For a lot of people, the idea of a sleepover conjures an image of wholesome youthful fun. In a culture that assumes that close friendships are usually same-sex, these occasions represent something platonic. At the same time, from an early age, a disproportionate degree of social anxiety and moral panic manifests around the bedroom, the nighttime, and the ambiguous meanings of the verb “to sleep.” Why so much parental concern over making sure that, as their kids grow older, they aren’t sharing any of these activities with others of the “opposite” sex (as though there is an opposite to a person’s experience of self!)? What about the queer kids?
Some big news broke recently involving the so-called "honor killing" of four women close to where I live, and the media coverage has just been troubling to say the least. A father, his eldest son, and his second wife have been convicted of first-degree murder in the slaying of three of their daughters and his first wife.
The fact of Geeti Shafia, Sahar Shafia, Zainab Shafia, and Rona Amir Mohammad’s deaths is an unmitigated tragedy. But its political meaning for the Western states whose resources are being funneled increasingly into surveillance and policing (domestically, through immigration and border services, and through imperial wars) is not self-evident.
Nor, perhaps, is its connection to the topic of youth, sexuality, and education, but let me tell you what I think about that.