The Tragedy of Woman in the West
The Western society seems to be approaching its journey’s end. Only the rediscovery of morality can give it a new lease of life. It must be clearly understood that the current moral chaos in the west is not an accidental growth. It is not a bolt from the blue, but only the natural (although bitter) fruit of the seeds sown by the so-called ‘emancipation,’ and ‘freedom’ from morals as advocated by the materialistic attitude towards life, writes DR ROKHIYA JAFERI SIDDIQUE.
“In history the ages of disintegration were usually the ages in which women had left the home. In fifth century Greece, the high point of classical history, women stayed in the homes. But after Alexander’s time when city – states were breaking up, there was a feminist movement like our own.” – Prof. Arnold. J. Toynbee.
One of the most revolutionary movements of our times has been the movement of the ‘emancipation’ of woman. It has been so dynamic in character, so sudden an upheaval in effects and so tragic in its results that it deserves a careful study by all students of sociology. The movement rose with the emergence of capitalism and spread like wild fire. It tore asunder the bonds of custom and religion. It set to fire the curtains which separated the male and female. In the present century, the movement has reached its zenith. The results this movement has produced are now crystal-clear. They are alarming and baffling and appalling. Even those who once paddled the movement now stand dumbfounded at the sight of the wretchedness and depravity which it has created.
But true to our tradition of slavery, we are now embracing the movement which has been proved in Europe to be a bear’s embrace. It seems as if we are always behind the march of time. We believed in what Europe believed half a century ago and what its saner elements have already begun to spurn. We only wear those thought-garments which seem to be Europe’s refuse!
Now, in the Muslim world, this movement of women’s so-called emancipation is firmly afoot. Efforts are being made to smuggle women into the rough and tumble of socio-economic life. They are being made to leave their hearth and home. Purdah is being discarded and free mingling of both the sexes in encouraged. It is time that the conscientious men and women of our country give thought to the problem. We invite them to “know the tree by the fruits it has already brought forth.” The effects of this movement are only too clear on the European way of life. Let us not play with fire, like a blind man. Let us think, for [in the words of one Western scholar]:
“Moral sense is almost completely ignored by modern society. We have, in fact, suppressed its manifestations. All are imbued with irresponsibility. Those who discern good and evil, those who are industrious and provident remain poor and are looked upon as backward. The woman who has several children, who devoted herself to their education instead of her own career, is considered weak-minded…. Robbers enjoy prosperity in peace. Gangsters are protected by politicians and respected by judges….. Homosexuality flourishes. Sexual morals have been cast aside….. (and thus) despite the marvels of scientific civilization, human personality tends to dissolve.” (Dr. Alexis Carrel, Man the Unknown).
Imposing upon the woman the obligation of earning bread by working laboriously in mills, in factories and on farms has proved to be a great liability. It has struck a fatal blow to family life. An acute disintegration has set in. The once noble institution of family – the guardian of culture and the protector of civilization – has collapsed like a house of cards. Women abandoned it. Men disliked it; streets became the centers of activities. Restaurants and parks became the places of romantic ventures. This further fanned the flames of sexual fire. And today we have come to such a stage that even George Ryley Scott has to say:
“Today by far more than ever before in the world’s history, there are for the finding large number of girls of respectability who are willing for all sorts of reason to meet men half for sexual excitement and satisfaction. These are the amateur prostitutes of modern civilization. (A history of Prostitution)
This emancipation has not stopped here. Amateurism has further progressed. It has assumed such grave proportions that now it has become a veritable threat to Professional prostitution. A governmental report about Vienna says that the main reason for the decline of prostitution there is “that owing to the change in the sex morals now in vogue, the young man no longer has the need which once existed for the use of prostitutes” (Reuter-Dawn Jan, 7, 1952). Is this the fruit of the emancipation of woman?
Peaceful married life has become a mirage. Illegitimate births are on the increase. In France, their number is more than 77,000 a year. About England, the report presented to the Diocesan Conference in 1946 is highly revealing. Its authors say:
“At least one in every eight children born in England and Wales is conceived outside wedlock. One hundred thousand women in England and Wales are becoming pregnant outside of marriage every year. Of all the girls who marry under 20 years of age no less than 40 percent are already pregnant on their wedding day”.
Dr. Oswald Schwarz’s estimates further endorse the same view. He says:
“The average number of women who give birth to extramarital conceived children was, for each year, almost exact 80,000 (in every eight of all first maternities). In 1938, 40% of girls marrying under the age of 20 and 20% of those aged 21 came under this category. These figures, impressive as they are, represent only those affairs in which something has gone wrong, that is to say, only a small fraction of those which actually have existed.” (The Psychology of Sex)
The Kinsey Report given below is more revealing. About the American male population, the findings are:
• 95% of the population is corrupt according to the current morals standards.
• Children are caught in whirl-pool of sexual immorality even at the age of four and five.
• Pre-martial sex relations have assumed baffling proportions.
• Dr Kinsey says: “Among the males going to college, about 67% have such experience before marriage. Among those who go to high school, about 84% have such intercourses, and among the boys who do not go beyond the grade school, the accumulative incidence is 98%.” (Sexual Behaviour in Human Male, p. 552)
• Regular violation of marriage-bed is a common feature of American life. Nearly 50% of males succumb to it.
• Homosexuality is on the increase, and one in every three males has some such experience.
