It is overwhelming enough to try and grasp gender reality here in our own culture without presuming to understand gender reality within foreign cultures that are alien to us. Convincing the reader that it all balances out in our western industrial culture would be victory enough for my purposes. But, for reasons I’ll soon delve into, it’s necessary to take a moment to argue balance globally.
In brief, my research keeps telling me that brutal cultures are brutal to both sexes. Cultures in which women are raped arbitrarily are cultures in which men are shot dead arbitrarily.
A case in point is provided in an editorial by Nicholas D. Kristof, published June 5, 2005 in the New York Times under the heading, “A Policy of Rape.” Says Kristof, “More than two years after the genocide in Darfur began, the women of Kalma Camp—a teeming squatter’s camp of 110,000 people driven from their burned villages—still face the risk of gang rape every single day as they go out looking for firewood.” Now, of course, this is an abomination that demands attention. It is also an abomination that receives attention. My concern with this article comes from what’s missing—at least up until the very end. “I’m still chilled by the matter-of-fact explanation I received as to why it is women who collect firewood, even though they’re the ones who are raped,” says Kristof. “‘It’s simple,’ one woman here explained. ‘When the men go out, they’re killed. The women are only raped.’”
Well, that new information changes things a bit, doesn’t it? So why then could this editorial not be titled “A Policy of Murder”? Why is all its emphasis on the rape of women and none of its emphasis on the murder of men? Why is this revelation thrown away as a tagline at the end of the article and offered only as “an indication of how utterly we are failing the people of Darfur” rather than as an indication of how utterly we are failing to direct equal compassion and attention toward the atrocities inflicted upon men?
Says Kristof, “this policy of rape flourishes only because it is ignored.” But it is not ignored, as the article itself makes clear. What’s ignored is the “Policy of Murder,” something to which the article doesn’t even give a name. It’s standard practice for books, editorials, articles, talk shows, news shows and newspapers to shout aloud how this or that female issue is being ignored. But if women’s issues were being ignored, they wouldn’t be the subject of all those books, editorials, articles, talk shows, news shows and newspapers in the first place. Meanwhile, you rarely hear about men’s issues being ignored, exactly because men’s issues are in fact ignored.
Media bias will tend to focus more on the rapes and other female miseries while focusing less on the executions, the worked-to-death laborers, the tortured prisoners, the nine-year-old boy soldiers trained to kill and be killed. We don’t hear as much about male brutalization because we don’t care as much about male brutalization. It is just one of innumerable examples of what men’s activist Jerry Boggs 1 has dubbed “The Gender Compassion Gap.”
Adam Jones, author/editor of Gendercide and Genocide (2004), has studied these issues in depth. Genocide may be defined as the attempt to exterminate a given population. Gendercide is the selective mass killing of one gender. As Jones makes clear, the gender of choice for extermination is nearly always the male gender. In part, males are selected because males are more easily assumed to pose a threat, but also because males may be slaughtered without over-burdening the slaughterers with guilt and trauma. Moreover, you can slaughter males and provoke only minimal world outrage. In fact, the media will focus mainly on hardships faced by the women deprived of men.
Jones takes a close look at such an instance of gendercide occurring in Rwanda in 1994. He cites The African Rights report Death, Despair, and Defiance describing the aftermath: “Within days, entire communities were without their men; tens of thousands of women were widowed.” 2 Says Jones, “Many of these men and boys were killed in classic gendercidal massacres, such as the one in the parish of Mibilizi, Cyangugu prefecture, beginning on 20 April. African Rights describes hundreds of interahamwe militia arriving at the church, where they ‘began the macabre ‘favourite’ game of the killers, selecting Tutsi men and boys for the slaughterhouse.’” 3 Eyewitness Catherine Kanyundo describes what followed:
They took all the men and boys, everyone masculine from about the age of two. Any boy who could walk was taken. They put them on one side. They were particularly interested in men who looked like students, civil servants, in short any man who looked as if he had education or money. They left only very poor men, those who were already wounded and tiny babies. Not even the very old were spared. They were all killed with machetes, spears and swords. 4
“One of the best indicators of the special vulnerability of men and boys is the frequency with which relatives and friends sought to disguise them in women’s clothing,” asserts Jones. “The African Rights report ‘Death, Despair and Defiance’ cites a number of examples of such procedures, which are reminiscent of similar practices followed in the Bosnian and Kosovan conflicts of the 1990s.” 5 Clearly, if females were specially targeted, males would not be donning female clothing. Yet, as the media reaction to Rwandan atrocities makes plain, women will be presented as the victims almost no matter what the truth. Jones continues:
The clear evidence of a gendercidal targeting of males casts into severe disrepute the many subsequent attempts to rewrite history and depict women as the principal targets of the genocide. Leading the way in this regard was the UN special rapporteur on Rwanda, Rene Degni-Segui, who stated in January 1996 that women “may even be regarded as the main victims of the massacres, with good reason, since they were raped and massacred and subjected to other brutalities.”
