Cross Talk Allama Shafi has wasted his breath


IN a video alleged to be a voiceover done with one of his sermons taken from the past, Hefajat leader Allama Shafi has denigrated women with the rudest words. We must know the vile video doesn’t exist for that reason alone. It exists because politicians see it to their advantage to push that crass concoction. But it doesn’t matter when the holy man has spoken as long as he has spoken those disgusting words. Like a warning video for a deadly virus, the preacher preached the dos and don’ts for men to avoid women.
The godman gives a slew of antidotes to save men from moral pestilence. Don’t look at women, don’t touch them, and don’t send your wives and daughters to school and work. The rationale for irrational exhortations has the pathology of a paranoid husband. According to Shafi, one never knows what women do when they are away from their men. The cleric urged women to stay home and take care of furniture. He also explained that men salivate at the sight of women because they’re more irresistible than tamarind. Was he doing the same thing while arriving at the preposterous conclusion?
That conclusion reduced women to a bundle offer of lust and titillation. The entire focus of this mindless rant is the female body as if it’s an elusive road that has traps laid for men in its every curve. But is that all women evoke in men’s hearts? Are men like Pavlov’s dog conditioned to drool if they see women?
What about the zillions of proses and poems men have written about women? What about all those lovers who took their lives because lust couldn’t be a substitute for love? Then there are scores of great men whose lives were shaped by their mothers. This column doesn’t have enough space to list all the historical moments that have been inspired by women.
The high priest proved to have a one-track mind. His words were hissing with hatred, more mental than moral because his voice was dripping with disrespect for women. If the video has been voiced over, it blended well. He crossed his hands across his chest, closed his eyes, reclined in his chair and carried an unreadable smirk on his face. He exuded a sense of exaltation and beatitude drawn from every spoken word.
But if carnal consideration must be the way to judge women, the prelate didn’t know the world has changed. There are some men who find other men more irresistible than women. There are also some women who find other women more attractive than men. If withdrawing all the provocateurs from the scene is the way to allay tension, then more people will end up tending furniture at home than making them in factory sheds.
However, the Allama cannot lay the first claim to misogyny or hatred for women. Sophocles was informed that Euripides was a woman-hater. His response was that it may be true for Euripides in his tragedies, but in his bed he was very fond of them.
Aristotle wrote that women were inferior to men. He said that the courage of a man lay in commanding, while that of a woman lay in obeying. He is the one who also said that women had fewer teeth than men, which showed that that a female actually was an incomplete male. Years later, French feminist Simone de Beauvoir resented in her book The Second Sex that civilisation as a whole produced women as an intermediate between man and eunuch.
Socrates argued that women were to be “held in common” by men but never said if it should be the other way around. Socrates also insisted that one sign of democracy’s moral failure is the sexual equality it promoted. In 2005, Harvard University President Lawrence H. Summers, who later became Bill Clinton’s treasury secretary, talked about “innate” differences between men and women.
Like two wrongs don’t make a right, too many men hating women hasn’t worked. Women have risen through the layers of time and earned their place on an equal footing with men. It happened because history has been on their side. This world is created by God, who has also created the genders. It’s God’s design that unfolded in the end while petty men went to their graves.
We can’t tell if Allama Shafi will change his mind. But we know he has wasted his breath. Men can’t be born without women. They can’t have children without women. Men aren’t even men if there’re no women. The godman has argued a lost cause.
He wanted to save the mankind, but the only people who got convinced so far are men of his kind. Those men are bitter about women because they feel threatened. Women remind them that other men are more decent.

Source: The Daily Star