Move over, virgin brides.

‘Cause you’re guaranteed full submission with these lovely ladies. This is some seriously creepy shit.
It’s terrifying when a patriarchal tradition not only extends into the afterlife, but when women are slaughtered in order to respect it. Two Chinese women were killed by three men and were then sold (their corpses, that is) as “ghost brides.�
The most heinous part of this story is that the men had only decided to kill the women when they realized “that the women would be worth much more dead than alive.�
Shudder.

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25 Comments

  1. manda
    Posted January 30, 2007 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Holy shit! What a depressing news day. What the fuck is wrong with people?

  2. Posted January 30, 2007 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    Insane…I’ve heard of things like this happening before. Actually, one of my aunts was married off to a dead man (it brings in good money), but at least they let her live. The parents sometimes buy girls as brides for dead sons and keeps them to take care of them in their old age.

  3. katie
    Posted January 30, 2007 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    man. these are the times where i am grateful to live in the united states. we have some messed up stuff, but none of it includes burqas, foot binding, marrying dead men and throwing yourself on your husbands burning body.

  4. K-ten
    Posted January 30, 2007 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    i second Manda’s comment “What the fuck is wrong with people?”
    throwing rape victims in jail; being raped by your husband while unconscious; now killing girls to sell their corpses?!
    this world is so fucked up i wouldn’t know where to even begin to cringe.

  5. Posted January 30, 2007 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    I’m with Katie on this. I’m glad I live in a superior culture that doesn’t tolerate things like the opression of women.

  6. Tara K.
    Posted January 30, 2007 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    GULP. I can’t come up with anything to say that begins to say anything that needs to be said.

  7. anorak
    Posted January 30, 2007 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    Eric – You are being sarcastic, right?
    A superior culture? Wow, that’s a pretty racist thing to assert.
    I’ll concede that in the United States oppression might not be the right word for the inequalities women face, but just because someone has broken their arm doesn’t mean my sprain doesn’t hurt…(if you can understand the crappy analogy)

  8. prairielily
    Posted January 30, 2007 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    I think Eric is being sarcastic.
    Besides, even if women aren’t as oppressed in the United States, the government still tolerates oppression of women in other countries and even does things that make it worse. Iraq and Afghanistan, anyone?

  9. anorak
    Posted January 30, 2007 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    Oh good, prairielily, sorry Eric, it’s hard to detect sarcasm sometimes!
    prairielily, you are totally right, the status of women throughout the world is certainly part of my feminist agenda.
    It is problematic for me, however, as a caucasian woman from a developed [1st world] country to know how to support women who live in oppressive countries without reinacting cultural imperialism…
    And, yeah, I wanna third the “what the fuck is wrong with people?”
    This sucks.
    All the news seems bad. Time for a Hot Chocolate, methinks.

  10. Posted January 30, 2007 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    Racist? Towards which race?
    My position is very simple.
    A culture that sells people, that arranges marriages for its daughters, that forces women to dress a certain way, denies them education and freedom over their own lives, and the right to be involved in the political process, etc., and so forth – a culture like that is inferior to a culture that won’t tolerate those things.
    We have our problems here – not saying we’re perfect, but I’m happy to know that the women I know will never be sold only to be murdered and buried as part of some primitive mysticism, or have their fingers cut off for polishing their nails, etc.
    I don’t see how my position is any different from Vanessa’s in the original post or Katie’s comment. Maybe I’m just too blunt?

  11. katie
    Posted January 30, 2007 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    i dont think our culture is superior, bc i am sure we are inferior in other ways comparatively to china or whereever, i am just glad we dont have those customs here, even though we have our fair of problems. and yes, we allow oppression like this to occur in other countries with no problem, although i will be the first person to say you have to take care of your own first, and we have a LONG way to go with that.

  12. EG
    Posted January 30, 2007 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    Eric, if this kind of behavior were legal in China, you might have a point. But it isn’t. There are equally misogynist crimes against women committed here in the US, for different rationales. Think about how often you read about some “distraught” man who shoots his wife and children.

  13. Posted January 30, 2007 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    Katie said:

    i am sure we are inferior in other ways comparatively to china or whereever

    Oh? In what ways is our culture inferior to that in western China’s Shaanxi province where women are bought and sold?

    we allow oppression like this to occur in other countries…

    In what ways would you like to see us put a stop to it?

    and we have a LONG way to go with that.

    Being we don’t buy and sell people, I don’t think we have as far to go as others on the planet who do. Agree?

  14. EG
    Posted January 30, 2007 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    Well, but do “we” not? One’s constantly reading lurid headlines about children being “sold” for sexual abuse.

