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Jun 05 2012

Bride Burning: Men burn their wives to death if wives are unable to give them money and materials.

Violence against women can take many forms, from humiliation, harassment, and exploitation to torture and murder. One of the most heinous and shocking forms of violence against women is bride burning. It is practiced in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Men douse their wives in kerosene and set them on fire. The question is instead of burning them, why don’t they strangle them, or shoot them or poison them! They burn them because they can later play innocents and say ‘she committed suicide or it’s just an accident. She used kerosene stove to cook.’

Innocent ‘kitchen fires’ are not really innocent.

Bride burning is linked to the custom of dowry, the money, goods, or estate that a woman brings to her husband in marriage. Thousands of young married women in India are routinely tortured and murdered by husband and in-laws who want more dowry from the bride’s parents. After burning the bride to death, the husband is free to remarry and get new dowry again from new bride. In India, in every one hour and 40 minutes a woman is killed by husband or in-laws who are consumed by greed. More than 5000 women get killed for dowry each year.

‘In 1995, Time Magazine reported that dowry murders in India increased from around 400 a year in the early 1980s to around 5,800 a year by the middle of the 1990s. A year later CNN ran a story saying that every year police receive more than 2,500 reports of bride burning. The Indian National Crime Records Bureau reports that there were about 8172 dowry death cases registered in India in 2008.’

‘In 2004, Amnesty International said, ‘at least 15000 women are murdered in dowry related cases each year in India.’ Some women’s organizations in India said, ‘the number is much higher’. Yes of course, all cases are not reported. The Ahmadabad Women’s Action group has declared that because of dowry at least 1000 women get murdered each year in Gujarat alone.’

In Pakistan 300 women are burned to death each year by husband or in laws. Women organizations in Pakistan would probably say, ‘the actual number is much higher than 300.’

Dowry Prohibition Act in India bans paying and receiving dowries but the tradition continues to exist. As long as patriarchy and misogyny exist, women will continue to pay dowry and will continue to be harassed, humiliated, oppressed, suppressed, beaten, and threatened. They will continue to be burned to death by beloved husband if they are unable to give them more money, more gold, all house furniture, a house, a car, a motorcycle, a bicycle, a branded wrist watch, a set of clothes, anything expensive.

Are you thinking poor and illiterate people do it, rich and literate not? You are wrong. Software Engineers have been torturing and murdering their wives for dowry more or less everyday. They want a new Mercedes-Benz and millions of dollars, business ownership or a high paid job in the West. Men believe they deserve world’s all the big things only because they have a penis.


This tiny penis (above) thinks that it must get all the big things (below) for free.

and many more

57 comments

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  1. 1
    Aanchal (@_DesiGirl)

    The point to be noted here is that today women are no less than men in any which ways. They are educated, self dependent, financially stable. In fact they are the ones who add up as an earning member in the groom’s family after marriage. So why should they be giving any dowry when they are already increasing the gross income of the family?
    Secondly, taking dowry proves the inability of men to take responsibilities.

    1. 1.1
      Pops

      “The point to be noted here is that today women are no less than men in any which ways. They are educated, self dependent, financially stable.”

      Which begs the question as to why men pay 97% of all alimony (and are jailed instead of burned for not paying).

      1. Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

        Yes. Because alimony is exactly like being burned to death.

        This is not about you.

      2. Dolores

        @Pop

        So in your mind Jail is worse than burning to death?

        Men pay 97% of alimony because men, on average, make more money than women, and the purpose of alimony is to give the other partner a chance to make a new start in life. If a woman gives up her job to stay at home and take care of the children, and then later gets a divorce, you think it is fine for the man to kick her out with nothing? She gave up her career for the family, paying a little money in return isn’t a hardship. In cases where the wife makes more money, she pays alimony. Maybe you should educate yourself a bit more before making ignorant comments.

        1. jajj

          Actually this is 20-freaking-12 and women have a whole host of opportunities to earn their own income. While I agree that a homemaker deserves some income (assuming she agreed to not work and make a home), alimony settlements are way out of hand.

