A Pakistani lawmaker defended a decision by southwestern tribesmen to bury five women alive because they wanted to choose their own husbands, telling stunned members of Parliament this week to spare him their outrage.Be it resolved that slavishly upholding tradition for its own sake is unjustified in modern society.
"These are centuries-old traditions and I will continue to defend them," Israr Ullah Zehri, who represents Baluchistan province, said Saturday. "Only those who indulge in immoral acts should be afraid."
Of course I find this obscene and indefensible, as I find burying women in burkas obscene, or female "circumcision", or Suttee, or other "honor killing". It's an extreme on a continuum with the fear of the feminine and misogyny that are presented by many of our own society's cultural conservatives--think the protest against women bishops. At its root, it comes from the same place: women as lower, as "other", as lesser. I am no cultural relativist. I find no justification for the oppression of women "because it's always been like this" no matter the society in which it occurs.