Here the “good reason” for passing an untenable comparative judgment is the fact that women suffered enormously; there is no serious attempt to evaluate the scale of their suffering compared to men. Christopher Taylor, in his important work Sacrifice As Terror, goes so far as to claim that “Tutsi women were killed during the 1994 genocide in numbers equal to, if not exceeding, those of men.” Aloysia Inyumba, in her analysis “Women and Genocide in Rwanda,” offers up a truly spectacular self-contradiction, in consecutive sentences no less: She claims that “The genocide in Rwanda is a far-reaching tragedy that has taken a particularly hard toll on women. They now comprise 70 percent of the population, since the genocide chiefly exterminated the male population.” Such comments typify the general trend in discussions of “gender” and human rights, which tend to take women’s disproportionate victimization as a guiding assumption, indeed as a virtual article of faith. 6 [Emphasis in the original]
Feminist rhetoric can afford to be so self-indulgent because it enjoys such protection and is subject to so little official challenge.
A full treatment of the Rwandan holocaust in all its complexity is beyond the scope of this book. Nevertheless, certain basic gender principles are revealed. The suffering of women stands alone. There is never a “serious attempt to evaluate the scale of their suffering by comparison with men.” Rape, torture, and murder have visited womankind in Rwanda as in all other brutal environments. If, however, for the purposes of gender politics we must make the comparison then, by a wide margin, the total violence inflicted upon the person of Man nearly always exceeds the total violence inflicted upon the person of
In all things along the respect axis, women tend to suffer worse than men. But, in all things along the love axis, men tend to suffer worse than women. It is the relative loveless indifference toward men that renders them easier targets of violence and death. It is this same loveless indifference toward men that accounts for the shift in focus from male suffering to female suffering, which in turn explains why women’s disproportionate victimization is “a virtual article of faith” in all contexts—so much so that bemused masculists joke of a headline blaring: “Aliens Destroy the Earth; Women Suffer Most.”
The belief that men are the source of evil and women are but innocent victims who, by all rights, should never suffer anything, psychologically justifies the shift in focus away from male and toward female suffering. We will explore this ManBad/WomanGood assumption throughout the third section of this book. For now I will point out that the Rwandan civil war not only provides an example of men specially selected for slaughter, it also provides a prime example of what happens when patriarchal insulation between women and the dark side of the world and human nature is lifted.
Information regarding women’s direct involvement derives largely from the African Rights report: “Rwanda—Not So Innocent: When Women Become Killers.”
