“Blurred Lines” Revisited: The Robin Thicke Edition of Patriarchy

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Recently, I was at the park having a picnic and I heard the song “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke. Yes, I must admit that this song is old and played-out. However, I was immediately frustrated with the fact that this song is being blared at a party. Well, the song is about being at a party and intending to rape a woman because he knows that she “wants it”. Nevertheless, this woman never gave consent. This is troubling. As long as we recycle these patriarchal songs that promotes rape-culture then men and women will continue to think that it is okay to have ‘blurred-lines’ when the lines are clearly black and white. Rape is rape. We shouldn’t play with semantics here. This is serious. I don’t care what a woman wears, behaves or insinuates…if she doesn’t consent then it is rape. 

Patriarchy is a system of sexist oppression that must be countered by a change in how we think and act. It must be countered by men and women. Men must learn that there is no such thing as having a blurred line at a club, at a party or with a significant other. This is violence. Whenever a man insist on engaging sexually with a woman without her consent then this is rape. Rape is violence and assault. Anytime someone says, “Well, she asked for it” then we are hurting ourselves and women. Patriarchy doesn’t just harm women, but it harms men too. 

“Dominator culture teaches all of us that the core of our identity is defined by the will to dominate and control others. We are taught that this will to dominate is more biologically hardwired in males than in females. In actuality, dominator culture teaches us that we are all natural-born killers but that males are more able to realize the predator role. In the dominator model the pursuit of external power, the ability to manipulate and control others, is what matters most. When culture is based on a dominator model, not only will it be violent but it will frame all relationships as power struggles.” 
― Bell Hooks

In patriarchy, men are taught to dominate because it is told to them that this is intrinsically a part of them biologically. In looking at this quote by bell hooks, it is important to think about this in regards to the song by Robin Thicke. What is it reinforcing? What is it saying about the institution of patriarchy? Why is this dominator culture celebrated? How do we combat this culture of violence and oppression?

So, I believe it would serve us better to view the lyrics. You can easily go on YouTube and watch the video that accompanies the lyrics, but I like focusing on the lyrics. I think people can sometimes get too caught up in the music and not necessarily the lyrics. Hopefully, this song can be a conversation-starter within social-circles, families, organizations and etc. Maybe watch the video too. 

“Blurred Lines” by: Robin Thicke
(feat. T.I. & Pharrell Williams)

[Intro: Pharrell]
Everybody get up
Everybody get up
Hey, hey, hey
Hey, hey, hey
Hey, hey, hey

[Verse 1: Robin Thicke]
If you can’t hear what I’m trying to say
If you can’t read from the same page
Maybe I’m going deaf,
Maybe I’m going blind
Maybe I’m out of my mind
[Pharrell:] Everybody get up

[Pre-chorus: Robin Thicke]
OK now he was close, tried to domesticate you
But you’re an animal, baby, it’s in your nature
Just let me liberate you
Hey, hey, hey
You don’t need no papers
Hey, hey, hey
That man is not your maker

[Chorus: Robin Thicke]
And that’s why I’m gon’ take a good girl
I know you want it
I know you want it
I know you want it
You’re a good girl
Can’t let it get past me
You’re far from plastic
Talk about getting blasted
I hate these blurred lines
I know you want it
I know you want it
I know you want it
But you’re a good girl
The way you grab me
Must wanna get nasty
Go ahead, get at me
[Pharrell:] Everybody get up

[Verse 2: Robin Thicke]
What do they make dreams for
When you got them jeans on
What do we need steam for
You the hottest bitch in this place
I feel so lucky
Hey, hey, hey
You wanna hug me
Hey, hey, hey
What rhymes with hug me?
Hey, hey, hey

[Pre-chorus: Robin Thicke]
OK now he was close, tried to domesticate you
But you’re an animal, baby it’s in your nature
Just let me liberate you
Hey, hey, hey
You don’t need no papers
Hey, hey, hey
That man is not your maker
Hey, hey, hey

[Chorus: Robin Thicke]
And that’s why I’m gon’ take a good girl
I know you want it
I know you want it
I know you want it
You’re a good girl
Can’t let it get past me
You’re far from plastic
Talk about getting blasted
[Pharrell:] Everybody get up
I hate these blurred lines
I know you want it
I hate them lines
I know you want it
I hate them lines
I know you want it
But you’re a good girl
The way you grab me
Must wanna get nasty
Go ahead, get at me

