By Harun Yahya
IN the recent weeks the world of art, especially Hollywood, was shaken by one of the greatest scandals in its modern history. 80 women have come forward, one after the other, with claims about sexual harassment against the famous producer Harvey Weinstein who had 81 Oscar wins. Long-standing rumours took a far more complicated turn when stars such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie and Rose McGowan entered the picture.
No doubt, the truth of these allegations will emerge only after the legal process but these allegations have turned the attention of the world once again to the repressed lives women have been forced to live.
Many may think of these events as the natural result of the moral degeneracy of Hollywood, sometimes standing out with scandals but this problem is not limited to Hollywood in the US. According to the statistics, one in every five women in the United States is sexually assaulted at least once in their lives; the same statistics also revealed that some women were sold by human traffickers to be used in the sex industry.
Again the same statistics state that 380,000 women are sexually assaulted every year, in other words one woman every 98 seconds. When we consider those who refrain from coming forward due to possible reactions, this number is estimated to reach one million. The aforementioned data shows that 13 per cent of these women attempted suicide after the assault. In summary, even in the United States, which is known to be the cradle of democracy, women are being forced to live under the pressure of men in every aspect of life.
The anti-women social model is not exclusive to the United States in the Western world. It is no secret that some Eastern European women are exploited as sex slaves by human traffickers. A study among 42,000 women across Europe shows that one of every three women is sexually assaulted at least once after the age of 15; the sexual assault rate in women below the age of 15 is around 10 per cent. These figures prove that even women in modern Western societies face similar problems with other women around the world.
Of course, the situation in the East is even worst. Regrettably, bigotry and tribal culture dominates Muslim societies, which are supposed to set a good example for the world. In some societies, some Muslim women are forced to marry at an early age, thus becoming essentially trapped in their own houses. They are tormented, beaten and even killed by their fathers, husbands and brothers.
In today’s world most women live under varying degrees of pressure. In almost all societies – be it Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, atheist, liberal, conservative, capitalist or Communist – men have established a strong dominance over women in every strata. Billions of women have to bear the weight of their husbands, fathers, brothers, bosses, boyfriends, even the men of their community.
Their lives are wholly dominated and what they should eat or wear is dictated; sometimes they are humiliated by being presented as the root of all evil. Billions of women live under appalling social pressure.
The delicate nature of women, the fact that they are good-natured and well-tempered, and their mild attitude emerge as factors that feed the egos of some completely ignorant men; these people attempt to lay claim on the lives of women.
The time to put an end to this concealed hostility towards women has to come. It is not a man’s business to bring women into line. No one has the right to dictate the lifestyle of a woman.
The only authority women should heed is their own good conscience: Men have no right to condemn, rule, judge or punish women.
Furthermore, the comfort of women should be protected by law. Social pressure must be directed towards protecting women and securing their lives and livelihoods. The era of rising to the top by using physical force must come to an end.
Women must enjoy the utmost freedom and comfort. The first duty of men must be to protect the honor and freedom of women. This is essentially an obligation that has been assigned to us in the Qur’an. Therefore, the societies that should primarily stand out in this regard should be Muslim societies.
Women will be the treasure of society in the 21st Century. They will be able to dress and talk as they wish and will be free to go anywhere they want. Women’s right to freedom must be men’s honour. It is impossible for a society in which women are uncomfortable or treated as second-class citizens to develop properly and live in peace.
This is the most important problem that needs to be solved by those who want to build a beautiful civilisation for the future of mankind. As women enjoy more freedom and comfort, societies will come closer and closer to a bright future.
A world in which the faces of the world’s 3.5 billion women will shine with happiness every single day is the bright future we must aim for.
*Adnan Oktar, best known by his pen-name Harun Yahya, is an influential Turkish spiritual leader, author, and opinion shaper who has written 300-books which has been translated into 73 languages and read by millions of people, exerting considerable influence on both Muslims and non-Muslims all over the world.
*The views expressed here are the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Times (TMT).