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"Honour killing"

(367 Posts)
Greythorne Wed 07-Sep-11 19:27:27

Even with quotation marks, I really loathe the use of "honour killing".

Talk about misuse of the word "honour"

www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/sep/07/shafilea-parents-arrested-suspected-honour-killing

LRDTheFeministDragon Wed 07-Sep-11 20:24:59

Oh, god, that's awful. sad It'd be awful no matter what - but the fact she was 17 ....

Greythorne Wed 07-Sep-11 20:36:02

LRD
I agree.

The people responsible for this have no moral compass whatever.

And why can't we call it "child murder" or "murder"? They seem to fit the bill better than honour killing.

Slight improvement would be "misplaced honour murder".

BobBanana Wed 07-Sep-11 22:29:26

Message withdrawn

EldritchCleavage Wed 07-Sep-11 22:34:17

I know what you mean but, rather like 'ethnic cleansing' what was supposed to be a dignifying term has not worked as such-it is such an ugly thing the stigma just can't be diminished y the name.

It would still be better if it were called something blunter and more accurate though.

GothAnneGeddes Wed 07-Sep-11 23:17:35

Southall Black Sisters refer to them as Honour Based Crimes. The killing part is still pretty blunt and accurate isn't it?

As incomprehensible as it seems, these murders do occur because of reasons around 'honour', so to change the name would be a misonomer.

I hope Shafilea Ahmed finally gets justice. If the parents are found guilty, I suspect they will get very long sentences indeed and rightly so.

AyeBelieveInTheHumanityOfMen Wed 07-Sep-11 23:19:31

Are the murders on Victims of Violence thread any less about "honour"? Or are they still in the "just another murder" category? Or are they the equally odious "crimes of passion"?

Patriarchy, yet again, YABVU.

BobBanana Wed 07-Sep-11 23:26:01

Message withdrawn

Greythorne Thu 08-Sep-11 07:52:17

But by saying "honour killing" surely it confers a sense that the killing was down to honour or in some way honourable? If it's an "honour killing", the family are protectung their "honour" according to this terminology.

But in fact, it is a murderous family who are so mysognistic, so proud, so intolerant that they are willing to butcher their own child. I despise the word honour in connection to such a crime.

And as for "different honour system"? Do me a favour. That is precisely why I said in my OP that these people completely lack any moral compass because cultural morés change but basic morality and honour do not.

NotADudeExactly Thu 08-Sep-11 08:06:46

But by saying "honour killing" surely it confers a sense that the killing was down to honour or in some way honourable?

Agreed; "obnoxious archaic values killing" would arguably be way more accurate but I have a feeling it won't catch on.

TBH another thing that really bothers me about this whole concept is how it is only ever applied to other cultures. So if a Middle Eastern or Indian victim is concerned, it's an "honour killing", if it's a white European woman it's a "family tragedy" or even "crime of passion" etc. - making the whole concept dodgy from an anti-racist as well as an anti sexist POV IMHO.

Bunbaker Thu 08-Sep-11 08:14:53

I hate the term "honour" killing" It makes it sound as if the perpetrator is legitimising or justifying a heinous crime. It is murder plain and simple.

therugratref Thu 08-Sep-11 08:43:43

But white European women are very seldom killed to protect the "honour" or the reputation of the family within the community. Where as young Muslim girls who wont conform to the archaic and mysogynistic expectations of their cultural heritage are. Crimes of this nature are almost exclusively committed by men from the middle east and pakistan(often with the support of the senior women of the family) and I dont think it constitutes racism to point that out. They are also distinctly different crimes to those committed by a violent spouse or ex.

Beachcomber Thu 08-Sep-11 08:58:43

This whole 'honour' thing is just made up patriarchal bullshit used to dominate and control women. It is a tool.

There is no dishonour in not wanting to get married.

Beachcomber Thu 08-Sep-11 09:01:00

Is it just some sort of coincidence that most victims of honour killings are women and girls?

