Firstly, we (women) have the power to create what is called fitnah, or social chaos, which men apparently are incapable of causing by themselves. That’s why we have to cover up, especially our heads, because when we don’t, men apparently fall in love with us, and hell is let loose – i.e., families are torn apart, hearts are broken, men go to hell, etc., etc. When we’re covered, all is apparently well in the world. So women are obviously powerful enough to destroy the world. This is negative power.
As for our positive power:
Secondly, the west is obviously the most decadent place in the world, and everyone knows this, so we won’t attempt wasting our energies and time to prove this. And because of the dearth of morality and decency and all other things good in the west, an overwhelmingly large percentage of Muslims around the world believe that women go bad when they’re in the west. So, many parents will bring/send their sons to the west while leaving their little daughters behind in the (Muslim) east so that they can grow up to be good, decent, modest, perfect Muslim women like they’re supposed to. Men are apparently so good that they can’t go bad – unless you mix them with women.
This power is positive.
It is positive because I think the people deciding whether or not the woman should go to the west, for study or work or whatever other reasons, in fact realize that woman is capable – more so than man – of becoming anything she desires to be, especially when she is given the opportunity. What makes the west bad? In this particular context, the opportunities it provides women, especially when they are compared to those provided to them in most Muslim/eastern countries. When a woman is educated well, she learns to think on her own, she questions, she challenges those normative thinkings that afford her the pejorative status she is falsely told “elevates” her status in society—she is expected to appreciate it! And who can stand this, right? Who can stand being told that their culture, all man-made (literally), is harmful to her and she will therefore no longer accept it as her own unless it is amended such as to give her a position in society that pushes her to love and value herself, to see herself as an important contributor to the society not just by bearing children or by raising them (so far, she hasn’t done a good job raising those kids, if the job is really supposed to be hers (and it shouldn’t be)!), to be not below or above the man (or another gender or sex) but to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with them to work for a healthier, safer, and more peaceful society.
And, yet, those in positions of authority in religions (not just Islam but virtually all others) wrongly concluded that a woman is incapable of making a decision on her own. Really? Something tells me they are/were aware of the depth of the woman’s power and were /are intimidated of what she is capable of doing and therefore told everyone that the woman lacks the intellect with which man is naturally blessed. They pushed us aside, infantilized us, and deliberately lied about our strength, our power, our intellect, our intelligence so that no one will have a chance to watch us rise above their lies.
Now, I must make two important disclaimers. One, I'm not implying that women in the west have more self-respect than women in eastern/Muslim countries. I'm trying only to explain why most "traditional" Muslims fear bringing their daughters in the West but have noooo problem raising their sons in the same infidel place. Two, I do not claim that all women who are given the opportunity to be educated grow to challenge those norms that are inherently pejorative to them, but I am certainly suggesting that when they do realize their dreams, they are so powerful that the world is intimidated by what they’re capable of doing – and that’s precisely why it (the world, people, society, men, other women, whoever is the one holding the decision-making power in individual women’s lives) has denied her education –and now higher education – for so long, denying her the right to make decisions for her own self, knowing and fearing that she might make the “right” decision that will lead her to the forbidden path of thinking. And I don’t mean to sound like a man-hater here, but I now believe that the reason men have been allowed to do all these things is that they’re not as powerful, so society never had that fear of men that it did and continues to have of women.
Aaaaand … I strongly believe that all of this also helps us (me) understand why most men (and others) are threatened by successful, well-educated, strong-headed women. I’ll talk on this anther time, though, since there’s lots to say on this. But it certainly helps explain why women are constantly killed and harassed around the world for speaking up, not submitting to the norms of their societies (e.g., staying at home 24’7, serving their in-laws and husbands, not talking back to their husbands, having as many kids as the husband/mother-in-law/people expect her to, and so on).
Readers are welcome to disagree with me. I’d like to be proven wrong on accounts of other people’s experiences and observations, as my observations and experiences lead me to quite a troubling yet optimistic view of society—any society. I am powerful. That's why I'm seen as a threat to society, and that's why I'm denying most things man is permitted.