[Verse 3: T.I.]
One thing I ask of you
Let me be the one you back that ass to
Go, from Malibu, to Paris, boo
Yeah, I had a bitch, but she ain’t bad as you
So hit me up when you pass through
I’ll give you something big enough to tear your ass in two
Swag on, even when you dress casual
I mean it’s almost unbearable
In a hundred years not dare, would I
Pull a Pharside let you pass me by
Nothing like your last guy, he too square for you
He don’t smack that ass and pull your hair like that
So I just watch and wait for you to salute
But you didn’t pick
Not many women can refuse this pimpin’
I’m a nice guy, but don’t get it if you get with me

[Bridge: Robin Thicke]
Shake the vibe, get down, get up
Do it like it hurt, like it hurt
What you don’t like work?

[Pre-chorus: Robin Thicke]
Baby can you breathe? I got this from Jamaica
It always works for me, Dakota to Decatur, uh huh
No more pretending
Hey, hey, hey
Cause now you winning
Hey, hey, hey
Here’s our beginning

[Chorus: Robin Thicke]
I always wanted a good girl
(Pharrell: Everybody get up)
I know you want it
I know you want it
I know you want it
You’re a good girl
Can’t let it get past me
You’re far from plastic
Talk about getting blasted
I hate these blurred lines
(Pharrell: Everybody get up)
I know you want it
I know you want it
I know you want it
But you’re a good girl
The way you grab me
Must wanna get nasty
Go ahead, get at me

[Outro: Pharrell]
Everybody get up
Everybody get up
Hey, hey, hey
Hey, hey, hey
Hey, hey, hey

 

Mere Seduction That Night

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It was one of those nights

We were ready to feast on each other sinfully, without regrets

Closing the door behind us, he looked at me with passion, a burning passion

And the slightest touch of our hands and our bodies became intimacy

A racing heart, increasing temperature, hungry, and needy

I watched the way he turned towards me with a glance that would entice

Grabbing a hold of my waist from behind with a slow-grind 

The moon’s gaze sneaked too many peeks upon this love affair

Without words, he guided me to the next room, unclothed his goddess

and I watched in admiration the unclothing of this most heavenly being

the night smelled of seduction and fiery passion

we became engulfed in the joining, the meeting of two hearts, two bodies

the darkness swallowed us whole without respite

this Gringo, this lover of Mexican-culture, whispered words of love, of passion, en espanol

“Te Amo, mi morenita!”

his words reaped of desire, unadulterated passion

where did he learn this foreplay?

what goddess invited him to worship love in this way? 

“te quiero”

and my body shook in want, in need of this gift-offering

he had come to my temple to worship

and I giggled in ecstasy

in madness, in anger, in uncontrollable anger

why did I not feel guilty in this?

should not the feeling of intense pleasure satisfy me

I was hungry, frustrated, in need of this

of him

of what he wanted to offer

Happiness: Living the One Life You Have in the Now

“There are always new sounds to imagine, new feelings to get at. And always, there is the need to keep purifying these feelings and sounds so that we can really see what we’ve discovered in its pure state so that we can see more and more clearly what we are. In that way, we can give to those who listen the essence, the best of what we are. But to do that at each stage, we have to keep on cleaning the mirror” – John Coltrane, On Meditations

Last night, one of my friends called me about this exact issue of ‘seeing things clearly’. The conversation was extensive and definitely necessary . In many of our lives, we may find ourselves experiencing happiness and satisfaction, but we may end up doubting the happiness that we feel. We sometimes try to put up an excuse for why we can’t have the happiness that is currently in our lives. We actually try to rationalize why we aren’t good enough to to have happiness, have pleasure and be content. We always feel as if something will go wrong, as if happiness is always accompanied with bad.

So, I sat back listening to my friend for a good hour about the nature of human-happiness. As individuals, we are always seeking happiness. We are. We are always experiencing new feelings, sounds and smells. There is nothing wrong with this. Why can’t we become thankful individuals and just celebrate what we’re experiencing? There is no need to feel guilty for the pleasure that we feel from:

1. Love
2. Laughter
3. Sex
4. Family
5. Romantic partners
6. Friends
7. Colleagues
8. Animals/Pets
9. Ourselves
10. other….