NotADudeExactly Thu 08-Sep-11 09:16:38

therugratef, the thing is though: Western European society has never had the same concept of family/clan honour as traditional Arab societies - it's a tribal thing originally AFAIK and has many other manifestations too (affecting both sexes).

Why is there not more of an outcry about Arab wife killers? I'm thinking because "we" do this too and would hence look slightly hypocritical if we protested too loudly. And that's where the whole thing gets slightly racist IMHO. Because it implies that killing women for not adhering to the rules is only really a problem when it's the "others'" rules, so to speak. Our rules, i.e. that partners, not blood relatives, have their 'honour' or 'pride' at stake WRT women's behaviour, are totally okay, of course. Totally hypocritical.

Don't get me wrong: "honour" killings are despicable. I just have a major issue with people who otherwise couldn't care less about women suddenly turning into ardent feminists where the women of differently coloured men are concerned.

whowherewhen Thu 08-Sep-11 09:21:19

In my opinion you'd have to be mentally deranged to kill your own child!!!

edd1337 Thu 08-Sep-11 09:21:29

That's how they roll within that culture Beach

One day... just one day they'll treat their women with respect

NotADudeExactly Thu 08-Sep-11 09:25:35

"their" women, edd? Way to show how much better society in this place!

Nice illustration of my point, though.

edd1337 Thu 08-Sep-11 09:28:05

You're misinterpreting my point. That's not what I mean

EldritchCleavage Thu 08-Sep-11 09:32:27

Why not call them 'patriarchal killings' then? Would apply to DV murders in our society too.

edd1337 Thu 08-Sep-11 09:36:49

Wrong. Just google wife kills husband and you'll see it happens both ways

KRICRI Thu 08-Sep-11 09:43:48

As GothAG suggests, Southall Black Sisters use the term "honour based crimes" and they are one of the leading organisations that supports women and campaigns to address the problem. Even if I feel uneasy with the term because of the "lens" through which I view it, I think we have to accept it and not get too hung up on the word at the risk of losing sight of the problem behind it.

Perhaps there is a similarity with the term "Domestic Violence/Abuse." I despise the fact that phrases like "just a domestic" or "having a domestic" belittle the reality of what is systemic gender-based violence against women by a partner. Also, it doesn't have to happen in a home or even between people who co-habit. However, I accept that it is the term in general use and most widely understood, so I am happy to go with it.

AyeBelieveInTheHumanityOfMen refers to that sobering thread that lists all the women who have been killed by partners or other significant men in their lives. The majority of these are white European women. I firmly disagree with therugratref that these crimes are all that different from honour killings.

In nearly every case, there are suggestions that the woman was somehow at least partly responsible for her own demise. She had an affair, he feared she was having an affair, she was going to leave him, she was denying him access to his kids, she laughed at and taunted him, etc. etc. To me, that suggests the perpetrator killed because he felt she had dishonoured him.

I wonder if cases of men killing or trying to kill their partners or ex's is so commonplace that society almost views it as "normal" behaviour. We almost take for granted that a man who feels dishonoured by his woman (even if we don't use the word dishonoured) can "snap" and kill her, (AKA Deliliah, Hey Joe, that sort of thing,) or even that he could have been justified because of what she did (or the papers tell you she did.)

But, when a South Asian or Middle Eastern woman is killed by a partner, father, brother, etc., we see this as something totally different, somehow more deserving of our contempt. We're quick to link "defects" in their culture, traditions or faith to these actions while we ignore the factors in our own culture that imho, are just as much at play in the deaths of women on the Victims of Violence thread.

KRICRI Thu 08-Sep-11 09:46:09

Sorry - cross posting NotADude. You said what I meant better - and caught edd's sexism red handed (or would that be texted.)

Geez, didn't take long to get to the "what about the menz" post either. Is there an equivalent of Godwin's Law for that?

edd1337 Thu 08-Sep-11 09:46:34

she was denying him access to his kids

This seems to be on the rise. If a vindictive ex decides to mess with their ex in the worst possible way then there's consequences

edd1337 Thu 08-Sep-11 09:47:37

Double post

It's not about "what about the menz." You seems oblivious that women kill men under a patriarchy

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