Friday, July 24, 2009

Horror, not Honour, Killings

The awful story that came out of Montreal and Kingston yesterday, still renders me gobsmacked.

I know it's not the first such killing and know too that at this point, we have charges laid, but no real idea as to what happened, but the police chief certainly used enough buzz words to suggest that this was somehow planned. So, without harping on the specifics of this case, I just wanted to note a couple of things that have been running through my mind.

A short time ago I complained here about the phrasing on a funding announcement made by Helena Guergis.

This project aims to promote equitable, non-violent behaviour in the romantic relationships of adolescents by targeting the hypersexualization of girls as a root cause of dating violence.

I was roundly taken to task by someone who supports the program. Further investigation caused me to see that the program was much larger than this announcement would suggest, but I stand by my criticism for including that line.

You see the problem for me is this is considered a tiny little thing that people brush off, but they have a huge impact on developing a mentality that is just plain wrong. The victim is never, never, the cause of abuse because of gender, dress, attitude, etc. Yet lines such as the one included in the release reinforce that attitude.

It's more prevalent in this society than is realised and the last thing we should be doing is reinforcing it, especially with young women.

Did anyone see this story? Once you get past the horror of what happened to that little girl, consider the mindset of a family that would actually blame her for what happened. And lest you think this just happens with new immigrants, think again.

I listened to a call-in yesterday on the subject and was shocked as to how many callers barely avoided saying that they agreed with the incident in Kingston, but did take the stand that women are responsible for the actions of men.

One woman caller, a Canadian born Muslim, defended women being relegated to the back of a mosque, because after all, if they were together or in front, men couldn't control themselves from looking at them as they bowed to pray. And before you get too smug and think that this is a Muslim thing, the next caller was an orthodox Jewish woman, who basically said that women were segregated at Temple because men were unable to control themselves and women would just be too distracting. That's just the way it was.

Now those two examples hardly equate to the horrific stories I refer to here, but they illustrate a dangerous way of thinking imo.

The thought of 'honour' in anyway being associated with these crimes is abhorrent, but it's equally sad to know that some women in Canadian society would believe that they were responsible for another's thoughts or actions. The line in the announcement reinforces that thinking.

The horror of the first two stories has to do with tribalism and surely that is something that we can address openly and honestly in this country, without attacking religions or whole swathes of people. We must.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Anyone that has a belief in honour killings should not be allowed in this Country. Let the women in, but not the men. Those men are raised to be cruel and they will never cease to be like that. I do not think the Koran has anything in it about Honour killing ..the men made it up, to suit themselves.

Cherniak_WTF said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cherniak_WTF said...

Oh anon, I think it's cute.... So should we exile all the religious right-wing bigots that don't mind abortion doctors being murdered?

So KNB, how to you deal with Men and Women being separated in Synagogues? I'm not talking about orthodox synagogues either....

I know that you seem to be trying to walk a fine line between "tribalism" and religion but I think it's a misnomer.
Religious practices seem to be the root cause.

Joseph said...

Apologize KNB, off-topic, but I thought you'd be interested in this.

Why the heck is Cannon mouthing off on this in advance of the DNA tests (the ones the woman have been requesting since day one of her ordeal)?

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2009/07/24/cannon-kenya-stranded-woman072409.html

An already bizarre story continues to gather speed as it plummets deeper into the rabbit hole.

Exactly how does one clarify the statement, "Hey, I'm a Canadian" to qualify under Cannon's requirement that folks be "straightforward" about their situation?

Can Cannon prove beyond any doubt he's not an imposter absent a DNA test? Saying he is, having his family say he is, having Harper or his neighbors say he is, just won't cut it. I want a straightforward answer or I'm not buying it.

KNB said...

I don't disagree that religion is at the root of many things, specifically the disregard for women, c_wtf.

Honour killings are a more tribal thing though, but yes, at the base it may be religion, but the bastardisation of a religion, imo.

I don't understand how people follow any religion and when I heard those women speak, I was...um, sad I guess. What a miserable life. On one hand feeling responsible for another's actions and on the other, feeling somehow that there is a being in charge or overseeing yours.

Bizarre.

Indeed, if I had my world, there would be no religion.

jarrid said...

"Indeed, if I had my world, there would be no religion."

That was Stalin and Hitler's view as well knb. And they did the best to implement their view, with Jews being singled out for special treatment by both.

Of all the places on the planet, it is no accident that women are treated best in the West, in a culture fashioned by Christianity. To the extent we abandon Christianity, as we're doing, we'll see a corresponding increase in the mistreatment and abasement of women.

KNB said...

jarrid, Christianity has hardly been the model of decency through the ages. To the extent that you would deem it more righteous than any other religion is precisely at the root of most problems.

Oh and the Stalin, Hitler analogy...please.

If you really want to go down that road, how is your desire to have Christianity be the dominant religion at the expense of others much different?

To the extent we abandon our humanity, not Christianity, we'll continue to see mistreatment of all.