Archive for violence

A history of ‘honour’

This is another, far longer section of writing which was removed from my thesis after the advice of the examiners. It’s kind of a history of how ‘honour’-based violence may have developed in Mesopotamia.

This will be the first of four posts:

Part one: A history of honour
Part two: The cradle of patriarchy
Part three: The castrated woman
Part four: The making of the Mesopotamian sex class

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HMIC will be inspecting the forces provision of services in cases of HBV in 2015.

So-called Honour Based Violence (HBV) – The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) defines HBV as “a crime or incident, which has or may have been committed to protect or defend the honour of the family and/or community”. ACPO‟s guidance to forces on tackling HBV suggests that under-reporting might be an issue, and that there is still much to be achieved if victims are to feel empowered to come forward and seek help. HMIC proposes conducting an inspection to examine this complex and sensitive area of under-reported serious crime, how far the police are aware of it and how well they are tackling it.

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On not getting beaten up (much)

The other day, P Z Myers turned his critical gaze upon Professor Randall Collins for some libertarian nonsense he’d written about the education system. This reminded me of some thoughts I had when I saw Professor Collins lecture at Cardiff – here’s a video. I’d read his book and I was interested by his theory of micro-interactions, and his position that most violence fizzles out at a micro-interactional level. It was when it seems like he was presenting his positions not an addition to existing ideas around violence, but more in terms of a complete theory of all violence ever, that I started to get uneasy. He ended by presenting us with strategies to avoid violence, as if we were only clued up on the techniques of interaction then we could negotiate our way out of tricky situations.

Basically his advice is:

  • Don’t turn your back, run away or fall;
  • Maintain eye-contact;
  • Match, but don’t escalate the level of confrontation – being neither a victim nor an aggressor, but simply maintaining an equilibrium with your opponent. Read more