Tag Archive for patriarchy

The castrated woman

Third part in my four part series of reusing bits of my thesis. This one is about the impact of new understandings of reproduction on women’s roles and the development of patrilinear logic.

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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Sisterhood is powerful

Feminist poster from the 1970s

Yesterday, Iftikhar and Farzana Ahmed were sentenced to life for the murder of their daughter Shafilea after a trial lasting four months. They considered Shafilea too ‘westernised’, particularly when she refused to marry a husband of their choosing. Shafilea was murdered in September 2003, meaning that it has taken almost nine years to achieve justice in this case. Cheshire police are certainly to be commended for their long-term commitment to the investigation particularly given the complexities of investigating HBV, although it remains concerning that Shafilea exhibited several warning signs indicating her risk, none of which were identified at the time. There are lessons here to be learned, as Sara Khan argues in the Guardian, about the continued lack of awareness of the risks of family violence against young people, and young women in particular, at the hands of their parents and other relatives. Read more

Dear mother

Hanim Goren broke with cultural conventions when she testified against her husband, the killer of her daughter Tulay.

As a crime where the majority of victims are women, there is an obvious gender basis to HBV. But we need to be careful about oversimplifying HBV as if all victims were female and all perpetrators were male.

While it’s often the case that violence is committed by a male relative of the victim, they may be actively or tacitly supported by her mother, sisters and aunts and other female relatives; and it not unknown for women themselves to be the perpetrators of HBV. Mothers have been implicated in several ‘honour’ killings, such as the first known ‘honour’ killing in the UK, the murder of Rukshana Nazamongst many, many others.

In other cases, mothers may not be directly involved but still provide indirect support to their husband and male relatives and shield them from the criminal justice system, or may simply turn a blind eye to violence within the family. Read more