          Tell me, why does Tiger Woods ex-wife deserve several million dollars? Is that amount required for a new start?

          Why does Kobe’s wife deserve 75 million dollars?

          See it’s not just about helping homemakers get on their feet after a new start but the inequity in amounts in which alimony is paid.

          Or what about when both people work, the man makes 200k and the woman makes 40k. Does the woman still deserve alimony? Or are woman able to earn their own way in 2012?

      3. jajj

        Preference under the law doesn’t just end there.

        If a woman accuses a man of rape his name is immediately tarnished whether he is guilty or not. While NOTHING and I mean NOTHING happens to the female when lying.

        See Hofstra Rape case

        See Duke Lacross Scandal

        See this guy who lost a chance to be an NFL star because of a fake rape allegation. And oh yeah, the rape accuser actually PROFITED from the lie and is receiving no punishment.

        http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/05/24/onetime-top-football-prospect-seeks-exoneration/

        1. Yessenia

          Not his holy name! Men have a god-given right to an untarnished name that obviously outweighs a woman’s right to her day in court!

          1. jajj

            You missed the point COMPLETELY.

            No one is denying people deserve their day in court. I’m speaking about this culture where a woman cries rape she is automatically believed regardless of evidence and faces NO repercussion for ruining the life of an innocent man (when lying). It happens quite often. It has gotten to the point where a woman can accuse a guy of being raped simply because she is embarrassed by her actions.

            Google Freddie Frimpong I forgot about that one

        2. Marie

          FYI, The Duke Lacross accuser IS in prison for an unrelated reason…. on murder charges. She stabbed her boyfriend to death.

        3. Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

          If your reaction to “some men burn women to death or permanent maiming and disfigurement” is “yeah, but some women falsely accuse men of rape!”, you are a bad person.

          You trivialize being burned to death by comparing it to alimony, jail, damage to your “good name”, or stubbing your goddamned toe.

          This is not about you.

          1. jajj

            I’m not trivializing anything, I was building upon the discussion I commented on. Perhaps reading comprehension simply isn’t your strong suit.

      4. spellwight

        Which begs the question: did you read the article about women being burned to death? Because Oh gee poor men is not what I got out of it.

        1. jajj

          So lets see here.

          1) a blog entry is posted

          2) a discussion takes place in the comment section

          3) the discussion veers away from the original topic

          4) I comment on this new topic

          5) I point out another instance of gender inequality

          6) this upsets people so they attack me

          Which begs the question… do you read the discussion taking place?

          1. DorothyM

            I read it. I am an artist and I am working on a gallery piece to show to the public because more people need to be aware of these atrocities.

      5. khanahe

        The groom gets a lovely, innocent, virgin (child) bride at no cost to him who will be his personal sex slave, cook, house cleaner, baby producer, babysitter, launderer, etc for as long as they both shall live. . .and he expects her to be his rug mat, punch bag, worthless trash, bond fire, whatever else sinister, vile lusts he might have — AND HAS THE GAUL TO EXPECT HER AND HER FAMILY TO PAY A DOWRY????? GODDAM GREEDY BOY AND PIG FUCKER OUGHT TO BE CASTRATED AND BE ENDENTURED TO HER ENTIRE FAMILY FOR THE REST OF HIS MISERABLE SMALL LIFE!!!!!

    2. 1.2
      aamir

      i think you are right

  2. 2
    Wyocowboy

    that is sick

  3. 3
    CuriousSkeptic

    Parents don’t treat sons and daughters equally. Mothers were once victims of dowry The same mothers becomes culprits and demand dowry for their sons and give dowry for their daughters.

    Parents don’t distribute their estate/property equally among sons and daughters. Almost all daughters don’t get any property from parents. Parents treat sons as assets and daughters as liabilities. They invest a lot on son’s education, business, savings etc.. They save a lot for sons thinking that sons may not be able to settle in their life. Parents think as if sons will be stupid enough to need a lot of help from parents. Whereas they just give dowry for daughters and send them off to in-laws place. Parents also depend on sons to take care when they become old or ill.

