Changing Fortunes of Honor
September 6, 2006 Wednesday 3PM CT
The difference between the western and Islamic honor culture offers a clue to the roots of many conflicts today. This hour on Here on Earth: Radio Without Borders, Jean Feraca and her guest explore the changing fortunes of the idea of honor.
- James Bowman, author of "Honor: A History"
- MColfax 9/7/06: "During the show on honor Jean asked what we are teaching our kids about honor. I'm not sure I talked directly about honor but must have in general. I would like to share a note written in my Father Days card this year. 'You have been a father looking at a son for 21 years, now let me tell you about a son looking at a father. I see a man that will do what ever it takes to complete what ever goal that is in front of him. I see someone who does things the right way, even though it may not be the easy way out. But most of all I see a father who has done nothing more than inspire his son to make him proud.' I think he understands honor."
- Jennifer 9/6: "About ten years ago my very religously and politically conservative sister-in-law went through an unexpected divorce. She shared with me her expectation that my husband or their younger brother would come to her rescue and stand up to her former husband when they were engaged in a conflict. She felt they were not fulfilling their duty. She believed that had her father not been dead, he would have 'fought for her'. In his absence her perception was that her brothers should defend her honor. I was shocked at her expectations. It would not have crossed my mind - nor did it cross my husband's mind that her 'honor' needed a male defense system. I think this is a continued perpetuation of the honor culture -- perpetuated more in conservative idealogy than progressive. I was shocked to see that she didn't believe her honor was her own - to defend or to develop. Ultimately it made me sad to realize her lack of independce and more importantly her inability to see herself and her brothers as inferior to the group as a whole. Also, to see the importance she placed on the expectations she had of her brothers rather than on their relationship with her. In this case love was not enough unless they towed the line of honor defense."