Muslim Men and Toxic Masculinity by Vanessa Rivera de la Fuente

Diseño sin título

Excuse me, but I thought you should know your misogyny is showing.

I have read with deep interest the article written by Ayesha Fakie and Khadija Bawa entitled: Dear Indian Muslim Men: We Need To Talk published by Huffington Post South Africa on March 7th of this year. I would like to add my two cents to this conversation, one that I believe is relevant and very necessary that we address as a community with genuine sincerity and accountability.

Continue reading “Muslim Men and Toxic Masculinity by Vanessa Rivera de la Fuente”

Second Class Rape Victims: Rape Hierarchy and Gender Conflict

Deconstructing masculinity isn’t the key to solving social, sexual, and domestic violence across the world but it is a step worth taking when attempting to engage men in affecting change to stop these violent actions since men, statistically are the perpetrators of such crimes that both cause such outcry as well as perpetual silence.

johnThe most disturbing part of the 2006 documentary Deliver Us from Evil isn’t the fact that Father Oliver O’Grady is rewarded by the Catholic Church with a new congregation in Ireland after his short stint in prison for the rape of dozens of children in the 1970s, but rather the hierarchy of gendered victimization which is often created throughout the various rape cases that are both reported and unreported throughout history.

I am often troubled by the ways in which rape cases are discussed and deconstructed via mediums such as blogs, online communities, social media networks, the news, and popular culture.  No series of events troubled me more than the Jerry Sandusky trial, but more importantly, the ways in which the young boys and adult men who were subjected to Sandusky’s abuse quickly overshadowed the other rape cases that are reported on a daily basis, specifically those involving young girls and women. Continue reading “Second Class Rape Victims: Rape Hierarchy and Gender Conflict”

Muslim Masculinities: Men Have Gender Too by Kecia Ali

Twenty years ago, when I was an undergraduate, another student in a history seminar casually referred to women as “people of gender.” He was not being ironic. At the time, I felt amused and superior and frustrated: not only did he not get it but he really didn’t get it. Two decades later, my amusement has taken on a rueful tinge: despite the formulaic acknowledgment that masculinity and femininity are reciprocally constructed, “gender” scholarship in my field, Islamic Studies, has focused almost exclusively on women.

That is, until recently. Scholars, especially anthropologists, have begun serious work on Muslim masculinities; increasingly, those of us more historically and textually inclined are joining the party. My own first forays into these waters treated the equivocal masculinity of enslaved males as part of a larger project on marriage in early Muslim law. In my current project on views of Muhammad, the question of masculinity emerges much more centrally, and in strikingly different ways in works by feminists and neo-traditionalists (who lay claim to reproducing the “authentic” tradition even as they are thoroughly modern in many ways). Continue reading “Muslim Masculinities: Men Have Gender Too by Kecia Ali”

The First Casualty Of War by Daniel Cohen

This is the tale of the first death in the Trojan War.

The Greek army was gathered in Aulis. Its men had come from many towns and islands. Some were there with dreams of glory, some with dreams of gold. Others were there because their chief had demanded their presence, and either loyalty to the chief or fear of him had brought them.

The fleet was waiting and the soldiers were ready to embark. But for weeks now the wind had been blowing from the wrong direction, and the men were getting restless at waiting so long. They were beginning to think of the harvest – they had expected that the war would be won long before harvest time – but that was now so close that many men were making ready to go home, and some had already gone.

Agamemnon, the leader of the Greek army, was fearful that the conquest and glory he sought would escape him if the winds continued contrary. And so he consulted the seer Calchas. After much searching the seer replied, “The goddess Artemis sends you a warning. If you wish to make war against Troy, you will have to kill your daughter.”

So Agamemnon sent for his daughter Iphigenia, pretending to her and her mother that he planned to marry her to the hero Achilles. Continue reading “The First Casualty Of War by Daniel Cohen”

Sanctioned Ignorance and the Theological Academy By Egon Cohen

Namsoon Kang writes that dislocation can be a theologically transformative process of self-discovery, using the metaphor of the “homeless traveler . . . leaving home for Home.” Kang also states that one’s identity—one’s location as traveler—is necessarily influenced by one’s position along axes of identity such as race, religion, ethnicity, class, gender, ability, and sexuality. And it is at this interstice that I, and many other liberationist theologians, grapple with issues of privilege. We are committed to traveling with the marginalized, but our luggage is packed with advantages denied to our companions. Indeed, as individuals with the luxury of pursuing advanced theological studies, most academic theologians operate within a space of significant privilege.

In this regard, I have observed four main typologies of response: (1) denial, (2) guilt, (3) cataloguing, and (4) instrumentalizing. It is hard to constructively engage the first type of response within the present discussion—the existence of such institutionalized privileges is one of my implicit operating premises, so I will bracket this analysis for another occasion. Similarly, I believe that the constructive/transformational capacity of guilt for or detailed acknowledgment of privilege is quite limited. So the question becomes, how do white and/or male and/or heterosexual and/or “first world” theologians instrumentalize our privileges for and (more importantly) with our “fellow travelers”? Continue reading “Sanctioned Ignorance and the Theological Academy By Egon Cohen”

%d bloggers like this: