1. “A man is by nature superior to the female and so the man should rule and the woman should be ruled”
2. “Women are low in intellect and weaker in body than men”
3. “Women are imperfect or defective Men”
4. “No Women, no dogs, no flies”
5. “A man who teaches a woman to write should know he is providing poison to an asp”
Heard these before?
The hard truth to swallow, is that for the first three especially, we have one way or the other heard it from explanations given by most religious preachers when they try to explain the status of women.
But here’s the interesting part:
All of them, are deeply rooted in Ancient Greece, specifically Ancient Athens. (The Classical Age).
The first quote and third quote was made by…(drum roll)
Yup. (Now you understand why my respect for this man has dropped so low). If you read about this man’s view on women, together with Plato, hmmnnn….”A suhi ku y3n pirimi !!!” (#MyDagomba”Nyebros”!…hehe)
The second is not necessarily a quote, but an umbrella of how the Athenian man thought of the woman in their society.
The fourth one…is very painful. It was actually a sign an Athenian historian by name Phylarchus noted in a Sanctuary of Krones. This was because, in those days, according to Carson (1990:158-59), women were viewed as “pollutable, polluted and polluting in several places at once…”. The attachment of women to dogs and flies alone gives you an insight: they all have the ability to pollute, according to them.
The fifth quote, was attributed to a Athenian 4th Century Meneader. It is interesting to note that school children in the 4th century made copies of those statements and were probably passing them around……indoctrination right from school days…
Nope…i’m not black mouthing the history of Greece. Every community those days had some weird ideologies about women. And some way somehow, most of those views slipped in slowly in to religion(and I mean, every religion, especially the Abrahamic Faiths).
And that is why, most especially Islamic Scholars should be careful about how they explain the status of women in Islam. Because, sometimes, just sometimes, some of the explanations given just get us a free ticket to Athenian Greece and their thinking patterns.
The Deen and its principles are never flawed…most at times its our explanations and applications of its principles that makes it weird.
(And that is why we can not, especially as Muslim Women, afford to not “Iqra”).
You know, after reading about Ancient Greece, some of the beliefs made me think I was actually living in there presently…eeemmnn…most probably because I’ve heard quite a number of those ideologies mentioned to me as explanations to certain stuffs about Women in Islam oooo. Wonder if I am the only weird one around…hehe.
(Next stop: Ermmmnnn…probably China or Rome..!!!)