Honour Killing

At first glance, the case of the Ahmed family that was introduced in the chapter of Honour Killing in Jacqueline Rose’s book depicted to me as solely of an issue between abusive parents and victimized children, where both mother and father are co-dominant in this culture that justifies honour killing. But as Rose explains the details of honour killing and the patriarchy that imposes it, i start to wonder the family dynamics in these cultures. How prominent are the mothers’ decisive role in the murder of their daughter and do these cases really extend to spousal abuse as well? In one instance, it is easy to see how the mothers is only powerlessly submitting to that of the fathers’ control, but in several separate cases, not only does the mother negligently allow these act of violence inflicted on their daughters but also contribute to them individually. One mother told the bridegroom to rape her daughter because she didn’t consent to the marriage. If she was a victim of the same oppression, it was completely unnecessary to contribute to your daughter’s unhappiness. What baffles me is how a mother can force her daughter into an unwanted marriage riddled with unhappiness when she herself knows the pain first hand. Undoubtedly the mother is under great pressure from the father both physically and verbally, but also from the social embarrassment and possibly social death, which to them seems even worse than actual death itself. The tragedy is knowing that to them, their daughter’s life is worth less than the gossips of the town.


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