    I have seen some parents stop their daughters’ education and continue their sons’ education. These parents think that whatever they spend on daughters is a waste. Instead, they keep that money for dowry and marry them off.

    Everyone should wake up and stop this treatment of women as second class citizen. Especially women should play an active role. Women should not encourage this. Then men will automatically follow women’s lead.

    P.S.: I am an Indian-American male. I did not take dowry. I won’t tolerate anyone taking or giving dowry.

  4. 4
    Tom Zychowski

    Iron age customs such as these should have disappeared by now. Dowry is disguised slavery; and as long as it persists and the governments let it persist the continuation of slavery under the veil of dowry will kill more innocent woman.

    http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/story/5019/will-you-help-acid-burn-victims-smile-again/

    http://www.rawa.org/burning_p.htm

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-18174893

    In Canada as well as the UK sharia law is being introduced into our system of justice. We are running backwards into the iron age where these customs have originated. I hope we wake up soon and say, enough is enough, some customs are not okay in our society. Murdering woman for profit just because it suits your culture is wrong in any country. We set a bad example hiding and fearing labels such as a xenophobe or a racist when questioning other cultures religions and customs but it really comes down to basic human rights.

    We know better, and so do the man doing the killing. We have to call them what they are and what their families are, murderers.

    1. 4.1
      CuriousSkeptic

      Well said.

    2. 4.2
      Steinar

      This abominable practice was actually unknown to me before reading this post, so this was a very necessary and enlightening article. I agree totally with previous commenter’s sentiment, though I would add the iron age actually was arguably rather more enlightened than that some places. That’s saying something…

    3. 4.3
      JakeR

      Sharia law prescribes dowry (mahr) to be paid by the husband, not the wife, although in India the law is perverted or ignored. Whereas Sharia law has many problems in modern society, wife-burning for male privilege isn’t one of them (and that, itself, is a bit of a straw man in the original article–often it’s a matter of a sum of less than a few hundred dollars among the rural poor in India). Note that I am not condoning bride-burning, but advising readers not to conflate Hindu tradition with Sharia law.

  5. 5
    justsomeguy

    I’m always baffled at the crude brutality of these murders. It isn’t enough (for example, hypothetically speaking, trigger warning, etc) to simply execute an adulteress with a quick bullet to the head. No, she has to be buried up to her neck in the ground and then pelted with fist-sized rocks. Want more dowry money? Don’t bother with something relatively quick and painless. Set the person *ON FIRE*. It’s like it doesn’t count unless it’s as unpleasant as possible.

  6. 6
    Ms. Crazy Pants

    Could a daughter not just leave her family and live on her own with no husband? It might be better to just give the daughters their dowry and say “go make your own life.” Then if they daughters get together in a community to support each other, they could live fruitful lives, and if they want, choose husbands on their own grounds with no dowry.

    I don’t think one can compare the cultures where dowries are required for a woman to be married to western society. In the US, it’s very normal for a woman to live on her own, whereas I’m not sure that’s the case elsewhere.

    1. 6.1
      WMDKitty -- Survivor

      Bookmarking your comment — it sparked an idea.

      1. Himendra Thakur

        “Could a daughter not just leave her family and live on her own with no husband? It might be better to just give the daughters their dowry and say “go make your own life.” Then if they daughters get together in a community to support each other, they could live fruitful lives, and if they want, choose husbands on their own grounds with no dowry.”

        This was what I suggested in the plan for “Residential Training Centre for Dowry Victims in India” at the First International Conference on Extirpation of Dowry & Bride-Burning in India” that I held at Harvard University in 1995, developed further at the “Second” “Third” and “Fourth International” at Harvard University and University of London in 1996, 1997 and 1998. This was followed at the “Fifth” Sixth” and “Seventh International” held in New Delhi, India in 2001, 2003 and 2004.

