Thursday, 24 November 2011

The Male Definition of 'Honor' Seems Lacking...

Honor killings. You've probably heard of them. If not, to summarize, honor killing is a practice in which men defend their "personal honor" and the honor of their family name by killing their female relations if and when they step outta line. Although the numbers fluctuate depending on your source, anywhere between 5,000 to 20,000 women and girls are killed (honorably) every year. To drive the point home, here's the currently accepted definition of honor killing, from the group Human Rights Watch:

Honor killings are acts of vengeance, usually death, committed by male family members against female family members, who are held to have brought dishonor upon the family. A woman can be targeted by (individuals within) her family for a variety of reasons, including: refusing to enter into an arranged marriage, being the victim of a sexual assault, seeking a divorce—even from an abusive husband—or (allegedly) committing adultery. The mere perception that a woman has behaved in a way that "dishonors" her family is sufficient to trigger an attack on her life.
 This is a practice that is alive and thriving today, all over the world. It happens "there", in the uncivilized nations that lack our "compassion, understanding and humanity" and it happens here, in our own neighborhoods. While men technically can be the victim of an honor killing, I'd like to point out that:

1) While it is agreed that minimum 5,000 women and girls are killed in the name of honor per year, the number of males killed for honor is nowhere near that, hovering somewhere around 200-250 per year.

2) There is virtually no evidence to show that a heterosexual male has ever been killed in the name of honor, even though they could be killed by members of the family of a woman with whom they are perceived to have an inappropriate relationship.

So, as you can see, honor killings happen to women and girls, and sometimes homosexual men, but mostly women and girls. Which brings us to this. Four females are dead. An honor killing is suspected. There is a virtual fucking mountain of evidence, forensic and otherwise, to implicate the father, Mohammad Shafia and his other child, his male child, Hamid Mohammad Shafia in their deaths. His (Mohammad senior's) current wife, Tooba Mohammad Yehya is also implicated in the crimes, but if the beatings and threats that Shafias' first wife and daughters faced paint any picture, it would seem that Yehya would have had little choice whether to be involved or not.

The girls were routinely beaten and threatened. They lived in constant fear of their father and brother. Youth protection had been called on more than one occasion. The eldest daughter, Zainab Shafia, had run away and both of the other two girls had repeatedly told authorities they were afraid and wanted to leave the family home. And then, they all wind up dead, with their mother in the car, just days after someone had used the family computer to Google things like "where to commit a murder" and "bodies of water".

The trial is already underway. The plaintiffs have all plead "not guilty". Mohammad Shafia wants to know if this happened because his daughters were "drugged or choked" even though the autopsies performed twelve hours after the drownings have detected no drugs or signs of choking. I believe he thinks he can get away with this. I believe he does not care that his daughters and first wife are dead. I believe that he did not think that they were human enough to live and now thinks that he should not be punished, but oh, these pesky backwards Canadian laws! His crocodile tears and false act of postmortem concern don't fucking fool me for a second. I smell a rat. And I'd smell one even without the skyscraper's worth of evidence pointing the finger straight at daddy dearest.

The scariest thing is, honor killings seem to be on the rise in Canada. This seems to be common knowledge but, and here's the real kicker, no one really seems to be doing anything about it. Just like the neighborhood that just knows that Mr. Johnson down the street simply couldn't be a pedophile (!), everyone seems to think that they'd know if there were honor killings going on in their neighborhood, and since there obviously aren't, well it's not their problem, is it? Ask most white Canadians and they'll tell you "well, that's, like, an Arab thing, right? So, like, I don't really, like, think about it or whatever." But, no. Because even if it is an "Arab thing" or an "East Indian thing" or a "Whatever other group thing", if dudes keep getting away with it, other men will start to notice. And when they do, what's to stop it from becoming a "Mormon thing" or a "Jewish thing" or even a "Catholic thing"? And if that happens, well, then it just becomes a "normal thing" and women and girls are even more fucked in the Western World than they already are now.

There should be no leniency on those found guilty of committing honor killings. If your precious fucking "honor" is really more important than a real human life to you, then you should be locked up forever, having no contact with the outside world, especially those you consider yourself superior to. The concept of dudely honor is fucked anyways, in that dudes have honor, and the women in their lives reinforce that honor by being pure. But, according to the tenets of dudely honor, ladies have no honor, they're just things with which you prove your honor to other dudes. And if another dude gets your lady-honor-marker-thing dirty, well you get rid of that dirty lady-thing, right? I mean, forget about the dude that brutalized your female relative, she's damaged goods, man! How's that going to make you look to the brothers down at the lodge? Oh, and P.S.: fuck you, dude.

The bottom line is, that if only men can have honor, ladies can never be safe. And since dudes are never going to let women be honored or honorable in the same way as men are, the whole concept of familial honor has to go. Now. Today, preferably. Because if not, this won't be the last time women and girls are dredged up out of the Kingston river in the name of "honor".

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