There was an interesting article that was posted in the Guardian a couple of days ago (video of incident that inspired article contains nudity) which discussed the incredulity shown by many westerners when told that Muslim women have always found Islam empowering.
The article is a good read. It was written in response to a Muslim event in France that was discussing the role of women where a couple of protesters from Femen stormed the stage and got naked to "protest for equality".
Ignoring the ludicrousness of the "protest" (and not ignoring that investigations have found Femen to be male led where attractive women are used for their protests...), the article is still a good read and explains how Muslim women have found Islam empowering and not just recently but from the beginning. Quoting from it:
Far from seeing Islam as a barrier to liberation, a majority of the women in my investigations use Islam to help them in their fight against sexism and shockingly, many named Muslim men (husbands, fathers, teachers) as some of the biggest supporters of their endeavours.
When I’ve told non-Muslims about my findings, they were often baffled, even infuriated. The belief that women can pursue advancement and emancipation as Muslims will be dismissed by many as a kind of “false consciousness”, so certain are they that there is only one way to understand the issue.
After such a well written article, it is always good to read the comments at the end. The article described the very people that commented on it.
Many of the comments are physical proof that many Non Muslims find it impossible to accept that Islam empowers women and that Muslim women use Islam to demand their rights.
These people dont want emancipation for women, they want women to fit their own world view and can get extremely angry women decide not to conform.