Isn’t it romantic

How romantic. It makes me go all sentimental. Is it the same for you?

She screamed, kicked and scratched at the man, but he brought three male friends, a driver and two backup abductors to ensure she couldn’t escape. More young men in a second vehicle trailed, on the lookout for witnesses who might try to halt the brazen afternoon capture. But Ms. Edieva knew that no Chechen would rescue her that September day nearly three years ago. Well versed in Chechnya’s bride-abducting traditions, she understood she was caught up in a centuries-old ritual in which her captor, a suitor she had frequently rebuffed, was going to force her to marry him. “I told him I hated him,” she said, but he smiled. “It doesn’t matter if you love me or hate me,” he told her calmly. “I want you, and you are going to be my wife.”

Ahhhh – isn’t that sweet? That’s real love, that is. He doesn’t care if she loves him or hates him. He doesn’t care if she’s happy to marry him or miserable. He doesn’t care if she’s happy or miserable period. He doesn’t give a good god damn what she feels, he just wants her, as one might want a chair, or a hamburger, or an inflatable doll. Have you ever heard anything so touching?

Young women are snatched from bus stops, on their way home from school and sometimes out of their own yards. A shocking video with clips of men dragging screaming young women, their books, purses and cellphones sent flying, is a popular YouTube posting. Authorities in the two restive republics routinely turn a blind eye to the violent practice, preferring to depict it as a romantic tradition…Some claim the practice has a fairytale quality and many young women dream of being abducted by a handsome man. “It’s a sign that [a man] really loves her,” said Mariyat Muskeeva, a cultural liaison officer with the Chechen local government. “If a woman can tell her children that their father kidnapped her, it’s a great love story.”

So true. In much the same way, OJ Simpson said that if he had killed his wife, it would have shown how much he loved her. That is just so, so sweet. The more violent a man is toward a woman, the more he ignores what she wants and imposes his will on her instead, the more like a thing he treats her, the more unmistakable he makes his love. Like that guy in Austria for instance – now that’s what I call romantic.

Most women interviewed across Chechnya and Ingushetia disagreed, saying they felt no affection from the men who stalked them and shoved them into waiting cars…Women’s roles in these tradition-bound societies are largely submissive and they perform the lion’s share of household tasks. They are expected to act demurely in the presence of men and to eat at separate tables…Despite the official line that bride abduction is largely stage-managed by the young lovers themselves, scores of young Chechen and Ingush women told similar stories of abductions followed by hours of agonizing negotiations, often with complicit relatives.

Okay maybe not so romantic after all.

7 Responses to “Isn’t it romantic”