As I sat through our conversation, I could feel the pain(s) of my friend’s struggle in accepting happiness. There are many things that I have heard from people in my life in regards to happiness. I have heard that one must not ‘please themselves sexually,’ ‘get praised for being a good person,’ ‘ live it up,’ and etc. Why do we set limitations on ourselves? What is the point to all of this? I’m sorry, but if I am not stepping on the toes of the next person then I am going to enjoy life. If someone want to indulge in eating cupcakes all day and night then be my guest. If someone would like to run miles to relieve stress then go at it. If someone enjoy masturbation then have at it.

The simple thought that we must regulate the next person’s life and their happiness is saddening. I’ve seen and experienced this kind of regulation. It’s oppressive and painful. Live and let live. Go out and live the life that you’ve always wanted. You can do it alone, with someone else or just with the universe around you. Take the world by the hand and live. Smile a little bit. Make love to the air. Laugh with a chuckle that extends to far and distant lands. Let the sun kiss you with its rays. Just experience new sounds, feelings, and sensations.

Never hold back from happiness. Never let anyone tell you that you should feel bad about the bliss that you are experiencing because we all know that tough times can drag us down and keep us down. So, when you have found your source of happiness then cling to it for dear life.

Finally, to wrap it all up in a few words: “It’s not that everything will be easy or exactly as you had expected, but you must just choose to be grateful for all that you have, and happy that you got a chance to live this life, no matter how it turns out.”

“Posted on September 3, 2011 by Nahida

At the age of 10 I had a way of walking I’m certain had been with me since I first learned to walk. There is nowhere I could have learned it, and I hadn’t given it any thought to have learned it in the first place. But it was called to my attention at 10, because it was “provocative.” And it wasn’t brought to my attention by men, but by women. Girls, in fact.
It was one foot in front of the other, a hip-swinging walk. And it was not okay. And the girls let me know this immediately. “Stop acting so stuck-up!” “She thinks she’s a model.” “Why do you walk like you’re all that?”

Of course, I didn’t think I was “all that.” And at the age of ten, being rather sheltered from all things overtly sexual, I was thoroughly bewildered and confused. This was how I naturally walked, and it wasn’t something I could change because I had no idea what I was doing wrong. It weren’t as though I could see myself walking and compare it to others. Eventually, though, I did learn to “fix” it. What’s interesting is not only the accusation of sexuality that I never implied, but the fact that I was not allowed to be sexual. These were girls who wore lipgloss, tight jeans, and midriff tops. They weren’t stereotypes–they were whole complete people, who cried when I wrote them sad stories and were fiercely loyal to each other–but they played into stereotypes. They gossiped, worried about their weight, talked about boys, copied each other’s homework, and had serious mean streaks. And consequently, they categorized and forced me into a stereotype. I studied and read and wrote and dressed conservatively (thanks mom) and contributed greatly to class discussions and was overall smart (though they were too!) and therefore was not allowed to demonstrate any kind of “grown-up” confidence.

Ten year old girls don’t walk the way they do to be sexual. They walk that way because that’s how they walk. When the girls cornered me for long legs and swinging hips, it was the confidence they attacked. I’m sure they had some idea that it was interpreted in the world as symbolic of some sort of sexual power, but it only just forming in our understanding. As far as they were concerned, this was power play. I was not a part of their clique.

“You can’t walk like that.”

I was a sweet kid. It’s hard to believe now, and it frustrates me when I remember it, but it’s frightening how soft I was. Watching the girls, I forced myself to change the way I walked because I genuinely believed there was something wrong with me. I walked like them instead. I remember the process, asking a friend of mine, “Do I walk weird?”

“You walk so gracefully, like a swan.” she said. “Don’t listen to them; they’re jealous.”

“Swans are clumsy on land.”

Looking back, there is so much about this that disturbs me. It was my first introduction, I can see, to the sexual interpretations of others forced onto me in a dangerously she-was-asking-for-it-like manner, while I have no involvement and no desire of involvement. I didn’t intend for anything–I was just living my life. I couldn’t intend anything; for crying out loud, I was ten. And yet this is so deeply ingrained into the mentality of society that it was pushed onto me by none other than ten-year-old girls, who themselves had no idea what they were doing, but had somehow come to understand the significance and had learned to police “sexuality.” And I “fixed” something that didn’t need to be fixed to appease to the fabrications of patriarchy, unwillingly, tearily, and self-destructively.