        I am a man (and I have a wife, a daughter, a son-in-law, a grand-daughter and an unmarried son) — dowry & bride-burning is NOT a “feminist” issue — it is a terrible HUMAN problem.

        I appeal to Taslima to zoom into the problem — and let us all join to solve it. We need to build up a massive “change of Mindset” in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan — to resolve this terrible tragedy of dowry&bride-burning.
        With warm regards,
        Himendra Thakur
        President “Antarjyoti International, Inc.”
        dedicated to extirpate dowry & bride-burning

  7. 7
    ed

    A NSFW warning would’ve been nice.

    1. 7.1
      spellwight

      Yup, I would like to have shared it if it were not for that penis (albeit tiny) photo.

      1. Dee

        The old “tiny penis” feminist shaming tactic. It never fails.

  8. 8
    Gregory in Seattle

    Yet again, your headline blames all men, everywhere, even us gay ones who have and will never have a wife.

    Yet again, having a penis makes us evil monsters. How is that not the exact same kind of bigotry you denounce?

    1. 8.1
      Taslima Nasreen

      Gregory, I said men, because it is not pigs, or hyenas or snakes that burn their wives for dowry, it is ‘men’ who do.

      I only talked about those penises that think they deserve everything in the world. If your penis does not think that way, I have no problem with your penis.

      1. Taru Dutt

        Lies by Gregory. Nowhere did Taslima blame all men everywhere. Very revealing lie, too. Tries to distract from the issue by crying victim – falsely.
        Ugh.

      2. Evil Pundit

        Everything you write seethes with hatred of all men everywhere. You are just as evil as those “little penises” you despise.

    2. 8.2
      Yessenia

      Yet again, having a penis makes us evil monsters. How is that not the exact same kind of bigotry you denounce?

      Well, for a start, no one is burning you to death.

      Geez, dudes and their feefees. It’s like that old saying: Men fear women will laugh at them; women fear men will kill them.

      1. Taslima Nasreen

        So true!

        1. jajj

          Apparnetly you can only be sexist if you’re a man. I love how if the comment were made against women by men, you’d be up in arms.

  9. 9
    left0ver1under

    That this happens to even one person is too many. It’s so revolting and reprehensible that I can’t make comment without keeping my words clean.

  10. 10
    Taru Dutt

    I do have to add, though, BECAUSE I am a feminist and not in spite of it, that the women of the household are often every bit as complicit as the man in the burning of the victim. I have found women to be every bit as callous, selfish, greedy, cruel, and capable of denial when it suits us as any man. Yes, this still means women deserve equal rights. Because that’s what we are – equal. Not worse. Not better. But equal human beings with equal rights as men.

    The late Indian Punjabi poet and feminist, Amrita Pritam, wrote a short story where the bride’s mother-in-law is the chief agent in burning her, not the husband. It is called “The Stench of Kerosene.” A Google search should produce some excerpts, since it’s still copyrighted.

    Growing up female in India, I have experienced countless instances of women tormenting other women emotionally.

    1. 10.1
      Taru Dutt

      And the tormentors had other choices – they did not have to be cruel. It was just that they COULD be cruel and get away with it – it was easier; the victim – often a child or a new bride – had no recourse. Often, these victims of abuse turn into abusers themselves. Yes, there are reasons for why they abuse, but then they don’t have to become abusers themselves. It’s just the path of least resistance – most of us are rather partial to that tempting little alley. There have been Indian women, abused themselves, who have fought desperately to prevent others from suffering a similar fate.

      I have added this coda not as a contradiction, but as a supplement to Taslima’s writing above. I agree with her about the horror of misogyny in India – couldn’t agree more. It is every bit as bad as she says. In India, women are a burden even before birth – from the moment it is discovered that the foetus is female, in fact. Now let our Indian deniers come forth with the red herring, Indian-style: “Not all women, waaaaa waaaa waaaa waaa” – anything to distract attention from the long-held, widespread and deep-rooted problem of Indian misogyny.

