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« What do you call a photographer without a camera?Religion and moral values »

The relativity of Honor

  • By: Qwaider

  • On:Tuesday, August 26, 2008 2:38:40 AM
  • In:Thoughts
  • Viewed: (6343) times

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    Honor, that illusive ethical concept. It appears to have different meanings depending on the culture. Although many agree on honor being related to honesty, trustworthy, respect worthy, purity and integrity, but it does change from culture to culture, from time to time.

    For example, the Japanese culture define honor as closer to integrity. While Middle Eastern cultures have continued to view chastity as an integral part of Honor, one can not exist without the other.

    In the west for example, honor is really something to be proud of. Not necessarily related to chastity any more but closer to honesty. Again a relatively to the kind of culture that exists there.

    Please don't think that this article is by any mean related to honor crimes or a justification in anyway to honor-violence

    Honor, appears to also have different value from one culture to the other, from time to time, even in the same culture from one household to the other. It's not an absolute value as one would hope as many prostitutes in one culture might have achieved the greatest honor in one culture, while banished to shame and dishonor in another.

    Honor as it seems may or may not exist alongside other virtues like honesty, integrity, chastity, harmony and others. However, some cultures chose to define honor in one way or another. Some even go as far as associating defiance as honor, freedom fighting as honor. While some will consider meeting Micheal Jackson a great honor! Whatever your choice is Honor is defined differently, and relatively

    Which brings me to an area that is begging for a definition. What is Honor for Arabs?

    At some point, the great position in the Arab world was for the Sharif (The most noble, but literally the most chaste or of the Highest honor). As a position, it was abstracted from almost all sexual relation. So regardless of the conduct of the person he still held a position that has "Chastity" in it's meaning.

    In the modern day Arab world, Honor, is often synonymous with purity, virtue and chastity. Those who let go of their chastity have committed what is considered by most dishonor.

    Honor is obviously an intrinsic property of the society, it doesn't matter if someone in the west considers men or women who have extra marital affairs. What really matters is what the local society feels, or in this case condemns.

    The rise of the double standard...

    The act of letting go of someone's honor is always a burden on people who have it. Or maintain it. The custodians and keepers of honor in the family. In this specific case it's the women of the family. They are entrusted with the honor and at the same time responsible for it.

    From that came the double standards of dealing with males and females. Where males are viewed outside the concept of honor. (Except if they're on the receiving side of homosexuality, where they will be treated as women).

    Since Honor is being objectified as something that can be taken. Those who have it (Women), try to maintain it and protect it from those who want to steal it! Therefore, Men "stealing" someone's honor is not as shameful as someone allowing them to have it. The didn't lose "theirs" they took someone else's.

    It's that idea that dominates the concept of Honor in the Arab world. (And please pardon the oversimplification).

    Again, I would like to stress that I don't condone duel standards, nor do I, or would I ever justify honor violence. I'm in fact against both. I would prefer to see a society where men and women are looked at equally in regards to this matter. If they're guilty then both need to be equally guilty and equally bring shame to thier family.

    Other Memories Documented on August 26
    « What do you call a photographer without a camera?Religion and moral values »

    Memories....

    And what does honor mean to you?
    Bad shot arab observer, we got your massage.
    "A different perspective"
    Thanks for your query, I'm not really sure what more I need to add here. Honor is something we cherish. It gives value to many things in this life. It is a source of pride and joy and needs to be preserved. If your question is whether I think Honor is related the the female hymen or not. My Answer would be, yes, it's related. That is an indication. But it's not a final judgement.
    Sleeping around is really not part of the Arabic culture, it has never been. And most likely it will never be. But does this mean that every woman who lost her hymen is necessarily a prostitute? I firmly believe that is not the case.
    I also believe men have a hymen as well (I call it dudenhymen :)) and I also believe men should do everything to preserve it. I hate the double standards of the society and I really hope men would set an example with their actions instead of their violence

    Hamede,
    It's not Fadi
    He is promoting male and female prostitution on the blogs,like jordan blogs and Qwaider planet,and the 1st comment is one of his babes, we have kids who read blogs,someone like Dat should not be allowed here.
    I'm sorry Hamede, but I didn't get it. Who is promoting prostitution?
    Fadi.zagmoot.
    No man, he's not. He's anti-honor killings but in his own way
    hamede, actually I call for sexual liberation. It is quiet different than prostitution. You would be surprised, but there are a lot of Jordanians who feel the same

    Qwaider, thanks for defending me. It is true that honor is relative and differ from a culture to another. But I dont think that it has been related to chatisty in the arabic culture through our history. The concept of chatisty was importent from the west at the beginning of our last century and as a result of the victorian age in europe.

    Arabs has always enjoyed el jawary o el '3olman, and they had much more sexual freedom before the western effect on us at that time.

    It has even gotten worse in the 80's after the american funds for religion extremist on their attempt to ground the communists expansion. Just take a small look at the egyptian movies in the 50s, 60s and 70s and compare. Check also the pictures of Ammani women at that time. It was all different.

    We have always been more tolerante to sexuality and we lead the world at some point with the rights we gave to our women.

    Iy is time to go back and adhere to our natures and logic and stop aligning honor to hymens. Lets attached honor to what is really honorable.
    No Fadi, the concept of chastity wasn't imported from anyone. I think it's home grown and I think it has always been there.
    Now I don't believe that Arab women at any time had the opportunity to have sexual interactions without suffering the consequences. Just watch what they show in Bab El Hara, despite it's backwardness, it portrays a real image of what was happening. Some women didn't even do anything. It's unfair, but it's part of the culture. Apparently, we're slaves to our own culture
    As I explained in my article, honor here is being associated with someone losing something valuable. That's why it means a lot  to people
    • #10
    • kinzi
    • Windows Firefox Browser
    • Said
    • On: 8/27/2008 10:27:32 PM
    Fadi, I'm glad to hear someone thinks the West imported something positive in my eyes, even tho it isn't in yours :). Judaism and Christianity were both pretty strong on chastity for 1,000s of years before the Victorian era, remember Jesus even told men to not even lust after a woman in their hearts. It's actually an Easter import to the West.
    Oh come on Kinzi, chastity and virtue are really not things that anyone imported from anyone! Everyone had their own.
    I agree, I don't think the idea of chastity is unique to any culture or religion.

    I don't associate chastity with honor myself.

    I think that allowing an adult woman decides how she is going to use her own sexuality (if at all) is part of equality. It's no more than what men are granted by default.
    You too can have your Memories Documented

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