those women I would have job.

Feminism doesn’t say that a “Husband’s Duty” is to provide for his wife. In fact one of the points about feminism is that it breaks down gender roles so you aren’t expected to do something simply because “Society Says So”. That both of you are responsible for the same things and any division of labour is via who is best at what or is equally shared.

So I can do the laundry and cook. I don’t see why I have to sit with a beer when Tiga is in the kitchen when I can do the housework and clean up just fine.

Historically, all of these things–provisioning, protection and support–were FEMALE entitlements. This is female privilege. And, though I hate to borrow a phrase from feminism, what happened in Afghanistan around barring women from work and girls from education, is essentially female privilege backfiring on women and girls. When jobs are scarce, you don’t give them to people who have an entitlement to benefit from the obligation of others to work. When education is scarce, you don’t give that to people who have an entitlement to benefit from the obligation of others that is facilitated by education. You give those things to the people who have a duty to share the benefits of them with others, not the people who are legally allowed to hog all those benefits for themselves.

Because men didn’t need to be provisioned, protected and supported. Because they had skills that meant they were independent.

This just gets worse and worse. We have had victim blaming of the fucking Taliban. Like the ladies of Afghanistan were seductively demonstrating their financial independence while relying on men and sighing that they wished for all men to work all day and keep them at home where they can kick their feet up and the Taliban came in and made their wish true. Like the Taliban are some evil and malicious genie.

Women in Burkhas clearly wished for clothes that looked the same no matter their figure!

Afghanistan is not a society that oppresses women. It’s a society where everyone’s stuck in the grip of cruel circumstances and Islamic laws that burden men with duties that require rights, and bestow entitlements on women that don’t, and coping the best way they can. And the only way you’re going to “improve” the situation for women and girls in Afghanistan, you know, get them access to jobs outside the home or to educations and not have a huge backlash, is to remove the entitlement women have to the material support and protection of men, and thereby remove men’s obligation to provide those things. Until you do those things, you’re just spinning your wheels, and harming the only people who have any obligation to anyone but themselves, while handing unfettered potential to earn money and power to people who don’t even have a duty to feed of their own children.

Yes and those bullets fired at Malala were just so she could get Asylum in the UK. It’s not oppression! See she now has the love of millions, a proper education and was on the cover of Time. In other words? The Taliban got her precisely what she wanted.

If women are not oppressed in Afghanistan. I trust Karen would wish to live like them.

Another example of female privilege backfiring would be the continually skewing sex gap in births in China. Female fetuses are selected for abortion. Female babies are abandoned, drowned or smothered. And feminists would have you believe this is because men in China are privileged and arbitrarily over-valued, and women hated and arbitrarily undervalued.

It’s because the majority of China comes from a culture of agriculture and serf levell agriculture. In China a boy “belonged” to the family while a girl would leave the family to live with her husband. In their old age, the boys would support the previous generation. In short? Male children were seen as an investment for the future. Female children were “worse than useless”. In a serf culture food is a scarcity so in lean months female children were not fed because they were literally less valuable to the survival of the family. On the existence line and doing the “horrid calculus of survival” these families had to get rid of female children because the “rice” used to raise her was in effect wasted while the rice used to raise a boy would ensure the parents survival when they were older and net not just one worker but two (his wife). So a boy was effectively worth “two” people” while the girl was “minus one” (since she would leave and join some other family). On the starvation line that calculus was necessary. I don’t condone it but I understand why it takes place. We are not starving so that logic is madness to us.

And I am afraid we must object on a “Reality” note here. China’s main problem is gender selective abortion, not female infanticide these days. Because female infanticide is illegal but gender selective abortion is not. Access to healthcare is vastly improved these days and even this is going down as women have started aiding in keeping their parents in their old age and the rise of nuclear families and industrialisation means that farming has gotten less labour intensive and so the value of sons has dropped.

But you can read any Chinese newspaper and come across stories about this elderly couple or that elderly couple, suing their sons for not taking proper care of them in their old age. You never see any of them suing their daughters, because their daughters have no obligation–legal or social–to take care of them. A girl’s parents actually still have an obligation to take care of her, if she doesn’t marry and can’t (or refuses to) support herself.

I checked. In fact I couldn’t find any reference to these stories. Any Chiinese readers out there can confirm or deny it?

For all of Mao’s rhetoric about women holding up half the sky, he did nothing to ensure women did so when the sky was full of elderly people who needed economic support, did he? He liberated women by encouraging they exploit their own economic productivity without holding them responsible for even themselves, but oddly enough, kept men chained to their traditional, non-egalitarian obligations.

Because Mao was a great general but a bloody useless pollitician. His “Great Leap Forward” can be seen as a sharp downturn of the Chinese  economy and was proof that you couldn’t just get university professors to work in farms and farmers to make iron. All that happened was that crops failed and China had a lot of useless iron.

Young men send money to their families because it’s traditional. Not because of Mao.

In China, you have no social safety net to speak of, nothing much in the way of social security or pensions, no one but your son to make sure you don’t starve when you’re too old to work…and you have a policy that allows you to have only one child.

