It is a one-sided concession to a rape culture that tells women to avoid streets at night and dress in a way that is not “asking for it” — without telling men to stop attacking women. The burqa and niqab, in a roundabout way, sexualize the female form as blatantly as a naked body supposedly does. By covering absolutely everything, a woman accepts her body as a wild, roaming sexual beast that needs to be neutered and wrapped up in case of attack.
For all of us who are men who believe in social justice, who want healthy and beautiful lives for our loved ones, and who are working for positive change in the world, let us commit or re-commit to making feminism central in our lives, values, and actions. Black feminist scholar bell hooks writes, “When women and men understand that working to eradicate patriarchal domination is a struggle rooted in the longing to make a world where everyone can live fully and freely, then we know our work to be a gesture of love.” She continues, “Let us draw upon that love to heighten our awareness, deepen our compassion, intensify our courage, and strengthen our commitment.” It is time for men in the millions to take courageous action in our society to further feminist revolution.
Black men are capable of greatness beyond our wildest imaginations. But it is because of this greatness that they remain oppressed by the powers that be, convinced to embrace their own self-destruction, given pathways to either the prison or the morgue at a very early age. We have failed many of our boys by not teaching them the things they need to know in order to grow into adequate husbands, fathers, citizens and leaders. The destruction of a community starts with destroying the family. To destroy the family, you can often start by getting rid of the male. Far too often, millions of black men are marginalized and terminated before they ever have a chance to learn how great they can be.
Currently, in the US, there are over one million women who are immigrants that own their own small business, as of 2007. This tells us that 13% of all women-owned small businesses are run by women who were born in a different county. These women are running businesses that range from housekeeping, to high-tech businesses, to legal services and engineering.
Even though many women can earn their place as “the boss,” they still have many challenges that their male counterparts may not have. Just because they have the position, it does not guarantee that they will have the respect and cooperation of their subordinates.