Growing up, the prevalence and instillment of the incident became clear. Everyone thought like this. At 12 I had a red dress I loved wearing. Still conservative, mind you, my mother picked out my clothes. But one day I put it on, and she told me to change it.

“Why?”

“It makes you look pretty. I don’t want… you getting the wrong kind of attention.”

Even then, I wanted to scream.

Did I mention this dress covered everything? Everything? Full-length sleeves and full-length skirt? It doesn’t even matter what it covered. I wasn’t wearing it to be sexual: I liked it because it reminded me of the dress one of the characters of an adventure book I was reading wore on the cover. I felt like riding dragons and finding ghosts in my dreary castle. It also doesn’t even matter if I were wearing it to be sexual, had I not been 12: it doesn’t give anyone the right to involve themselves without my permission.

My mother doesn’t tell me I’ll be raped, but she sure as hell implies it. “You could be kidnapped,” she says. “And… used. For business.”

I would say my mother is paranoid about sex trafficking, but she isn’t paranoid. She’s right. What she isn’t right about, however, is suggesting that being “unpretty” would somehow save me. And while she didn’t make me accountable for the possibility of rape (though it disturbed me greatly that she consistently hinted my life would be utterly and entirely over) she did make me liable for others’ interpretations of what “message” I was sending by the way I dressed.

My mother meant well. She was terrified to death of losing me, a defenseless child, to predators. When I hit my late teens and was not so defenseless, she promptly allowed me to “dress pretty” again. Before class, now a young woman of 17, I walked past the mirror in my bedroom and slid into a well-fitted black dress that zipped on one side. I tugged up the zipper and it stopped, leading me to believe I’d zipped it all the way. In actuality, the zipper had stuck at the curve of my breast, exposing the black lace of my bra.

“Nahida, you look gorgeous!” my instructor exclaimed in third period psychology. “Come here.”

“What is it?” I asked, walking up to her desk.

Without warning, she reached out and yanked the zipper upward, closing the dress completely. I stood for a minute in shock.

“You’ve been walking around flashing everyone all morning,” she guessed grimly. And then, I won’t forget the look she gave me–more than just disapproval, it was blatantly, almost hatefully, accusatory.

Whore!

“I–I didn’t know,” I stammered truthfully. “I thought I zipped it.” Please, please, please believe me, please.

She had dismissively returned to grading papers. “Thanks,” I murmured and walked back to my textbooks. My psychology teacher liked me–not only as a good student but as me, personally–and I liked her, which made her reproach all the more scathing.

Of course, that wasn’t the end of it. The forging of a false reality by those who have no business interpreting my behavior and policing me occur even here. Whenever I write a sex-related post, men–men this time, Muslim and non-Muslim alike–submit comments that clearly assume I am attempting to ensnare them with the subject of sex, even if the entry itself has nothing to do with seduction and everything to do with my perspective, experience, and feminism. Just because you don’t see a point, doesn’t mean there isn’t one. There are other commenters who very much see the point–so I take it the problem is you, not my writing. And if there weren’t a point? Well GTFO–that’s what I wanted to do, and that’s for me to decide. You need to see your way out. I’m pretty tired of receiving comments along the lines of, “Modesty, sister!” and “STOP TRYING TO SEDUCE ME!”

I am not, in fact, trying to seduce you.

The Internet is a big place. If you don’t like the discussion, don’t participate. Don’t read. Find something else. Don’t lecture me about modesty when you’ve clearly lost yours, arrogantly believing you have any right to tell me these things or command me to stop or interpret my behavior and involve me in your incorrect interpretation by submitting such comments or that you have any say on how I should live my life or what I should write about.