      1. Taru Dutt

        CuriousSkeptic, an Indian male, says that women should take the lead in treating women as equals, adding “Then men will automatically follow women’s lead.”

        Untrue. When women in India attempt to stand up for their rights, far from following their lead, Indian men respond with scorn, mockery, taunts, threats, curses and even physical assault. Men have done everything in their power in India to keep women where they feel women belong – under the male boot. Because my earlier posts pointed out the complicity of women, it does not mean that men get some sort of free pass. Fuck no. Quite the contrary. Men, far more than women, are the real beneficiaries of the fact of women’s suffering.

        Let Indian MEN start treating women as equals, if they dare. Let Indian MEN speak up when they see another man putting down a woman, ordering her about, or treating her words with contempt. Let Indian MEN wear tee shirts saying “Yes, I am a feminist” and wear them proudly. Let Indian MEN either refuse to accept their wives’ touching their feet on Karva chauth (Hindu festival where the wife fasts and prays for the long life of her husband – millions of educated Indian women do it) OR let those MEN touch their wives’ feet in public. Go on, then.

        1. CuriousSkeptic

          Laura,

          Both men and women should fight for the equal rights. No free pass for men. When women becomes abusers the problem becomes very difficult to solve. Men have been abusers. Some men are against this practice of dowry. But all women should fight for their own rights. How can the beneficiaries (most men) fight against their own abuses?

          How long will women let their men control them? You are still looking for men to solve your problems? As long as women depend on men to solve their problems and cooperate with men, this kind of abuses will continue.

  11. 11
    Arkady

    Ugh… it’s bad enough when they drive their victims to suicide, hadn’t realised outright murder was also so common.

    There was a horrible case recently in Bradford of a woman who set herself on fire in the back garden of her house. She’d been brought over to the UK as a bride then (alledgedly) treated so appallingly by her in-laws that she took her own life. None of the neighbours had ever met the woman. Last I heard the police were bringing charges against the family but haven’t heard anything in a while (quick searching didn’t find anything).

  12. 12
    arun prasad

    It is strange that such a wonderful blog is not read by many men as I See comments .It is high time men starts understanding their sick nature , as a man I feel why it does not shake up mens ego mind,must a compulsory class to be given to all men on how woman are to be treated

  13. 13
    Kaju

    The article comes across as very immature. Paragraphs 2-6 were just fine, they did nothing other than present and explain an abominable cultural practice in India in a clear and concise manner. Paragraphs 1 and 7 however, ruined it.

    You highlight violence against women. This is not an issue. Violence against anyone is an issue, the gender of the person being burned alive and the gender of the person doing it should not matter in any way. The “excuse” you give for why the husbands burn their wives makes adds nothing to the article and doesn’t fit in with the (mostly) journalistic style of it.

    The last paragraph (more specifically the last 2 sentences) ruins the entire thing. Since when does penis size ever become a factor in this? Why do you assume men are the sum of their penis? Why do you assume having a small penis is a bad thing? Isn’t this as bad as me judging a women based on her breast size? It’s a blatant and immature shot at men that makes you come across as a “man-hater”.

    1. 13.1
      uncephalized

      “You highlight violence against women. This is not an issue. Violence against anyone is an issue, the gender of the person being burned alive and the gender of the person doing it should not matter in any way.”

      THANK you. You said it better than I did below. This +1000.

    2. 13.2
      KarenX

      She did not “highlight violence against women.” She highlighted the very specific violent act of “spousal attempted/successful homicide with fire for money,” which just happens to be almost always men burning women. She has made a specific post about a specific act, and it would be inappropriate to go too broad (and think of how the complaints would roll in about how poorly written and/or unfocused and/or off-topic such a gigantic topic covered in so few words the article would be).

      So if you would like to see an article about violence against people, make a suggestion or write your own somewhere and link to it. But don’t complain an author wrote about the wrong thing and then don’t pretend that Spousal Homicide with Fire for Money is this thing happening in a vacuum and that the fact that all victims are women is a coincidence.

