The want to be picked capitalises on two of our most simple human drives; worry and survival.
“What is the agreement on Muslim women living life on their own terms?” I discovered myself asking this query lately when, sadly, I stumbled upon an Instagram remark thread the place an unknown Muslim lady took aside one of the crucial completed Muslim girls in our neighborhood. “She is everything you warn brothers about” the girl ranted. “a lady who’s remarried, but posts about how a lot she loves her ex-husband. May Allah defend our brothers“. Let’s keep in mind that the item of this lady’s venom is a lady who misplaced her husband some years again, and chooses to recollect him periodically. Let’s additionally keep in mind that the ex-husband on this context ought to have been phrased as a late husband. This actual situation performed out with the Prophet (PBUH) who after getting married to different wives, would continuously bear in mind his late spouse, Khadijah (RA), declare his love for her and shed tears.
The situation right here, nevertheless, isn’t the correctness of remembering one’s late husband after being remarried. What was most baffling was the hatred and venom with which this lady spoke about her fellow Muslim lady, going so far as calling upon the boys in our neighborhood to cancel her and “roast” her. The lady didn’t cease there. She went forward to degree accusations towards the item of her hatred for selling sexual equality and orgasm for Muslim girls, disrespecting male authority and going towards the essential tenets of Islam.
Whatever our opinions are on any situation, you will need to spotlight that this lady isn’t the primary to try to enhance her value within the eyes of males by supposedly ‘signalling her virtue’ and undermining what she perceives to be her sexual competitors. Many girls in our communities flip towards their girls counterparts, proclaim themselves as ‘not like different girls‘ and present their readiness to be subservient to male authority. If this angers us as a collective, and it ought to, we additionally want to consider the deep-rooted causes of this type of behaviour in some girls.
These girls, whom we typically confer with as “pick-mes” should be understood. The time period “pick-me”, outlined by the city dictionary as a lady who places down different girls for male consideration or validation, is a far-reaching idea that goes again to worry and the necessity for self-preservation. It connotes the should be “picked” for far-better remedy by a world that suppresses us as a collective. When we perceive the lengths at which some folks will go to realize a sure standing or place, trampling upon these deemed closest to them for the preservation of their very own selves, it turns into simple to know that the act of shaming different girls is a coping mechanism for survival. This intuition to outlive and be handled higher than the remainder is so rudimentary that it may be seen amongst youngsters.
When it involves selections, most of us weigh our choices, selectively selecting these that can defend us from unfair assumptions and stereotypical tropes circulated about girls, reminiscent of these centred round slut-shaming. Many girls wish to match into the “good girl” field, to nook favours from society; the intuition to sign to the world that “sure, I’m a lady, however a decent one“, thus defending ourselves from the shunning that comes with non-conformity. Distancing ourselves from different girls labelled as sluts, bad-women, evil temptresses and whatnot looks like the one strategy to survive in a world that communicates to us that our reputations are as fragile as a bit of glass; really easy to be tainted and shattered for all times. It explains why girls flip towards one another, combating for recognition and survival as if our world have been a jungle during which the fittest outlives the remainder. In this case, sadly, the fittest seems to be the girl who’s essentially the most well-behaved, appearing out the man-made scripts prewritten for her.
Women who depend upon males for his or her id, careers, cash and livelihood usually tend to flip towards their fellow girls to keep up their privileges. They usually tend to conform, shut different girls up, defend the abused as an alternative of the abuser, name out different girls who defy gender norms and dance to the tune of the patriarchy. After all, the one who pays the piper dictates the tune.
The pick-me perspective is each harmful and deserving of compassion; harmful as a result of it’s damaging to our collective existence as girls and deserving of compassion as a result of this sport is unempowering even to the ladies who sign their virtues as distinct from the remainder. What the fixed shaming of different girls does is to additional draw consideration to unfair stereotypical labels, making a vicious cycle of hazard for girls usually. While we’re afraid of being labelled and stigmatised by society, do we actually wish to play a sport of self-preservation during which we ship different girls to the gallows for the only function of creating that we aren’t like different girls who truly ‘deserve‘ to be punished by the system? What does this inform of our values?
As a Muslim lady who has gone by way of and continues to be present process a technique of unlearning, I imagine in holding area for the ladies who throw different girls beneath the bus. I imagine that what we want is healthier engagement and acknowledgement that the need to be picked capitalises on two of our most simple human drives; worry and survival. The methods that many ladies make use of to be picked and thus, protected against the harshness that always visits girls might be harmful. However, as soon as we collectively acknowledge that these behaviours are primarily based on worry, we are able to then proceed to tackling them in our secure areas.
Women must know that virtue-signalling and pick-me behaviours can’t grant us true company and freedom. It solely ensures conditional security and respect in a world the place girls are usually not valued for simply being people. And similar to girls’s resistance is triggered by misogyny, we have now to recognise that the necessity to proclaim that we aren’t like different girls can be an impulsive however oblique response to misogyny.
Wardah Abbas is the Founding Editor of The Muslim Women Times. She is a Lawyer, Writer and Social Justice activist.