Age of Awareness
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Age of Awareness

Politics

No, a World Led by Women Ain’t Simply a Jealous World

Instead, it’s in harmony with its people; the policy is compassion; talking is the preferred conflict resolution mechanism.

Photo by Mimipic Photography on Unsplash

No, I’m not saying that all countries ruled by men are going at war with each other, and with their respective populations, although I’ll have to do some deep, exhausting Google search to find out about successful men in high politics who prefer compassionate politics as their Virtu — whatever Latin gibberish it is. So, just take it as an appraisal for responsible women actually showing some responsibility, while other leaders don’t. They deserve that. And we need them.

If Women Ruled the World

There Would Be No Wars,

Just a Bunch of Jealous Countries

Not Talking to Each Other

Almost everyone on the internet has at least once come across this meme. And you find it funny?

Now, you’re thinking that I’ll go all rogue over you because I think that you’re misogynistic and can’t even consider a woman leading her nation without getting jealous of another country. Then, my friend, you’re wrong. Relax! We’re on the internet!

The comedy industry has already suffered a lot because of it. So, I’ll let you giggle in your mind. Also, I don’t have control over it, and I am not just another Neoliberal begging you to consider political correctness when you make jokes on the internet. However (yes, there’s always a however), I have my own mind. And I like to generate stories on Medium out of whatever crosses my mind including random memes. And my mind doesn’t simply allow me to have instant fun scrolling down the memes without making me stop, and have a moment, and then check facts. Also, personally, I believe, truer deeper on-point memes are naturally funnier. Just a thought.

And who am I kidding? It kind of is funny for the person who reads it for the first time. Especially, the first part. And then it gets annoying.

But for me, it’s mostly ironic. Ironic because it also kind of suggests that we don’t like a world without wars. Wars are interesting. Ask Hollywood. They’ll release another film based on WWII and how the Allies were so great and all before you open your mouth ask them.

Takes me back to the old wise Russell:

“To discover a system for the avoidance of war is a vital need for our civilization, but no such system has a chance while men are so unhappy that mutual extermination seems to them less dreadful than continued endurance of the light of day”

I wonder he deliberately used ‘men’ or it was just a normal generalization when it comes to the English language marginalizing the other half by simply ignoring it. Okay. Let’s not complicate gender. We have had enough of postmodern jargon-laden academicians blaming language for our mutual extermination.

Back in 2019, a friend from my university approached me on Facebook and asked: “Can a woman be a caliph in Islam?” His question was a sort of concern than a challenge.

I see the word ‘Caliph’ as a political term mostly used to acquire legitimacy through religion. Historically speaking, many Muslim rulers in Medieval Arab and even modern-day dictators (also fascists like Abubaker Baghdadi) have used the title to sanctify their rule, often implying that it was not just a civic responsibility but also a religious obligation of the subjects to obey the Khalifa. But although I had a strong view that yes, why not, we have had female leaders who did quite well, I still took a moment to see it through the religious end of the question. Days later, reading the Quran, I stumbled upon the following verses:

She (the Queen of Sheba) said, ‘O [members of the] elite! Indeed a noble letter has been delivered to me. It is from Solomon, and it begins in the name of God, the All-beneficent, the All-merciful. [It states,] ‘’Do not defy me, and come to me in submission.’’ ‘ She said, ‘O [members of the] elite! Give me your opinion concerning my matter. I do not decide any matter until you are present.’ They said, ‘We are powerful and possess a great might. But it is up to you to command. So see what you will command.’ (27:29–33)

The Queen, according to the latter verses, submitted to Allah. And according to both Biblical and Quranic traditions, she and Solomon went along quite well. Interestingly enough, irrespective of what happened next, the verse is used to validate consensus-based decision-making and consultation (Shura) in Islam, specifically political Islam.

Naturally, I smiled. But then I thought why do I have to validate my opinion through the religion when it’s a fact that some women leaders have been doing great with their nations. Is the fact not enough? Why do women have to defend their competency more than men do? Even the late Benazir Bhutto, the former Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, who won Parliamentary elections two times with a simple majority had to, time and again, debate extensively on the equality of women in Islam to justify her rule. And that too mostly on the international forums.

Illustration by toraniofficial

Well, it tells me one thing. At least, it’s not the 51% people of Pakistan (mostly Muslims) who raise the question of competency of a woman leader. And that the leader of the so-called Free world — the United States of very democratic America — ain’t that free after all at least in the women-in-the-highest-offices department (it was just for fun (No, it wasn’t)).

Now, that we have talked about Malala leading the global cause for education, Greta rebuking adults to mind Climate Change, Jacinda empathizing with the victims of the Christchurch attack, and all the ladies running Iceland, Germany, Finland, Taiwan (add more if I’m missing any fine responsible ladies out there) in these trying times by handling the pandemic elegantly, gracefully (yes all the ‘feminine’ adverbs), but also efficiently and bravely, showing true leadership, we need to talk about normalizing traditional feminine traits as good and workable leadership qualities.

We need to ask that why a competitive woman is a jealous woman while a competitive man is just being himself.

And no, it’s not the scripture you should go back to, to engineer a claim that it’s the God who doesn’t want women in politics. Because if you do, you’ll come back with God justifying gentleness, forgiveness, consultation as the signs of true leadership.

It is by God’s mercy that you (Prophet Muhammad) are gentle to them; and had you been harsh and hardhearted, surely they would have scattered from around you. So excuse them, and plead for forgiveness for them, and consult them in the affairs, and once you are resolved, put your trust in God. Indeed God loves those who trust in Him. (3:159)

Maybe, the need for civilization to discover a system for the avoidance of war has already been met by these women.

Only if we recognize women’s positive contribution to the world in normal times as well, we’d be much happier. Only if compassion, empathy, harmony, honesty, diplomacy are humanized as the new Virtu a good leader needs. Regardless of gender. There wouldn’t be the need of politically correcting some comedian; to conduct Women Marches most of my fellow countrymen are so keen to nitpick slogans from and ridicule; to reserve special quotas for women in education, politics, and economy about which they’re constantly reminded of like minorities are of having stolen merit from the dominant class, race, religion.

Only if the evil-geniuses are not celebrated as good politicians. No, the world doesn’t need the evil-geniuses. It doesn’t need the opportunists. We have had enough of Trumps (too contagious) whose egos know no bounds. We have had enough of leaders with loud rhetorics and weak resolves. No, women don’t need to traditionally masculinize their femininity to prove themselves as respectable leaders.

It’s the woman leaders who actually have shown that if the State is to be the mother, the people need to be treated as her children and not as orphans.

And it’s time that we ask the right questions; the time we truly acknowledge women fully, and if need be, follow them.

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Zainab Jafri

Zainab Jafri

Political.

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