What Price Honor?

I often tell my daughter how lucky she is to have parents who love her, a comfortable house to live in, good food to eat, and an extended family always there to help her. After reading this article today, I can add two more things to the list: she’s lucky to live in a country where women are (almost) equal to men, and she’s lucky to have a father who isn’t fucking insane and wouldn’t kill her in the name of “honor”. (Yeah, the language is a little strong today, but I’m feeling pretty strongly about this, too.)

A man in Pakistan killed his stepdaughter and his three young daughters, and forced his wife to watch while he slit their throats. Why would someone do such a thing? Well, he claims his stepdaughter was committing adultery. OK, I’ll say at least that’s an almost-semi-sane reason, although the punishment seems a little, well, extreme to fit the crime. And the claim of adultery came from the stepdaughter’s husband, with no real evidence to back it up.

But why kill the other girls, who were 8, 7, and 4 years old? “I thought the younger girls would do what their eldest sister had done, so they should be eliminated.”

Yes. They were killed because they might commit the same crime in the future. Killed for something they might do later in life. Apparently just hearing that a relative did something bad would clearly taint the girls and automatically lead them down the same path, and so the best option is to kill them before they have a chance to shame the family. Well, they certainly won’t be shaming anyone now.

This is the most crazy reasoning I think I have ever seen. And the article claims that while this man could face the death penalty, this crime is often not punished in areas like this that see honor killings as just. And those that do make it to court are usually settled by giving money to the families of the victims. You know, just like you’d pay someone for accidentally killing their cow.

I don’t understand how a father could murder his innocent daughters just because they might be like their older sister someday. Even without her committing adultery, they could have gone on someday to do something wrong – why even let girls live at all, if they’re such weak-minded and sinful creatures?

Growing up in the US, it is amazing to me that there are still places in the world where women are treated as property of their fathers or husbands, and are considered just as disposable as any property. The mother of these girls was originally married to this man’s brother, but after the brother died, this man married the widow, as is the custom. She probably had no say in the matter.

Thankfully, times are changing, and stronger laws against this type of killing are being put into place. I hope that soon this type of behavior will be universally condemned.

Oh, and the man had a son also. Did he kill the son? Of course not. The son will carry on the family name and bring honor to the family.

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  1. I’m so glad my daughter and I were born where we were. I could not imagine living in a sadistic society such as that one. Wow. Count your blessings!

  2. “Honor” killings are a real problem in several places. A not-uncommon situation is when someone kidnaps and rapes a woman, then dumps her back with her family who then kill her to redeem the family honor. Because, you know, being raped is adultery.

    Yeah, I’m glad we’re rearing our daughter here.