Why I Don’t Think Patriarchy Is That Big A Deal

I got into a mild argument (“mild” because I refuse to engage further, kalau dilayan mungkin berjam gaduh and I ain’t got time for that) with several angry feminists on Twitter when I notioned that patriarchy ain’t all that bad.

Oh, the wrath!

Like I’m totally a woman under some coconut for not knowing the struggles of other women in the world, that I should “check my privileges” before I dare go against the feminism movement, that I SHOULDN’T use my own experience or anecdotal tales of other successful women to belittle other women’s plight in this UNFAIR patriarchal society..

What. The. Heck?

You know why people don’t take the feminist movement seriously? It’s because of you ladies who are angry, bitter and scary all the time! Sesama perempuan pun nak attack, what more fellas with no vaginas. They say I shouldn’t use my own experience to claim that patriarchy isn’t harmful. But aren’t THEY using their own experiences and other anecdotes too, to say that it is? So feminists, if you want people to take you seriously, to take the movement seriously, then please, be calm and sensible when giving out your arguments.

I am all for women empowerment. I support that women ought to be given a fair chance and opportunity for education and pay (if they’re doing the same amount of work as their male peers). But I just DON’T find it a big deal when it comes to the lack of equality or ‘freedom’ in doing house chores. They argued that ideal husbands don’t treat their wives like helper monkeys 😂

Apa nak berkira sangat? Yes, we’re all tired. Yes, it may seem unfair when we “slave” away to meet our husbands’ demands. (By the way, that’s their term, not mine. I never see us doing household chores as slaving, ever). But seriously, why do we women do all that? Is it because we want to prove we’re superwomen? NO. Not at all.

I believe most Muslim women do what we do to please our Creator. To please Allah SWT. Not just our husbands. If we understand and accept our wifely duties, we’ll try our best to fulfill them, and that includes making our husbands happy. For the lack of appropriate English word, because isn’t keredhaan Allah SWT yang kita cari? And this can be achieved by following all of His commandments and avoiding all of His prohibitions. It is MY interpretation that one of the commandments of Allah SWT is to obey your husband. But only the good and responsible ones, of course. I believe many working Muslim women in Malaysia share this view too.

Husbands know, and they SHOULD know, that their responsibilities are far greater than their wives. As leaders of the household, husbands shoulder a LOT of responsibilities. Not just in providing nafkah, but to ensure that their wives and kids are good Muslims. I don’t know about you, but I’m ok to NOT have an equal footing in that aspect. So if they’re the main breadwinner (or shared breadwinner, whichever), they also give nafkah to us, they also ensure the safety of the household, they provide shelter, act as the main (not sole) decision maker, apa lah salahnya setakat buatkan kopi when they ask for it?

Women, especially working moms, are not perfect beings. We may scowl, wear a frown at times, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do what we need to do. Banyak barakah kalau suami gembira kot.. Saya yang tak pandai sgt hal2 agama ni pun tau. 

(Edit: Having said that, I would like to clarify that I’ve no problems with women who wish to swap gender roles with their husbands. It’s their right (or preference). Even some of my good female friends and relatives are the main breadwinners in their households. Just as they find it normal to swap roles, we find it absolutely normal to stick to the traditional roles.)

Women empowerment is important. Women NEED to be independent these days. Yet, women still need to respect their husbands.

And btw, about my so-called privileges.. Everyone has them. They come in many forms. If not financially, maybe we have a nice family that’s supportive. Maybe we’ve got a great circle of friends. Make whatever it is that we have work for us.

Privileged or not, everyone has their own struggles. It’s time we acknowledge people who, against all odds, manage to overcome their challenges. Regardless whether they are “privileged” or not. Why? Because there are those with similar privileges, yet, they still end up unsuccessful or troubled all throughout their lives. Maybe it has got something to do with privileges, but it’s got more to do with attitudes.

So ladies, let’s be the strong women that we are and check our attitudes.


5 Comments on “Why I Don’t Think Patriarchy Is That Big A Deal”

  1. Neela says:

    I applaud you for being able to balance your work life and your supposed duties as a good wife. Yes, for a woman to respect and please her husband is a must in Islam. However, id like to point out that Islam doesnt say that doing house chores is exclusive to women only. Even the Prophet himself carried out house chores.

    Hadith: A man asked Aisha “What did The Prophet do at home?” Aisha said He kept busy with housework. He patched His clothes, swept the house, milked the animals, and bought supplies for the house from the market. If His shoes were torn He mended them Himself. He tied the rope to the water bucket. He secured the camel, fed it and ground the flour with the slave.” (Bukhari)

    And you have the privilege of choosing to do the house work or not. And you enjoy it too. Some women don’t have that privilege. They were forced to do all the work at home alone even though they come home from work at the same time as their husbands. Some dont like it but they still have to do it. While the husband just sit in front of the tv expecting to be waited on. There are also women forced to quit their jobs by their husbands. Some working moms are still being chastised by their own family for not really taking care of her household. So how could you say that patriarchy is okay?

    • driz says:

      Those husbands aren’t fit to lead their families. My notion was on the presumption that the men are good and know their responsibilities.

      • Mia says:

        But you dont see the ‘good’ men a lot. Why protect some of them when most of them are doung the harm

  2. You should really remove that tweet button…it autotags @driz

  3. […] was minding my own business on a lazy Saturday afternoon when I stumbled upon this blog post, which blew up on Twitter. As a feminist, I have a lot on my mind and can’t help but disagree […]

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