“Love makes us kind if we let it,” are the traumatizing first and last words of BBC3’s new one-off drama ‘Murdered by My Father’ which has sparked awareness on the concept of honour killing and being ‘promised’.
It may seem strange to many but cultures often “arrange” their child’s marriage at a young age, some even before they are born.
For the parents, this is a way of;
- Preventing their child, mainly the daughter, from being led astray.
- To control unwanted behavior and sexuality, and prevent ‘unsuitable’ relationships, i.e. with people outside their ethnic, cultural, caste or religious group
- To protect perceived cultural ideals, which in their head they think of as ‘religious’
- Family ‘honour’ or long-standing family commitments, who are often pressuring
- To ensure land, property and wealth remain in the family
- To strengthen family links, because being blood related isn’t enough, ohh noo, we have to tie our children together as well.
They love you, take care of you, your mother carried you in her womb for nine months, nursed you, cried at your every pain. Your father worked days and nights to provide for you. Then why is it when it comes to the time when they should be your protectors and support you in the most important decision of your life, they are willing to submit to abuse?
As shown in the documentary, many face emotional blackmail, excessive persuasion and may even lead to physical abuse and in worst case scenarios… Death.
They implant in their child’s head that they are selfish, that they long hoped for an obedient child.
Obedience does not lie in forbidding your child to make decisions. I do myself come from a very traditional family, however, not soo traditional that we fail to perceive what is right and wrong. As a parent, yes you do try to make the ultimate best decision for your child, but when your eyes are covered with the peering sights of others, with the constant thought of “what will people say”, with the backward mentality that should be long forgotten.. what are you left with? A miserable child.
I have read many comments which say that “the girl should have told her dad about her love, he would have understood.” Unfortunately, they don’t. I can assure you that they will not want to hear anything which does not suit them, because they are subconsciously not putting their child first, they are putting their phoney honour before all. In their minds, they are doing right, its only arranged marriage which is a cultural norm, but arranged marriages do not contain any pressure of any sort.
So what is the answer? Awareness. People of such mentality just need to be reminded, that if they truly love their children and raise them in a comfortable, safe, loving environment, their children will not disgrace them. But as a parent, they should also support their child and allow them to make decisions about their own life because ultimately they are the ones living it.
Also, most importantly, people need to stop interfering in others lives and dictating how other people should raise their children. Stop judging and stop having an opinion. Once it is known that outsiders will not say anything and/or not have an opinion, then most of these issues will be resolved. Everyone has a different way of life, you cannot influence or pressurize your way of thinking on others, live and let live!
Life is not an easy ride; do not force your children into making theirs unbearable.