5 thoughts on “Truth Can Be Repulsive

  1. I’m with you, Maha. I read that Warner piece this morning and immediately tagged it for my own blog. This whole “purity” idea, coupled with the fact that it is a part of the ancient but still-living cultural model within which men own their wives and daughters (and if the females are “sullied,” then the man who owns them is dishonored, and enraged, and he gets to kill somebody)… Well, it speaks for itself.

    “Purity Balls” … indeed.

  2. Kevin drum has an interesting take on all the apologies that have been made lately:

    “Notice a pattern? Aside from Andrea Mitchell’s crack about Virginia, which was offensive in a nonpartisan way, every one of the apologies has been about an offensive remark aimed at a Democrat. Funny, that.”

    —Kevin Drum 1:19 PM

  3. Living in a fifth-world ME country in the mid-’70’s as I did, has affected how I judge other cultures – in short, I don’t.

    Conundrums: A husband locks his wife in their house when he leaves for work in the morn. His reason – she’ll foolishly go to the souk because women love to shop and he won’t be there to protect her from preditory males. Told to me by my arab ‘driver,’

    A man, if he can afford it (very important) must have three wives because women when they get older lose interest in sex and to spare his first (oldest) wife, he must take a young wife who will naturally enjoy sex. Told to me by a well-educated ex-pat Pakistani.

    My western enculturation made these views difficult to swallow, and I didn’t have to, but at the same time I didn’t feel I had the right to condemn those who held them.

  4. I forgot to add how the rules that a male-dominated culture establishes can back-fire. At a public gathering, in this case the outdoor Friday night movie, men and women sit in separate sections – men downstairs, women in the ‘balcony.’ Should the movie depict a woman being mistreated in any way by a man, the women in the balcony get up from their chairs and hurl them down on probably their husbands seated below. The men have no defense because of course they’re forbidden to enter the balcony. Justice can take many forms and it will finally.

  5. Delany Dunn-you’ve hit the nail on the head! The same mindset that gives us the father-daughter purity ball also lets the son sow his wild oats (we can’t give up the old sexual double-standard, can we?) From marriage, the woman is expected to become the property of her husband and “graciously submit” to him. This mindset led to Roger Scaggs’ murder of his wife Penny Scaggs in Austin, TX in 1996. Penny refused to grant Roger a divorce, and Roger was pursuing another, younger woman.

    It also leads to honor killings or other restrictive behaviors in Mediterranean and Near East cultures that sometimes carry over in other countries. Two recent examples come from Iraq, where a father stabbed his 17 year old daughter to death for speaking with a British soldier. His wife, mother of the daughter and of their two sons, divorced him over the murder and fled. Unfortunately, hired gunmen found the wife and shot her just before she was to leave Iraq for Jordan. There is another example from today’s AP wire, where an Italian family was found to have kept their daughter imprisoned in a room for almost 18 years for the crime of getting pregnant without marriage.

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