Thursday, 29 May 2014

Honour



My birth brought no joy, for I was not boy.  Yet I felt loved, my mother taught me my chores, showed me my place,  gave me my future.  Father even allowed an education and my mind and spirit shined as I became alive!  Then came puberty and I was a little afraid, a little afraid as buds blossomed into breasts and blood showed the possibilities of motherhood.  And father became afraid, mother too, and my femininity became the chains that bound me.

Mother and father chose a cousin and I could not, could not love him – for I wanted a man that would excite my heart and he was not he.  I did so need to be loved rather than acquired, wanted to happily drown in the wonder of it all, the wonder of love. 

And I found him, my true love, at the very same moment he found me.  And deep within me, within my womb, beats the tiny heart that is my country's future.   For whether this tiny heart beats in girl or boy, this wonderful child will be loved and will be free, as free as the birds that soar above us and touch the clouds with unclipped wings.

Yet my parents are not happy for me and are bitter with hatred.  They say I have dishonoured them…

A stone as a heart,
my life blood wet on his hands:
this a father’s love.

Anna  

Björn at dVerse has us writing a haibun and the horrendous murder of Farzana Parveen remains fresh in my mind, refuses to go away, and my words are based upon it.

I must admit that I am almost immune to the pain of our world, swamped as we are by gruesome images that fill our television screens, so much so that the unbelievable the unforgivable become the ordinary.  I may despair for mankind upon viewing, listening or reading, then the mental images and memory fade and I return to things personal in my life.

However Farzana’s murder refuses to go away, be consigned to the past, for try as I might, I cannot understand how a father can murder his daughter, firm in the belief that her death returns honour to her family.  I cannot understand the mindset.  I really really can’t and I felt physically sick upon hearing of it.

I do so fear for mankind, for it is my belief de-evolution is upon us as we fast return to our primitive past, our thinking primitive as we step backward towards the swamp from which we came…

Further reading that might interest:
ECD News: GENDER PLAY DURING EARLY CHILDHOOD IN PAKISTAN
Global Health Action: Gender roles and their influence on life prospects for women in urban Karachi, Pakistan: a qualitative study 
BMC Public Health: Male gender preference, female gender disadvantage as risk factors for psychological morbidity in Pakistani women of childbearing age - a life course perspective
Quranic Path: Stoning to Death:  A Violation of the Qur’an 
AljazheeraPakistani women stoned to death by her family

Video: courtesy of YouTube

29 comments:

annotating60 said...

A moving poem. >KB

Brian Miller said...

ugh. another inequality poem...and it hurts to think about not being wanted or viewed in a derogatory way just because of your gender....a hard line for me was...

I did so need to be loved rather than acquired...

but how often are women seen as acquititions...or spoils of a war...our metaphors betray us...

Björn Rudberg said...

You went with the inequality in Pakistan.. myself in the inequality closer to our world.. when can women be seen as human beings.. with a will of their own..

Gabriella said...

I liked how you endorsed the young woman's identity, Anna. You made her plight real for us readers. Very powerful and painful poem!

Mary said...

I am happy that the two who loved each other found one another, but sad about parental unhappiness because of the choices made. Everyone should have the right to choose who they love. A very powerful message in your poem.

Kathy said...

You hit the nail on the head....and our fathers can do this in small ways even that have years of aftershocks.

freyawrites.com said...

Such a tribute to the lady. Such is chance the chooser of our fate, to determine who we are born to, and where. I am so lucky to be me.

Claudia said...

that breaks my heart... it is terrible that things like this still happen and i cannot understand how a father can do this to their child

Helena said...

I was disgusted at this news. It beggars belief this kind of attack. Pride and honor taken too far.

Heaven said...

I have read about this story and it really angers me how a family can stone to death their child ~ I love how you gave her voice and made her story come to life ~ Sadly such horrors still abound ~ I also love that haiku ~

Glenn Buttkus said...

Being a Westerner, I will never resonate with the Muslim mindset of disrespecting women/girls, or the Nigerian Muslim kidnapping those young women rather than allowing them to get an education. Women's rights are still on the table here in the USA as well; your use of the prompt is both splendid & sad, as you shed light on some of the darkness of ignorant men's souls.

Linda M said...

Very well expressed. That father doesn't understand honor at all. Honor doesn't live in him.

georgeplaceblog said...

I don't know how many times I've tried to say something and had to delete... there just are no words for the horror and tragedy of this... you portrayed this well, maybe uncomfortably too well.

steph said...

Not that any of us need more of the same, but The Stoning of Soraya has stayed with me.. a film nevertheless worth seeing. And so we should write about this.. a greater awareness might, maybe wishful thinking, but it might bring change.

kaykuala said...

Young girls are more restricted in what they can do than boys! That might put some pressures though unintended. You've said it like it is Anna! Great insight!

Hank

Katie said...

Very visual, sad, moving, and powerful poem.

Loredana Donovan said...

Wow, very powerful ... it is sad to witness such violence in the world and people being unkind to each other ... strong message here.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

So sad that these things continue to go on in today's world. It makes me so mad that women are treated and viewed as less than human. Your poem was powerful...

Tigerbrite said...

Yes, it's hard to believe that we are on a course to ascension when things like this still go on. Yet there are beings of light, children of the sun, trying to raise our consciousness and open our hearts the Christlight and the knowledge that we are all connected in the God force.. the power of the holy feminine energy must return to bring balance to this earth.

jo-hanna said...

It seems next to money, honour is the root of all evil. Or rather the mistaken conception of it. You don't soften the edges, quite rightly too.

Poet Laundry said...

Stories like these break my heart. Oh those poor women...what they suffer is beyond fathomable. Powerfully written piece Anna.

Arathi Harihar said...

finally she was able to get what she wanted..very nice..

michaelt said...

This was a shocking incident Anna and you have dealt with it so compassionately in this haibun. Very well done indeed.

quest4peas said...

Tragic. You tell the tale with great passion

JANU said...

This is the reality is many parts of the world...even the part of the world I live in. Sad.

Hannah said...

Ending lines in your notes, "de-evolution," and return to primitive ways...I agree..sadly.

What a hard topic you've reigned in and vividly, too. It is so sad what's considered "honor" in other places and here too really...in varying degrees.

"and my femininity became the chains that bound me." This is striking.

Excellent piece, Anna.

The Bizza said...

I don't have the vocabulary to accurrately convey my outrage and sadness over this. Thank you for shedding light on this crime against humanity.

Marcoantonio Arellano said...

Wow. poignant. real and painful.
freedom to be yourself is but an eye shot away yet not for your gathering

gracias for sharing

HA said...

Her story resonates in your words. Powerful writing.
The mindset towards women needs to change throughout the world. I don't know when it would be that there would be no inequality. Yes, equality is propagated in our constitutions, but I wait for the time when it would be engraved in the minds of everyone.