Social welfare in China pre-1980 had the needs fulfilled from cradle to grave. Child Care, Education, Job Placement, Housing, Subsistence, Healthcare, Pensions were the responsibility per work uniit and administered through state enterprise. As those systems disappeared or were reformed, the “iron rice bowl” approach to welfare changed. In fact, Article 14 of the Chinese constitution stipulates that the state “builds and improves a welfare system that corresponds with the level of economic development.”

Other reforms? Post 1990 have included unemployment benefits, medical insurance, worker’s compensation, injury compensation, maternity benefits, improved pensions as dependant on contribution, communal pension pay outs, universal healthcare and carbon credits.

And in 2015, China will adopt a minimum wage (40% of average urban salary).

As for the one child policy? The one child policy only applies in urban China. In rural china the limit is two if the first is a girl. In addition there are specific exceptions to the policy (eg.. Adoption) and the one child policy is enforced through extra taxation. You have to pay a “Child tax” beyond the first.

You are allowed to have more than one child, it’s just that they cost more. However the more modern policy is now “Two children”.

What do you think is going to happen when you have that situation and couple it with a set of gendered duties and entitlements that mean a family who has a boy is potentially a two-child family (son and daughter in law), and one who has a girl is in the best case scenario a no-child family.

The state provides. So much so that the fall of the Iron Rice Bowl has had protests.

If feminists really cared about what’s going on in China, what they’d do is agitate to burden women with a duty of care for their parents, or emancipate men from said duty. That would solve the problem, eventually.

Actually many women in China have started paying for their parents and indeed the formation of state pensions mean that young men don’t have to give their money to their parents but they do so out of tradition. However the problem is that the pension system is untenable (because of China’s negative growth resulting in a population that’s getting old).

And this is without pointing out that Karen really doesn’t care enough about China to have checked the wikipedia article about the social system of China (Come on! A Communist Founded Nation with NO SOCIALIST STRUCTURES?). She doesn’t care about the men and women of China, she just wants to say “If Feminists really cared about China”.

I know there are families in China who want girls, who even favor them, because even given this harsh economic incentive, many families still have girls, and because in rural areas where families can sometimes get away with having more than one child, they’ll often have a girl as well as a boy.

Er… That’s because the one child policy allows for an extra child if it’s a girl.

But you won’t stop people from preferring boys under a one-child policy until you obligate girls to be as useful and exploitable to their families as boys are. You just won’t. You especially won’t if men’s obligations make them useful to their parents while women’s entitlements make them a potential burden to those parents in old age.

Or you know. Break down the reason for exploitation of the youth.

You certainly won’t solve the problem by attributing it to “male privilege” and “lack of equal rights for women”. Because that’s not what’s causing it. What’s causing it is a lack of equal obligation for women. You can give women all the same rights as men, but if they don’t have the same obligations as men, they won’t be treated equally, and that inequality is going to emerge in extreme forms during extreme circumstances like Afghanistan after 30 years of decimation, and China when people are only allowed one child and circumstances are such that that one child will be either a crutch or a pair of cement shoes when you’re too old to work.

No one ever has. Every single statement about the Chinese gender discrepancy has been due to cultural preferences brought about by a culture of agriculture and the same logic that drives gender discrepancy in India probably applies there as traditional society is awfully similar in these two parts of the world by structure.

Societies don’t oppress women or privilege men. They do tend to treat men and women differently and exploit them in different ways. What feminism seems to be about is expanding women’s rights without applying obligations, and expanding women’s entitlements while freeing them from the restrictions that used to be necessary for men to fulfil them. They’re about giving women the advantages of being a man without any of the costs, and removing the costs of being a woman without giving up any of the advantages.

Then why isn’t the MRA movement about removing the costs of being a man but instead about supporting misogyny?

When men got the vote, (and for a long time prior to that) they were obligated to serve their countries if need be, and obligated to serve their communities through civil conscription–bucket brigades, assisting police officers, things like that. When women got the vote, they had no reciprocal obligation placed on them.


And where is conscription today? The USA doesn’t have conscription even though it’s on the cards because a standing professional army is superior to conscript forces. The Marian Reforms of Rome discovered that and incentivised combat as a career. As did the US Army post Vietnam.

Assisting police officers? We have a professional police force these days. Bucket Brigades? I will tell you what. You and your boys form a bucket brigade… I will get a couple of firemen (steady on ladies and some gentlemen) and demonstrate the superior technology of a fire engine and a high pressure hose.

Seriously? Did we just time travel and listen to her demand women be forced to be part of conscription bucket brigades?

When men received automatic custody after divorce, it was because they were solely obligated to support the children. When early feminists pushed through the TYD, that obligation did not shift onto women–mothers got custody, but fathers were still required to provide material support. Incidentally, once this doctrine was in place, the divorce rate, which had been a constant for centuries, increased 15-fold in just 50 years. Huh.

Actually what increased the divorce rate was that divorce was made no fault and the stigma of divorce was reduced. In addition female empowerment meant they wanted “things” from marriage and seeking their own happiness was one of them.

The Divorce Rate Was Constant because people couldn’t get divorced without one of them being at fault and being at fault meant you lost “control”. Oh and Alimony works both ways. If you had an equal playing field then alimony would be paid by women as well as men in equal amounts.

