I Should Have Honor: A Memoir of Hope and Pride in Pakistan Book Review

In many cultures where traditional values still hold sway, women and girls are still viewed as property and less than men and boys.

Khalida Brohi is originally from Pakistan, where she was viewed as less than because she is female. In the world that she grew up in, honor is often dependent on the women in the family. Young girls are socialized early to work in the home and are married off without their consent.

Her memoir, published this year, is entitled I Should Have Honor: A Memoir of Hope and Pride in Pakistan. From the time she was very young, Ms. Brohi understood the concept of arranged marriage. Her own parents were chosen for each other at the young ages of 9 and 13 and she was nearly betrothed even before she was born. Though her parents lived a traditional life in one sense, in another sense, they were non-conformists. Her father believed in educating all of his children, regardless of sex and refused to marry his daughters off before they reached adulthood.

Ms. Brohi’s life forever changed when her cousin was killed by her uncle in an honor killing.  The experience of losing her cousin in such a horrific manner inspired her activism to change how women are perceived and treated in Pakistan.

I loved this book. Though the story is specific to the author, I feel like it is universal. Though women have made incredible steps to equality, we have a long way to to go. But with women like Ms. Brohi, we will one day eradicate the idea that women are less than men.

The thing that struck me most about this book is that Ms. Brohi brings up the fact that honor killings exist not to protect the honor of the family, but to ease the ego of the men in the family. When one person degrades or puts down another person, its is solely to sooth the ego of the person who is doing the bullying. Women have just as much ability, talent and drive as men. Over the course of human history, we have been seen as less than when compared to a man not because we were not capable, but to sooth their egos.

I absolutely recommend it.


The Children Act Movie Review

When those in the legal field make a ruling, the hope is that is it is clean-cut. Unfortunately, that is not always the case.

In the new film, The Children Act (based on the novel of the same name by Ian McEwan),  Fiona Maye (Emma Thompson) is a judge who is juggling a successful professional life and a crumbling marriage. Her marriage to her American husband Jack Maye (Stanley Tucci) is going down the tubes, mainly due to Fiona’s almost workaholic tendencies. At the same time, she is assigned the case of Adam Henry (Fionn Whitehead), a young man who is dying from Leukemia. Adam’s family are Jehovah’s Witnesses and do not believe in blood transfusions, even if it could save his life.

In order to determine if Adam’s religious beliefs trump the hospital’s decision to force him to take the blood transfusion, Fiona visits Adam in the hospital. Though neither Fiona or Adam know it, this visit will have a profound effect on feelings that neither have truly explored previously.

This movie is amazing. It explores a nuanced narrative with flawed, human characters that anyone can relate to.

I absolutely recommend it.

The Children Act is presently in theaters. 

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