The Muslim Debate Initiative (MDI) event in London, ‘Do Women Need Feminism’, with Green Party Leader Natalie Bennett and myself, was great fun. Thank you to all the attendees (and supporters from afar).
Natalie Bennett argued that men and women should have the full ability to develop their full potential, regardless of gender, and mentioned different policies like a minimum female quota for management boards. I argued that feminism was inadequate as a solution for today’s problems which affect both men and women, that feminism denies the human reality, that feminism is unclear, and that feminism is not a cause for justice.
Some very interesting issues were raised, such as the problem of overlooking quality for quantity when it comes to job quotas; the extent to which human beings are affected by biology; the feminist campaign that women should not have to go to prison; how the concept of leadership in Islam is very different to what it is in the West; the idea of the ‘disposable’ male; and ultimately, the way that human beings are increasingly being valued according to the wrong yardstick, e.g. their capital worth.
I went on to posit Islam as an alternative remedy for the injustices against both men and women, and argued that Islam provides a clear, natural and just solution to ensuring justice for all humans, and has no need for feminism’s attempts to reinvent the wheel that Islam set in motion over 1400 years ago. I argued that instead of seeking to empower ourselves, we should empower justice. It is virtue, which all human beings, regardless of gender, career or social role, can equally strive for. Justice and self-worth come only by submission to Allah (swt) and all that He Commands.
We also had some wonderful contributions from the audience, and you can see it all for yourself in the video, which will be up soon along with my presentation notes (uncut) and background research, inshaAllah.