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Mar 28 2012

Another loving father

Here’s a cheerful item:

According to news reports on Wednesday, an Egyptian man and his family tied up their daughter and threw her into the Nile river as a result of a divorce to her aging husband, who mistreat[ed] her and abused the young woman.

Luckily, a fisherman saw the girl and rescued her before she died, Emirates 24/7 reported.

According to their report, the girl had initially refused to marry the elderly man, but then acquiesced to her family pressure and wed…

After she and the man divorced over abuse, she returned to her family, who when the girl refused to remarry the man, was tossed into the river in an “honor crime.”

It’s interesting how women and girls get it in both directions. It’s interesting how brutal it is to tell a girl to marry someone she doesn’t want to marry in the first place, and how brutal it is to insist on it despite her attempt to refuse. It’s interesting that fathers can be so indifferent to the possibility that their daughters will have crappy lives. And then it’s interesting that after she gives in and obeys and finds that her unwanted husband abuses her, she is not taken in and protected by her family, with apologies for their bad judgement about the man they forced her to marry, but instead, she is tied up and thrown into the Nile.

Really: it’s interesting. It seems such a bleak view of life. It’s as if all of life were a prison sentence – people have to live together but affection plays no part in the arrangement. It’s all just sex and force and servitude/domination.

29 comments

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  1. 1
    RW Ahrens

    It’s appalling, is what it is. As a father of three daughters myself, I cannot possibly imagine doing any of these things to one of mine, much less the “honor” thing.

    What blows my mind is the twisted logic of blaming the dishonor on the innocent victim instead of the real culprit – the abuser, with plenty of blame left over for the dad. They should have gone after the abusive husband with everything they had for his lying to them about taking care of their daughter!

    After all, that would be the truly logical thing to do.

  2. 2
    machintelligence

    I would guess that there are certain financial aspects that we are not aware of.

  3. 3
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    RW Ahrens, it becomes more “logical” when you regard women as property, not people. Including one’s own kin.

  4. 4
    ash

    Like RW said…It’s impossible for me to imagine such a thorough derailing of compassion for a child. I mean, How does that even happen? It seems like parent/child caring would be one of the least negotiable of all biologically evolved behaviours.

  5. 5
    Boomer

    And the mother? What does she have to say about this?

    As was pointed out in another posting on FGM, the mutilation is done by other women.

    Yes Egypt is a very misgynous society and women are conditioned to be submissive, but until such time as more of them start to reject the misogyny, nothing is ever going to change.

    Remember the Shafia honour murders? The mother was in on it the whole time. She helped plan everything and even helped lure the victims to their deaths.

    She could have alerted the authorities at any time and saved those four lives, but instead made a conscious choice NOT TO.

  6. 6
    silverbuttons

    Religion, in general, has a bleak and miserable outlook on life. Christianity is a good example of this. All humans are inherently evil because some woman (always blame the woman!) ate a piece of fruit offered to her by a talking snake; you have to obey the mandates of centuries-old text books, even if those mandates are barbaric and outdated; women can’t have lives, goals, or desires of their own, but must be subject to their husbands in all things; life is a state of slavery–to God, to priests, to men–and the world sucks so badly that there is nothing to look forward to except the afterlife, which you have been told is really great, but have no evidence to prove it. I am glad I left all that behind.

  7. 7
    Ophelia Benson

    Boomer – no kidding. Some women buy into the system. That’s not a newsflash. And the bit about nothing changing until more of them reject the misogyny is just wrong. If all men rejected the misogyny, something would change.

  8. 8
    Desert Son, OM

    It’s as if all of life were a prison sentence

    Following on silverbuttons comment at #5, I suspect that, for a long time, there were many circumstances in which life did seem a prison sentence for huge numbers of people. For many people in many parts of the world, it may still seem that way.

    Staggering infant mortality rates, rampant disease, life expectancy in the 30-year range, famine, catastrophic meteorological or geological destruction, sheer accident, subsistence living irregular at best, predatory animals not-yet-disadvantaged by increasingly advanced technology or human numbers, feudal and other economic systems predicated on slavery, and the all-time-classic: war.

