If a gay community leader began preaching "reparative therapy" how long would he or she remain a gay community leader? Interesting question.
It seems people choose their leaders because they agree with their own views - or because they feel these leaders have their best interests at heart. Clearly the above example illustrates my point. A gay leader preaching "ex-gay" dogma and "reparative therapy" clearly does not have the best interests of the gay community at heart - but the complete polar opposite. In fact, I would say this person would be ostracized from their community as a traitor - and with good reason.
Likewise, if a woman begins preaching on behalf of the patriarchy - against feminism - for me, all sorts of warning bells and alarms go off.
Such a question arose when I saw the following material, quoted from the blog "Feministing - Thousands in Mali protest equal rights marriage law."
"This is pretty distressing:
Tens of thousands of people in Mali's capital, Bamako, have been protesting against a new law which gives women equal rights in marriage. The law, passed earlier this month, also strengthens inheritance rights for women and children born out of wedlock."
Also included is this quote from Hadja Sapiato Dembele of the National Union of Muslim Women's Associations: "A man must protect his wife, a wife must obey her husband...It's a tiny minority of women here that wants this new law - the intellectuals. The poor and illiterate women of this country - the real Muslims - are against it."
My, my - it seems some people are really afraid of women being equal to men in the eyes of the law. I wonder why?
On closer inspection of this matter, a few things stand out to me.
1) A woman - a female leader - is protesting against the victory - no doubt hard won - by her sex or gender in the courts of her oppressive country. She is therefore against equal rights for women - including presumably, herself. (I wonder what her husband has to say about that?)
2) She touts the archaic view that men must protect women and that women must obey men, effectively turning women into a commodity with no free will, and perpetuating the backward notion that women are nothing more than property or talking blow-up dolls which is all the rage in idiot countries such as Iran and Iraq, Afghanistan etc where women are even murdered for daring to choose their own marriage partners - and defying the will of those supposed to love and protect them. (Unsurprisingly there is a similar belief in Christian fundy circles.) In effect, submitting and obeying - and protecting - also includes the right to say whether or not a woman has any right to life.
3) She blames this victory on a "tiny minority" of - in her own words - "intellectuals". This surely means that the rest of the female population of her country are an incapable flock of idiot sheep to be willingly led to the slaughter - and that she is only too willing to play Little Bo-Peep.
4) She then goes further to call the poor illiterate women REAL Muslims - logically because they are against this new liberating law. By this logic, education and being intelligent are therefore disqualifying factors for being "real Muslims". In short, such a revealing remark does little more than confirm my opinion that it takes pretty stupid people to believe and blindly accept everything they are told just because it is wrapped in "scripture" and blind faith - or tradition. And of course "religion says" - and because "religion says", we must all obey.
We are told that religion says: "God gave us brains" - and then they also quickly add: " - but God doesn't want us to use them". Ridiculous.
5) Tens of thousands of people protested with her against their new-found legal equality. Tens of thousands. Now that's a lot. Aside from the obvious, I have to wonder if these tens of thousands were men or women. Obviously the majority of men in that country would have something to moan about - their slaves are about to acquire some domestic rights and legal protection. Damn - not even allowed to beat her no more... Tens of thousands. That's more even than the mobs demanding the end of marriage equality in States across the USA. More than the mobs marching to protest the same thing here in the whole of South Africa.
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So not only do these poor and illiterate women have to contend with the patriarchy - they now have to contend with this sort of narrow-minded female anti-feminist agreement with it. I have little choice to conclude that this woman is one of them, because of her illogical statements and self-oppressive tendencies.
I can understand such backward patriarchal reasoning coming from a male, but from a woman - and of all people, a leader of women? It says something profound about leadership - and, if anything - what it says about followers is not very flattering at all.
I have to question the motives of this woman - who reportedly leads masses of women - not out of a land of slavery and servitude and disenfranchisement - but who waylays them on the road to progress and liberty, and somehow convinces them that it is "wrong" to be equal to men and that they should turn around and skulk back to their masters with their tails tucked between their legs. Hmm. Some leader.
I wonder how she keeps her following? Look at it this way - if a gay community leader started preaching "reparitive therapy", he wouldn't be entertained for very long, would he? People would definitely question his motives - or probably tar and feather him in pink - so why do these women not question hers? Oh, wait - I remember - they are not intellectuals. But it seems this woman is leading other women whom she is helping to subjugate to the will of men, in effect, leading them into submission and slavery - and they clearly love her for it. Something is wrong with this picture. Way wrong.
Distressing? I agree.
I think it takes a special kind of stupid to love your oppressor and to want to be oppressed - especially when you have just been handed the keys to your freedom and equality. The doctors at the loony bin have a term for that special kind of stupid - it's called masochism - and that is still in the DSM.