There are lots of different opinions, aren't there?
- Islam and feminism are not compatible.
- Being a "muslim feminist" is redundant because being Muslim automatically makes you a feminist.
I think both of those are wrong. Islam and feminism are compatible, but being Muslim does not automatically make you a feminist! My God does it not! So many Muslims are NOT feminists and are flat out insulted by the idea of it and their beliefs and behaviours are often FAR FAR away from feminism.
I'm pretty open to other people's views on what feminism is and I think that anyone who honestly believes him or herself to be a feminist has some good intentions about it and has enough in common with my definition of feminism to be considered one, even if there might be some disagreement. So I definitely do accept the woman who submits to her husband as feminist if she sees herself as one even if I personally find that this aspect of her beliefs (the submitting to a man part) is not feminist.
A lot of Muslims want nothing to do with the term though and fully accept that the system is patriarchal and not only do they accept it, they believe it should be and that any other way or any shift in power would be wrong and against God's word or law or wishes... They are not feminist - they don't even want to be feminist! Why would anyone put that label on them when they don't even want it? The two things (not wanting the label and going against what it means) makes it impossible to consider them that, doesn't it?
And about Islam and feminism being incompatible - it is not. There are many different interpretations of Islam that go beyond what the majority believe and that are not wrong just because they are not followed or believed by most. Something is not wrong just because it's believed by less people just like something is not right just because it's part of the majority. That is seriously messed up logic that I see people apply sometimes! Like my husband... anyway, the things he can come up with are another topic altogether.
Do you consider yourself a feminist? What makes you use that label on yourself?
Personally, I don't put too much importance on labels and the feminist label in particular can mean so many different things especially for Muslim women that just seeing "Muslim feminist" doesn't give much of an indication of what she believes in. Still, I consider myself a feminist and a Muslim and for me, it means that I believe that men and women should have the same opportunities and access. I recognize that there are issues that affect women differently than men and I believe that laws and societies are to adjust to make sure that despite those differences, they have the same opportunities. I believe the same for any differences that could affect a person like being a minority in skin colour or nationality or having a disability.