    In many ways, I’m not surprised religions did develop, especially so many centered around the idea that “Don’t worry, I know it’s lousy now, but once you’re dead . . . ? Baby, you can’t lose!” Appalled, but not surprised.

    All of which becomes compounded when human psychology steps over into the territory of “It’s not enough that I’m suffering. Others should suffer, too! And since I have so little power in my life to prevent my own suffering, I can at least reclaim some tiny measure of power by increasing the misery of someone else.” As if the universe could be the target of revenge. “It’s useless to punish the stone in the field to get back at my pain. But a person? Especially one that I fear for their ‘otherness?’ And especially one that the larger social organization has sanctioned as ‘mine?’ Let the bloodletting begin!” Religion is the con artistry that the universe will somehow make amends.

    All the more tragic because the universe doesn’t actually care about your daughter, at all, in the slightest, and won’t notice your “revenge.” All the more reason that you should care about your daughter. Honor? Honor the life of the person! She’s right there! Honor that life! The universe won’t, so you must!

    My jaw hurts from clenching.

    Still learning,

    Robert

  9. 9
    Desert Son, OM

    I apologize. silverbuttons comment is at #6, not #5.

    Still learning,

    Robert

  10. 10
    smrnda

    It seems to be less ‘people’ should just do what they are told regardless of how unhappy it makes them in these situations and more women are to do as told regardless of how unhappy it makes them. If your daughter does something that hurts your image, tie her up and dump her in the nearest river.

    I’m sure that throughout history life was pretty bad; Orwell frequently remarked in his essays that people can only be as good as their level of technology allows them to be, and living in a society full of death, hunger, disease and other forms of deprivation. At the same time, it isn’t like these nations are in the Dark Ages any longer.

    The problem is a society based on power, authority, domination and submission. Everybody is called to submit to someone else, no matter how degrading and unpleasant the experience, and the first instinct of many is to take it out on those underneath them. The idea of a society built along a more egalitarian arrangement is conveniently kept out of mind by the leaders.

    As for women taking an active part in the oppression of other women, outsourcing oppression to your subordinates is a task every oppressor knows how to do well. Keep those beneath you in line or else you’ll be sorry.

    It’s hard for me to know how much I should blame individuals who should see beyond this madness, and how much they are a symptom of a bigger problem that they may not fully understand or be able to fix. I have no idea what it’s like to grow up in a repressive, brainwashed society.

  11. 11
    Sastra

    smrnda #10 wrote:

    The problem is a society based on power, authority, domination and submission.

    And such societies usually imagine that the universe itself is based on the same sort of hierarchies. It’s a bit hard to tell which comes first. Deliberate human-caused pain and suffering is created as a kind of payment to God or Nature — so that Divine or Natural pain and suffering can be avoided. Follow your roles correctly so that you will not merit punishment from the Heavens.

    Luckily, a fisherman saw the girl and rescued her before she died, Emirates 24/7 reported.

    Wtf? Clunk. Something went wrong, here.

  12. 12
    Sastra

    Oh, wait. Maybe the report means the girl did not, after all, die. I read it wrong. I think.

  13. 13
    Sparks

    It always comes back to the fact that when people believe in things they don’t understand then they (and those around them) will suffer. They resist education which might shine a little light on this abysmal darkness. So, quarantine seems the only option. They can get out of quarantine showing an honest desire to learn about reality and throw away the irrationality. If they have children while in quarantine, they should be removed to a far more suitable (rational) family.

    Religion is a cancer. I suggest we all start treating it as such. (No pun intended)

  14. 14
    Stacy

    All of which becomes compounded when human psychology steps over into the territory of “It’s not enough that I’m suffering. Others should suffer, too! And since I have so little power in my life to prevent my own suffering, I can at least reclaim some tiny measure of power by increasing the misery of someone else.”

    Yes, and I wonder if there’s an element of fearful envy, too. These parents sucked it up, the way they were supposed to, but now here their daughters are turning around and insisting that they be allowed some control over their lives and some measure of happiness. And maybe if they let them get away with that heresy, it would call into question the virtue of the unnecessary sacrifices they’ve made for the sake of their own rigid morality.

