It’s the late 1920s — women are well-serving housewives, and men are powerhouse executives sacrificing their time and energy for the betterment of humankind. Oh heavens, thank God for their selflessness.
That is exactly how Men’s Rights Activists (MRAs) envision our world. In a series of tightly-secured events and private parties, the voices for mens’ rights sound off on how feminism is killing basic rights for males everywhere. The movement advocating for the rights of men has been gaining traction since the late 1960s, and today, the new generation of MRAs have taken to old rhetoric of “freeing our men from the grips of radical feminism.”
With heavy angst and low-self esteem, these men convene to argue against the supposed oppression of men. They firmly believe that feminist movements such as #MeToo are directly resulting in men losing “inalienable” rights.
Jordan Peterson, one of the prominent advocates of the patriarchy, bellows that women should embrace the life of a homemaker and submit to enforced monogamy. More so, Peterson recently expressed deep concern for the likes of Alek Minassian. Now bear in mind, Minassian is a sex-obsessed male who murdered 10 people as revenge for having been denied sex. These men firmly hang on to beliefs which ultimately argue that men are the real victims of gender inequity.
The sentiments of MRAs are, of course, not limited to Western societies. Eastern cultures have seen a unsettling rise of MRAs. In the Muslim community, they are the uncles, brothers, husbands, and even imams who relentlessly criticize women’s rights initiatives in the community.
Moreover, these MRAs — affectionately known in our community as “Wallah Bros” —offer Quranic verses and Prophetic hadiths as justification for their misogynistic beliefs. These men have selfishly co-opted the beautiful language of the Quran and hadiths to serve their unjust ends.
The values of these self-righteous men are baffling when one considers how the ideal Muslim man — our beloved prophet (PBUH — promoted the rights of women. Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him), when asked “O Messenger of Allah! Who is most deserving of my fine treatment?” answered, “Your mother, then your mother, then your mother, then your father, then your nearest, then nearest.” Does the repetitive use of the word “mother” not adequately indicate the value Islam has bestowed upon women?
The Quran also clearly states the egalitarian, equitable values between the sexes in Surah al-Bakrah:
“And for women are rights over men similar to those of men over women.” (Qur’an, 2:228).
And again in Surah Al-Imran:
“Their Lord responded to them “I never fail to reward any worker among you for any work you do, be you male or female – you are equal to one another.” (Qur’an, 3:195).
From these surahs and ayats, we as a society are urged to follow a path towards gender equity. Islam does not promote mens’ rights over women’s’! I repeat, the Quran and/or hadiths DO NOT justify misogynistic practices.
Anyone who claims otherwise is acting out of an insecurity that fears the consequences and empowered “other”. These MRAs fear that respecting women and giving them rights would somehow strip them of their own rights and free will. In other words, ‘wallah bros’ and the rest are acting out of selfish ignorances, and nothing more.
So, dear “wallah bro,” go read the Quran and follow in the footsteps of the greatest Muslim man, our Prophet Mohammad (PBUH). You’ll soon find that he would deem your toxic misogyny worth little more than garbage.