• Even contacts with animals are rampant and one male out of every twelve is involved in such dirty affairs. (Ibid p.670)
• On the whole, doctors say that according to the current laws, 95% of the American males should be behind bars as they violate the law in one way or other.
As regards the female population of America, the Kinsey Report says:
• 50% of American women (of all ages) lose their virginity before marriage.
• More that 25% violate the marriage-bed and feel no regrets for betraying their husbands.
• 20% have homosexual relations.
• 62% masturbate.
• 95% succumb to petting.
• The rate of sexual violations and malpractices is high among college girls and educated women.
• 43% of the women have learned the malpractices from printed or verbal sources primarily designed to discourage the practices.
• Only those groups are living a comparatively noble life of decency who follow religion. Religious devotion is the ‘prime’ and potent factor in arresting sexual laxity.
The above statistics prove beyond any shadow of doubt that, under the spell of materialistic creeds, morals dwindle, manners deteriorate, corruption increase and vulgarity becomes the order of the day. The English psychologist Mr. Nobel Brain rightly remarks:
“In fact, the thing that really stands out of Dr. Kinsey’s reports both on the American male and the American female is that all of them are living in a corrupt and frustrating society.”
Addressing himself to those Englishmen who want to import the American morals and manners in their country, Mr. Brain declares emphatically:
“Nevertheless the picture he (Kinsey) presents is enough to show once more how far the American way of life is from being a civilization we want either to import or to emulate. Dr. Kinsey’s girls and boys are deployed to be pitied for what they have done to themselves. But we don’t want them over here till the American people find a cure.”
The Kinsey Report has shown that the world is immensely in need of moral values and never was that need so imperative, as it is today. The western society seems to be approaching its journey’s end. Only the rediscovery of morality can give it a new lease of life. It must be clearly understood that the current moral chaos in the west is not an accidental growth. It is not a bolt from the blue, but only the natural (although bitter) fruit of the seeds sown by the so-called ‘emancipation,’ and ‘freedom’ from morals as advocated by the materialistic attitude towards life.
These results have shocked all thinking minds. In the West itself, a strong reaction has set in. Some of the Western thinkers are condemning this mad craze for immorality. They become doubtful of their own ideology and standards, and they have now started saying what the Muslims have been saying all along. Thus, for instance, Bertrand Russell says:
“Waiting the classes that are dwindling, it is the best element that is dwindling most rapidly. It seems unquestionable that if our economic system and our moral standard remain unchanged, there will be in the next two or three generations a rapid change for the worse in the character of the population in all civilized countries. The problem is one which applies to the whole Western civilizations.” (The Principles of Social Reconstruction)
A learned woman medical scientist, Mrs. Hudson Shaw advocates the need of marriage, in the background of the evil of sex-anarchy in the following words:
“In all, this argument has tried to reach those realities of human nature on which human morality must be based. I believed that the fundamental things which we take into account are, first, the complex nature of human beings who have body, soul and spirit to reckon with and who cannot neglect any one of these without insincerity and secondly, the solidarity of the human race which makes it futile to act as though the ‘morals’ of any one of us could be his personal affair alone. It is because of this solidarity that marriage has always been regarded as a matter of public interest to be recognized by law, celebrated by some public ceremony and protected by legal contract.” (Sex and Commonsense)
The views of this lady might irritate our ultra-modern women who aspire to imitate the west, because it is a fact that she has administered a slap on the face of all those who want to popularize the Western conception of sex relations in our society. Thus, she says:
“Now when our civilization is indeed tottering on the verge of collapse, we see that, in fact, the last decades have been marked by a choice of license for both sexes rather than discipline. The results have been an enormous waste of creative power. Prostitution and promiscuity, combined with the prevention of conception and not combined with any kind of creative results whatever, homosexuality in both sexes, and various forms of abnormality, represent to us the unwholesome swamp into which the waters of energy have flowed. Is this a Symptom or a Cause of our Collapse? Both I think.” (Sex and Commonsense)
Modern thinkers of almost all shades of opinion now think that the Western society is becoming an awful place to live in. They have begun to visualize a dismal future for it. The historians are warning them in the most clear terms. Prof. J. D. Unwin says that disintegration and moral laxity have gone hand in hand. His marvellous book, Sex and Culture is replete with eye-opening historical illustrations.
Anthony M. Ludivici says that: “The mere fact that in all periods of decline, woman has always come to fore shows (the historical fact) that feminism is undeniably a phenomenon of male disintegration.” (Woman: A Yindigration)
Prof Arnold J. Toynbee proclaims that:
“In history, the ages of integration were usually the ages in which the woman had left the home.” (World Review, March 1949). The author of the article on ‘Feminine influence in politics’ arrays a wealth of detail from the histories of Greece, Rome, England, France etc., to prove this theme that, the disintegration of civilization has always coincided with baneful feminist movement and their influence in social and political life and that:
“The hey-day of their (i.e. the women’s) power happened to coincide with greatest degree of degeneracy among the male population.” – (Universal History of the World)
The author believes in separate spheres of work for men and women and concludes with the remark that:
“All that our thesis and the historical data collected above, entitle us to argue is that, at the healthiest periods in the history of all peoples, the male population appears to distinguish so sharply between its public functions and duties and its relationship to women that no such phenomenon as direct or indirect feminine influence in politics is possible; feminine domination is, as a rule, only an accompanying symptom of the general decline.” (Ibid)
(The compiler of this article, Dr. Rokhiya Jaferi Siddique MBBS, is President, International Seerah Academy, Bangalore)