The whole delusion of she must be attempting to be seductive or she wouldn’t be wearing that / talking about this is at its core egotistical. And, fine, let’s say a woman is trying to be seductive. What the hell makes you think you’re the one she’s trying to seduce? And if you aren’t, what the hell makes you think you have any right to shove yourself into her business? Your thoughts are your own: you are free to notice her, think about her, fantasize, etc.–you are not free to involve her, through actions or words that disclose what’s going on in your pants, unless she specifically consents and makes it clear. And this consent is not infinite. Or “a light switch” as they say. And this goes both ways. Were I to fantasize about a man I knew, I wouldn’t tell him this, thereby involving him, unless I was certain he wouldn’t mind hearing it. Otherwise, yes, it is harassment–I would be involving him against his will and making him feel extraordinarily uncomfortable.

It astonishes me to no end that men have a problem with this. A lot of guys wouldn’t appreciate being hit on by someone they’re not interested in–but they expect women to accept it. Would a straight man put up with being hit on by other men? If it ever happens, tell him to quit bitching. Don’t listen to pathetic excuses like “I don’t want to be hit on by someone I’m not into” or “That’s just really creepy, and I don’t find him attractive.” He’s clearly a vagina.

Like the ten-year-olds previously mentioned who categorized me–and themselves–into stereotypes, the actions and very real personalities of women are often fetishized as though they aren’t whole or they belong in compartments of sexuality, a mentality that enables men to “sample” women of each respective fantasy and ultimately objectify and limit them to these. And there are several. The “innocent girlfriend”–popular among religious men and Nice Guys–whom men protect not out of selfless care and love but for the sake of being the first ones to “corrupt” her, or to fulfill their own fetish through the limitation of her personality. The “experienced whore”–her supposed “opposite”–and then of course the deadly dichotomy, whom few women are–and when they are, they are viewed as deceitful, mind you–and destroy themselves attempting to become. Smart girls are fetishized for their intelligence, not for being whole people from whom we learn and with whom we expand our perspective, but for “Hey I slept with this really smart chick.” And don’t get me started about “beautiful exotic girls.”

We don’t revolve around you. And my personality is not a fetish.

What people don’t realize is that there is a point at which slut-shaming and prude-shaming are pretty much the same damn thing. Literally. When you shame a woman for “dressing like a slut” and therefore supposedly bringing inappropriate advances upon herself, you are also prude-shaming her for not tolerating such behavior.

Seriously, just stfu.

the fatal feminist © Nahida S. N.”

Blog: http://thefatalfeminist.com/2011/09/03/the-nonconsensual-sexualization-of-unintending-young-women/

The Struggle: Parents, Womanhood, Sex, Menstruation, Protection

One of the hardest struggles for me is dealing with womanhood. This issue is problematic because many parents raise daughters very differently than their sons. Many parents raise their daughters as if they are precious gems needing protection from the storms of life. However, sons are raised to become warriors that will brave those same storms. So, on the surface, men are repeatedly being socialized to believe that women are helpless and need protection. So, it perpetuates this cycle of men being superior to women. In comparison, I was raised with this belief that a man’s natural-inclination is to protect women. So, I needed to be protected from ‘men,’ ‘sex,’ and the other ‘vices’ of life. In the process of learning my role as a daughter, I learned the role of my younger brother in becoming my protector. Unfortunately, I would often be told that he is a ‘boy’ or a ‘man’ and that I am a ‘girl’. So, the behavior(s) of men became acceptable because males will be males. In growing up to accept that women are constantly in need of male-supervision or the protection of men, I began thinking more about womanhood and how these ideologies affect myself and women all over the world. In my struggle of formulating my sense of womanhood, I believe it is important to explore my upbringing, along with why many females’ sense of identity within womanhood is stunted and even detrimental in their progression of growing into healthy women within the world.