The Organization—bravely, it must be said—countered the standard trend of portraying women as inherently or automatically the ‘main’ victims of the genocide. This stereotype, it claimed, had contributed to ‘obscuring the role of women as aggressors.’ . . . ‘When it came to mass murder, there were a lot of women who needed no encouragement.’ Indeed, one can speculate that a greater proportion of women than men participated voluntarily in the killings, since it was men, almost exclusively, who were forcibly conscripted into the ‘work’ of the roadblock killings, and who were exposed to suspicion or violent retribution if they did not take part. 7 [Emphasis in the original]
Jones describes the antics of Pauline Nyiramasuhuko, Rose Karushara, Odette Nyirabagenzi, Athanasie Mukabatana, and Sister Julienne Kizito, five of the “female architects of the genocide” who took part both in selecting Tutsi men to be killed (by the hundreds and the thousands) and in delivering death personally. Yet:
These cases of female leaders represent only a small part of the story of women’s participation in the genocide. At the grassroots, “very often, groups of women ululated their men into the ‘action’ that would result in the death of thousands of innocent men, women and children, many of them their own neighbours.” Their role was dominant in the post-massacre looting and stripping of bodies, which often involved climbing over corpses (and those still alive and moaning in agony) piled thigh-high in the confined spaces in which many Tutsis met their end. Frequently these women assisted in administering the coup de grâce to those clinging to life. 8
Women’s direct, and perhaps most significantly, women’s indirect involvement in the dark side of the world and human nature, is far more pervasive than generally recognized. While the victimization of men is routinely downplayed, the victimization of women is as routinely overplayed. The issue of “white slavery,” exposed here by Steve Moxon, author of The Woman Racket, provides an overwhelming example:
While the victimization of men is routinely downplayed, the victimization of women is as routinely overplayed. The issue of “white slavery,” exposed here by Steve Moxon, author of The Woman Racket, provides an overwhelming example:
It’s not that there are no ‘trafficked’ women at all, but that the numbers are tiny. The World Cup in Germany was heralded as a magnet for ‘trafficking’ women, and huge resources were deployed to combat it. Just five ‘trafficked’ women were found. Even the Global Alliance Against Trafficking in Women, in a major report (GAATW, 1994) that trawled indirectly for all known ‘victims’ through their support organizations—which had a vested interest in inflating the picture—had to conclude that abduction in connection with ‘trafficking’ was actually very rare. 9
Moxon argues that the vast majority of immigrant women who engage in prostitution do so by choice. Laura María Agustín concurs. A review of her recent book, Sex at the Margins: Migration, Labour
Markets and the Rescue Industry, states that:
Most migrant women, including those in the sex industry, have made a clear decision, says a new study, to leave home and take their chances abroad. They are not “passive victims” in need of “saving” or sending back by western campaigners. Rather, frequently, they are headstrong and ambitious women who migrate in order to escape “small-town prejudices, dead-end jobs, dangerous streets and suffocating families”. Shocking as it might seem to the feminist social workers, caring police people and campaigning journalists who make up what Agustín refers to as the “rescue industry”, she has discovered that some poor migrant women “like the idea of being found beautiful or exotic abroad, exciting desire in others.” 10
Needless to say, the “rescue industry” exists solely to rescue women.
Says Lisa Rende Taylor of the Asia Foundation: “It is important to get away from unhelpful stereotypes of passive trafficked victims.” I happen to think that’s pretty good advice regarding our perception of women in general. Taylor continues:
Many northern Thai girls regard prostitution as a “bearable choice,” according to Rende Taylor, because they feel obligated to repay their parents for past sacrifices and to improve the family’s financial standing . . . In a setting devoid of any other well-paying job opportunities, the oldest profession represents the only way for a girl to make enough money to maintain or enhance her family’s property and status in the village. 11
In a setting devoid of any other well-paying job opportunities, her “only way” to make a lot of money can only be better than her brother’s no way. And, as compared with a worked-to-death laborer, at least she has a bearable choice.
“Most former prostitutes that Rende Taylor’s team spoke to said that they had worked short hours and had had the freedom to choose or reject clients. The women generally didn’t regret what they had done.” 12 Nevertheless, feminists will insist that such testimony is drawn from “false consciousness.” In their matronizing attitude toward women who don’t share their victim-dictum, feminists insist that women who don’t feel victimized, just don’t get it.
Steve Moxon reminds us: “To get at the true reality of the sex worker, you have to compare her with the male alternative.” 13 Though gender comparison is the foundation of gender fairness and a matter of first principle, where gender issues are concerned, it is often the first principle neglected. In this case, however, what is the male alternative? There are so few male prostitutes that their numbers are negligible. So what is the comparison? Let’s deal with first things first. Why are there so few male prostitutes?
The plain truth is men do not become prostitutes simply because few males and virtually no females show a willingness to pay and pay well for a male sexual partner. As a boy on his own living out on the streets, author Aaron Kipnis survived by selling his body to gay men for 10 to 20 dollars a “trick.” “It wasn’t until years later, when a friend’s sister told me she made $500 a night hooking, that I realized my innocence was so cheaply sold.” Why did the heterosexual Kipnis sell himself to men? “[S]ince few women seek male prostitutes, street boys, gay or straight, work the gay clientele.” 14 Prostitution is a female-only option because, sexually, male bodies have close to zero market value.
Nevertheless, many sources contend that, for use in hard labor, males are vastly more trafficked than females. For example, Carey Roberts quotes a recent United Nations report, Trafficking in Persons: Global Patterns: “it is men especially who might be expected to be trafficked for forced labor purposes.” And yet it is the sex that is more loved that receives the greater empathy and protection.
