Recently at a symposium on interreligious dialogue one of the Muslim feminist scholars present said, “Just once I would like to be able to have a conversation about Islamic Feminism without automatically having to be put on the defensive.”
When someone is a member of a targeted group it is very hard to have the space to critically reflect on one’s tradition, much less be willing to do so with others. From the get go the person is put in the position of having to defend and speak for the whole. And as feminists, the amount of criticism received for participating in a tradition that others have judged to be irredeemably patriarchal and oppressive, can be downright exhausting, making dialogue all the more difficult.
Feminism and feminist activism, however, takes many forms. Women (and some men) are working in their diverse and multiple settings and in their respective traditions to bring about positive change in women’s lives all over the world. The question is, do we have the eyes to see?Or are we only willing to see that which reflect us?
Let’s support all our sisters’ revolutionary work and keep this revolution sustainable!