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The Underground Girls of Kabul - Discussion Thread 2

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message 1: by Matt (last edited Apr 23, 2015 12:24PM) (new)

Matt (mlabrake) | 95 comments Mod
Please note there are 3 threads available with different questions in each. Feel free to participate in one, two, or all of the threads. Each will stimulate a different kind of conversation!

Remember, if you have questions for the author, submit them in the “Ask Jenny Nordberg” thread to be asked at the live event on May 5th.


Thread 2

1) Are the lives of Afghan women entirely different from those of women in the West, or do you see similarities in how we behave and how we live? What are those?

2) Do you agree that there is also a “culture of honor” in our society, where girls should be pure and boys should be aggressive and protective? Where do you see examples of that in the reporting of daily news or in your own life?

3) Many of the women in this book experience the limits of female freedom, even if they have had success. For example, Azita has risen from a small Afghan village to occupy a place in parliament, but she is still very limited in what she can do and how far she can reach. Is there a limit to how far most women can get in our own society today? Why is that?


message 2: by Christine (new)

Christine | 4 comments I believe that lives of Afghan women are entirely different from women's lives here in the west. Western women are encouraged to be independent, have a voice and co exist alongside men. I think women in the west take the freedoms we have for granted. I often found myself on the verge of tears or angry for the hardships, and the way Afghan women are treated. Although I disagree I have to understand that this is indeed their culture and how the lifestyle they are born into. Unfortunately Afghan women are not the only women who lead their lives this way.

I don't think that the "culture of honor" is as prevalent in our society as it is in Afghanistan. I think Western men that are in that mindset were raised that way. Its unfortunate that I have usually witnessed this way of thinking in abusive households. That may not always exactly be the circumstance, but from what I personally have witnessed it has.

I believe there is always a limit to a certain extent for women in our society. You see it in corporate America all of the time. In a lot of work environments. Men still get paid 20% more than women. Women often have to choose between work and family. It is not as easy a balance for women in high powered positions. I think a patriarchal society is just the way of the world. While many steps have been taken and many victories in women's favor, society still has a way to go in certain aspects of equality for women to that of men.


message 3: by Izabela (new)

Izabela | 5 comments


message 4: by Matt (new)

Matt (mlabrake) | 95 comments Mod
Christine, while I agree a “culture of honor” is MUCH less prevalent in our society than in Afghanistan, I still see it in my own life. I’m reflecting on this idea in terms of males being protective of females. I personally couldn’t stand by and let a female be harassed, and would feel a sense of obligation to stop it from happening by whatever means necessary. I grew up “protecting” my little sister, even though she sometimes hated me for it. As a male, I feel the need to protect those of the opposite gender. Perhaps this is my personal upbringing, but I know many others with the same belief system.


message 5: by Eric (new)

Eric Alicea | 4 comments Eric Alicea
Feminist Thought tues/ thurs


1) I would say that there are some similarities between women in Afghanistan and women in the west. For instance. I feel that women are pressured to a certain degree to have a son. I don’t know any man that wouldn’t relish of having a son. Not to say that there is preference but a son can carry on the father’s name or continue in his father’s legacy. As far as women staying home cooking and cleaning and doing what some may call traditional. I think that is becoming less of the social norm vastly due to women’s rights and the idea of increasing the family’s economical standing. As far as the ideals of retaining woman’s purity I would say that in the west it’s a kind of grey area. When the girl is a child parents in the west want to keep their child innocent for as long as they can but it is more socially acceptable for a women not to be “pure” before marriage.

2) I believe that there is a culture of honor in our society at the very least for some. It is very difficult to say for the entire west because we are extremely diverse. There are people that still believe that women are fragile and should remain pure to only be protected by men. However in the west we see that it is not the case for all. Women are senators, politicians, martial arts fighters and are aggressively seeking a combat role in the military. While some citizens are in comparison to afghan culture and share some ideals pertaining to women. There are still persons on the other side of the spectrum that have absolutely no relation.

3) I don’t think there is a limit on how far a woman can reach in our society. We have a woman running for president! However I do feel that there are controversial issues for instance women in combat roles in the military. There was difficulty for women to enter in top combat arms training facilities because they are perceived weaker in strength and may compromise other in the unit because she is a woman. Were women already fighting in a combat capacity absolutely that was seen in Iraq. So all it took was some intense debate and now women are in ranger school and excelling.


message 6: by LadyT (new)

LadyT | 4 comments Matt wrote: "Please note there are 3 threads available with different questions in each. Feel free to participate in one, two, or all of the threads. Each will stimulate a different kind of conversation!

Remem..."

The Lives of Afghan women are entirely different from the women of the West because they do not have the freedom and liberty the women all have from the West. Freedom, not told what to do or where to go with whom, how to dress and the list goes on. Theirs is freedom of religion as well in the West than those of the Afghan women.

I agree there’s is a culture honor and a hope by all Western parent that their daughters should wait and pure until they are married, and the boys should be a protector, not sure if I would use the word aggressive. I do not see it in the daily news but that just a traditional part of our lives that are expected by family and the society that we live in. It may not be followed that way but that is the request spoken or unspoken by all parent.

In the western society it is nowhere close to what Azita went through, there’s no limit as to how far most women can goes but there’s a part of society that is still dominated by men and is a man’s world such has making partners in law firm. It’s like a glass-ceiling in that area for women amongst some other careers that are male dominated, and men see it has a man is more capable of doing this type of job that a woman.


message 7: by Klevis (new)

Klevis | 4 comments 1) Are the lives of Afghan women entirely different from those of women in the West, or do you see similarities in how we behave and how we live? What are those?
The Western society is considered a liberal society where the Christian religion has played a significant role in its history of formation and business growth. It is thought by several sociologists that the capitalism is closely related to Protestant religion where individualistic behavior is seen as a distinctive form of success. Values of democracy were raised millions years in the Ancient Greece where philosophers like Aristotle believed in individual opinions and increased the principles of democracy to the highest standards giving priority to the individual’s ability to make his own choices. The Western has been more liberal towards women and their demand for equality even though the glass ceiling theory still remains a problem. I don’t think there are many similarities.


2) Do you agree that there is also a “culture of honor” in our society, where girls should be pure and boys should be aggressive and protective? Where do you see examples of that in the reporting of daily news or in your own life?
I think that no matter how advanced the society is still men are perceived differently compared to women. Women are expected to act in a certain way, when a man is drunk everyone around tries to get away from him, when a woman is drunk men around most of the time try to take advantage.


3) Many of the women in this book experience the limits of female freedom, even if they have had success. For example, Azita has risen from a small Afghan village to occupy a place in parliament, but she is still very limited in what she can do and how far she can reach. Is there a limit to how far most women can get in our own society today? Why is that?
I don’t think there is a limit women have succeeded even in fields where men have been dominant forever.


message 8: by Emerson (new)

Emerson Rosado | 4 comments Emerson Rosado
Feminist Thought
1. Afghan women are entirely different from those of women in the West; Afghan women are not demanding victims' rights in the case of rape, but rather they live in constant fear of rape by men wielding a gun in one hand and the Qur'an in the other. On the other hand, women in the west fight against spouse rape are involved in another form of resistance. Moreover, they even resist to the traditional norms of their societies. Many women in the third world also resist the cultural norms of their societies when they fight against the practice of female circumcision in parts of Africa, for example, or when Indian women organize to abolish bride burning.

2. There is no doubt that there is a cultural horror in our society. Some guys dreams is to find a pure girl and take away her virginity so she can remember him all her life for being her first. On the other hand, males are expect to be aggressive and at the same time protective, because that is what a female is looking for in a person from the other sex, she wants to feel protected. I see that everywhere I go, for example, when couples are watching a horror movie and a scary scene happen, usually the female refuges on the arms of the male.

3. Women can get far, but they cannot get all the way to the top. To me there are only three possible explanations for the lower numbers of women at the top level of many organizations. Women are not capable of doing the work that is required at the top, women do not have the desire to be at the top, or there are structural impediments preventing women from reaching the top.


message 9: by Jessica (new)

Jessica | 5 comments 1. While in America we [women] are fortunate to have so many more freedoms than the women in Afghanistan, I feel there are still similarities in how women are treated as the weaker gender; though less violent in some instances, and as subtle as assigning everything 'pink' to a girl and 'blue' for a boy. The fact that women are seen as independent but look weirdly at if they live. I had a boss that asked me if I was shopping for shoes online, and when I responded I was reading current events, he tried to shut me down by asking me things he thought I would know nothing about. When I apparently held my own in the conversation he was surprised, which was quite upsetting. Again, when I tried to progress in my company, I wanted to go into a department that was predominantly male, and my boss again told me it was 'the boys' club'. Beauty pageants, gender wage gaps, limited female CEO's and executives, and the worst thing of all is when other women attack each other and 'slut shame' when we should should be looking out for one another.

2. It's everywhere! In Sheryl Sandberg's book, "Lean In" she makes a great point at how gender appropriation begins at the sandbox from wearing shirts saying "daddy's little princess" and if a boy hurts himself he is taught to hide is emotions, typically (I am not saying this is every case). When a girl is too aggressive she is called "bossy" and a "bitch" but a boy is seen a just the 'boss' and showcasing leadership skills. A woman becomes less liked the more successful she gets while a man is more liked, respected. Women are traditionally seen as the homemakers yet there are more successful male chefs. How is it 2015 and there still hasn't been a female president? How is it 2015 and there is still a gender pay gap? How is it 2015 and actresses are still asked about their outfits more often than the integrity of their work. These are questions that we shouldn't have to be asking in 2015. There is definitely a limit to where women can get even if it isn't as obvious as it is in Afghanistan. Women are taught to settle down and become complacent (again, not all cases) and never aim to make it to the top usually.


message 10: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Martinez (jondmartinez) | 2 comments 1. I definitely see the similarities in how we behave and how we live. There are many women here who feel trapped because of the way some men are and feel less able to become top executives. We still deal with domestic violence issues in this country and many of the different cultures in our country have the belief that women are the caretakers and the homebodies while the men go out to make the money. I do see many women trying to break away from this but we are unfortunately a bit far from that point. Some women who live in this country and have careers end up dreaming about the lifestyle of raising a family and being a mom to children to then have to put her career on hold.

2) I most certainly agree that there is this "culture of honor" concept in our society. Many men and/or dads expect the girls to be calm and not so wild and they feel more protective of them than they do with the boys. These girls are taught to play with dolls and make believe they are mothers from a very young age, while boys are taught it is ok to explore and try new things. I have a son of my own and, although he is not a girl, I raise him knowing that he can do whatever he wants. In addition to this, I show my cousins how I am raising him and convince them to raise their daughters the way I am raising him. Many of my cousins have agreed to be more accepting of their girl's freedom at a very young age. I feel I am helping these girls become exceptional contributors to our society.

3)I do believe there is a limit to how far most women can get in our own society today. Unfortunately, we are still dealing with the issue of equal pay (which is quite shocking). The Pope recently made a statement addressing the many concerns women have about the lack of equal pay there is in our world. In our society, women can be top executives but many of them have to hash it out among a group of men who will do anything to be at the top as well.


message 11: by Emasia (new)

Emasia Craig | 3 comments 1.) I believe women in Afghanistan have it way worse than the women in the west. In the west our biggest problem is living up to the male and making a name for ourselves. Somewhat like the Afghanistan women, however, they cannot have a name or lie up to a man unless they pretend to be the man. My husband would never look at me with disgrace because I could not give him a son. In the west a man is happy to have whatever he and his wife produces. We are similar because like those women we drive and excel to better ourselves.
2.) I do believe there is a culture honor. Mothers and fathers pass on their beliefs of how a son and daughter should be. Daughters/woman should be virgins and strive to be better in everything. As sons/men are told to be the provider of the house hold. If a woman sleeps around she is considered a whore if a man sleeps around he is considered a god or the man of the hour.
3.) Yes, in my other discussion I explain how women can work just as hard as a man. However, she will always make less them the man. Or a woman in a higher position but somehow does not make more than her secretary no matter the experience or effort she puts in.


message 12: by Rosa (new)

Rosa Marquez | 2 comments Rosa Marquez
Feminist Thought: Woodland Park Tuesday/Thursday

The lives of women in Afghanistan is completely different than the women of the West. The main difference in women from the West and Afghanistan is that the women from the West have independence. We’re able to go throughout the day to go to school, work, go out with some friends, and even go out by ourselves. It’s completely different with the women in Afghanistan because their whole lives is being controlled by men in their life and that is no way to live. They have no freedom to do what they desire, what they want to achieve in life because the men are always looking over their shoulder controlling them.
There is a cultural of honor in some cases here in our society but I would not say it’s as bad as in Afghanistan. In some cases here in our society you can most likely see that in abusive households where men are being in controlled of their women or their mother’s or children. I have seen this happen with a close family friend while he would try to control his wife with everything she did even while at work.
I do not think that there is a limit in our society today because women have so much independence and freedom. There are women running for presidency, mayors, military, police, any job that is mostly for men they go for and they train hard to get to the position they want to be in.


message 13: by Kevin (new)

Kevin | 4 comments Kevin Ortiz
HUM 325
Feminist Thought
Tuesday Thursday Woodland Park



1) In Afghanistan, marriages are usually arranged, and women are usually less educated than men. They marry young, have many babies (preferably boys), generally do not work outside their homes, and are usually restricted to socializing with female relatives. Western women may not be treated with the same respect as respectable Muslim/Afghan women. In fact, the women in Western may be treated as if they were prostitutes. This is because Western women are not held to the Islamic and tribal codes of honor and, in the minds of Afghan men, are already believed to be potentially (or likely) promiscuous. For all Afghan women, maintaining a good reputation is a lifelong demand. Once a women’s reputation is tarnished, she is no longer respected. Rape, divorce and the like will all tarnish a women’s reputation. Once a women’s reputation is tarnished, she is no longer respectable and society’s respect cannot be re-attained. This is not true among men, who can redeem themselves through revenge or some honorable settlement.

2) Absolutely no way is there a "culture of honor" in our society. Girls now-a-days are no where near pure, but boys are without a doubt a aggressive and protective. Look a little sister for example. She is your younger sibling who doesn't know how cruel the world could be to her. Your duty, as an older brother, is to protect her from anything including aggressive boys. As you're protecting her, you may not notice at the moment that your being aggressive as well. Usually the little sister doesn't want to be treated as a little kid anymore and wants to make her own decision without you helping in anyway or form. With the knowledge you have on how cruel the world could be, you have to respect that she doesn't want to be protected by you. Hence breaking the "culture of honor."

3) Unfortunately yes their a limit. This issue is stated to be called the "glass ceiling." The "glass ceiling" is when a women is working at high level for a high position and could see herself as the "top dog." Unfortunately thats all what she could do in her position, to see the top. When reality hits you, you could see that the face of a company doesn't want to be seen a female executive. To be taken serious as a well respected company its always with a face of male as the chief in command. Yes we have equal rights and technically a female has every right to be rising to the top, but in a matter of ethics we tend to do what every other companies do and just keep a good chief of executive male rather then a great chief of executive female.


message 14: by Kevin (new)

Kevin | 4 comments Christine wrote: "I believe that lives of Afghan women are entirely different from women's lives here in the west. Western women are encouraged to be independent, have a voice and co exist alongside men. I think wom..."

Rosa wrote: "Rosa Marquez
Feminist Thought: Woodland Park Tuesday/Thursday

The lives of women in Afghanistan is completely different than the women of the West. The main difference in women from the West and ..."


Emasia wrote: "1.) I believe women in Afghanistan have it way worse than the women in the west. In the west our biggest problem is living up to the male and making a name for ourselves. Somewhat like the Afghanis..."

Honestly, yes theirs a difference in the women of west compared to the women in Afghanistan. But put yourself in their shoes as well. I personally think both are just as bad because in the end, you lack the respect that you did absolutely nothing to lose.


message 15: by Kevin (new)

Kevin | 4 comments Jonathan wrote: "1. I definitely see the similarities in how we behave and how we live. There are many women here who feel trapped because of the way some men are and feel less able to become top executives. We s..."

I 100% agree with you upon the lifestyles upon the western lifestyle of females and the lifestyle as women in Afghanistan. Their both equally as bad because in the long run, respect is all that is wanted by both the western females and the females of Afghanistan


message 16: by Arielkys (new)

Arielkys Morel | 6 comments Arielkys Morel
Feminist Thought tues/ thurs

1) From first thought I would definitely say Afghanistan women and western women are completely different in every single way, but deep down they are some similarities. I definitely see the similarities in inequality; even if it is in lesser degree a lot of women in western civilization still feel that they do not have same rights as men. Women in western civilizations also deal with rapes and domestic violence. But the biggest similarity that I see between the two is: women are consider to be the weakest sex. In contrast Afghanistan women differ, because they have to deal with immense level of oppression from a system that sees them as a burden. Where in the other hand, in most of the western countries women are not oppressed and majority of the time are seen as equals.

2) Without a doubt in my mind, I believe there is a culture honor in our society. Children’s receive their beliefs from their parents of how they should behave and act. Females are expected to be pure and submissive. Males in the other hand, are expected to more aggressive and thought to suppress their feelings. For example, if a women speaks her mind and is very confident, many males will perceive her to be too aggressive or unapproachable. When males express their feelings or cry, they are perceived as homosexuals. Even though we like to think our society is perfect, we are not we also have a lot gender bias.

3) Even though rules suggest women have the same rights as men, sadly there is a lot of inequality in our society. This inequality is better known as “glass ceiling. Glass ceiling is an unofficially acknowledged barrier to advancement in a profession, especially affecting women and members of minorities. Even though many have broken through the glass ceiling, many women still have inequalities. But where, I disagree is with the limitation; in this country there is no limit to where you cannot climb. If you work hard and earned the respect of your peers women can achieve anything they set their minds to, unlike Afghanistan where women roles are very limited. Achieving those goals, will not be as easy as it is for a men in many cases, but there is absolutely no limit to where they cannot ascend.


message 17: by Arielkys (new)

Arielkys Morel | 6 comments wrote by Kevin "For all Afghan women, maintaining a good reputation is a lifelong demand. Once a women’s reputation is tarnished, she is no longer respected."

A women reputation is everything for an Afghan women not only for her sake, but also for her family reputation. Tarnishing her reputation can have serious ramifications for the family so Afghanistan women must always preserve themselves to be pure and watch it is said about them.


message 18: by Arielkys (new)

Arielkys Morel | 6 comments wrote by amasia "My husband would never look at me with disgrace because I could not give him a son. In the west a man is happy to have whatever he and his wife produces."

for me still very hard to believe the amount of pressure a Afghan women have to produce a son. as an outsider looking in, is ridiculous of the amount of things they do in order to produce a son and how blinding they belief in "magic."


message 19: by JilliannePangaro (new)

JilliannePangaro | 2 comments 1. In my opinion I do see a few similarities between Afghan women and women from the west. However, Afghan women have it much worse then a women in the west. Western women have to battle to make a name for themselves and gain respect as a hard working individual when compared to Afghan women who get zero respect no matter the amounts of good they do. Afghan women I feel are trapped in a life where they can never truly express their individual personalities, almost as if the men drain them of their identity and their sole purpose is to be your husband’s personal punching bag. Just like Afghan women, western women in generally are seen as the weaker sex, less pay then men and lower job titles. Afghan women face the battle of potential rape everyday living a constant battle of fear with no professional personals to turn to, compared to women in the west fighting against domestic violence and being able to go to the police and something being done about it.
2. I feel that there is some culture of honor in our society, most definitely not as much as Afghanistan. Women are again seen as the weaker, fragile, and sensitive sex when compared to men. Men should be the protector and providers of the family while females should be the caretakers. However, in our society some women must be the protectors and providers making women in my eyes stronger then men. In Afghanistan the women would still get beat and treated poorly even when doing the above “traditional housewives duties.”
3. I do feel that some women are limited to how far they can go in our society. For decades, women have been battling the issue of equal pay. However, I do believe that if you work hard you will reach the top of your empire and get what you deserve. Although you may have to go through a battlefield of men who will depreciate you because their afraid of being replaced by a girl, females can too achieve these top positions. Unfortunately, in Afghanistan women will never have a higher title at their rate.

Jillianne Pangaro
HUM325 - WP


message 20: by Daniela (last edited May 06, 2015 08:06PM) (new)

Daniela Colon | 4 comments 1)The lives of afghan women are totally different to women in the west. Most Women in America don’t allow men to treat them as dependent objects and less important because of gender stereotype. Here in the United States we have very strict laws that protect women from being discriminated against. Gender based discrimination is considered a crime. In America, both men and women should have the same right for education and job opportunities. Even though, this is not entirely respected by some companies and universities they have to follow the law. In America, women are more independent and abusive men are persecuted and sent to prison for breaking the law. On the other hand, in America prejudice against women will always be some-how present, but in a lower level since it is part of the constitution of the United States that everyone must follow the law.


2)The “Culture of Honor” is not very important in our society. In Afghanistan only a virgin girl is pure and this is part of culture and strong believes that have a mindset of how a men should be or how a woman should be. Everything will depend on how people understand the word pure for girls, and aggressive and protective for boys. In the U.S must people don’t follow this culture demands which are essential for afghan people.


3)Unfortunately, freedom for women is not entirely accepted by men. Even a democratic society where we all should have the same rights and opportunities, women have to fight every day with how the world perceive them as less intelligent and incompetent to doing things with the same capacity that men can do. We can see how most of the high level jobs are controlled by men. I don’t want to say that there is a limit to how far we can get in society, but definitely it is harder for a woman to get to a high level position than for men. I have seen women getting less money with the same position and qualifications that a man might have.

Daniela Colon
Feminist Thought
Woodland Park


message 21: by Daniela (new)

Daniela Colon | 4 comments Rosa wrote: "Rosa Marquez
Feminist Thought: Woodland Park Tuesday/Thursday

The lives of women in Afghanistan is completely different than the women of the West. The main difference in women from the West and ..."


Hello Rosa, I agree that women in the West have independence. Our quality life is much better and active. Women in the West are full time mothers, full time wives, full time students, and full time workers. It is incredible the capacity that women have in our society. Women are strong. It will all depend on how they are raised. Afghan women grow up thinking they are weak and useless. This means that their minds are manipulated by the negative influence of men egoism and power.

Daniela Colon
Feminist Thought
Woodland Park


message 22: by Daniela (new)

Daniela Alarcon | 4 comments Daniela Alarcon
Feminist Thought WDK

1.) The lives of Afghanistan women is very different from the women in the West. Women in the West are allowed to do so many things compared to Afghan women. For example I was raised to never depend on any man and work hard for everything that I want. Women today would not be disrespected by a man or let a man run her life. We are all human beings and should all be treated the same in my opinion. Afghan women have no say in anything that has to do with they own life. Women from the West have so much freedom to do anything thy possibly desire. We can wear what ever we want without asking for permission to do so. We can go to school, work, and state what is on our mind with out being punished for it.

2.) I do believe that there is a "culture of honor" in our society but to a certain extend. Men see us women as pure and delicate little flowers that should not get our hands dirty. Today in the West we see teenagers with children. It is not the same as it was years ago. If this occurred in Afghan they would be punished, maybe even killed. Men in our society are considered to be the protector or the aggressor in some cases. In my household my mother was the one that provided for us, protected, and did everything that the "father" is considered to do. We live in a society where women work just as harder than men in any aspect.

3.) In my opinion, there is no limit to how far a women can reach. Women have worked very hard to get equality in our society today and be able to do the things that men can do. Now the income equality is a whole different issue. I believe we all should get paid the same amount regardless of our gender. The life that women in the West live is a blessing. We can do anything we possibly want. Today you see female mechanics, CEO's, women voting, doctors, etc. Women here are blessed to have a choice to do whatever they please.


message 23: by Daniela (new)

Daniela Alarcon | 4 comments Arielkys wrote: "Arielkys Morel
Feminist Thought tues/ thurs

1) From first thought I would definitely say Afghanistan women and western women are completely different in every single way, but deep down they are s..."


Hello Arielky,

I strongly agree with your response on our society having a "culture of honor". Women are taught to be pure and submissive while men are taught to be aggressive at a young age. My fiancee and I are very opposite and it is like we have switched roles. When he is upset he is the one to try and talk about our feelings while I am the one that thinks there is no reason to be upset. It is not that I am not emotional, but I am not as sensitive. We are all different in the way we choose to act regardless of gender.

Daniela Alarcon
Feminist Thought WDK


message 24: by Anayzah (new)

Anayzah Thomas | 2 comments Anayzah Thomas
Feminist Thought

1. The patriarchal system at work in Afghanistan is not as oppressing in the West but there are some expectations for women in Western society. There is still an expectation for women to have children, regardless of the gender of the prospected child. I know a few women my age, myself included, who what to put off kids for personal reasons or who don’t want kids at all. I am still asked why I have made the decision at such a young age to not have children and that bothers me. To have a family is a personal choice, not one that should be dictated by society.
2. There isn’t an “honor culture” in the West but there is something just as damaging—rape culture. In 2015, women who are victims of sexual assault are still asked what they were wearing during the attack. We tell our girls to cover up or men will look at them in the wrong way. This is perpetuated by the same ideals that run Afghanistan: that men cannot control their urges and it is the woman’s fault. The West over-sexualizes women, dwindling them down to just objects and not humans.
3. Women are still consider second-class citizen in our society. Even with the progress that the feminist movement has made, women still make on average $.70 to every $1 a man makes in the same field. There is still a glass ceiling for women in predominately male fields, such as science and technology. The reason being the perception that women are less capable in those areas.


message 25: by Kristin (last edited May 08, 2015 09:59PM) (new)

Kristin | 4 comments I don’t think that the lives of Afghan women are extremely similar those those of women living in the West but I do see some similarities. Women in Afghanistan are seen as lesser to men and I think that is relevant in Western countries as well. In Western countries we are striving to have equal rights between men and women but it still isn’t equal. The rights of men and women in Afghanistan are also not equal at all. I also think that in Western countries, similarly to Afghanistan, want sons over daughters to carry on the family name. I don’t think this is to the extreme of Afghanistan but I do think some families want boys over girls since boys will carry on the family name.

I don’t agree that there should be a “culture of honor” in our society, where girls should be pure and boys should be aggressive and protective. When a man is in charge of protecting a woman it makes it as if the man owns the woman and gets to decide everything that woman does. Also when men get to be protective and aggressive and women have to be submissive and pure, it causes abuse to the women since they can’t have a mind of their own.

There is a limit to how far most women can get in our own society because we are still fighting for the rights that all men have. Women still make less money and have to do more work to get to the same level as men do in most cases. I think this has to do with the idea that men are more capable of things than women are in most jobs. Men are seen as assertive in many positions where women would look mean and busy. It is sad that we have to deal with gender discrimination in today’s age but hopefully soon enough, things will be equal.

Kristin Trainor
Feminist Thought


message 26: by Kristin (last edited May 08, 2015 10:11PM) (new)

Kristin | 4 comments Arielkys wrote: "Arielkys Morel
Feminist Thought tues/ thurs

1) From first thought I would definitely say Afghanistan women and western women are completely different in every single way, but deep down they are s..."


Hi Arielkys,

I completely agree with you when you said that at first glance you wouldn't think that there would be similarities between women in the Western world and women in Afghanistan but when you look deeply you can really see quite a few similarities in the inequality of men and women. After reading this book I don't want to have similarities with women in Afghanistan because they live very restricted lives but we have more in common with them then we think.

Kristin Trainor
Feminist Thought


message 27: by Sean (new)

Sean Smith | 4 comments 1) There are clear difference in Afghan women and women who live in the west. For example when Jenny Nordberg asked an Afghan woman about how to act like a man the Afghan woman said that Jenny was already like a man. By that she meant that Jenny walks and talks like a man and looks people in the eye. All of these gestures is something that women in our country do almost like a habit.

2) I do see this "culture of honor" in our society. whether if your born a boy or a girl there will sadly be stereotypes that follow you from when your a kid to when your an adult. For boys a phrase "be a man" means that we almost can't show any deep emotions like sadness or pain. As for girls they are seen to be girly and should act like girls and not get dirty from sports or games. Stereotypes sadly have a large part in our society and I can't say whether they are getting better or not.

3) Though women are nowhere near as limited compared to women in Afghanistan, there are limits in our society. AS I mentioned in the last question "stereotypes sadly have a large part in our society" and even our gender can limit us and hold us back on many types of jobs. Discrimination sadly has a part in jobs but within the past few decades there have been many strides that have helped women fight against this discrimination.


message 28: by Sean (new)

Sean Smith | 4 comments Eric, I agree that for women there is practically no limits in what they can do such as Hilary Clinton running for president. I do feel that despite this there are limits for many women in our society because of individuals opinions of men and women and discrimination which maybe illegal still exist. I do have hope that with each new generation there will be more of an understanding and less discrimination among genders in the future.


message 29: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Benitez | 6 comments Michelle Benitez
Feminist Thought WPK

The overall rights of women in Afghanistan is much different from the western side of the world. The United States has come a long way in women rights and it is still improving. Some similarities are women are supposed to act a certain way. Meaning, gentle, nurturer, feminine, but what does this all mean? We have a specific role in society which is to have a child and take care of it. According to the book, Afghan women do not expose skin, cannot talk to other boys or males, and must walk very timidly with their head down. In our society, that is not the case. In the U.S we are all enforced upon education but women still face issues against equal gender wages, once again undermining women as such in Afghanistan.

Culturally, it is "preferred" that a woman is pure before marrying but is different in our society compared to Afghanistan. Here we can still socialize with either sex but there you cannot as a female. You can't show actions of being interested in sex or anything that links to it. Men in most cases are viewed as the "man of the house", the one who brings more income, the one with the dominant hand in the U.S, similar to Afghanistan. Although, many women are the head of the household which is not the case for Afghan women.

Compared to other countries in the world, the United States which is a freedom nation has yet to elect a female president. Women are still not getting equal wages compared to men despite the same educational background. As a woman, I am blessed to have such equal rights but we still face issues in which we are undermined due to our emotions and femininity.


message 30: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Benitez | 6 comments Hello Daniela,

There are many cases in which women do not voice violence against them out of fear. Fear of that "dominant" hand. Women are supposed to have equal rights but still make $.70 to the male's $1.00 in most cases. This goes without notice unless someone actively points it out and there are many companies that do this.

I agree, as women we will be fighting for our rights until we have "equal" rights. In order to move up, we must show more dominant qualities.

Michelle Benitez
Feminist Thought WPK


message 31: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Benitez | 6 comments JilliannePangaro wrote: "1. In my opinion I do see a few similarities between Afghan women and women from the west. However, Afghan women have it much worse then a women in the west. Western women have to battle to make a ..."

The advantage of living here is we do have the opportunity to make a name of ourselves. It is not impossible but much harder compared to a man with the same prerequisites as a woman competing for the same position. In Afghanistan, women have two roles, be a mother and be a wife. They are indeed trapped within their lives and even identity. The fact that women cannot explore their sexuality is very demeaning. Technically we are producing individuals, so our sexuality should be important when it comes to procreation.

Many single mothers have to play the role of a mother and a dominant figure such as a father in our society, but this isn't the case for Afghan women. They are limited to their role and cannot go above or beyond that in most cases.
Great views!

Michelle Benitez
Feminist Thought WPK


message 32: by Janet (new)

Janet Castillo | 8 comments I don’t see similarities between Afghan women and women here in the West. Women here in the west tend to have more freedom. They are allowed to state their own opinion without being misjudged. Women here are also allowed to work and provide for the home. Even though there are certain women who prefer being a stay home mom, and the male going out to work. The women are also allowed to have a divorce or be a single mother. Our society is fine with that as well. Our culture is more open to anything and tends not to judge. I do believe there is a “culture of honor” in our society where women are supposed to be pure while men have to be protective. For example, my family mostly consists of females. My dad is very protective of us because the male is always said to protect the family. He’s very firm about his decisions. Although, he is always there to listen to what me and my sisters have to say. I don’t believe there is a limit to how far most women can get in our own society in most situations. Women now have more freedom and there opinion is heard. Women are now allowed to vote and work as well. So we have come a long way. There is also a female president running. She wants to demonstrate women are capable just as much as males. The only thing that has to be fixed is being paid equally as males. Some jobs do but certain don’t because they believe males are more capable than females.

Janet Castillo
Feminist Thought
Woodland Park Campus


message 33: by Janet (new)

Janet Castillo | 8 comments Sean,

Stereotypes are a big issue everywhere. Like you stated, girls are sometimes not allowed to play sports while guys can. Males are supposed to be tough working men. Females are now priveleged to be playing any type of sport when before they couldn't. Just like women before weren't able to work and now they do. We now have a huge advantage than we did before.


message 34: by Janet (new)

Janet Castillo | 8 comments Sean,

Stereotypes are a big issue everywhere. Like you stated, girls are sometimes not allowed to play sports while guys can. Males are supposed to be tough working men. Females are now priveleged to be playing any type of sport when before they couldn't. Just like women before weren't able to work and now they do. We now have a huge advantage than we did before.

Janet Castillo
Feminist Thought
Woodland Park


message 35: by Janet (new)

Janet Castillo | 8 comments Rosa,

We're lucky that as females we are very independent. We don't have to depend on any male. In Afghan, women had to do exactly what males ordered them to do. They had no choice but to listen to them. Now we can go to school, work, or do anything we please. We're lucky our culture isn't like theirs.





Janet Castillo
Feminist Thought
Woodland Park


message 36: by Luciana (new)

Luciana Leobino | 4 comments 1) I believe that there is both similarities, and differences among both Western and Afghan women. For instance, one of the similarities is the fact that women have a type of pressure to have kids especially a son, although its not mandatory. Many of the men always seem to prefer to have a son first to keep the name going on. Secondly, women are less able to have a top job unlike men because in a way they’re more superior than women. There is greatly more differences because of the lack of freedom women from Afghanistan have. They have a problem of not being able to work or have a social life, like the women in the Western countries. Another thing is the way that they must dress is entirely different than the women in other non-islamic countries. They must not show any type of skin or their hair.

2) I completely agree with the idea of our society having a “culture of honor” because there is many gender norms that they believe male and female must follow. The fact that there is a saying “boys will be boys” is an evidence of that because boys can do and act a certain way and that will be determine by their sex. Girls in other hand must act a certain way in public, with being well behaved and not act up. Another issue is the fact that women must be pure, while with men there is no such thing. Women that sleeps around are oftentimes called many names, while for men that sleep around there are lack of names for that.

3) I believe that women in our society in an extent have a limit to how far they can go because we are not a time where women is fully able to earn more than a man. Men are always known are the breadwinner, strongest, and the smartest, while women are seen as delicate, despite it being the year 2015. Times might have passed by, but women are still earning less than men, and not occupying such high spaces. Only in time will women be on top, but that won’t be for a few more years.

Feminist Thoughts
Tues/Thurs Woodland Park


message 37: by Luciana (new)

Luciana Leobino | 4 comments Sean wrote: "1) There are clear difference in Afghan women and women who live in the west. For example when Jenny Nordberg asked an Afghan woman about how to act like a man the Afghan woman said that Jenny was ..."

Hello Sean,
I agree with you that women from Afghanistan and the Western countries have clear differences because the way that the Afghan women have to act and think like a man whereas women in Western countries already are similar to men from Afghanistan. This is because women in Western countries possess qualities that resemble the Afghan men, such as, being well educated and speaking with knowledge and looking people in the eye when speaking. Unfortunately, in this “culture of honor”, women are often stereotyped in a negative way because they are considered to be subordinate to men. Being born a male in such a society is greatly celebrated and boys are raised to not show heavy emotion towards pain and sadness.

Luciana Leobino
Feminist Thought


message 38: by Luciana (new)

Luciana Leobino | 4 comments Hello Kristin,

Although you make a very good point about men and women in Western countries still not being equals, women in Afghanistan are second class citizens in relation to men. In Western countries, women make about 75 cents to every man’s dollar, but women are capable of getting educations and becoming successful leaders as well and show that they are just as capable. Even more so, many of these successful women in Western societies that are CEOs, CFOs, etc actually do their jobs better then men do. In Afghanistan, women rarely are able to get an education unless they are a basha posh.

Luciana Leobino
Feminist Thought


message 39: by Jade (new)

Jade Rogers | 4 comments Jade Rogers (Feminist thoughts woodland Park)
In our society in current time there is still considered to be gender roles. Husband and wife will both work and our society and yet the women is still the main caretaker of the household and the kids. So in that sense we are alike. But women are more respected and honored and typically there is less abuse.
I defiantly believe that our society thinks that out girls should be pure and boys are to be the protectors. We raise our children to be this way, this practice is part of our everyday living. But at the same time we instill in our daughters that they need to be self made women, and find a husband that will protect and provide and still maintaining yourself with taking on being a wife and a mother.
In the Afghan Village Azita is a very well educated women, that is married to a man that is illiterate, yet he holds more power over her because she is a women. No matter how educated she maybe just being a women in this country you are at a disadvantage. Women will never be able to broadcast their greatness because of gender barriers. In our society women are also viewed a weaker candidate to a male perusing the same job and the same educational background as a male. Why? because women are viewed as a higher risk factor. A women calling out of work because she has kids, or going on leave because she is pregnant are factors that are looked at comparing a women to a man. Man are suppose to be the protectors and the provider so they normally will be given a higher salary.


message 40: by Jade (new)

Jade Rogers | 4 comments Janet wrote: "I don’t see similarities between Afghan women and women here in the West. Women here in the west tend to have more freedom. They are allowed to state their own opinion without being misjudged. Wome..."

Jade Rogers (feminist thoughts woodland park)

I see your point that women in the west have more freedom which we do. I do feel that we still live in a society that has gender roles, but or society is more open to different views.


message 41: by Tori (new)

Tori Skliw | 1 comments Victoria Wilks
Feminist Thought

1) I definitely see the similarities and differences among women in both Afghanistan and the Western countries. For example, women make 75 cents to a man's dollar. Also women in western countries feel some pressure to have kids despite the fact it is not required or looked down upon if they don't. In Afghanistan women do not go to school nor are they allowed to be independent. Women in Afghanistan are second class citizens to men unless they are basha posh, a third gender, in which case they grow up as boys do.

2) I agree that there is an idealistic view of our society and having a "culture of honor". The terms "boys will be boys" is an example of males being able to get away with doing things that may not be so accepted by society if a female did it. In our society, there are many common double standards. An example of one is that a woman who is promiscuous gets stereotyped as a "slut" or "whore" whereas a man who does such behaviors would be called a "legend".

3) Women in western countries have a lot more power than the Afghan women. There are many women in western countries that are Presidents, Vice Presidents, Speaker of the House, and many other high positions. They might not earn as much as men, but they can hold high positions. Afghan women can't have an education unless they go through basha posh which will allow them to go to school. Women in western countries are allowed to go to school and they have a higher chance of reaching that higher post.


message 42: by Ileana (new)

Ileana | 2 comments The lives of Afghan women are very different from those of women in the West, however, our society can be influenced by patriarchal ideas that harm women. The Afghan women's lives are extreme, they cannot do anything without men. There are less than a few cases where these Afghan women can make decisions for themselves. We are not this extreme in the Western culture but sometimes women are frowned upon for being women just like in Afghanistan. For example, there was a recent study where scientists prefferred men over women in their field. This study showed men and women's with the same qualifications in their resume, just one thing different, their sex. Why does our sex seem so unimportant to people? This is a question I always ask myself, whatever the answer is is not valid. Because both men and women are capable of being equally smart.

Yes, there is definitely a culture of honor in our society. Girls are always supposed to be pure and expected to be virgins at heart. We are taught from a young age that we should always behave "like a lady". We are dressed in pink and our parents gift us dolls to play with. If we do anything that is non feminine, we are taught that we are wrong because we are not supposed to behave like a boy. I remember when I was younger, if I ever sat with my legs opened, my mom would always tell me to cross them because I am a "lady". Women are always expected to speak a certain way, to be purer than men, we cannot curse because only men can do that. I find all of that extremely ridiculous. It should be up to the woman, what she should, wear, do and say. Men are also always expected to be aggressive. I mentioned this in my other post, but for example, when a woman gets raped, the woman is often blamed for the assault. It is said that whatever she was doing and wearing influences the man's decision to rape her. Because men are expected to be beings that cannot control themselves. We also expect them to protect us, we have our brothers and fathers to be the men of the house and take care of us. When in reality we can also take care of ourselves.

I believe there is a limit to how far women can get in our own society. Whenever a woman reaches a high position in politics or has a very important position, it is seen so admirable because it is quite rare. Our society dictates that women are not supposed to take positions that were originally created for men. We are told we cannot handle it therefore we cannot get that far in our society. We deal with the daily struggle of being denied things for the simple and insignificant fact that we are women. However, we keep on showing our society that we can handle big positions and that we can get further and further.


message 43: by J (new)

J 1) the lives of Afghan women are entirely different from those of women in the West, there are vague similarities in how we behave and how we live in honoring the male figure as head of the household but its far from the same.
2) Yes, I agree that there is also a “culture of honor” in our society, where girls should be pure and boys should be aggressive and protective. Its everywhere actually, by sports and how they are marketed and viewed; take boxing, football, or baseball for PRIME examples... They are all more geared towards the mens parts of it... only things like modeling and maternal things are popularized for women

3) Women though we may think we are at the same level with men for the same positions we are not.


message 44: by Katherine (new)

Katherine Reynoso | 2 comments 1. I believe life in afghan is totally different from other countries. Women in the west have so much more freedom than the one in afghan. Women are allowed to do so many things that we take for granted, we do not take advantage of all freedom we have. Not knowing that in other places women have no voice at all.
2. I believe that culture of honor is not as express enough in our cultural as it is in afghan. Even though women are expected to be pure for their husband and the husband is the one to be protecting the women.
3. In my opinion, yes there is a limit on how far a woman can go in our society. Unfortunately, we are still dealing with issues that affect a female. Does not matter how good she is at the job she does. She will still be seen as fragile women, incapable of doing a men job. We are still dealing with the equal pay for women. This should not even be an issue. I believe women and men should be at the same level. Even though women are independent and have freedom this issue will always hold us back.

Katherine Reynoso
WLP Feminist thought


message 45: by Edward (new)

Edward Cos | 2 comments Edward Cos 5/10/2015

Most of the women in the Asian countries live in different ways depending on certain factors. The women in the western countries have different lifestyles from the women in the Asian countries. The lifestyle of the women in afghan are restricted by religious and cultural beliefs. The Muslim religion dominates in the Asian countries where afghan is included (Parker & Dales, 2014). For this reason, the women are restricted from adopting some practices that are used by the western women. According to (Saat, 2014), Asian women have totally different lifestyles from those of other women in the world let alone western countries.

There are some cultures that restrict the way girls and men should behave. Their behaviors are controlled and depicted by certain set rules. The Quran is usually used as one of the references when coming up with rules that should be followed by girls and boys (Lai, 2014). Some of the rules allow men to be aggressive against women. Conversely, there are rules that make it mandatory for women to be pure. This is made so by ensuring that women comply with the set rules. However this is not a good practice in the modern society. These regulations could lead to violation of human rights which is not acceptable in the society.

In the modern society, there are no limits as to how far women can go. There were restrictions that did not allow women to do something that were ‘reserved’ for the men only. However, in the modern society, the restrictions have been lifted due to existence of legal laws that have made both men and women equal (Saat, 2014. Thus, both are offered equal opportunities in the society.


message 46: by Michael (new)

Michael Torisello | 1 comments 1) Lives of Afghan women are entirely different then women here in the west. Women in the west are treated the same as a man and are educated equally. We try extremely to force this throughout the west. They can hold any position as a man. A life of an Afghan woman is extremely different. There they are only for bearing children, house work, and uneducated. Women are treated unfairly so they feel they cannot due better.

2) I agree that there is a “culture of honor” in our society. Today people still believe that the man should be the one supporting the family. Where people believe that women shouldn’t have to work unless they choose to. Women are defiantly the more protective ones especially over their children. Today women want their children around as long as they can sometimes they don’t know when to let the child grow. The fathers are the more aggressive one, where they would do the disciplining and encourage the children to do things on there own.

3) No, I feel that women do not have a limit on what they can do with their lives. In our society women are educated the same as a man. Many women are CEOs of companies, they hold position in office, and even serve in the military. In our society they have every birth right as man to choose what she wants to do with her life.


message 47: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Wolfe | 3 comments 1) I feel that the lives of Afghanistan women are completely different than what we see here in the west. We are encouraged to be free thinkers, to excel in life, and to be an equal with men. Many women in the west do not take full advantage of what is offered to them but that is either a personal option or lack of disseminated information.

2) I don't necessarily believe there is a "culture of honor" here in the west. With so many broken families and single moms, myself included, we are the protectors, the bread winners, the aggressors if our children's safety is at stake.

3) I do believe that no matter how advanced our culture and society becomes there will still be those of the mindset that "women should know their place" and should be less valued, respected, and compensated for the same positions and characteristics as men.


message 48: by William (new)

William Jimenez | 2 comments 1. There is a difference between Afghanistan women and women in the west. The women in the west have more of a say as well as a part to play in society then in Afghan. They are ten rested with more respect and do not have to hide because of their gender or status.
2. I won't say there is "culture in honor" in the west. Families will do what they have to do to protect each other and live. Be it a single women raising a family or vice versa. In any place on earth there would be equal honor for boys and girls it's just in the mind of those in power to accept it.
3. In our world women are not limited to what they are able to do. Yes depending on nation they are still tried to be kept down but here they have rights. They can do and say anything a man can say. Join any orginazation and work for any corporation and hold title just like any man.


message 49: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Aguilar | 3 comments 1 The days of an Afghan women and a western one are extremely different. In western countries, everyone has access to a public school, whereas in Afghanistan, once girls hit a certain age, they aren't allowed to participate in learning. As a matter of fact, the only reason that some of the girls were able to learn how to read was because the classes were disguised as a "Qu'Ran" class.

2 In a sense, there is a similar sense of honor in our society. If a girl sleeps around, she is called a slut or a whore, whereas if a guy does the same thing, he is considered a player or a champ. Both people are doing the same act, but the stigmas attached are completely different.
This is probably seen the most in high school.
3 Woman definitely have some restraints, but not nearly as much as in Afghanistan. Many companies will pay women less, but not by a huge amount. Having children CAN have negative effects on a woman's career since it will prevent her from being at work for a certain period of time. Besides that, however there are not any restraints that I know of. Woman are just as capable of doing things just as well as their male counterparts.


message 50: by Courtney (new)

Courtney Best | 1 comments I believe the lives of Afghan women and the lives of women in the West are very different but they do share some similarities. I think the way Afghan and Western live are completely opposite. Women in Afghanistan are forced to cover themselves head to toe when they go outside of their home, sometimes even when they are at home. On the other hand, Western women are free to dress however they like and in the summer months that usually means bearing a lot of skin. In Afghanistan women are either the property of their fathers or husbands.But, in Western countries women are just as free and as men and are property of no one. Unlike in Western countries, women in Afghanistan have no rights they can’t vote, drive a car, or speak for themselves. But, there is a women running in the presidential election in the United States.

I do think that there are some similarities in the way Western and Afghan women behave. I believe a lot of women behave in a way that they will believe will make them the perfect women and more appealing to the opposite sex. Afghan women have to be quiet and polite because if they act out they will be shamed and never find a husband. Just like Western women try to act “lady like” so they can find a nice guy to marry them. Afghan women cover themselves up with a face scarf because that is what is acceptable in their society. Western women cover themselves up with make up to make themselves more acceptable to society’s beauty norm. Even though many Western women would say they are absolutely opposite of Afghan women I do believe we behave similarly.

I do agree there is a “culture of honor” in our society. I believe the idea that boys should be aggressive and protective and girls should be pure is driven into a child from birth.When a baby girl is born she is dressed in light pink and given dolls and and stuffed animals to play with. On the other hand when a baby boy is born he is dressed in blue and given monster trucks and footballs to play with. As they become teenagers girls are taught to hold onto their virginity as long as they can so their peers don’t judge them for being sluts. Whereas teenage boys are given high fives and applauded when they hook up with a girl. On her wedding day a woman is dressed is a beautiful white dress as a sign of purity but, a man wears a black tuxedo.

Yes, I do believe there is somewhat of limit on how far a woman can get in our society today. A woman in today’s workforce will never make as much as a man for doing the same work just because she is a woman. Just like there are very few women in top management positions in companies today because men are favored for them. I do not think it is because women are unqualified or lazy though. I believe it is because of the roles that society sets for men and women. Men are believed to be more powerful and better leaders while women are supposed to be the nurturers. It is very hard to break the stereotypes that society sets ,and it will be difficult for women to move past this invisible barrier.


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