Most viral videos are harmless, usually a new dance craze by yet another Gen Zer on TikTok. But sometimes, videos can be detrimental. This was the case for a video taken almost a year ago in Pakistan. Fast forward to last Thursday, two girls' lives were forever changed.
According to CBS News, about a thousand Pakistani women each year are murdered in honor killings. In this particular case, three girls were captured in a video with a man alone outdoors. He then proceeds to kiss two of the girls. Two of the three girls have been killed by their own family members and passed off as honor killings. Now the police want to ensure the safety of the third girl.
For those not familiar with what an honor killing is, it is the act of killing a family member because they have brought shame and hence dishonor to the family. It is used somewhat as a mechanism to prevent shame from disgracing the family name. There are many reasons why these killings happen. Honor killings are usually tied to cultural, not necessarily religious, ideologies, but there are less minor reasons, such as inappropriate dress conduct. There is no estimate to how many women worldwide are killed each year due to honor killings. These killings often go unreported.
Changing the terms of reference for honour killings is very important, and using the word ‘Shame’ instead. In can help since it immediately identifies the act as something shameful rather than assumed honourable.#HonorKilling #StopTheHate#Waziristanhttps://t.co/znBhjWK8KT— Zia Zuberi (@ZuberiSpeaks) May 17, 2020
It is usually only the girls or women in the families that experience honor killings. The boys or men acting with such “dishonor” are not subjected to the same severe consequences that their counterparts experience. Even in Western culture, similiar double standards exist within society, as a man seen with a woman alone is praised while a woman is condemned as a slut or immoral.
Header image via AFP News Agency on YouTube
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Nadia is a California aka Best Coast to NYC transplant who loves all things science, intersectional feminism, and the world. When she isn't being a trivia queen, traveling the world or fighting for a good cause, she dabbles in the arts. Maybe follow her Twitter @svilormercury for random thoughts and whatnot.