  15. anorak
    Posted January 30, 2007 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    Eric, it is racist to contend that a culture is “superior” to another one.
    Certainly, there are practises in different countries and cultures that my ethical code forbids, but this doesn’t make my culture “superior”.
    I have a feeling this is not an argument I will be able to persuade you of.
    Let’s just point out for argument’s sake, though, that your culture – if you are from the United States – has genocide, slavery, segregation, illegal invasions of foreign states, the death penalty, laws oppressive to women and other practises in its history and present state, practises that my ethical code opposes, and I don’t feel it is inferior to mine.
    It is possible to ahbor rape and murder and injustice wherever they are found, without having to believe they make the culture they are found in “inferior”.
    I’m sure I’m unlikely to change your mind, but it is part of my ethical code to decry bigotry wherever I find it.
    Your statement is social Darwinism of the first degree – pity that its not the 1800′s any more.

  16. Posted January 30, 2007 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    Eric, if this kind of behavior were legal in China, you might have a point. But it isn’t.
    You have a point, but the guy wasn’t arrested for buying and selling or arranging marriages. The murder itself was more over greed than, but the entire situation was created because they disrespect women – arranged marriages, buying and selling people. And my criticism isn’t at China in general, but this primitive subculture that still exists.

    There are equally misogynist crimes against women committed here in the US, for different rationales. Think about how often you read about some “distraught” man who shoots his wife and children.

    You are mixing categories. Murder is wrong, regardless the motivation.
    Feminists here measure the “plight of women” by how long it might take to get a morning after pill, where problems in other parts of the world are measured in how long before the execution if a woman caught doing something she’d be perfectly within her rights to do here.

  17. katie
    Posted January 30, 2007 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    I agree in some respects. I dont personally think he’s being racist. for me being racist would be saying that the chinese on the whole are inferior, and this is far from a chinese custom as far as the whole country goes. however, dont fool yourself eric, women are being bought and sold here everyday. its called prostitution and human trafficking. just like china, our gov says its illegal, but it exists nonetheless.

  18. EG
    Posted January 30, 2007 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    “You are mixing categories. Murder is wrong, regardless the motivation.”
    I don’t really understand the distinction you’re making. They have murders of women motivated by misogyny; we have murders of women motivated by misogyny. Buying and selling women is illegal in China; buying and selling women is illegal here.
    “problems in other parts of the world are measured in how long before the execution if a woman caught doing something she’d be perfectly within her rights to do here.”
    Are we still talking about China? It’s true that China has a terrible human rights record, and that affects women as well as men, but it doesn’t seem to apply to this situation.
    In any case, feminists here measure the plight of women in a number ways, from reproductive rights, to sexual violence, to economic independence.

  19. anorak
    Posted January 30, 2007 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    Eric:”I’m glad I live in a superior culture”
    Sounds pretty racist to my little ears.
    It seems like he is, infact, asserting his entire culture to be superior because of a single cultural practise, (a horrible practise to be sure).
    Am I judging him too harshly?
    I think it is very dangerous to talk in terms of cultural superiority/inferiority.
    The sort of people who did so historically tended towards jackboots and iron crosses.

  20. Fenianserpent
    Posted January 30, 2007 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    I’m not sure Eric is racist. Maybe ethnocentric. He said “superior culture” not “superior race.” Probably wasn’t the smartest thing to say, regardless. And we are still talking about China, and how this practice is atrocious. Something to keep in mind is just because no one in the U.S. has been caught doing this doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened here.

  21. Chris
    Posted January 30, 2007 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    Yes, I agree that Eric’s presentation of his argument was not the most felicitous. All the same, I do believe he raises a valid point, and the implications of his point deserve a fair hearing. To return to what Eric said:
    “My position is very simple.
    “A culture that sells people, that arranges marriages for its daughters, that forces women to dress a certain way, denies them education and freedom over their own lives, and the right to be involved in the political process, etc., and so forth – a culture like that is inferior to a culture that won’t tolerate those things.”
    There is an important distinction to be made, I think, between positing a kind of superiority of race (to denote the net worth of the culture as a whole, all practices, beliefs, and traditions considered) and a superiority of practice. In the latter case, one can reasonably argue that cultural *practices* (or, to avoid issues of ethnocentrism, practices of any brand) are “better” or “worse” (slippery terms, I admit) to the extent that they promote the best interests for the greatest number of people. It sounds like a utilitarian argument, I know, but I have in mind– and I think Eric has in mind– a more pragmatist, and therefore humanist, position. I do believe that killing and selling, oppressing and exploiting women is wrong– just as I believe it is wrong to practice such torture and injustice upon any human being, whatever that person’s gender, race, or cultural affiliation. The issue of whether we in the United States are better or worse than some of those in China or other parts of the world is not so much the question– the question is (or should be) whether one can rightfully criticize a particular practice or behavior, regardless of whatever problems one may find in one’s own culture.
    Atrocities such as those that this article describes ought to be condemned– and prevented– by all cultures and parties who promote human rights, freedom and equality for all members of the human race. To support human rights and to abhor the opposite is to promote one philosophy and practice over another– and that is very much the way it should be in a civilized society.

