musings on feminism.
Yet Ms. Ali's interpretation of Islam, like the one in this talk, could be compared to the rabid version of Christianity by Cromwell in the UK: and that version hated everyone not pure enough to qualify, not to mention the war that led to the deaths of 40 percent of Ireland from atrocities or famine related disease, and deporting 50000 Irish as slaves. ("Indentured servants" with no rights, although they became free after so many years if they were still alive).
Ms. Ali's rebellion against Islam led to her embrace of atheism and religion to be free, so I can't agree with her. The need is to reform the religion.
That is why this speech, which points out the rabid section of Islam as a political force, is both right and wrong.
It is wrong because many converted to the Sufi form of Islam. It is right because the Saudis are using oil money to spread their "pure" version of Islam to all those who are easy going, and the Saudi form IS rabidly against others. I mean, a million Catholic OFW's live in Saudi, and no church is allowed.
Similarly, Ali's embracing of the free love of modern Europe is a rebellion against the lack of power in marriage where men rule and marriages are arranged. She says it ignores that women too have a need for sexual expression. What she overlooks is the exploitation of women by men who take advantage of it.
In some ways, Ms. Ali's rabid anti religious feminism reminds me of reading Mary Wollstonecraft.
Yet Wollstonecraft was left with a child and penniless when her lover abandoned her. Librivox has her letters about all of this here.
One must of course be happy that Wollstonecraft, when made pregnant by the free love philosopher Godwin, actually got married, and didn't do as women do nowadays. Why? Because although she died in childbirth, her child, Mary, wrote Frankenstein...one feminist evaluates the novel (not the movie) as being a criticism of men trying to give birth, and one Catholic literary critic sees the theme is that of men who refuse their ties to humanity in order to persue a greater good, and who wreck the lives of those around them. (in the novel, Frankenstein knows his monster killed someone, but keeps quiet and so the maid is executed for the death). It also has a strong theme of the monster who wishes a wife and family, yet is a monster and unloved even by his creator.
so what is the alternative?
Also from Librivox. The Life of Catherine of Genoa.
Saint Catherine of Genoa (Caterina Fieschi Adorno, born Genoa 1447 – 15 September 1510) is an Italian Roman Catholic saint and mystic, admired for her work among the sick and the poor. She was a member of the noble Fieschi family, and spent most of her life and her means serving the sick, especially during the plague which ravaged Genoa in 1497 and 1501. She died in that city in 1510.
her approach to reform the church was to form small prayer groups to encourage holiness, an idea that inspired many Catholic sodalities and of course the smaller Protestant independent churches.