Thursday, December 29, 2011

Looking for Muslim Men

As salaam alaikum,

You know what I've realized? Over time, at this blog and the last, I've had a preponderance of female readers, like, always. Maybe it's just the segregated nature of the Muslim community in general, or maybe (and I suspect this is it) it's that my writing is only interesting to female readers...a possible fact that didn't bother me until this year.

It happened when B read RMD and commented first how Mo didn't sound like he thought like a guy (which was good feedback). Okay. Then, he said that he usually doesn't like to read books written by women or about women.

And I was like, waaaahhhhttt? and was all prepared to get all feminist on him, but it's useless for a man who has mostly female friends and who really admires female role models.

And off and on, even after that fiasco relationship ended, I wondered about that...

He wasn't interested in reading books about women or books written by women. I know he is not alone. It's the same thing that keeps many men out of women-themed movies, or chick flicks as they call them (although I also despise most chick flicks) and makes men not understand that works like For Colored Girls was not about them...

Over time, I think InvisibleMuslim (the first version) had one or two male readers, and this blog has some male followers who likely do not follow anymore. I'm not sure if it's the pink that turned them off or the content...or the fact that my entries tend to be really long (that's what one of my male readers said in the past...he liked reading my stuff, but it was too long).

To which I generally thought, well, this is a forum for me to express myself, I'll do what I want, if you don't have a long enough attention span to read a few more paragraphs or don't have the time, then that's your business...

But, I mean, it kind of goes counter to what I'm always talking about here...about how we need to learn from each other, create safe places where we can get to know each other, so maleness and femaleness won't be so foreign to us sisters and brothers, respectively, when we seek marriage. And all interactions between us should not just be with marriage in mind! It's like, we're all human beings, the way this society is set up, we interact with members of the opposite sex on a daily basis, professionally at the very least. Why can't we do that within our own Muslim communities? I think it would make gender relations a lot healthier...

And yet, I guess I write in a way that only caters to a female audience.

This is of special interest for me as I rewrite RMD, because while it may still be a story that more women will want to read, I don't want my male characters to be completely unbelievable or completely negative, just agents to the female characters.

This is also of interest to me, as an invisible Muslimah, because there are many more invisible Muslims, brothers who exist on the fringes of Islam on their way in, brothers who do not appear outwardly Muslim and disappear into the masses...and I feel like a lot of us are singing the same songs and have similar concerns and it would make for wonderful conversation, conversation that I've never had with Muslim men.

So I'm reaching out. My readership is circumscribed, I know, but I'd be interested to know if there's anything that I could blog about, maybe, that would bridge the gender divide with Muslim men so that maybe we could discuss some things, I don't know.

You know, in a way that would not be haram, haha!

...just a thought...

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