Don’t Reject Your Culture, Even If It Mutilates You

Aisha on Time's Cover

Aisha on Time’s Cover

This week’s cover of Time shows an 18 year old Afghani named Aisha gazing from behind her mutilated nose. Punishment for running away from home. She left because she feared she would die from her in-laws’ abuse.

Eventually discovered, a Taliban-run court issued what was in effect a death sentence. For simply running away? From abuse and possible death?

Declaring she must be made an example, the Taliban ordered her nose and ears cut off.

Her husband took her to a mountain clearing where her brother-in-law held her down as her spouse slashed Aisha and left her to die.

Yet she lived. After passing out from pain, she eventually awoke, choking on her own blood. Aisha summoned her strength and crawled to her grandfather’s house. Fortunately, her father managed to get her to an American medical facility.

The Taliban tell their people that women’s rights are a Western concept that breaks away from Islamic teaching. (Though the Quran says nothing of cutting away ears or noses, and leaving relatives to die.)

I’ve often thought that if Asian women had gained the vote before American women, the powers that be would warn us away from rejecting our religion or our culture.

Is it really a loss of culture or “religion” that is feared? Or do these men just worry that women will gain equal footing?

Meantime, beware: Don’t reject the culture that mutilates you body, mind and soul.

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About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on August 3, 2010, in feminism, gender, women and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I find it reprehensible that these beasts are the ones representing Islam. There’s never cause to mutilate a woman. Ever.

    • Agreed. In fact, I’m planning a later post on how such sexism is odd, since I see the Quran as having come from a feminist spirit in its attitude toward women in the 7th Century.

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