  15. 15
    Brian

    What was it Steven Weinberg said about honor in relation duels? It is a entity that one is presumed to have by the opinion of others. (Or something to that effect). And in the case of dueling for perceived slights of honor, it was laughed out of existence within a generation, when younger men thought it balmy. Any chance of that happening here? How do we encourage younger people in cultures that have ‘honor’ killings to laugh at the idea that a woman sleeping with whomever (or not sleeping with any one) somehow taints a property of related males, that exists only by the perception of others?
    Do they ‘get’ irony and satire in such places? Send in Monty Python…

  16. 16
    Jon Jermey

    Maybe we should take the potent saying ascribed to Eleanor Roosevelt: ‘No one can make you feel inferior without your consent’ and apply it to the shame which seems to be the driving force in so many of these cases. If we can manage to get the message that ‘Shame is voluntary’ across, it will be a big step forward for humanity – and a big step backwards for religion.

  17. 17
    peicurmudgeon

    I have a 25year old daughter and if someone was abusing her, my honour would demand that he would be thrown into the nearest deep body of water. Do what you will to me, but if you fuck with my family, you will pay.

  18. 18
    Brian

    Uhm, maybe that was Steven Pinker who said something about honor. My bad.

  19. 19
    mirax

    On the other FGM thread, it was claimed that FGM would stop if more egyptian/african/muslim women rebelled against the system. Well, not really. The odds are so stacked against the women in such countries like Egypt, that the few who did would face social ostracisation at the very least and at the worst , mob justice as well as state and religion sanctioned violence. I dont think that it is fair or just to expect women to pay such a heavy price, to place on them solely such a burden and effectively let the men off the hook.

    Then there are places, like in the Uk, you can stop the awful practice if you had the will to do unmentionably *evil and racist* things like monitoring/prosecuting perpetrators and protecting their daughters. Ayaan Hirsi Ali is reviled by many progressive types for daring to suggest such measures.

    What worries me are the moderate places with a more liberal cultural background that are quite quickly turning into wanna be Egypts. Places like Indonesia, the most populous muslim country in the world. Where female circumcision is becoming more popular. Where their government council on anti-pornography yesterday announced their plan to ban women from revealing their thighs.

  20. 20
    Boomer

    Boomer – no kidding. Some women buy into the system. That’s not a newsflash.

    The term “buy in” doesn’t suffice to describe the mindset.

    I once watched an interview on France’s TV5 with two young female converts to islam ( they were teenagers).

    When confronted with the fact that sharia calls for the stoning of adulterous women, one of the girls responded by saying;”there’s nothing wrong with stoning a women to death just as long as she agrees to be lapidated”.

    There’s also a case before the british courts where an Imam has been accused of sexually abusing two young boys. He was denounced by the mother of the boys, and she ( not the imam) is now the obect of the muslim communmity’s ire. And most expressing their anger at that women, that mother are other women. They’re the enforcers.

    About 12 or 13 years ago and MB front group here set up a Muslim Women’s Support Network. That sounds all very progressive/feminist and beguiling, and indeed the media gushed on about it. Turns out the network was a network of spies wherein Muslim girls would keep tabs on other Muslim girls at various local highschools and denounce any of them who dared stray.

    As long as Muslim women keep agreeing to do other Muslim women in, none of this is going to change.

  21. 21
    Sunny

    News article on the ban on miniskirts in Indonesia that Mirax mentioned above can be found at:

    ‘You know what men are like’: Indonesia to ban mini-skirts over links to rape

    http://www.theage.com.au/world/you-know-what-men-are-like-indonesia-to-ban-miniskirts-over-links-to-rape-20120329-1vz7q.html

    S.

  22. 22
    Godless Heathen

    Related to the stupid ‘You know what men are like’ idea, here’s a post from Amanda Marcotte addressing the fact that Misogyny Isn’t Caused by Male Horniness.

    It’s a response to an article on Cracked that basically claims that misogyny exists because men have a much higher sex drive than women and they can’t control, therefore, misogyny! Don’t be fooled by the first point that men feel entitled to sleep with beautiful women, it’s the only one that’s accurate.

    The Cracked article is linked to from Amanda’s post.

  23. 23
    Ophelia Benson

    Boomer – nonsense. You think if Muslim men stopped agreeing to do Muslim women in but Muslim women didn’t, everything would stay the same? That’s ridiculous. (Just for one thing, the clerics and “scholars” are all men. They make the rules, and some women help to enforce them.)

