Spinster Aunt HQ was gonna be on holiday for another couple of days, but then I got an email from Apostate. Forget First Lady fashion; this pretty much defines the global humanitarian crisis that we routinely downplay as “patriarchy.”
Hold onto your hats.
Balochistan Senator Sardar Israrullah Zehri stunned the upper house on Friday when he defended the recent incident of burying alive three teenage girls and two women in his province, saying it was part of “our tribal custom.” [cite]
The justification for this appalling hate crime? The women wanted “to marry of their own will.”
The fiends perpetrating this savagery — a group that apparently included some village bigwigs — first wounded the women with gunshots, “in the name of honour.”
I will give you a moment to digest the unspeakable horror.
To its credit, within the Pakistani senate there is apparently some outrage, including the assertion that burying independent-minded women alive is no way a Baloch tribal custom, and that the incident was a heinous anomaly. Sure, calling into question the tribal customariness of this practice is all well and good, but in so doing the senate seems to be intimating that a pre-existing woman-burying custom might, under some circumstance, be regarded as a mitigating factor.
Hey, Pakistani senate! Tribal custom or no, what’s the diff? A killing spree is a killing spree.
I recognize that a couple of brutally murdered Pakistani girls may not fascinate to the extent that, say, a Sarah Palin does, but I beseech those bloggers among you to postpone writing another Geraldine Ferraro post long enough to pass this story around. The idea that cultural tradition might even fleetingly be construed by supposedly civilized beings as an excuse for ritual murder is the direct result of the same global misogynist paradigm that brings us “harmless” Western-style femininity, Jesus, the nuclear family, street harrassment, pornography, and rape culture. I am not moron enough to suggest that Western Internet-feminists can prevent barbarism through blogging, but we can damn well get the word out.
And we can damn well crank up our own resistance a notch. This may seem like a weird place to mention this, but if you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time you know that I see patriarchal oppression as a global continuum. Furthermore, I am a firm believer in the notion that it’s possible for feminists to ripple that continuum. Well, what I wish is, I wish that Western women could see the big picture from their privileged choice-feminism aeries and actually take a step towards women’s liberation by bagging femininity as a lifestyle choice. The cost would be little compared to what these Pakistani women suffered by daring to express an interest in their own futures, and it could change the world.
The revolution will not be wearing bustiers and nail polish.