how honor ruined many women lives

my your daughter be in house or in grave

old Somali proverb

Honor is not murder. And dishonor is not a girl who goes to school. It is not a girl who plays outside. It is not a girl who refuses to marry at a young age. It is not a girl who speaks, laughs, and takes the opportunities that come in front of her. Instead, honor is identity. Honor is dignity. Honor is serving those we love with integrity and hard work; it is respecting one another, welcoming the stranger, and speaking and being proud of your own language. It is providing for your family, striving for the best in life,

before i review this book i was reminded about two honor killing incidents that occurred in my nation, luckily in the first the girl was saved before it was killed but in the second one the crime has already happens

in 2017 Hoodo Mukhtaar is a women who fell in love with a man from another tribe a tribe her parents thought unworthy of her and so she escaped with her husband and returned to her parents to get their blessing but they abducted her and tortured her and if the police didn’t interfere she would definitely would be killed

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in 2018 women fell in love with a man from another tribe a tribe so hated and prejudiced that most Somali consider them foreigners although they in these lands for many year, the girl family responded violently to her daughter love by trying to abduct and kill her and when she didn’t the couple she captured the groom uncle and after torturing him she and other tribesmen killed him and burned him.

in these two cases am sure you have noticed that what links these two cases is one word  Honor this word has ruined the lives of many girls in my part of the world and forbid them from falling in love, to learn,to educate themselves and even to go outside their houses, how these honor killing came to be is unknown and still many countries see it as normal  many NGO around the world  are fighting this heinous crime.

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our author is a Pakistani activist for women’s rights and a social entrepreneur. She is from a small village in Balochistan.

my Review;-

everyday i wake up and reading news i always encountered that word Honor Killing in many Arabic newspapers although i didn’t fully absorb what that word means reading this book especially written by women showed how privileged as men i am in my patriarchal society and that i have many freedom that i didn’t appreciate that wasn’t available to females and one of these freedom includes falling in love with the one i want although these is rare its natural for men in my city to gift their daughter to men or to promise it to them before even they were born and it seems and it seems this cruel customs are not only found in my nation but its a big problem shared by many nations in the third world and this problem affects women more than men.

our author was born in Balochistan which is very tribal region  and while in childhood she discovered her privilege as her parents allowed her to play outside the house unlike many girls of her age who their parents forbid them from leaving outside without male partner because women reputation affects the honor of her brothers father and uncles.

luckily for the author she had father who went to schools against the wishes of his parent and refused to give his daughter to marriage because of some tribal promise and he even educated his daughters against the wishes of his family, and unlike rich nations there is a little or no childhood when you live in poor countries and just as girls reach five she is expected to help her mom with house work and the boy to work with his father to earn income.

in her early teenage our author the gruesome murder of her cousin as she strangled by her cousins for dishonoring them and running away with another men and this murder led her to lifelong goal of fighting this barbaric custom which kills women and its estimated to kill one thousand women in Pakistan every year

interestingly education and independent income earning saved our author and will always save many women  from cultural custom meant to control her

I Should Have Honor by Khalida Brohi

Sep 04, 2018 | 224 Pages

link to the book

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La Bastarda: A Novel by Trifonia Melibea Obono

. “If you don’t have a name, you’re invisible, and if you’re invisible, you can’t claim any rights. Besides, the offensive label man-woman implies disdain toward women. It reduces them to passive sexual objects that never act on their own desires. Think about it. From what I can see you’re no fool.”

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although this short novel consists of 120 pages it contains Adultery,incest,polygamy.sexual orgy and many other sexual conducts

we fallow the story of the young orphaned teenage girl Okomo who in the beginning of the novel infuriates her grandfather just by asking him where and who is her father and just after this simple question this novel progresses as the the young girl becomes obsessed in discovering who is her father.

what happens after that question is that her grandfather calls the family four council but since he is very old the meeting topic changes from how to change our protagonist behavior to venerating her grandfathers which consisted of

he described the honorable life of Beká, the patriarch of our lineage. His existence had been so fruitful that he brought thirty men and forty women into the world, in addition to fighting against the mitangan occupation.

although the author of the novel comes from West Africa and i am from East Africa just like the novel i remembered when i was young and listened to my grandfather stories when he was young  most of the time they all consisted of him killing  people to protect his herd of Camels or dwindling pool of water,i guess some norms in Africa can be found in any corner of it.

she meets then her uncle who her tribe calls him MAN Women because he was queer and didn’t wanted to marry or impregnate women as his tribe wanted to do it, and this made the tribe hate and scorn him and eventually tries to kill him.

since this is a short novel which consist of 120 pages i don’t want to ruin your reading of it and so didn’t reveal what happens to our protagonist but the story has happy ending

although this was short novel it really was an eye opener on what it means to be queer and African at the same time and how in some societies which are very ignorant being homosexual can make your life horrible and how still many African societies and head of states usually autocratic see LGBTQ as threat and something that was parachuted from Europe to Africa not something organic.

the last note i wanna add to this small review is how many societies including my own uses Corrective Rape as something which they believe will heal women from being Lesbian which is another painful practices many societies use against women suspected of being lesbian.

But what really made me glad was how the protagonist and other characters eventually left their village to forest where they were free from small minded village people and how they respected  their new home they become vegetarian and don’t kill forest animals

The forest was the only refuge for those who had no place in Fang tradition, like me. I’m a bastarda, a Fang woman; I’m a bastarda, daughter of an unmarried Fang woman; I’m a bastarda, a lesbian.

La Bastarda: A Novel

by Trifonia Melibea Obono translated Lawrence Schimel

Published April 17th 2018 by Feminist Press

120 pages and is $14.65

Amazon link