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The Patriarchy Continuum

March 27, 2009 by and tagged , , , ,

Patriarchal violence may take different forms but it all boils down to controlling women’s bodies and sexuality:

It is a case terrifyingly reminiscent of the Fritzl case: a 63-year old man has been continuously raping his 34-year old daughter for 25 years and socialized his son into doing the same to own four daughters. Both father and son have been arrested. The 25-year old daughter was not imprisoned like the Fritzl daughter but had grown up to be completely submissive to her father (being raped at 9 surely helped along with the usual terrorizing techniques). She lived in a dark room and stopped going to school at 13.

So what does the father say to explain his behavior? Well, he has had ten children and the first daughter was promised to him, by family "law" (whatever the hell that means) regardless of the presence of his wife and other children.

In terms of patriarchal behavior, how is that different from this:

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, patriarchy is less about male dominance but about the rule of the father over his entire family, especially his daughters but also his sons. Moreover, girls have no individual existence separate from the family unit. In this sense, these suicides are socially-mandated by the patriarchal order and are even more strongly called for to spare the men from convictions on homicide charges (even honorable murders tend to be treated lightly in countries such as Jordan).

A case like this is a good counterargument for anti-globalization activists who often make the case for respect for cultures along with promoting the local community as a bastion of local democracy, in a nostalgic view of Gemeinschaft to get away from the supposed dehumanizing aspects of Gesellshaft. For instance:

This is something that was explored by Benjamin Barber in Jihad Versus McWorld: a rise in secularism and globalization is met by traditional retrenchment and religious fundamentalism.

And this is not unique to Turkey:

And this idea that the impurity of girls has to be controlled, essentially by her elimination can begin even before they reach puberty of the age of marriage:

By definitions, witches are women, and, as the article notes, the presence of deformities is a death sentence especially if it’s a girl.

In many part of the world, being born with two X chromosomes is a curse.

Posted in Gender, Human Rights, Patriarchy, Religious Fundamentalism, Sexism | 1 Comment »



One Response to “The Patriarchy Continuum”

  1.   dmayeda Says:

    Wow, that had to be one of the most depressing reads ever. I saw this earlier today. It’s not written in such graphic detail, but it fits in with this blog entry -

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7968421.stm

    I also just read a memoir called, “A Private Family Matter,” which shows this kind of violence can and does happen in the U.S.

    Reply

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