And the bill that was recently vetoed in Florida, that might have ended lifetime alimony? One of the primary justifications for that bill was that more women were finding themselves paying lifetime alimony to former partners due to mass male unemployment during the recession, and those women had just never expected they’d have to and thought it was unfair. By more women, I’m thinking probably 3% of all lifetime alimony payers in Florida. What do you know? Being treated like a man in every way just ain’t that great, is it? And contrary to what feminists try to tell people, it never has been.

So women forced through a bill to protect 3% of all lifetime alimony payers despite the other 97% benefiting women? Boy your feminist baddies are fucking stupid.

In reality the bill was sponsored because the current alimony laws are deeply unfair and in a culture of economic downturn it was harming single parents. It was ditched because the pay boundaries were too large. You won’t get alimony if you are married for less than 11 years which is a pretty long time really. If you trade 11 years of your career to stay at home and get no alimony it’s still a lost opportunity. The recommendations were to tie alimony to total number of years of support and to cap alimony for high income individuals because money isn’t as much of an issue with “doctors who are married” since both earn way and above the average income.

The other reason it was ditched was that the law was meant to work retro-actively which is “bad” since many people suddenly would stop getting alimony overnight and others would have to pay it back dumping more people into debt.

That bill was put forward because women don’t like to be obligated the way men are–to pay their whole lives for the upkeep of a former spouse–and even a tiny percentage of them being forced to do it will get people to rethink a law that has obligated men for decades or even centuries.

It wasn’t put forward because of this. The sponsors of the bill were mainly men.

Hell, just dare to suggest that a woman who chooses to have a baby without the consent of the biological father should be solely financially responsible for that child, let alone that a woman who chose to leave her husband out of boredom and take the kids with her should finance her own decision, and you’ll face vicious opposition from most feminists. Even though that exact situation–getting the kids and the entire job of feeding them–is defined as “historical male privilege” and “patriarchal oppression of women” when it used to happen to men.

So if a woman rapes you and gets pregnant then you are liable for the child? Nah! I know what they are whinging about. IF you donate sperm and get a lady pregnant she can make you pay child support.

The Uniform Parentage Act (UPA), first promulgated in 1973. provides that a husband who consents in writing to the insemination of his wife under the supervision of a physician is considered the legal father of any resulting child absolving the donor. The statues also make clear that a donor who provides semen to a licensed physician for use in artificial insemination of someone other than his wife is not considered a legal father of the child with no obligations to this child. Some states have now adopted a version of the UPA revised in 2000, which does not require that the donor provide the sperm to a licensed physician to be considered a non-parent. In addition, some states have statutes that allow the parties to avoid this presumption of non-parenthood if the parties enter into a written agreement that the donor will have parental rights.

Again? No research.

Frankly, if women today were forced to bear the burdens that were historically had imposed on men, for which their greater rights were little more than the tools required to do the job, I think 99% of women would consider it a raw deal, and 99% of feminists would call it “oppression of women”. The fact that they’d see it that way just shows how privileged in many ways women have always been, and how shallow feminists’ view of the world, past and present, really is.

Except that feminists have been breaking down the gender roles associated with those burdens so that men aren’t beholding to them. The only men who insist on tilting at windmills are the MRA.

So I have an idea. How about feminists perform a little experiment.

First go to China and try to sell the idea of obligating daughters economically to their parents the way sons are. See if any of these young women will jump at the opportunity to take care of shit like a man is expected to.

I do it in India. A country that is regarded as one of the worst for women. I routinely point out that women can hold down high paying jobs and are doing well. I routinely tell parents to space their kids out and have fewer children. I argue against dowries and am staunchly involved in halting domestic violence.

India doesn’t have a one child only policy but it does have female infanticide and gender selection too and I fight that. In fact the area I am in is moving towards a normalised birth ratio thanks to the actions of everyone involved from rural healthcare workers to the actors who help push the message.

Next, go to Afghanistan and tell women they are allowed to do anything their husbands do–work, get an education, even have custody of their children. Hell, tell them they can have all the BEST jobs. All they have to do is give up any and all entitlements to provision and protection, any and all obligation on the part of the men in their lives–fathers, husbands, brothers, sons–to help or support them, and let them know they’ll have to single-handedly provide for the material needs of any children they have. You’re on your own, honey. Grrl power. Good luck.

Only if Karen goes to the Taliban and tells them to stop killing women who work and then destroys the culture of discrimination against women and undoes the decades (40 years and more) of gender discrimination at the hands of the Mujahadeen and Taliban.

I am sure they would LOVE to listen to you.

Lest we forget. There are feminists in Afghanistan. Feminists who have died for their cause.

How many Afghan women does anyone think would take them up on it? When even in a middle class neighborhood in London–where she enjoys a set of rights similar to men’s, and would actually be capable of real economic independence–a Muslim woman can argue against feminism on the basis that Muslim women might have to give up codified female entitlements provided through male obligation?


Zara Faris is doing what I like to call “Applied Theology”. The world is a terrible place for Muslims if their religion is wrong so it must be right in all ways. It cannot even be wrong on one aspect. It is the divine word of their god. If the world is different? Then the world is incorrect.

So Zara must fight feminism. She must portray her hijab as empowerment. Forgetting that in the UK she has a choice to wear it or not. We will protect her. In most of the Muslim world there is no choice. She cannot even chose to dress how she choses and instead excuses her dress code under the guise of modesty. To her admission of feminism means to admit that Islam is not perfect.

So she must fight tooth and nail. She must agree that domestic violence in some cases is acceptable under the nebulous definition of what those cases are. She must refuse to accept the rights of the GLBT. She must acccept discrimination by the logic of “It’s not discrimination, it’s complementary roles”.

I hate to tell you this, Zara Faris, but you really don’t have to worry about any of that. Feminists aren’t going to take away your privileges or remove your husband’s obligations to you. They’re only interested in taking away his privileges and removing your obligations.

I hate to tell you this.

But Zara Faris is not the reality of Islam. If we look at the statistics and experiences of women who do live under the enshrined law of Islam which Zara Faris is flogging, then we realise that most do not live in a pleasant world.

To defend Afghanistan and it’s culture of being arguably one of the WORST places in the world to be a woman is to deny every piece of suffering women in Afghanistan have gone through. It is to deny the loss of agency. It is to deny the destruction of culture. It is to deny their oppression. Their state enforced ignorance. It is to deny the deaths of those who fought for equality. It is to deny the deaths of those who denied men or the scars they faced. To defend such a place in the comfort of western society is an act of sheer ignorance and villainy. To defend the actions of the Taliban is nothing but the actions of oxygen thieves.

Okay so this is the end of the article. It’s a big piece. However? I fear they may delete it hence it’s print in entirety. I also fear they will delete the comments so I figured you guys should read a few. I certainly read them all.

So how many people are standing up and saying “Are you kidding me?” or “Maybe you should do some research”? How many MRA have the decency to be counted and say “This is bad, you are actively supporting the oppression of women in one of the worst places to be one for the sake of bashing women”. How many MRA do the decent thing.

This is very well written article and I thank you for an informative read. I have to agree that at the times that I lift my head up from my labours and glance about all I ever see are my obligations and I very rarely see anything I would personally identify as a privilege. It is an honor and a joy to care for my wife and share our combined trials and triumphs… as I am obligated to do. It is no less an honor to be father and mentor to my children… and no less an obligation. I could go on, of course, but whole heartedly agree with the author’s statement that many, if not all of the rights and abilities possessed by men – and arbitrarily named privilege by some – are tools helping me fulfill and satisfy my many, many obligations. – Jared Spencer

Nah! When I first made fun of them I surreptitiously called them “A Voice for Me”. Pretty accurate.

Women, women, women. An article by a woman…being interviewed by another woman…about muslim[Afghan] women.

I am just going to comment here so that the name of this site – “A Voice for Men” – is not shown to be entirely inaccurate.

Thank you for your past [and more judiciously helpful] efforts. – Meistergedanken

To be fair this is down voted and both Paul Elam and Dean Esmay come out to knock him down.

One of the things I love most about these kinds of comments is that they almost all come from someone who is bothering to show up in the comments for the first time. And sad to say they almost always come from men who are whining about a female writing here but have not even bothered to show up in the comments to support or lend their voice to the predominately male podium.

Sorta makes me inclined to say, thanks for sharing, stupid. Now, do you do any other tricks, or is the the extent of your talent limited to not knowing the difference between “A Voice for Men” vs “A Voice by Men”? – Paul Elam

Interesting. Not a single word about “Maybe you shouldn’t support the Taliban’s treatment of women or excuse a culture of discrimination because it makes us look like wankers”.

You obviously did not get the memo. The site’s new name is “A woman’s voice for queers.” Elam’s already in the physical transitioning phase of his sex change. He’s going to make quite the Amazon. – Dean Esmay

Ho Ho Ho! Trannies are Gross! AMIRITE? You know what it sounds like? Holy fuck someone’s a horrible human being, better try and beat them. A lot of the MRA agree with him so they all get lumped into that.


GWW, you are going to receive death threats soon. GOOD JOB!

Handle your bidness girlllllll. Just kidding, but seriously, keep kicking their butt. I am content to know that I am not the only one seeing it this way. – El Bastardo

No. Nothing I can threaten her with possibly compares to what she is doing to herself. And the worst thing is she doesn’t even realise it. Her punishment is to be Karen Straughan AKA the Girl Who Writes.

By avoiding women I get to be a lot more free than I would be otherwise, but for my freedom isn’t free. I’m weird and creepy and probably gay. WHAT A LOSER HE DOESN’T HAVE A GIRLFRIEND!

Hah, anyway, very intelligently thought out and well said. I’m a big fan of GirlWritesWhat. – Comrade Prescott

At no point when I was single has anyone gone “what a loser, he doesn’t have a girlfriend”.

And I am someone who has used (jokingly but successfully) the line “All my dates end at the morgue, one may as well start there. Would you like to go on a date with me to see a human dissection?” (It’s not Tiga. Although I wish she said yes to that when I tried it on her. Why do women don’t understand romance!)

But yes no complaint.

It always disturbs me just how readily the majority of people seem to ignore, or never even begin thinking about, all of this, these potential answers for why cultures work the way they do, and the true nature of obligations, rights and duties, and instead accept the idea that every non-First World culture is busy maliciously oppressing women while letting men live the good life, and “just because” on top of it. I wonder at times if it’s a form of racial or tribal bigotry. After all, the protection and provision of women is so fundamental to most cultures’ sense of ethics that they can easily paint other nations as uncivilized in the public’s eyes by accusing them of “not treating their women properly”, or singling out the people they should be protecting for abuse. See for example: any wartime propaganda, ever. – GQuan

Yes. All the media representations and depictions of the struggle of women in Afghanistan? Made Up!

