Are men and women equal?
It is difficult to answer this question as yes or no at once. The question is not clear enough in this form. We have to explain this question with other questions like Where? On which subject? From which aspect? If this question is discussed from judicial aspect, the answer is yes.
If it is discussed from every aspect, then there is no need to answer this question because the answer is in the question. Since two different genders are under consideration, then how can absolute equality be considered?
There are fields where woman and man are equal as well as there are fields where man surpasses woman or woman surpasses man. So, it is not possible to analyze this issue as a single matter.
If it is asked that Is there a difference between man and woman from the aspect of being a good, superior person?, we can emphasize at once that domination is different from superiority and virtue. It is difficult to say this one is superior to the other one at once in this second concept. It is because everybody is a servant of Allah whether a woman or a man. Only the one whom He prefers and loves and He is pleased with is superior. When we examine the Quran, the Divine book, we see that taqwa (fear of Allah) is the measure of superiority instead of gender. Yes, the measure of superiority in the presence of Allah is taqwa.
What is taqwa? Taqwa means fearing of Allah, abstaining from his prohibitions, keeping away from actions, manners, circumstances and words that He is not pleased with, regarding reaching His pleasure as the major aim and fearing of losing His pleasure extremely. As you see, the superior and virtuous person is the one who behaves accordingly. Gender is not esteemed at this point.
We remember good deeds immediately when taqwa is mentioned. Gender is not taken into consideration in good deeds, either. For example, if ten rewards are given for each letter of the Quran, it is the same for all people. A concept like fewer rewards for women and more rewards for men is not in question.
We can also take the question into consideration from the psychological aspect and can ask: Is there a difference between man and woman from the psychological aspect?
We answer this question as of course without any hesitation. The psychological difference between man and woman starts to manifest itself from the childhood. Boys and girls toys are different from each other. A girl likes dolls most among toys. She takes her dolls in her arms, kisses them, changes their clothes, swings them in a cradle and takes them to sleep. She spends most of her time with them. However, a boy prefers toys such as cars, airplanes and guns most.
When these children grow up, their conversations change. Men talk about business life or politics more while women primarily talk about household goods and knitting.
There is also an obvious difference between two genders from the in terms of ability. Man is superior to woman in composition and analysis while woman is superior to man in imitation and memorizing. For example; man is superior to woman in making an architectural work and placing all its parts suitably. Woman is much more sensitive than man in decorating any part of it with fine embroideries.
Man is more open to external environment. He is inferior to woman in showing compassion but he is superior to her in the ability of attempting. Woman is more introversive compared to man. The major benefit of it is the importance she will give to her children and her home.
Those two genders weaknesses are also different. There exists the sickness of tyrannizing and oppression in man and the sickness of showing off and giving much importance to what other people think about her in woman.
One of the most distinct characteristics of woman is her sensibility. It is called affectivity. Woman is more susceptible to be affected by the environment than man. Consequently, woman is more susceptible to be lead by inculcations and more suitable to be deceived than man.
Womans intuition is stronger than mans. She needs changes more than him and she is more open to innovations and excitement. Woman is usually inferior to man in means of magnitudes of her body, force and power. As a result, the need for taking refuge in someone is more in woman than man. However, this need changes into inferiority complex for some people and it shows itself as manly behavior complex.
Woman is more devoted to her spouse in comparison to man. She is more faithful than him. She is superior to him in the love for the world.
We should judge woman in accordance with that psychology of her and we should try to make her an ideal woman instead of trying to make her become mannish.
Let us have a look around. There is a perfect harmony between spirits and bodies in all living beings. Putting a gazelles spirit into the body of a lion and forcing it to behave like a lion will give the most harm to that cute spirit. It will lose some of the grace in its spirit every time it roars and it will destroy some part of its own elegance in every attack. Pushing woman into mannish behavior for the sake of woman and man equality gives the most damage to woman.
In fact, intentional and intensive activities carried out in this field could not change anything in one aspect. According to the rule Judgment is rendered considering the majority, we can say the following: Women generally happen to be workers instead of factory owners, secretaries instead of judges, hostesses instead of pilots, shop assistants instead of bosses. As you see, it is impossible to change the human nature.
Unfortunately, we could not have given woman the statue she deserves. We either tried to dominate her supremely and treated her unjustly as though her sustenance was upon us, or we gave her too many opportunities and we caused her to aspire to become mannish and we spoiled her in this way.
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