  22. Chris
    Posted January 30, 2007 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    Yes, I agree that Eric’s presentation of his argument was not the most felicitous. All the same, I do believe he raises a valid point, and the implications of his point deserve a fair hearing. To return to what Eric said:
    “My position is very simple.
    “A culture that sells people, that arranges marriages for its daughters, that forces women to dress a certain way, denies them education and freedom over their own lives, and the right to be involved in the political process, etc., and so forth – a culture like that is inferior to a culture that won’t tolerate those things.”
    There is an important distinction to be made, I think, between positing a kind of superiority of race (to denote the net worth of the culture as a whole, all practices, beliefs, and traditions considered) and a superiority of practice. In the latter case, one can reasonably argue that cultural *practices* (or, to avoid issues of ethnocentrism, practices of any brand) are “better” or “worse” (slippery terms, I admit) to the extent that they promote the best interests for the greatest number of people. It sounds like a utilitarian argument, I know, but I have in mind– and I think Eric has in mind– a more pragmatist, and therefore humanist, position. I do believe that killing and selling, oppressing and exploiting women is wrong– just as I believe it is wrong to practice such torture and injustice upon any human being, whatever that person’s gender, race, or cultural affiliation. The issue of whether we in the United States are better or worse than some of those in China or other parts of the world is not so much the question– the question is (or should be) whether one can rightfully criticize a particular practice or behavior, regardless of whatever problems one may find in one’s own culture.
    Atrocities such as those that this article describes ought to be condemned– and prevented– by all cultures and parties who promote human rights, freedom and equality for all members of the human race. To support human rights and to abhor the opposite is to promote one philosophy and practice over another– and that is very much the way it should be in a civilized society.

  23. Posted January 30, 2007 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    I’ll chime in in Eric’s defense. Saying one *culture* is superior to another is not racist. For example, I think that a pluralistic culture like what we strive for in the US (but don’t quite achieve) is superior to a racist culture, like say South Africa under apartheid. This isn’t a condemnation of a PEOPLE, but of the way their society is structured. It is no more racist to assert that there are major, MAJOR problems with Chinese society than it is to assert the same about our own country. Sexism does not get a free pass in my book simply because it occurs on another continent. Indeed, Chinese women would likely benefit from the help of American feminists, who on the whole have a lot more money and power (rightly or wrongly) than oppressed peoples globally.
    As feminists we can’t be cultural relativists. Period. Either sexism is wrong, or it is not. If we shy away from condemning sexism EVERYWHERE it occurs we’re shirking our moral obligations to women worldwide. Saying that China or Saudi Arabia or Italy oppress women is NOT RACIST. Just like saying the US oppresses women is not racist. Indeed, it seems kind of elitist to me to criticize sexism in the US, where women can vote and own property and have successful careers, while declining to criticize it in Saudi Arabia, where women are not allowed in public without a male escort, and are not allowed to drive. Yes, we are severely oppressed here. But we are not the only oppressed women. There are women all over the world who are oppressed every day at least as much as many of us are.
    Look at us. All of us here have internet access — which is more than we can say for a lot of women globally. We have freedom of speech. I’m allowed to sign on to my computer — at work, no less! — and bitch and gripe about all the (LEGITIMATE) problems in society. As far as women worldwide go, we are the lucky ones. *This is not to say* that there isn’t lots lots LOTS of work to be done to make things equal for us Americans. But let’s not lose perspective. I have it better than most Chinese women. And I think those Chinese women deserve to have it as good as I do. So you bet your ass I’m going to criticize a culture that considers it “okay” to SELL a woman like so much chattel. Speaking up for the rights of Chinese women by no means makes me or anyone else a racist.

  24. donna darko
    Posted January 30, 2007 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    It is problematic for me, however, as a caucasian woman from a developed [1st world] country to know how to support women who live in oppressive countries without reinacting cultural imperialism…
    Always remember though that women worldwide have their own agency. It’s a tricky issue. IMHO western awareness of FGM probably hurt women at first but overall it’s going away through international pressure.

  25. donna darko
    Posted January 30, 2007 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    I’m really glad I live in the US and that we can discuss alot of things.

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