Saturday, March 13, 2010

Hypatia and Medine

So-called International or World Days of whatsoever leave me cold.
Day of the book for me is on 365 days, and on 366 days in leap-years. Same goes for water, bread, animals, human rights etc. etc..

Thus it will not come as a surprise that the International Women's Day for me neither is anything special.

Do I hear anyone hissing "Damn macho!"?

Sshhh sshhhh ... :)

Anyway, Welshcakes over at Sicily Scene last Monday posted such a wonderful homage to a remarkable Italian woman (oh, just don't be too lazy to drop over; I am quite sure you will not regret) that I started to think about what woman in history I'd like to praise with an homage. Well, actually I did not have to think twice.

Thus, I checked the internet, ... and got delighted: Not only that I found a nicely done video about my heroine, but there got some other admirable women mentioned.

Just to make sure: To be admired (by me), a woman does not need to be scientist or famous for this and that. I have met and do meet many women who will never be mentioned in a history book, and still are lovely, remarkable, do admirable things. And some I know who are able to put better within one or two sentences what I would perhaps not be able to explain in 50.

And what is about the second name mentioned in your title? you might ask.

Well, yes, Medine.
Medine is not famous. And the sad realist in myself is sure she will not be mentioned in history books.
You see, Medine's no scientist, no artist, no philosopher. I don't know if she was a passionate reader; if she wrote poems. I don't even know if she was able to read, properly, ... if she was given the chance, if she got encouraged to discover the realm of the letters, numbers and symbols, supported to develop her talents.

And still I do wish that once she will be mentioned in history books!

Men who from generation to generation had been taught to believe (sic!), that - (perhaps) except of one's mother - girls and women are less worth, and that "a man who does not beat his wife is no man", suddenly perceived that it is of great advantage to have an excellently learned and educated daughter, to marry an excellently learned and educated wife, to get an excellently learned and educated daughter-in-law, as she will be able to excellently - with love and knowledge - support ... their son, their grandson to become an excellently learned and educated human being.

Medine will not have a son.
I'd like so much to know more about Medine.
Unfortunately, I do not know much more about her than that she's 16 and, that it's said she sometimes talked to boys, that complaining violence against her mother and herself she asked policemen for help and shortly afterwards disappeared - buried alive by her father and grandfather.

The peace of the night.


  1. What can one say about what happened to Medine? What can justify such an action against her, even in the perpetrators' minds?

    Women have come a long way towards not being discriminated against because of their gender, but incidents like this, hundreds of similar ones every year it seems, make one despair.

  2. Honour killings? The murder of Medine was the act of men with no honour whatsoever. Craven bastards. I wish there was a hell so that they reside there for all eternity for theur crime

  3. Like you, Sean, I'm not crazy about special days, and I'm mostly unaware of them. But it was nice of you to mention those well-learned women.

    To Medine's name, may I add Aqsa Parvez? She was strangled by her father (with the complicity of her brother) in December 2007, in Toronto, at the age of 16, for refusing to wear the hijab. Of course, the Muslim world says it was a teenager's issue, not a religious one. After all, Canadian fathers here always strangle their daughters when they don't wear the proper clothes!!!!!!!I'll say no more....

  4. jmb,
    originally this should have become a post, solely about Hypatia.
    I do not know why (suddenly) I thought of Medine.
    Perhaps, as it shows that not very much changed within the past 1,700 years? ...

    as you mention the term often chosen to reason such deads:
    Evilness often begins with language.
    As for your wish. Sometimes ... sometimes (!) I wish such people should be treated exactly as they treated their victim.

    in both cases, yes! Any kind of fanatism is the beginning of intolerance.

    unfortunately, we could list the names of many girls, young women and - not to forget - quite a few young men; and I am just thinking of crimes that happened in Germany.

    Thank you, twice! :) For the com(pli)ment and for inspiring me with your post about signora Montalcini.

  5. I think the poor young girl came to mind because the heinous crime took us by surprise in Toronto. Sadly, we don't always pay attention to what happens in Europe. And to hear of a young student, living among us, being strangled by a father for not wearing what we would simply call a scarf made all of us extremely angry. We pride ourselves, in Canada, of being a tolerant multicultural society. Suddenly we understood that other cultures might bring to our country a religious fanatism that we do not wish to welcome. Not that we are totally without sins...

  6. Ah, Claudia,
    was I again able to express myself in misunderstable a way? :)
    By adding that it happens (slightly often) in Germany, too (and I am sure not all crimes are getting detected and being made public), I was just adding to your example.
    In other words: There are uncounted 'Medines'.
    Like genital mutulation, such murders are no cultural achievement!
    How to explain?
    There are good traditions, and there are bad traditions.
    And the bad traditions are to be overcome.
    A long way. It begins - has to begin with societies in which such crimes are not being honoured (like Canada, Germany etc.) showing zero tolerance with people who think they can celebrate their traditions ('honour killings, genital mutilation, 'arranged' / forced! marriages etc.) wherever they wish.
    You see, both we agree. :)

  7. Sean, :) You had expressed yourself very clearly. But I had not said enough about the Canadian reactions. Thank you for elaborating about those unacceptable traditions.:)