Worthwhile Reads: Modesty, Fear, and Exploitation

Sierra on Modesty and False Empowerment

If other people can’t listen to your ideas because they’re too focused on your breasts, they are the ones disrespecting you. Changing yourself to suit them does not change their basic lack of respect for you as a person, it just satisfies their demands and causes them to stop pressuring you. That’s not empowerment, it’s just the relative absence of shaming.

A Sober Second Look on How We Were Sold On Patriarchal Religion: Reason #142

In a word, fear.

We were afraid of so many things: Hell. The Day of Judgment. Temptation. The end of the world. What if our kids refused to pray once they reached the age of 10. The angels cursing us. Losing our faith. Our kids trying drugs. The coming of the Dajjal (AntiChrist). What the community would think if we did X, or said Y. Ideas that threatened our view of the world. (Unwed) teenage pregnancy. The Torture of the Grave. Our kids leaving Islam. Celebrating non-Muslim holidays. God’s anger. The future. Conspiracies by the “enemies of Islam” against Muslims. The persecution of the believers that will come at the end of the world….

Looking back, I’d say that most of what we were afraid of was ourselves. Our own shadows. And that our fears were masterfully exploited, in order to control us.

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