For my parents, I will always be their little girl. I will always be deemed as that gem to be ‘untouched’ and ‘unscathed’ by life. However, is that fair to me? Well, I can definitely understand that most parents are afraid to see their daughters as being: sexual, free-thinking and able-bodied individuals that can make decisions for themselves. This is not to say that male-children don’t undergo a similar experience, but for me I have always been held to a different standard than my younger brother. In seeking to protect me from the world, my parents have always held my hand. They’ve always felt comfortable in walking me through life without me taking the lead. Nonetheless, I am definitely grateful for their guidance and love, but this form of ‘protection’ can hurt you. Yes, I understand from an Islamic perspective that a father and husband should protect his family, especially females under his authority. However, this ‘protection’ doesn’t help as much as one would think. In being protected, I’ve been saved from many of the vices in the world. I’ve always been too afraid to step near a night-club, drugs, alcohol, sex or dating. In growing up,these weren’t options. Nonetheless, this doesn’t mean I was truly protected. It just meant I didn’t have these experiences. In the long-run, I would later find out that I was naive, ignorant, and unable to handle various situations that would come up. Yes, I believe that parents should keep their children from vices, but I also believe that parents should give their children autonomy. One day these children will grow into teenagers and will have to navigate through the world alone. If anything, parents should equip their children with the necessary skills to travel through the world. In many ways, I never had important conversations with my parents about various topics because they never thought I would encounter certain issues. In some cultures, women aren’t taught about their bodies, specifically their reproductive system. I have many friends from a particular culture and we would sometimes talk about female-issues, but there would be an unsaid tension within these conversations. So, I asked why it was so hard for them to talk about: menstruation, sexual health, and sex. They told me that these issues weren’t spoken about publicly in the home, but they were simply issues to be confronted in marriage. In the back of my mind, I thought they were totally backwards. I couldn’t believe that their parents wouldn’t tell their daughters about these important issues, but due to my own arrogance, I was in the same boat. It wasn’t until I took classes in school over sexual-health and menstruation that I truly learned about the biological aspects of the body’s functions. I remember when I was 11-years old, my mother had printed out a huge-packet over menstruation. I laughed at it. I laughed, but I read it. So, it was definitely awkward for my own mother to grasp such a topic with her daughter. Later on, I would later feel confident to talk to my mom about menstruation due to the classes I had at school about Sex-Education. However, I never had a talk with my parents about sex. For many Western parents, there is always the talk about the “birds and the bees” or sexual-intimacy. No, the extent of this conversation was “Stay a virgin, wait for marriage and only adults do this”. This conversation may not provide enough inspiration for a teenager to stay celibate until marriage, but it was for me. On top of this, I have a father that will never find comfort in men courting his daughter. There’s always that raised-eyebrow and mean-look from him that will scare curly-hair straight. So, my parents are and will always get love and respect from me because I know that being a parent doesn’t come with a how-to guide on how to parent children. However, I would have liked those intimate conversations about: girlhood, womanhood, sex, marriage, sexuality and men. I definitely do not believe that all men are dogs and needy for just sex out of women. Unfortunately, I’ve been taught this for a good period of my life, so in many ways I objectify myself by believing that men are only sex-mongering individuals without souls declaring all women as sex-objects.

I can’t speak on the experiences of anyone else, but I believe that parents should treat their daughters as individuals. Parents should understand that their daughters are: free-thinking, sexual, rational, and independent beings. If she isn’t treated as such then she will continue to believe that she is in need of someone else to make decisions for her. Not only this, but this prison-like restriction of her freedom can breed rebellion. If you keep a bird caged up then just open up the cage’s door and you’ll see that caged-bird take flight. This is no different than a young woman that experiences oppression in the guise of protection. In another real scenario, if someone harvests anger inside of themselves then they will eventually explode. This is similar to nature, a cloud can only hold so much water; eventually the cloud will send rain, sleet or snow. So, this is important to think about when we think about the way we deal with the issue of protection. Now, I am not saying it is okay to delve into destructive activities in the guise of freedom. I don’t agree with destructive-behavior, at all. I just believe anger and frustration can definitely be directed in a constructive and positive manner. So, I definitely believe that protection can be imprisonment. This imprisonment can stunt a female’s view(s) on life. If she is unable to decide for herself then how will she know what is truly best for her? One father is quoted saying in an article, called ‘Dear Daughter: I Hope You Have Awesome Sex’ saying:

You’re not me. Nor are you an extension of my will. And so you need to make your own damn mistakes, to learn how to pick yourself up when you fall. I’ll help. But I think there’s value in getting lost. I think there’s a strength that only comes from fumbling your own way out of the darkness.

So, it is time for parents to allow their daughters to discover their own likes, dislikes, needs and wants. Now, I definitely sound like a feminist…and I am. However,I just feel it is really important to honor people. How do we honor someone if we take away their options? Each of us appreciate the ability to decide about the welfare of our own lives, especially as adults. So, it is important to honor the next individual’s right to decide about their life, even if its your own daughter.

