Monday, January 12, 2009

A reminder that Dean's Date isn't all that bad

Even for those of you facing an all-nighter, we need to remember that life at Princeton is really very privileged, and that women worldwide are facing violence that we can't even imagine. If you need an example, consider Naile Erdas, the Turkish 16-year-old who was shot by her brother after giving birth to a child conceived through rape. Her family was convicted on Monday of instigating her murder, and her mother, father, brother and two uncles were all given life sentences.

Erdas' death is an example of a horrifyingly common - and incredibly tragic - practice called "honor killings", prevalent among Turkey's Kurdish community and throughout the Middle East and Asia. Women who are perceived to have sullied the family honor, theoretically through adultery, are killed by an assigned member of the family. But if that wasn't terrifying enough, women are often killed for pregnancy caused by rape (like Erdas), or for talking to strange men, or even for requesting a song on the radio. The sentences for Erdas' family were much harsher than are usually handed down in honor killings cases in Turkey, and the only good news to come out of the situation is that the Turkish government seems willing to take a strong stand on this appalling practice.

So your 15-page paper doesn't seem so horrible now, right? Good luck on Dean's Date work, everyone!


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