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Islam's New Forbidden Isms — Tomboyism and Lesbianism

Islam's New Forbidden Isms — Tomboyism and Lesbianism

At a meeting to discuss social threats to Muslims in Malaysia, a fatwa — scholarly opinion on Islamic law — was issued that forbids women to act like men. According to the ruling, women should not cut their hair short nor walk, talk, or otherwise act like men.

The fatwa, however, is not legally binding so it's not illegal to act masculine, just immoral. The chairman of the National Fatwa Council said these women were denying their femininity and violating human nature. To explain the ruling, he said:

It is unacceptable to see women who love the male lifestyle including dressing in the clothes men wear. . . It becomes clearer when they start to have sex with someone of the same gender.

While lesbian sex is not illegal either, sodomy is an offense that is punctuated with a 20-year sentence. But in a country like Malaysia, where Islam is the official religion, a fatwa can hold as much power as the law, and many lawyers believe this is a push to put lesbianism on the other side of it.

Considering masculinity and femininity is a spectrum — defined by culture — I do wonder how far this can go.


tlsgirl tlsgirl 8 years
All cultures are not equal. The have the potential to be, but any culture that treats women and gays as second-class citizens, and punishes homosexual activity with a possible 20-year jail sentence is not equal in my book. You can't be equal when some of your citizens are anything but. I can only hope that eventually these uber-strict religious tenets will relax and evolve.
Shadowdamage Shadowdamage 8 years
Hahaha, "Asian Bowl Cut"...well if you asked my mom, she just wanted me to look like "Dorothy Hamill" at the time..... I am convinced what screwed up my youth was that my mother cut my hip-length blonde hair into what I can only call the "Asian Bowl Cut: Blonde Version". It was...horrible.
MartiniLush MartiniLush 8 years
;-) Heh heh conveniently forget, UnDave...I used to work for the Feds - I can find you! :sneaky-evil:
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
Note to self: Don't tell Martini where I live in Colorado...(oops) ;)
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 8 years
"All cultures are equal." No! Female genital mutilation, selling people into slavery, the subjugation of women is NOT equal to a culture that celebrates human rights and civil rights. No culture is perfect, but accepting something as ok, just because another country or even US state's culture accepts it is just absurd. Is morality only applicable on a person by person basis? I think there is nothing wrong with one culture rejecting another culture's oppressive policies. And mswender is correct that sodomy was illegal in many states in the US until fairly recently also! And in many states in the US, gay people still aren't allowed to get married! Craziness...
MartiniLush MartiniLush 8 years
:rotfl: UnDave, I am gonna hunt down your family, scan those photos and get them posted as a feature on sugar!!!
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
Fortunately, this was before the digital era, so no, they aren't on the internet.
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
My mom also went through a phase of having my hair permed until I looked like some unfortunate poodle. I was also spared too many pictures.
Jessiebanana Jessiebanana 8 years
Asian bowl cut...nice. You should post them. Nothing beats my super, super curly/frizzy, sun bleached auburn hair, with my brown skin. I looked like a tribal heathen. But I was spared the pictures, thanks mom.
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
Are they on the Internet? ;)
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
And took pictures!!
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
And then took you out in public...
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
I got mistaken for a girl, but that was because my older sister played dress-up with me, and put me in a dress...
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
As a child, I was frequently mistaken for a boy (thanks, Mom, for the ASIAN BOWL CUT). But that wasn't as bad as how often my brother got mistaken for a pretty little girl!
Jessiebanana Jessiebanana 8 years
I'm just amused that hair length and dress of clothing is inherently male or female. I mean I was born with longer hair and in a dress and when I hit the hair just exploded and the dress got more poofy.
bengalspice bengalspice 8 years
But I love my short hair! And Ellen IS AWESOME!
Ginger Ginger 8 years
This isn't exactly new, it's just rewording their interpretation of something from Islamic jurisprudence that goes back almost 1400 years. Dressing like the other gender is frowned upon equally for men and women. The 20 years for sodomy sounds made up by Malaysia's government, because in Islamic jurisprudence I believe the actual crime is zinah (fornication outside of marriage,) which applies equally to either gender. The punishment I recall is lashes for an unmarried person and stoning to death for a married person committing adultery. But before anyone takes that too literally, there is also a very strict burden of proof: eyewitnesses of irrefutable character. Some schools go with pregnancy or confessing as evidence as well. It's pretty rare these days to have someone stoned to death for zinah, or even lashed. There have been some high profile cases in Nigeria and the Middle East in recent years. Different schools of fiqh interpret some of these laws differently.
kranky kranky 8 years
'kranky, being a Nazi isn't really a "culture."' Okay... it was just a manifestation of the greater German culture a the time that is still reverberating through contemporary German culture. (Watch out - I have my Masters in Applied Anthropology. I can argue this one until the cows come home.) Point being - the 'cultural relativism' argument is a lost cause, though people really work at it. But, I was mostly having fun with organicsugar's comment.
PeachyKeen19 PeachyKeen19 8 years
kranky, being a Nazi isn't really a "culture."
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
Exactly, zeze.
janneth janneth 8 years
But the U S societal changes having to do with female suffrage and slavery were not due to common sense prevailing. It was because of protests and civil disobedience and law suits and marches.
mswender mswender 8 years
they don't want to kill Salman Rushdie anymore, they dropped that, but it is still an extremist position. Sodomy is or was until recently illegal in many states as well.
indielove indielove 8 years
Haha, yeah.
Sticker1 Sticker1 8 years
Something tells me that most Muslims don't follow a lot of kill Solomon Rushdie on site.
zeze zeze 8 years
I think it is important to remember that a "fatwa" does not apply to all of Islam - so calling this "Islam's New Forbidden Ism" is a stretch - this will only be followed by people who follow that cleric that issued the fatwa - for example there are all sorts of lunatic fatwas in Saudi Arabia, that, like this one, don't apply and are not recognized by the vast majority of the billion Muslims in the world.
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