Op-ed: Good for the match trade

Op-ed: Good for the match trade April 29, 2021

A NEWS outlet in Pakistan reports another one of those routine torture-murders of women that go with living in a brutal misogynist theocracy:

One Shahabuddin along with his sister Seemab and niece Mahnoor allegedly set his wife Muneeba on fire in Akbarpura’s Khandar village, Nowshera on April 24. Muneeba was rushed to the burn ward of the Hayatabad Medical Complex in Peshawar but succumbed to her injuries on Monday, April 26.

According to the deceased’s uncle Islam Gul, she was married to Shahabuddin some six months ago and was regularly tortured and abused by her husband, Seemab and Mahnoor. Muneeba subsequently returned to her father’s home, however returned to her husband on April 24 on her family’s insistence.

Some “family.” A real family, one in which the members loved each other and would flinch in horror at the thought of forcing any member of it to return to a torturer, would have protected her rather than pushing her out. It’s as if people confuse themselves with a factory assembly line. “Our job is to manufacture new people; what happens to them afterwards is none of our concern. The daughter comes with a warranty which is void under certain conditions.”

That same day, Islam Gul alleges, Muneeba was once again tortured by the three accused and then doused with fuel and set on fire. She remained in severe pain for while under treatment in Peshawar for three days before passing away. Police have registered a case against the three accused on the complaint of the deceased’s uncle and launched an investigation.

As the family who sent her back must have known would happen. It seems male ownership of the female is more important than the female’s inclination to survive and to avoid the excruciating pain of being set on fire.

It’s a very theocractic country, Pakistan, as is well known. It may be that Shahabuddin and Seemab and Mahnoor are all atheists, but I kind of doubt it. It’s more likely that the theocratic atmosphere of Pakistan and the patriarchal emphasis of the local theology combine to make torturing women to death an all too common form of aggression. Enslavement to a daddy god tends to make people lavishly hostile to women.

Human Rights Watch’s 2020 Report has a section on this particular foible:

Violence against women and girls—including rape, murder, acid attacks, domestic violence, and forced marriage – remains a serious problem throughout Pakistan. Human rights defenders estimate that roughly 1,000 women are killed in so-called honor killings every year. Data from domestic violence helplines across Pakistan indicated that cases of domestic violence increased 200 percent from January-March 2020, and further worsened during the Covid-19 lockdowns after March.

In September, nationwide protests took place to demand police reform after the Lahore Police chief made a public statement suggesting that a woman who had been gang-raped on a highway in Punjab was herself at fault because she should not have been traveling “without her husband’s permission” on a motorway late at night.

If she had had her husband’s “permission” would that have stopped the rapists? How would that have worked? Would she have taken care to get his permission in writing, and whipped it out to show the gang of rapists the very minute they told her they were going to gang-rape her? If she had, would that have stopped them cold? Would one of them have accepted the document she held out, and read it, and then read it aloud to the rest of the gang? Would they then have bowed solemnly and apologized and returned to their Gang Rape Bus?

Child marriage remains a serious problem in Pakistan, with 21 percent of girls marrying before age 18, and 3 percent marrying before 15. Women from religious minority communities remain particularly vulnerable to forced marriage. The government has done little to stop such forced marriages.

That’s all right though, because marriage in Pakistan is such a protective and benevolent institution that the girls are really better off than they would be staying at home and in school. Just kidding! Actually it’s all the more disgusting and sadistic that men are allowed to marry young girls when it is all too likely that they will abuse them.

Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, over 5 million primary school-age children in Pakistan were out of school, most of them girls. Human Rights Watch research found girls miss school for reasons including lack of schools, costs associated with studying, child marriage, harmful child labor, and gender discrimination.

Daddy God again, basically. Men are the real people, modeled on Daddy God, and women are an unfortunate tool that men have to use to make more men. It’s not a great arrangement, frankly, but even Daddy God has some constraints on what’s possible. Men-making tools just are stupid and weak and treacherous, so that’s why they have to be beaten or set on fire at regular intervals.

In August, a group of leading women journalists issued a statement condemning a “well-defined and coordinated campaign” of social media attacks, including death and rape threats against women journalists and commentators whose reporting has been critical of the government.

Well, come on now. Be reasonable. Women journalists are just asking for it. One, they probably don’t have that written permission from their husbands. Two, they’re not real people like men, so what do you expect. Three, they’re whores and sluts.

NGOs and other do-gooders should stop reporting attacks on women and instead report how many women don’t get burned alive. Those women should be damn grateful.

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