So, in my own struggle of dealing with womanhood, I have accepted that this business of womanhood is serious. We may never think about these issues because they may not necessarily concern us or be relevant, but they are. Womanhood differs from one country to the next. Womanhood is affected by various factors. So, its really important to understand that treating daughters as if they are precious diamonds that will never get scratched up in the chaos in life is detrimental. If anything, let them get scratched up, but just let them know that you will always be there for them.

For extra reading:
“Dear Daughter: I Hope You Have Awesome Sex”: http://goodmenproject.com/ethics-values/brand-dear-daughter-i-hope-you-have-awesome-sex/

“Halal Sex” and Seeking Marriage as the Cure

Marriage

One topic that is always in demand is marriage. There is always room at the dinner-table, in the mosque, at a gathering, or even at a wedding to discuss marriage. Unfortunately, the topic of marriage typically include the references of “halal sex” and “fornication”. You’re probably asking me to clarify what I meant by that last statement. Yes, allow me to elaborate. In many communities, the act of getting married is praised because it is a ‘halal’ way to engage in sexual-relations without the sin of fornication, especially when it comes to the youth. However, the notion that one must get married only for the sake of engaging in sex is problematic. If one was to ask any husband or wife if sex is the end-all or be-all of a marriage than one will quickly understand that sex isn’t going to provide the substance to keep the relationship together. No, I am not saying that sex isn’t important but it definitely isn’t the end-all or be-all of a marriage. Additionally, if one went into a marriage solely for the intention of dealing with their sexual urges than is one really cognizant about the purpose of marriage? Is marriage only about the exchange of a husband and wife fulfilling each other sexually? Or is there more than that?

I’m not here to define or outline anyone’s marriage, but if one was to seek marriage as this magical cure in dealing with sexual urges than this seems shallow. Yes, if one was to get married and indulge in sex then it is ‘halal’ or lawful. Additionally, it is even rewarded by Allah(God) since it is done in a lawful way. However, if one is seeking to only get married for the sole purpose of having sex then what about afterwards? Where does one go once their sexual-needs are satisfied? Unfortunately, the rhetoric geared towards the youth about marriage is more problematic because many youths feel that marriage is their ticket for ‘halal sex’. And I’ve heard numerous times how it would benefit the youth to get married young in order to protect themselves from falling into fornication. Yes, I agree that sex outside of marriage is a major sin in Islam and it can lead to corruptions within societies. However, if the youth is filled with this belief that once they get sexual-urges they should get married then how is this fair to them once they get married and see that marriage is more than sex?

Recently, I had a heart-to-heart conversation with a dear friend about this topic. Many of the Muslim youth are groomed from a young age to value marriage and the beauty of it, but on the other-hand many are given this romanticized view that marriage is their outlet for sexual-frustration. For many of us, we understand that marriage comes with tons of responsibilities and obligations. Additionally, marriage is a place in which the couple can grow individually and together as a couple. Not only grow, but to strive Islamically for paradise. However, does the youth grasp this concept if they are being told constantly that the only way they can have sex is if they get married? Now, I must be fair in this depiction of marriage. I do believe that some parents explain that marriage is not a joke or just a place for sex. However, I’ve always found it, more times than not, that the youth is pushed to get married when they have sexual urges. Yes, I believe in many Western societies that there is an issue of hyper-sexuality happening and occurring right before our eyes, thus the youth is being exposed to sexuality on a daily basis in various ways. Nonetheless, this notion that once a kid gets sexual-feelings is ready for marriage is incorrect. Once we hit the age of puberty or even before, we can experience those urges. However, it doesn’t mean we are ready for marriage or can even grasp the seriousness of marriage.

In saying all of this, I don’t believe that marriage is a cure for horny youth. If anything, the youth should understand the various dimensions of marriage and all that it entails. I’m definitely not advocating fornication, but I am advocating education and a serious talk about sex. It isn’t fair for the youth to feel inclined towards marriage just because they can satisfy their desires because there are a long line of other issues that comes from marriage. And we have to ask if marriage is even appropriate at this point if the young man or woman is only focused on sex. We’ve heard numerous times that sex doesn’t sustain a relationship and isn’t going to hold-up a relationship if there isn’t a general connection between the two spouses.

