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On the Notion of “Honor” and Masculinity | Mehreen Kasana was the perfect read for my recent goal of getting back to my interest – feminism. I loved the blog post and it perfectly stated everything I would have. One thing I always make a point to do is go through the comments of such posts. When the post highlights exactly how I feel about a certain topic, it’s always interesting to scroll down and see the comments from others who disagree. I’m always looking to learn and commenters who disagree usually provide an interesting perspective – provided they aren’t speaking simply because they have nothing better to do in life than to be the buffoon who gets everyone riled up over the internet for his own amusement (I’m assuming this is what is meant by a ‘troll’ cf. Urban Dictionary).

Anyway, there was one comment that stood out:

Men are wired to possessive of their woman and protective. It’s the nature of the masculine. My favorite book on the sexes is this one. Check it out.

I won’t bother to click on the link when the argument that precedes it is faulty. It is faulty because I counter, who says it’s the nature of the masculine? It’s human nature to feel possessive for that which one cares for. Possessiveness is itself a quality in men as well as women. So is protectiveness. Does a mother not feel protective towards her child? Does a wife not feel protective towards her beloved husband? You can’t generalize a quality of human nature as simply masculine.

The same way, it seems the commenter misunderstands Mehreen where she lays it out plainly,

When a man is assaulted, his ‘honor’ isn’t fretted over upon by a woman. His issue is his alone, his body belongs to him.

It should be the same for a woman.

In both cases, assault on one person irrespective of gender is damaging to the society as a whole. It has nothing to do with a man’s ‘honor’. It is the woman’s self-respect and honor, for her to own and do with as she pleases. So is her God-given right as a human being.

As for the blog post itself, one thing I’d have to disagree with is,

A real man is the one who respects the individual space and voice of a woman. A real man does not define honor for a woman. That her issue is hers alone and that the help and protection offered is not out of upholding his sense of ‘ghairat’ or honor but because it is her right to be safe from assaults. It is her right to be treated with respect.

Here it looks like the writer is attempting to mould the post to make it easily digestible for men who strongly believe in this ‘honor’ concept and appealing to their ego and implying that they are not ‘real’ men if they disagree. I disagree simply with the reference as ‘real’. I think a different term needs to be used to get the point across such as a ‘good’ man or something along those lines. Because the men who do have this ‘honor’ viewpoint are brought up to believe that this exact view is what makes them men. I think we should try breaking the set standard of what a man should be like so that we can freely reject the standards of what a woman should be like. And we should maybe explain what a good man or a good person should be defined by i.e.

…respecting another’s individual space and voice irrespective of gender.