by Nzinga Muhammad
Contrary to the lies that many individuals regurgitate, The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan is not one to disrespect women. Throughout his entire ministry in a span of over sixty years, the Minister has proven time and time again how interested he is in the liberation and wellbeing of women. He has consistently put emphasis on the woman being the second self of Allah (God). He has consistently put emphasis on his teacher’s words that a nation can rise no higher than its woman. He has also consistently made mention of how crucial it is to protect and respect women regardless to whom or what. The Holy Day of Atonement Address on October 14th was no exception.
As most of us know, Minister Farrakhan spoke at the Aretha Franklin Amphitheatre in Detroit, Michigan for the commemoration of the 23rd Anniversary of the Million Man March this past Sunday. From a woman’s perspective, what I found interesting about the address was the constant exaltation of women, particularly black women. In the spirit of the Million Man March and its theme of atonement, reconciliation, and responsibility, The Minister put accountability back on men while simultaneously uplifting women to our rightful place as God’s woman. Throughout the entire lecture he would mention our divinity, by stating that we as woman are sacred, and that that sacredness must be protected. He also mentioned that a lot of black men in particular don’t know how to handle, “women that are intelligent, that are go-getters, that are young, gifted, and black.”
In response to the controversy of the nomination of Mr. Brett Kavanaugh, Minister Farrakhan first acknowledged that Mrs. Christine Blasey Ford was definitely a victim of abuse, and he defended those who have been victims of sexual assault, especially in the workplace. He told how tears were in his eyes when he saw Ford’s testimony. He also briefly explained the trauma that rape victims face. He stated, “When that woman stood up and went through the horror of what Mr. Kavanaugh is alleged to have done to her, she had to relive it. Because that kind of thing when you experience it, you don’t forget that. It’s seared into your memory; you may put it behind you and think it’s gone somewhere, but when you least expect it, that thing will come out and make a problem for you.”
Minister Farrakhan also brought attention to the carelessness that female victims go through when accusing men in power. He said that, “A man can go on with his life and become famous. But when you dog a woman nobody seems to given a damn about how much a woman suffers.”
In this era of human history while we are seeing in the news more and more cases of mistreatment of women on a political level, women have been on the front lines protesting against this. Minister Farrakhan praised the fact that women all over the world are rising against the blatant sexism and misogyny perpetuated by people in power. He proclaimed that, “There will never be a change in the world until women rise from the condition that male authority has put them in.”
Minister Farrakhan even spoke against women being sex objects for male consumption and rejected degrading terms such as the “B word”. For years, Minister Farrakhan has been diligent in making sure that women are not cheaply used by men as some toy for pleasure.
The use of degrading language towards women is not a new topic he covered. He has been consistent in making sure that men and women are not comfortable in language that disrespects us. In the Million Man March Pledge that was repeated by nearly 2 million black men in 1995, one of the points that was made was that as men, they would not address any woman as the “B word.” It only made sense that this point was brought up once again, as it has become so normalized within our culture today.
Lastly, I admired the fact that the Minister honored the feminine side of human nature, or what many know as “the Divine Feminine”. He mentioned that Allah made him so that his feminine side would manifest in his “passion” and “artistic beauty.” He also put to rest any insecure thoughts that anyone might have about have a feminine side to them. He gave balance by saying those who are men aren’t necessarily all men, but have male and female components, and vice versa for women.
Overall, the lecture was not degrading or misogynistic. In my opinion, it was against misogyny and sexism itself. It addressed the problems against women that have been going on for years, but are trending now more than ever. The Honorable Minister Farrakhan was definitely on time with this address. Anyone who has concerns over his commitment to women must not have been keeping up with the work that he has done, and the message that he spreads.
(Nzinga Muhammad is based in Rochester, NY. Follow her Instagram @QueenNzinga13)