What exactly does it show the youth that they can easily get married to have ‘halal sex’? Does it really give them the right image of marriage? Does it show them that there is responsibility attached to this choice? Does this truly show them the value of marriage? If anything, it gives the youth this stunted image that marriage is all about the sex. So, if this is the case then does the value of people ever come into play? Are people just places for imposing our sexual desires upon? So, if I knew that my general interest in getting married was to just have sex then this would force me to take a step back to ask some important questions.

1. Do I really understand the purpose of marriage?
2. What am I going to do after the sex is over?
3. Do I truly value this potential spouse as a whole or just as an outlet for my sexual urges?
4. Am I being selfish in thinking that I can be satisfied with only wanting sex out of marriage?

I’ve had so many instances in which I have heard the youth or older individuals saying that they want to get married just for the sex. Of course, they would never come out and blatantly say that, but the message got across. The only reason they wanted to get married was being they had those ‘urges’ and because they wanted to not fall into fornication. In these initial reasons for wanting to get married there wouldn’t be any claim of wanting to be with someone to share their lives with, to grow with religiously or etc. I guess my issue is simply about the notion of ‘halal sex’ and using marriage as a tool into getting it. We all have undergone those years of raging hormones, but we eventually get over it. We understand that these ‘raging’ hormones are just that…raging. However, it doesn’t necessitate for us to believe we can’t control ourselves. However, if someone believe they are ready to get married then go for it. This is ultimately a personal-choice and everyone has that right. However, we shouldn’t seek to find a cure to our ‘raging’ hormones by simply wanting to be with someone for sex. It just makes me wonder about the end results of this act of getting ‘halal sex’ in a marriage and realizing that sex was all you really wanted. So,it just makes me ask if someone really values or even understand marriage if they just wanted to have sex.

Like always, you are always welcomed to email me or comment. Just some thoughts about marriage and sex.

Mistaken Identity: Finding Love in the Wrong Places

I’ve known women that mistook sex
lusty sex/seductive words/ and late-night conversations
for true love
But for him, she was only a burial ground
for his broken soul
Constantly resurrecting her in sinful nights
to read out to her his book of lusts
sentencing her to his playground of pain and shattered dreams
He was just open wounds bleeding internally
Suffering
Leaving remnants of himself tucked away in between her thighs
and upon pillow-tops gone empty the morning after

Where Do You Stand?

Assalamu alaykom,

Where do you stand? The question isn’t about your current, physical geographical location. The question is philosophical. As a consumer in our global-community what are you doing to better this planet? Are you one of those people that just sit around for a better day to come? Are you expecting “those” activists to come on television to change the world? Unfortunately, you are mistaken to think that activism is specific to a special person. We are all activists- some of us are just simply inactive. As long as we are here and living we are playing a role. We are either making the world better or not.

The state of the world is in disarray. There are children being killed on a daily-basis from war, people living under the poverty-line, homelessness, starvation, sex slavery, lack of education, gendered-crimes committed, rapes, and etc in our world. All of these crimes against humanity is happening in our neighborhoods, cities, villages, countries, and regions. These crimes against humanity can be stopped if you stand up for those that can’t do it alone. Oppression can be fought, so never think you can’t help a cause. Everyone can do something- small or big. It is our choice to be lazy or to be active in the world in which we live in on a daily basis.

Do not stand on the wrong side of the fence. Do not choose to straddle between the two sides. Find your side and hope that it’s the right one. There is never an excuse for oppression. Figure out where you stand right now. Elevate your knowledge of the world by reading, interacting, asking questions and seeking out truth(s). Be willing to change your line of thinking for what is in the direction of truth and honesty. Never settle for idleness and doubt. Find certainty in your heart. Allow the knowledge that you seek become penetrable into your heart. Let it sink in and stay. Growth sometimes come with pain and in that we develop as individuals. The world simply need people with big ideas and drive. Get others to help in a cause or causes. Spread the word. Inspire others with your knowledge. Share it wherever you may go.

The road you may tread upon may be hard at first, but remember that the struggle is worth the end result. It may be a little foggy and dark, but remember that knowledge is true freedom. And down that road is light. So, as you travel down this road to enlightenment never give up. Always cling to your heart for the heart is never wrong.

So take a stand right now.