      1. KarenX

        I meant to say in my first sentence “violence against people.”

        And the “excuse” of “wanting more dowry with a new wife” is an explanation. Which is backed up by her citation of the Indian National Crime Bureau statistics.

  14. 14
    jajj

    In another post she made a comment about how men hate women’s body specifically focusing on small breasts.

    However it’s completely okay to make fun a man for having a tiny a penis. Hypocrisy at its finest.

    1. 14.1
      Phillip Helbig

      Indeed. I thought size didn’t matter.

  15. 15
    uncephalized

    There is no possible excuse for this kind of monstrous behavior towards any human being. Anyone, of any culture and of any gender, who participates in or condones this kind of barbarity deserves no mercy or consideration.

    That said, the “those evil menz are just ashamed of their little bitty pen0rz” approach is infantile and counterproductive to any rational approach to solving the problem. Using shaming language to make fun of male genitalia is no less ugly than the shaming of women’s bodies you were excoriating just a few posts ago, Taslima—even if the particular men (and women, where they are complicit) in question are shitheaded fuckfaces who deserve to die in a fire in the place of the enslaved women (I don’t want to dignify such involuntary and dehumanizing social arrangements with the word “wives”) they so brutally condemned.

  16. 16
    meble

    I’ve recently started a site, the info you offer on this site has helped me greatly. Thanks for all of your time & work.

  17. 17
    vicente juarez

    hi world .
    my name is vicente juarez find my on facebook me profile pic is a gas mask xD how awesome is that ;o
    anywas the reason im commenting on this is cause i really liked/loved that penis picture <3
    im kinda gay but into girls ;)
    hit me up ;)
    ohh and i go to that dumb school next to stomnefield in san juan capistrano :)
    im from that sjc x 3

  18. 18
    troublesome mothers in law

    That is very interesting, You are an excessively skilled blogger. I have joined your feed and sit up for searching for more of your excellent post. Also, I’ve shared your site in my social networks

  19. 19
    Windsor

    Well, let’s see, women bear the children, work and usually maintain the home. Men work…big deal. Burning a woman over a dowry? Burning a woman, human being over anything? It’s just men being cowards and not learning how to bond with a woman.

    They are being repulsive and stupid, and I cannot imagine marrying any of them. Word to the women, get educated, and get out. These men are nothing more than 12 year old boys.

    Alimony is a thing of the past….a Dowry? Why should there be a dowry of any kind when the woman does most the work.

    You stupid third world country men that have no idea about bonding with another human being, and just being selfish…. You are arrogant, and self serving, and have no real spirituality. Burning a wife, man, animal is pure hatred tourture, and you shouldn’t be around women, shouldn’t be around animals..and just shouldn’t be around. Anyone that want’s to be around you is a fool.

  20. 20
    image

    The value of a person regardless of the color of the skin and genders should not be determined by cultural values for we all have myriads of them depending which race one comes from. Our value should instead comes from intrinsic value that comes from being love by God and being His creation. Hence, we are special because we are created in His image men and women, equally loved. Killing by any forms is an affront not only to humanity but also to God. Marriage is for love and if it is done for any other reasons is plainly wrong in any society.

    Image

  21. 21
    Tony B

    Dowry Prohibition Act in India bans paying and receiving dowries but the tradition continues to exist. As long as patriarchy and misogyny exist, women will continue to pay dowry and will continue to be harassed, humiliated, oppressed, suppressed, beaten, and threatened. They will continue to be burned to death by beloved husband if they are unable to give them more money, more gold, all house furniture, a house, a car, a motorcycle, a bicycle, a branded wrist watch, a set of clothes, anything expensive.

  22. 22
    Eidola

    I am a non-Indian and dated an Indian man for several months. He is educated and good-looking. I adored and respect him so much – but he treated me like shit. I wish I read these negative blogs before I got involved with an Indian jerk. For me, all Indian men are jerks whether they are educated or not. They have little respect for women and see women are sex objects only.

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