  24. 24
    Boomer

    Ophelia, back at the beginning of 20th century America the men made all the rules as well.

    The suffragettes (spelling?)didn’t sit around waiting for men to become less misogynistic. They were proactive, sprang into action, challenged those rules and in the process finished by liberating themselves. Liberation/freedom/emanicpation has to be generated, it isn’t something that is just handed to you.

    If Muslim women don’t start to challenge the rules muslim men impose on them, if they can’t organise and make their aims and wishes known, and if they refuse to oppose the existing order, then they’ll always remain exactly where they are.

  25. 25
    Ophelia Benson

    Boomer, again, no kidding. But early 20th century American feminists weren’t “the women” – they were a tiny minority of the women. There is of course a tiny minority of women in Muslim-majority countries who also reject the rules (and an unknown number of dissenters who are in no position to make their dissent public).

    But early 20th century American feminists didn’t live in a world of forced marriage and “honor” violence. “The women” in that situation had a great deal more freedom to move.

    It’s just ridiculous to blame violence against women on women. Yes of course many women are complicit; we know that; it doesn’t follow that if only no women were complicit it would all stop.

  26. 26
    GordonWillis

    It really is extraordinary, that one’s affections for one’s child depend on the sex of the child. What does such a man feel before the child is born? What are his hopes? Presumably, that it will be a boy (good) and not that it will be a girl (bad). And why hope that it’s a boy? Is it because one can relate (as a man) better to a boy? No, it seems to be that a boy will bring one honour, while a girl brings one shame. So a girl must be a real disappointment, right from the start. There’s no feeling like “it’s my child, my little baby, a new life for me to care for”: nothing like that at all. It’s really odd. These men don’t think of themselves as carers: that’s for the women. Caring is women’s stuff, unworthy of real men. Even caring for the boys is women’s stuff: the boys are for one’s personal honour; and girls are just rubbish, disappointment, shame — one’s “seed” is obviously inferior (embarrassing), or the wife is feeble and not worthy (bad choice, more embarrassment). I suppose that’s how it goes, but it really is very odd. I can’t imagine not being proud of one’s little girl. It’s just odd. It could only happen in a world in which men are next to god and women are necessary evils.

  27. 27
    GordonWillis

    Boomer, for thousands of years women as a whole have done little to challenge male hegemony. It’s partly because women have to think for children in their care (and until recently women were usually too young, too old or too pregnant to fight, and although we nowadays see lots of young strong women not having children in tow it is a new phenomenon) and partly because the brainwashing of children has always been in favour of males, and naturally enough girls grow up to believe it too. It is extremely difficult to challenge the status quo; it takes an extraordinary degree of personal courage, and it more especially demands the intellect to see what is wrong as well as the strength to oppose it. Most people cannot do that. Simple fact. So it’s unreasonable to expect all women to just come out and oppose even their own oppression. That’s just not how social beings work. It is also important, in the case of Muslim women, to understand the full impact of religious conditioning, and the very real belief in the will of god and the penalty of eternal damnation. If god is real, if hell is real, what can one to do except submit?

  28. 28
    Boomer

    But early 20th century American feminists didn’t live in a world of forced marriage and “honor” violence. “The women” in that situation had a great deal more freedom to move.

    I completely agree! That is a very reasonable viewpoint.

    It is extremely difficult to challenge the status quo; it takes an extraordinary degree of personal courage, and it more especially demands the intellect to see what is wrong as well as the strength to oppose it. Most people cannot do that. Simple fact.

    I take no issue with that view either; it’s fair and honest.

    I will only respond with an anecdote.

    Several years ago ( around 2000 ) there was a story in the local french language media ( written by a Monsieur Pierre Foglia)about a village in rural Anatolia where the women stopped having sex with their husbands ( there’s a greek play about that, but I forget its name).

    They did so because they were tired of walking four and five miles a day to fetch water and were insisting the village males dig a new village well.

    Those women, despite the rural and conservative nature of their world, said NO, organised themselves and stuck to their guns until they got their well.

  29. 29
    Ophelia Benson

    Lysistrata is the play. Aristophanes.

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