21 July 2006

Honour and the control of others

Zidane head-butts Materazzi. Taiwanese father poisons his own son. How sexist and patriarchal ideas make men look stupid. Full essay.


Anonymous said...

as liberal as i am, i do appreciate the unique role nature has given to men and women, and how that has developed fairly universal cultural norms over time, including how men see the need to protect their womenfolk. i think nature is more about balance than equality. and that is good. i am sure billions of womenfolk (Algerian or otherwise) feel touched that Zidane would stand up for their honour.

football is just a game, but being flawed and at times tragic, it is a good reflection of life. i believe the Zidane incident actually adds to its reputation as the beautiful game. people often criticize FIFA for not adopting technology faster, i think FIFA is actually well aware that perfection and indisputability could in fact destroy the beauty of football.

finally, i think that the gay world is a part of the natural world, and that gay activists should also consider that fighting for recognition and acceptance as part of this natural world can have more sustainable effects than just screaming for equal treatment.

Anonymous said...

sorry Alex. I disagree about the caring for women folk bit. I don't know but if your mom is insulted, you wouldn't head butt that other chap? Am I missing a point?

Yawning Bread Sampler said...

anonymous 21 July, 13:07 -

(a) Say Koshi is the type that "see the need to protect (his) womenfolk". Say Haglas, in a reckless moment, speaks about Koshi's sister, Seneste, and her flirting with white tourists, maybe even going to bed with them. Koshi is angry when he hears of what Haglas has said to their mutual friends, except that, it is true, Seneste is a "good time" girl and likes to flirt with tourists. What should Koshi do about his sister? What right does Koshi have to do whatever he wants to do?

What should Koshi do to Haglas when Haglas has spoken only the truth?

(b) You said, "fighting for recognition and acceptance as part of this natural world can have more sustainable effects than just screaming for equal treatment."

Are you suggesting that recognition and acceptance is possible without equal treatment? What kind of recognition and acceptance would that be?

Anonymous said...

To some men, protecting a woman's "honour" is seen to be more important than her life. In Britain, about 12 women fall victim to honour killings by their own (male) family members after they refused to accept arrange marriages or they simply chose to date someone not within the group. The Courts have estimated behind this figure are probably thousands who have to live in fear of such "punishments" usually by their brothers and fathers.

Alex has raised a very important point in the relationship between patriarchy and the apparent defence of a woman's honour

Anonymous said...

I've been reading your posts for a while now, and just wanted to thank you for your insights and opinions. As an Indian who has stayed in Singapore long enough to presume to understand this place and her people, my opinion is you're usually right on the money.

And so it's strange that my first comment is on an article that has nothing to do with Singapore :)

Football (and male dominated sports) has generally turned from a display of skill and talent to a test of one's ego, acting, ability to withstand the kind of insults that Zidane allegedly suffered, and displays of machismo. We see this in football and rugby, and we see this in supposedly more gentlemanly sports like cricket, these days.

I support Zidane's actions completely, assuming of course his version of events is correct. In my opinion there is no place for personal insults in sports.

Perhaps you have over analysed the reason for Zidane's aggressive response as demonstrating his self-appointed role as defender of the weak womenfolk of his family. Could it not just be that he was defending the honour of his family? I would defend my wife should someone say something nasty about her, and I have seen her defend me. In neither case did either of us consider the other weak or in need of defence. I would do the same should someone abuse my parents or sister.

Let us not over complicate matters when the most likely explanation is far more basic and far more primal.