Submission, Part II
Earlier today I was reflecting on my experiences in the church and masjid and how they mirror each other. Suddenly I was overcome with laughter. I was all alone in my apartment with an uncontrollable case of the giggles. I held my stomach and my eyes watered as I realized how thoroughly ludicrous it all is.
The Bible and the Quran both preach submission. After all, this is “God’s will”, the order that He personally ordained. There are various reason given for this:
- Man was created first
- Eve was the first one to sin so submission is punishment
- Men have been given more strength/made to excel over women
No matter the reason given, it comes down to men being on top. Okay, for arguments sake, let’s accept this. Women are to submit…but wait. The very same people that teach women to submit also teach us to cover our bodies. Our breasts, hips, legs and rear end are all so distracting! We’ve got to dress “modestly” to keep men from sinning and losing their minds. Something about this doesn’t make sense. The conservative, religion-based idea of modesty actually undercuts the very idea of submission itself. If men are so weak and fragile that the mere view of the female form can be so dangerous, why on earth should women be subject to them?
Now of course I don’t believe that men are this silly. I find the idea to be incredibly demeaning to men and women alike. It demeans men because it casts them as mindless brutes, unable to control their passions. It demeans women because it makes them feel ashamed of their bodies and puts an unnecessary burden on them. Such concepts of submission and modesty are outdated and damaging, and I reject them both.