You have destroyed so many pet myths in one fell swoop. Brilliant as usual !

Karen, you make it so easy for me to laugh whenever someone accuses me of not liking strong women.

Yep! she doesn’t need to blow her trumpet! – Bewildered

If you did an ounce of research you would have realised that many of her myths were incorrect to begin with.

You have destroyed so many pet myths in one fell swoop.

I can just imagine the flood of logic and raw fact causing many feminist brainstemmers to go into some sort of state of toxic shock. Imagine salt being poured onto a garden slug… – Feeriker

You need to open a dictionary and understand what logic and raw fact means.

“Societies don’t oppress women or privilege men. They do tend to treat men and women differently and exploit them in different ways.”

^This. So. Fucking. Much. This little soundbite is an empire-killer. – Alexander Hunt

We are all in shit, it’s the depth that varies. Men in Afghanistan may be up to their necks in it but they are standing on the shoulders of women.

Karen, this has to be your best work yet (for the moment, that is – I know there will be even greater things to come from your pen and mouth)!

This should be required reading for EVERYONE, man or woman, feminist or traditionalist. As others have already noted, there is yet to be published a more clear and concise explanation (and de-confliction) of the natural order. I would certainly hope that Mika Rekai, your interviewer, has an absolutely clear understanding of the points you’ve made. I don’t think it’s possible to make reality and clearer or simpler. – Feeriker (again)

Oh yes. It’s certainly required reading.

I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I once witnessed a couple of blonde, obviously western, women trying to persuade a couple of Saudi Arabian women, that they were being oppressed by their husbands.

This happened back in the mid-eighties. Next time I saw them they were running down the street with a bunch of native women in close pursuit, swearing and cussing at them.

Ahh, sweet memories…Their male escort were laughing just as much as I did. – Kimski

Ah remember that time I wrote about the fair and balanced society of Saudi Arabia and it’s treatment of women?

 read the whole thing and my only complaint is the whiplash I got from nodding unceasingly.
Your mind is beautiful, Karen! – Deucalion

I fear there is greater damage than that.


As a woman supported by a man, I can tell you who has the sweet deal here. That would be me. The idea that I am oppressed because I am a housewife is utterly laughable.


Let’s see: my work consists of pretty much whatever I feel like, and I do it whenever I feel like, to the standards that happen to appeal to me that day.

Bills due? What are those?

It is absurd that the law gives me the power to take all this from my husband on a whim. He could spend his entire working life paying for me to make cookies and mop the floor and crochet cute hats for the kids, and then I could just take it all.

Who is oppressed again? Who is taking the risk here? Who is putting his entire safety and security into the hands of another?

It’s not me.

I have all the privilege. All of it.

And while I’m grateful, I’m also deeply angry that the odds of my children being able to have this life are growing vanishingly small because how the hell does a man take a risk like this?

Something has to give. And destroying the fallacy that it is MEN who have privileges while women do not is an excellent way to start.

Well done, Karen. Well done indeed. – Judgy Bitch

Yep! You are just like an Afghanistani Woman! You have the same fears as the do.

When I wrote about the Saudi women who are kept in the laps of luxury by their rich husbands I wrote a line that was appropriate to this.

The difference between your house and their house is that your house has the locks on the inside.

And Judgy Bitch is no newcomer to the shitty person square dance. She’s blamed the victim of the Steubenville Rape and the victims of the Jimmy Saville case. Yes. She has defended paedophiles.

fantastic! – Fathers4fairness

Not quite the words I would have used.

Fantastic articulation of the complicated interplay of rigid roles and behaviors when seen through the idiocy of a feminist lens. OPPRESSION!

Thank you Karen for a powerful piece that should be read by all. I will never forget telling a politician in 2007 that I didn’t think women were oppressed. He looked at me with an open mouth incredulous stare that I will never forget. He was bright enough to get a sense that maybe he had been duped. Most people are simply not that smart and will simply get furious that you are stupid enough to think the world is round! – Tom Golden

Yes. Because a culture that kills women for honour crime is no oppressive to women.

Incredible a Muslim woman tells the MRM perspective as if spoken from the pages of AVfM. I have gained an unexpected respect. GWW pulls this all together in her own special way and I’m humbled, feeling joy and tears of sadness at the same time in the wonder that these women get it. Islam gets the major points but missed a few fundamentals such as a shared perspective in men and women supporting the family while providing mutual support to each based on their abilities in the broader world. Maybe as a natural consequence of shared love this happens, but society in its perpetual need to forge people’s lives it intervenes. I think this is a consequence of bad actors. The best we can do is level the playing field. – Grumpy Old Man

Aww… still no “maybe supporting the Taliban’s treatment of women is bad”. Weird….

Very good exposition by GWW.

I would dare say that what was written above closely reflects what really has occurred in many cultures operating in what Warren Farrell once described as being in survivalist mode. Western society has long since passed through this phase of development but unreasonable strains upon the men-folk and an unchallenged feminism may eventually lead us back to, if not a feral society, but an impoverished one.

