All sides

Sarah Khan has an excellent public post on Facebook saying it comes from all sides.

Misogyny, objectification & hypocrisy about women on ALL sides. Maajid Nawaz by going to a strip club is happy to pay for women’s objectification for his sexual purposes. If you believe in women’s dignity and rights, you don’t just challenge Islamists’ abuse of women; you challenge all those capitalist corporations and services which seek to make huge profits on the exploitation of women’s bodies and for sex. (I believe in the rights and dignity of sex workers by the way who are regularly abused and denigrated.) You challenge unequal pay. You challenge all the inequalities that continue to exist between men and women in our country.

I suppose most of you have seen the story about Maajid? The Daily Mail reported it last week and he added some points afterward. He went to a strip club, it was his “stag night” (silly expression, and idea); his future wife was fine with it.

On the other hand I have seen how male community leaders and imams have paid for services of prostitutes, who have had secret nikkahs without their first wife’s knowledge and permission, and who silence women’s voices and marginalise them in all walks of life. What I find distasteful is the pretence on ALL sides by those who claim to care about women’s rights but who have been shown to abuse and denigrate women in in one shape or form. Often Muslims say “the West” oppress women by sexualising them; but so do many Muslims on a daily basis. That’s why women have to cover, that’s why women’s voices are allegedly “awrah,” that’s why women should be segregated because women ARE sexual objects and responsibility and blame therefore falls on them. We are told this is because women and women’s sexuality are responsible for the moral fabric of society. Such normalised attitudes yet so wrong.

All sides.

One of the reasons why we set up Inspire was not only to challenge extremism but to address gender discrimination and the abuse of women’s rights and their objectification. And we will continue to do so within Muslim communities but also in wider society too. Hence we support the Everyday Sexism project, and many other women’s campaigns and groups. Which is why I oppose Maajid’s use of strip clubs, but also the deceitful “concerns” of people who have never genuinely supported women’s rights or feminism – but who are now jumping up and down pretending to claim the higher moral ground.

Yeah, religious zealots don’t make the best feminists.

Read the whole thing.


  1. Blanche Quizno says

    Here in the US, equal pay for women is extremely popular among men as well as women. The days of the Ozzie and Harriet families, where the husband went off to work and the wife stayed home and kept house, are pretty much over, if they were ever really here to begin with. Now, with both parents working, husbands wonder why their wives, who work as hard as they do, aren’t bringing home as much bacon, which would make their entire family’s situation better. And yet our politicians routinely dismiss legislation that would make it necessary for corporations to pay women the same as men. Our REPUBLICAN politicians, I mean. It’s in the corporations’ best interest to be able to continue paying women less, because whenever they’re paying a worker less, the corporation gains that much more profit. And those in control have plenty of money. Capitalism only works if there is a slave class, you see.

  2. sonofrojblake says

    it was his “stag night” (silly expression, and idea)

    What an obtuse observation. Are we “silly” because we don’t call it a “bachelor party”? And it’s a silly idea because…? What? Men are having a good time? Other than this straw-feminist nonsense, I’m having a hard time working out why you’d consider the idea of a man having a party with his best friends to celebrate his imminent wedding “silly”.

    I’m getting married this year. I’m having a stag night. It’s an opportunity for my various circles of friends to meet and celebrate a happy event. Seems a perfectly reasonable thing to do, to me. I’ve stipulated two things to the organiser: one, it’s to happen in the UK; two, no strippers. I had the misfortune to attend a stag night fifteen years ago that included going to a strip club. Never again. Never.

  3. aziraphale says

    #2 sonofrojblake: Do you assume that a man’s best friends are all male? That would be sad.

  4. sonofrojblake says

    Not at all. My “stag night” (scare quotes ‘cos neither of the things is happening at night as such) is in two parts. The more traditional (if you can call it that) part is, yes, going to be an all-male affair – not because all my best friends are male, but for the same reason I’m wearing a suit on my wedding day and a ring on my left hand afterwards – tradition. But stuff tradition, I’ve already had part one of my “stag do” – which consisted of me and three of my closest friends I’ve known since school going to the Gadget Show. All three of them brought their sons. Two of them brought their daughters, too. It was great, and everyone had a good time. /shrug/ My best female friends know who they are, and know what they mean to me.

  5. RossR says

    My objection to the term “stag night” is that it assumes and reinforces the sexist fiction that after a man is married, he will be browbeaten, hogtied and nagged within an inch of his life and never again permitted to do any “guy” things.

  6. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Another post from sonofjrblake in which he pretends to be unaware of the implications of what’s being discussed, turns into all-about-him, and insults the host. It must be a day at Butterflies and Wheels.

  7. says

    You left out the part where he also answers his own questions in such a way that he actually agrees with what I said, and apparently never notices. Huh.

  8. theobromine says

    sonofrojblake, I find it interesting that you play the “tradition” card to defend your plan to have a special event only for people who are men. You say that you are following tradition by wearing a suit and including a ring as part of the ceremony, but I would bet that there are many other parts of the wedding tradition that you are quite happy to toss out (at least I sincerely hope so, for the sake of your wife-to-be). So much of wedding tradition is predicated on the idea that men and women are inherently different creatures and normally inhabit different circles which only intersect in well-defined ways under prescribed circumstances. I think this is a harmful attitude that we need to (continue to) move away from, as quickly as possible.

  9. sonofrojblake says

    You think I don’t notice I’m agreeing with you? You think I’m doing it by accident? Huh.

  10. says

    Yes, that’s what I think. What you wrote is all I have to go on. If you have a secret other meaning inside your own head, you can’t expect others to know that.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *