Note: This is not about the Muslim men; its about men who are too rash and who thus end up participating in systemic oppression of women. I must comment that I edited this post a bit after posting it for the first time. Its just that I wasn’t thinking clearly after this incidence; and, I had to talk to two of my close friend in order to get over this blow. Then, I added some important missing information to this post. As I write this, I am asking myself, “Where are the Forgotten Femmes going to go if men kept pushing me away from workplaces like this? I mean this society isn’t run by women alone.” And, know that I am speaking from experience. I am a survivor of domestic and workplace abuse; that is how I can read into abusers’ moves.
Some Canadian Muslim men—and, some non-Muslim men—are abusing Canadian Muslim women very thoroughly. I say “Canadian Muslim women” and not “some Canadian Muslim women” because hurting one means hurting the rest by collapsing a part of one’s network. Obviously, this also means that they are hurting non-Muslim women as well. For example, a potential employer just asked me out after only one job interview; one brief telephone conversation about work; and, some precise text messages that are not intimate or romantic in nature. I felt hassled because I was partially under his control since he was interested in working with me. I cannot discuss the entire situation here but sometimes he sounded pushy; and, he also asked some questions that don’t quite belong within the context he was pretending to operate. For example, he texted me, “Let me know if you need anything until you get the job”. His questions/comments were designed to cue me to talk further and open up about some of my personal circumstance until he felt cozy about stating what he had to state. This is an example of “control through economic means and male privilege”. See “Power and Control Wheel”. Again, he did this rather quickly and after seeing me only once—unfortunately, I have only some of the text messages saved and no recorded telephone conversation. He vaguely conveyed that he was going to help me quickly if I ended up dating him for a bit. I felt so scared that I ended up thinking back to how two other young Muslim women had told me similar stories about themselves. Those two were gravely misused by some Muslim men and then let go; I was there as a “Buddy” to help both of them. I can’t imagine working next to this man now simply because of what happened or it could be because I felt that he had wrong intentions. I mean who could ask someone out so quickly? Whatever his intention was, I am not comfortable around him any further. I think I will not take the job that he was planning to offer me; and, I had to block his number so now I don’t have any access to any of his connections. I clearly see why a previous Muslim employer coerced me to take a ride with him after inviting me to have lunch with him; and, another Muslim employer asked me to meet him for an interview and portfolio review for around 5 times. I felt forced to comply by their requests. Only the second incidence was formally reported and some action was taken because some official authorities were nearby when this happened. I removed these two men from my network as well; and, I have come to a firm conclusion that I will have to keep breaking contact like this and keep looking for a job until I find some decent people to work with. Add to this the fact that workplace abuse is becoming more common in Canada, which I now acknowledge as one of the most racist countries in this world; and, you have some crazy answers in front of you. Now, you should be able to gradually see how the victims/survivors cope with abuse; how they attempt to escape; how escape is not always possible or very difficult; and, how it becomes possible to trap, abuse, or rape them again.
Copyright © by Arzoo Zaheer. All Rights Reserved.