Collected evidence and transposed into working summaries mounts continually with each passing day showing the shallowness that feminist doctrine truly is. Many people are due for a good stern talking to. Maybe some behind the wood shed. Growth can sometimes be embarrassingly painful. Nothing like the vociferously applied hickory switch of reason as a means.

The unyielding ‘gender’ ideologue you’re familiar with today will become a quivering mess of supplication tomorrow. Then men and women can tend to what matters most in their adult lives – healthy families and communities.
(Yet, sadly, there are other pressing matters to contend with as well). – Universe

You heard it folks. Women being equal to men will lead us to Afghanistan. Because the Taliban were such staunch femiinists (Remember they did send Malala to get proper healthcare and education!)

Karen, you are so right. But you, we, no one can talk this truth to most women; they simply will not get it because their feelings (emotions + wishes) will interfere, skewing their perceptions of reality and obscuring the way things really should be overall for our greater success as a species. This is why they charge us with “hatred”. It is their feelings taking over their otherwise rational selves.

Feminism is the manifestation of their feelings (wishes) which is why they staunchly defend their feelings…all …ALL of them are valid, according to them.

It is for these reasons I do not think true equality is attainable, naturally or synthetically. Our task is to get men to be honest with women about all this truth. You DO speak the truth. …and the feminists despise it. …and most of today’s men are cowards now…so frustrating.

Thank you for your ever-confirming wit.

“In Afghanistan today, a woman with a job (a job she doesn’t need because under Islamic law she has an entitlement to be supported by her husband, father or son) is not just taking that job from a man, she’s taking food out of the mouths of that man’s family. If she takes a safe, easy job (as women are wont to do), then the man she displaces will have to take a more dangerous one. If he’s killed, she’s taken the provider away from the woman and children who depended on him.”
—It doesn’t matter to those kinds of women whom they displace and hurt. Feminism, in reality, is selfishness in any society. It will corrupt women, hurting all, including themselves. It is as if feminism is a disease.

Karen, you are brilliant! You are witty, articulate, and HONEST. You could really take this movement a lot of places. I am curious as to how duped people (both feminists AND cowardly men) take you when they find out how right you are, how solid you are, how “undupable” you are?

You speak the truth so well that feminists must be squirming. No wonder they try to censor you (and us).

“The fact that they’d see it that way just shows how privileged in many ways women have always been, and how shallow feminists’ view of the world, past and present, really is.”
—said another way… their feelings are skewing their perceptions of reality. I say that all the time. It is not meanness or hatred; it is TRUE!

To a corrupted woman’s mind, whatever doesn’t make them feel good, is “oppressive”.



Another suggestion: can we make sure every member of both sides of congress, and all other governmental entities on the globe get a copy of this article? In fact, perhaps a program can be implemented so that each participant can “sponsor” the process, one legislative person at a time? I’ll sponsor a copy sent to my lawmakers. How about others? This is the sort of activism I have been doing for quite some time.

Is this a bad idea? I can’t help but think that the wit of this incredible woman will cause some duped people to be truly enlightened.

It is uncanny and rare to find such plain ole truth said so clearly! – MGTOW-Man

Oh I will gladly hope that Congress read this article and find out once and for all how vile your movement is.

A while back, I saw some TV pictures of people lining up to vote in the Afghanistan elections. Yes, Afghanistan is a democracy. And all the people lining up to vote were female. Yes, females have the vote in Afghanistan. At that moment, I knew for sure that all the talk about “oppressed” women was hogwash.

Women in Afghanistan live longer than men; women everywhere live longer than men. And it is overwhelmingly men who have been killed in the wars, because it is always overwhelmingly men who get killed in wars. Hence there are more female than male voters in Afghanistan; as there are more female than male voters in every democracy. So it is the women who get the government they want. And if you get the government you want, then you cannot possibly be oppressed. – Paul Parmenter

Actually until the advent of western medicine women in Afghanistan lived shorter lives than men. The current statistics I printed above were from 2011. Prior to 2001 women didn’t have ANY medical midwives or gynaecological care and the mortality rate in child birth was nearly 20 to 25%.  (As in most women died during or after childbirth).

Yep. Paul has spoken. Orzala take note! Women aren’t oppressed! It’s just our imaginations.

And yet my finger still rasps where I was burned and I remember how women are treated on the ground.

I can’t think of a better living illustration of the fact that dumbocracy (a.k.a. “mob rule” or “dictatorship of the proletariat”) is a toxin that destroys society wherever it takes root. – Feeriker

Because lol Facism!

Here is a bit of info from Africa –

In parts of Africa, due to peculiar historical reasons, all bottling and distribution of soft drinks (yes, including Pepsi and Coke) are held by women. They own and operate mid sized companies, are its President not just in name, but in actuality. They want to be sure that they are not cheated, so usually they appoint their husbands as financial controllers. Usually, they choose a husband who is a CPA, or marry their own CPA. The husband has to knock the door of his wife before entering her cabin, to ensure discipline in workplace and unity of authority.

Te woman earns far far more than the husband. Yet, as per African law, a man’s income is that of family, while a woman’s income belongs only to her and her children. In afew cases (not many though), the woman actually enforces the rights and thus makes the man a penniless slave.

