- Gender and Relationships»
Tangled In a Crime of Passion~
"Arranged marriage is like window-shopping, you get something that you never wanted in the first place." ~ JD Ghai
In some countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Cambodia, Saudi Arabia, and some other Middle Eastern, African countries and European countries, arranged marriage is common and is still a big part of their culture. More often, these women have no choice but to oblige. And, for those who have chosen otherwise and brave enough to say no and put down the marriage proposal, there is an absolute horrific return.
Take for example the case of these women:
- Saira Liaqat – married at the age of 15. However, as part of the arranged condition, she has to live with her parents until she graduates from school. Apparently, her husband got angry on this condition and so in retribution, he doused her face with acid. She is now 26 years old and has survived 9 corrective surgeries, so far.
- Kanwal Kayum – was punished by another acid attack by the boy she refused to marry. The scorned lover cannot take defeat. Embarrassment compelled him to do such horrific act against the girl.
- Irum Saeed – was 18 when she rejected the proposal of a young boy who threw acid on her face because of the rejection. The acid affected her face, back, shoulder and her vision. After 25 surgeries, her right eye remains blind. She is now 30 years old.
- Shruti Satyanarayana -a beautiful student who dreamt of becoming a doctor was splashed acid on her face after rejecting a proposal from a mad man who had his eyes on her. She sustained severe burn injuries on her face and lower body part. She survived but her face was completely disfigured beyond repair.
For the committers, it is not only for revenge or humiliation but more so that the girls cannot be with any other man anymore. The attacks could certainly be deadly. And, for those victims who survived, they definitely suffered tremendous complications from having a disfigured face, loss of eyesights, loss of blood and most importantly self-esteem.
Where in the world?
Do you agree on arranged marriage?
What is Arranged Marriage?
Arranged marriage has been part of a culture worldwide long ago and in the modern days, it has continued even with the royals, aristocratic and some ethnic minority groups in some developed, developing and underdeveloped countries.
Arranged marriage is a traditional union of two individuals as customary before an extensive relationship. These individuals may not even know each other until the actual wedding day and thus, it is marriage without love as opposed to love marriage. The meet-up and the marriage itself is planned and arranged by the parents (or guardian) of both parties.
Arranged marriage is not just a tradition. It comes with a purpose of safeguarding the happiness of both engaging individuals and that the relationship is secure towards building a family (so they think). Unlike in the western culture where physical attraction or affection usually comes first before marriage the sort of romantic love, arranged marriage does not have any pre-romantic involvement. For the parents (or guardians), it is to protect and prevent both parties to seek pleasure before the marriage. It is arrange by the parents (or guardians) because they know best for their children. They believed they do but in reality, it is a perverted notion of family honor.
Did you know?
Forced Marriage is a violation of human rights. It is a form of abuse since it violates the principle of the freedom and autonomy of individuals.
Forced Marriage VS Arranged Marriage
Do not confuse arranged marriage against forced marriage, wherein one or both of the parties get married without each others consent. It differs from an arranged marriage in a sense that, arranged marriage have the consent of both parties or in which both parties consent to the aid of their parents (or guardians) to find their match or simply put this way:
Forced Marriage VS Arranged Marriage
No romantic involvement prior
No romantic involvement prior
Against their will; consent under duress
Consented matchmaking; maybe consented under duress
Parents (or guardians) decide
Parents (or guardians) decide
Soon to be couples have no choice (compelled) but to marry
Soon to be couples have the final choice to marry or not
Arranged Marriage Pros and Cons
Arranged marriage is not for everyone. Unfortunately, some are compelled to do so and oblige against their will.
Arranged marriage is an ethnic process and it varies from one tribe to another. In some countries, planning and arrangement begin as soon as the mother gives birth to a child. In some, marriage ritual could actually happen even before the child reached its puberty although it can only be consumed right after puberty or once the individual has reached its maturity. Some, until the girl or the boy is old enough. Perhaps, like after graduation from high school or after completion of higher education and once the boy has settled with a good, decent job ready enough to raise a family.
Factors to consider for arranged marriage:
In considering arranged marriage, there are things that the family (parents or guardians) must look into like:
- Family reputation and standing in the society/community
- Wealth and prestige
- Family values including faith or religion
- Medical history
- Physical appearance mainly the color of the skin and height
In some cultures, even horoscope or the zodiac sign must be considered for compatibility purposes.
But, what happens if women refused the arrangement?