My 2 cents – Keano Reeves

All you say?

Coca Cola has a program where they hire women to run their bottling plants because most women in Africa only work in agriculture. This allows the fields to keep working and Coca Cola to get workers who are normally discriminated against in fantastic ways in “many parts of Africa”. Like in South Africa where Coca Cola offers jobs to rape victims and provides a safe working environment and security for female workers.

This is one of the best GWW videos of all time in my opinion – and that is definitely saying a lot. From now on I will be directing anyone who believes adamantly that women were unilaterally historically oppressed to this one. This might even be one of those videos that could work as an introduction for blue pill folks. – Tall Wheel

Best? Er…

As always with Karen, the poignant question asked is “why?”

Feminists have created a narrative to answer that question that doesn’t stand up to facts. GWW breaks through the brainwash with her dependable clarity and offers the reasonable alternative answer. It’s not because men don’t wish women to reach self-fulfilment, it’s because they’ve been too busy taking care of survival to think about the luxuries that feminism concerns itself with.

Why do men seem to have ruled the world? Either because they were happy being placed in the responsibility role or because they were forced/taught that it was their duty. The obvious answer follows. Anyone who resents the “power” of men to die in protection of those they’ve accepted responsibility for has Antoinette syndrome and should watch their necks. There is no cake.

While I appreciate that some women are admitting their privileges I also think we need to specifically stop asking men to be so self sacrificing. Not only is feminism a selfish, misguided, narcissistic movement it shows a distinct lack of compassion. I’m not satisfied by ceasing and desisting the feminist narrative, I want to see men given the right to value their own lives and productivity for their own benefit. Men don’t need to return to “life before feminism” they need to be emancipated from their slavery to women as providers of comfort.

Women can’t have it all because no one has it all. Feminism was just stupid enough to admit that’s their agenda. – Diana Davison


Sorry. Had to do it. We also ruled the world. Yes you and me we could light up the sky, you and me we can rule the world. (*broods*)

^ “Men don’t need to return to “life before feminism” they need to be emancipated from their slavery to women as providers of comfort”.

Indeed. And this can only realistically happen in a prosperous society where issues of basic survival have been overcome, and women can realistically provide for themselves. Which is a situation the Western world achieved. Unfortunately, feminists take that prosperity for a given, and act as if it’s their natural right to bleed society dry while doing nothing themselves to maintain or contribute to that prosperity and stability; indeed, relentlessly attacking the very things that brought these things about in the first place even as they drain them.

One of the annoying assumptions some people make when they learn I’m anti-feminist is the idea that I want traditional and rigid gender roles to be enforced, when nothing is further from the truth. The point is, though, that I understand that freedom from gender roles is a luxury of a technologically and economically advanced society blessed with stability and prosperity. This can never be taken for granted. And feminists and their ilk are tearing it all apart.

Feminism is an unholy mix of progressive and conservative impulses that ultimately proves destructive both to social progress (which is largely dependent on economic and scientific progress) and to traditional ways of doing things. In clinging to the bits of both which they think serve them best, and rejecting the bits they don’t want, feminists have jeopardized both. The world of freedom from gender roles which I support will collapse, and the traditional ways will be too damaged and unpalatable for anyone to return to. – Gquan

Again no mention of the elephant in the room.

This is all symbolized by the burqa or hijab:

Why are women to cover themselves? Is it because they are not important? No. It is because of the belief that men are beasts who cannot help themselves if exposed to the beauty of a woman. So, the women are covered to temper men’s passions. This covering is not a statement about the nature and value of women, it is a statement of a belief in the inherent primitivism and irrationality of men.

In a twisted way, the covering of women is a symbol of their inherent value. That men are not covered is a symbol of their metaphysical subservience to women.

This belief about the baseness of men, although not identical, is congruent with modern feminism. – Rad

A Burkha Defence Too! Oh my! I am surprised the Pro-Islam Brigade aren’t dancing with fucking joy.

My religion is one of compassion and providing for the weak.”

…and hanging gay men and teenaged boys by their necks from cranes. I don’t think I’ll be interested in hearing an advocate of Islam pontificating about ‘compassion’ any time soon, thank you very much.

As an ideologue, Ms Farris has a zealous desire to be misunderstood and perpetually offended. Corrections which are correct are always useful and welcome. However, this is a woman feeling ‘very’ insulted that someone dared to heathen-splain aspects of her ideology, thus undermining her contention that Not All Muslims Are Like That.

It is all so achingly familiar – especially when it becomes clear that Ms Farris is criticizing Ms Straughn on points which our author didn’t actually make. She even concludes with an accusation of being exploited.

Oi vay. – Andy Bob

This one’s more against the video and issues with the depiction and claims Faris makes about Islam.

And what might be the reason that they have the death penalty for gay sex between men, and only lashes, fully clothed, for lesbian sex between women? Could it be that a gay man will not be of service to women, and therefore the harshest punishment must be evoked to discourage men from such activity?

The funny thing is, I have been told by a gay Saudi Arabian guy that there is heaps of gay sex between men in Saudi Arabia. So much so, that it could be considered a gay paradise lol. I’m not sure if he was exaggerating or not, but it is not hard to believe when you consider how hard it is for a man to even be in the company of women over there. It is actually far easier, and safer to engage in gay sex, then it is to engage in hetero sex. I would say that most of the men engaging in gay sex over there, are not actually gay, but are merely settling for what is available in the same way that men in prison for a long time might engage in sex with other men, as a substitute.