Mad with rage!
Acid throwing or acid attack is a common form of violent assault and incidences are high particularly in South Asian Countries and the Middle East. Perpetrators of the attack throw acid at the victims, usually at their faces as a form of revenge obviously resulting into permanent damages of the face and body and most irreparable, the psychological and financial difficulties for the victim.
Although acid attack is most common in the aforementioned countries, it is, reported that it is happening in many parts of the world.
"You can't say no! Arranged marriage is a tradition and you can't say no!" ~
What’s unbelievable yet true is that in some countries, acid attack victims are psychologically mistreated after the acid attack and the victims (women) are usually blamed while the perpetrators (men) are treated sympathetically.
With the implementation of more stringent laws, can we prevent acid attacks from happening?
What triggers these men to commit the crime?
Acid attack is also known as a “crime of passion.” Accordingly, 80 percent of acid attacks are on women (source: London based charity-Acid Survivors Trust International) and not all incidents are reported. As per authorities, the attacks are often driven by the mentality that, “If I can't have you, no one shall.” It is fueled by jealousy and revenge from a jilted lover. It has been used as a form of revenge against rejection or refusal to marry or of sexual advances and or demands for dowry.
There are also instances that in failing to accept the arrangement, the girls' father themselves would attack them with acid as punishment for the "shameful act" of refusing the father's decision of the arranged marriage.
Another factor that situates victims at the risk of an acid assault is their socioeconomic status. Sadly, those living in poverty are more likely to be attacked, disdained and trashed.
Acid terrorism and the law~
We now live in a modern world. However, despite the modernity, the custom and tradition of arranged marriage still exists and is quite a norm, especially for the South Asian heritage. Some can be successful and for some, it is an absolute disaster. Regardless, it is still a form of oppression and abuse.
Since arranged marriage is one of the biggest culprits of acid attacks, maybe it is time to re-think and perhaps now abolish the tradition. However, the problem is not the arrangement or the tradition but the mentality of the committers. Acid throwing is an assault and in many countries legislation has already been implemented to address the issue and emphasize the enormity of this crime. A few have already engaged new laws against the crime. In some countries, it is a tit-for-tat law, wherein the perpetrators will also suffer the same fate as the victim. Some will face harsh fines and probably life imprisonment against acid terrorism.
Arranged (and forced) marriage and acid throwing are fiercely tangled, complex subject matter. Acid violence is cruel, vicious, and inhuman. This abusive attitude of spurned men is of grave concern and it affects women everywhere. With the implementation of more stringent laws, can we prevent acid attacks from happening?
Maybe not completely because even though arranged marriage and rejection can spark anger from these ditched lovers, acid throwing is considered a form of gender violence, wherein women expressing their freedom are the targets.
"We all have the right and the freedom to choose." ~
However, we are now in the century of the Anno Domini era and arranged marriage is ancient. Would it help if we call to disband the ethnic tradition of arranged marriage? Would modern education change the perspective of these rejected lovers and perhaps end this brutal crime?
DIGNITY & FREEDOM!
Every culture deserves some pinch of respect, however, the tradition of arranged marriage should dissipate if life, equality and dignity is at risk. Marriage is a matter of the heart. It should only be decided by the soon-to-be couples not by parents or anyone else. Marriage should be based on emotion. Arrange your own marriage based on what you feel, based on love and see how it fits your life style. And maybe, just maybe the culprit of acid throwing will disappear as well.
"The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that a woman's right to choose a spouse and enter freely into marriage is central to her life and dignity and equality as a human being." ~ http://www.un.org
Culture and family tradition is great but this tradition of arranged (or forced) marriage is way past time. The pain, the trauma and the sufferings of an acid attack victim is barbaric. It is horrible and it is time to rethink about the tradition and perhaps completely dissolve it.
But then again, this is only my opinion. What's your take on it? Let me know what you think in the comment box below and your voice be heard and be counted, take the poll above. Thank you.
More on relationship from the author:
- Love: A Mother-Daughter Legacy
A mother and daughter relationship may be complex at times yet a special one. Here's a legacy from my mom that I am now passing on to my own daughters. Don't miss the video at the bottom of the hub.
- Marriage: 25 years and still juicy!
Written based on the author's personal account, may this article serve to contribute and prove that marriage can stay fresh over time.
Copyright@CrisSp~TM/07-2014. Fearless but not heartless!
© 2014 CrisSp