I would also suggest that as our society becomes more and more down on male sexuality, and it becomes more and more risky for men to engage in sexual activity with women, there will be more and more men experimenting on that side of the fence. – Stu (in response to Andy Bob)

Yes because gay people fuck better with the threat of imminent death.

Men have it worse because Gay Men are Punished More Severely than Lesbians.

As an Arab woman, I agree that Muslim and Middle Eastern women do not need Western feminism. It is very upsetting to be told that your religion and society is oppressing you when it is not.

However, this article is woefully inaccurate in describing Islamic Law (Sharia). First of all, Afghanistan is a poor example when describing Sharia because that Taliban is actually a Pashto tribal organization and based more on ethnic politics disguised as religion. Many of the practices in Afghanistan, such as men going first at clinics, comes from Pashto law not from actual Sharia. The Qur’an states that the weakest should receive help first, so that would be the very sick, very old, and very young no matter their sex.

As for women being able to keep the money they earn, this is true in one sura, however, many others would challenge that if a family’s needs were dire. A good Muslim woman could never let anyone starve if she had the means to feed them (especially not her own children!) as this would be murder. Also, Muslims are obligated to help the hungry. This is why we feed our neighbors and umma during Rammadan. We are also supposed to look to the first Muslims and emulate their behavior. The first wife of the Prophet (pbuh), Khadija, was a very wealthy merchant with her own caravan. She supported the Prophet (pbuh) financially when he was first teaching his revelations. Not following her example and supporting a husband in his hour of need would be greatly frowned upon.

Also, we live by more laws than simply Sharia. A woman has the moral and social obligation to be a good mother. If she was earning money–and she cannot in Afghanistan under Taliban rule (another Pashto law)–and let her children starve, she would be a social pariah…and also charged for murder. There are child endangerment and neglect laws in the Muslim countries. Even in tribal places like Afghanistan where there are not formal courts in the western sense, there are local elders and councils that would punish a woman for letting her children starve.

This articles’ out-of-context discussion of one part of one sura is very insulting to both Muslim women and Islam. My religion is one of compassion and providing for the weak. Saying that an Muslim mother would let her children starve to further an argument against something we have no need for (Western feminism) is just exploitation. – Naydia Farris

Naydia is not a feminist but like Zara Faris is a Muslim defending her faith who has taken umbrage to some things said by Karen.

Rather than you know… Her defence of the status quo of women in Afghanistan to be denied their basic human rights and the oppression of women. Naydia is the only person criticising her on a sensible reason and for that is down voted.

I read all 56 comments. Trust me, these are some of the best and worst. Not one MRA has stood up and said “I think your stance on the women of Afghanistan is fucking reprehensible”. NOT ONE VOICE. Not even one voice of redemption.

I understand this piece has been long. It is a labour of hate. Hate for a movement that has spawned Girl Who Writes (Karen Strachan) and her echo chamber. Hate for people who have in one fell swoop tried to pave over the suffering of some of the most at risk women on the planet.

This may be a pet rock, but it’s my pet rock. It’s all of humanity’s pet rock. Oh I understand the logic. If we can claim that women in Afghanistan are not oppressed then no women anywhere are oppressed.

I don’t know where Karen has read about Afghanistan but it’s certainly from no one who has been there or worked with women there for ages or knows anything about the history of the Taliban. I think we should give her what she wants.

Pass it on. Let’s see how people respond when they realise how bad the MRA movement can be.

“What is this wonderful thing that no man wants for himself?”


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  3. Ed says

    It is so bizarre and cruel how the people defending the Taliban`s prohibition on women working are assuming that every woman has men (husband or father) to take care of her. This is quite an assumption in a society with massive violence for generations.

    Even if the stay at home wife situation was the ideal, do they think Afghanistan and the tribal regions of Pakistan are like a prosperous post WWII industrial societies! ? What about women who`s husbands and/or male relatives are either dead, disabled, imprisoned or impoverished? There would have to be quite a lot given the history of these places and, of course, we often hear documentation of it.

    The Islamic practice of alms giving or even the hypothetical (and unlikely) adoption of Western-style welfare policies would be no help if women are not allowed to ask for help, which would necessitate being out in public and talking to men. Even in a house with boxes full of money a woman without male support couldn’t go out and spend it. She’d be guilty of walking around by herself and corrupting the grocer by talking to him.

    A complex set of social and historical facts contributed to the fact that life in these areas is often violent and tragic for men and women.

    But any way you look at it, sexism is the only thing forbidding women(and not men) in this situation to even TRY to survive.

  4. Roya says

    Actually, as a Middle Eastern woman, I can tell you that in many conservative and poor households, the men eat first and the women eat the leftovers. Also when it comes to meat, as it’s very expensive and not plentiful, only the boys get to eat it. Girls are also given less to eat. The book “Three cups of tea” mentions that as well.

    I remember at school (in Australia) some Pakistani girls discussing how horrible it was to go back and visit and be told “aren’t you ashamed to take that much food when the boys need it to grow big and strong?” Very sad.


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