That became apparent in 2000 when the United Nations passed its Protocol to Prevent, Suppress, and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children. What about men? That bias is also found in the legislation of many countries. According to the Trafficking in Persons report, “In many countries, the laws relevant to human trafficking are restricted in their application solely to women . . . In addition, many service providers limit their support and protection only to female and child victims. 15
Doubtless males are more trafficked in part because trafficking the generally less protected male is often legal while trafficking the generally more protected female is always illegal. So, having little or no sexual value, what use is made of trafficked males? Steve Moxon:
In China, India, Egypt and many other countries, boys are used by others as beggars; often deliberately mutilated so as to attract sympathy money. Bleach is injected into a joint which then become gangrenous, forcing amputation by hospital casualty staff. Alternatively, limbs are repeatedly broken, or twisted by the constant use of tourniquets. Other boys are forced by modern day Fagans to rob. In Africa, the age-old problem of slavery is a mass phenomenon mainly afflicting males. In India, there are estimated to be tens of millions of child slave labourers, the vast majority of whom are boys, some as young as six. 16
This issue again demonstrates how Woman is declared the victim by drawing no comparison with her male counterparts. This deception is played out in the feminist analysis of cultures worldwide.
“The West is focused on the extreme cases of oppression against Muslim women,” says Lorraine Ali, “but there’s another world out there.” Indeed, there is more in heaven and earth than is dreamed of in feminist philosophy. There is a whole other world of truth out there if only we could see past the feminist and chivalrous smoke and mirrors that bias our information and our perceptions. Says Ms. Ali:
If I’d never known a Muslim woman, I’d probably pity any female born into Islam. In America we’ve come to see these women as timid creatures, covered from head to toe, who scurry rather than walk. They have no voices, no rights and no place outside the home. But . . . I’ve watched them argue politics with men at the dinner table in Baghdad, slap husbands on the back of the head for telling off-color jokes in Egypt and, at a recent Arab Women’s Media Conference in Amman, fiercely debate their notions of democracy from under higabs and J. Lo-inspired hairdos. The west’s exposure to Muslim women is largely based on Islam’s most extreme cases of oppression: Taliban-dominated Afghanistan, Wahhabi-ruled Saudi Arabia and postrevolutionary Iran. . . . In Egypt, female cops patrol the streets. In Jordan, women account for the majority of students in medical school. And in Syria, court-rooms are filled with female lawyers. 17
If information questioning the victimization of women is kept out of the mass media, how then did the above make it into Newsweek? As will be made more clear when further quoted below, whatever else it may be, the above is still an expression of female complaint. Women remain the victims even when women are being “victimized” by false claims of victimization! Lorraine Ali continues:
Still, Muslim women are feeling like pawns in a political game: jihadists portray them as ignorant lambs who need to be protected from outside forces, while the United States considers them helpless victims of a backward society to be saved through military intervention. . . . Scholars such as Khaled Abou El Fadl, an expert on Islamic law and author of “The Great Theft: Wrestling Islam From the Extremists,” says that this is an age-old problem. “Historically the West has used the women’s issue as a spear against Islam,” he says. “It was raised in the time of the Crusades, used consistently in colonialism and is being used now.” 18
Owing to its primal group survival value, like other mammalian species, I believe that a “protect the females” imperative has been written directly into the human genetic code (more on that later in the book). For this reason, the primal goal of every power and every faction and every political force is the same: Protect Women. The “age-old problem” is that the various powers, factions, and political forces can’t agree on the best way to protect women and so they argue and do battle over it. The duality principle guarantees that the battle over the “perfect” way to protect women—the way to protect women at no cost to women—can only be an endless battle.
In the current political scene, women in general and Muslim women in particular may feel like pawns in this game, but they are not pawns; they are participants. It is Woman’s own feminism—exploiting chivalry—that is calling the shots. “The United States considers them helpless victims”? No. Female-ism generates the rhetoric demanding they be seen and responded to as “helpless victims.” And in the United States, feminism rules the belief system upon which the relevant U.S. policies
are based. In this instance, feminism is the modern name for an ancient impulse. The game of protecting women and Woman’s participation in that game are both as old as the hills.
What would be new and revolutionary and an immeasurable aid in Woman’s escape from a category of humanity known collectively as “innocent-women-and-children” would be to hold Woman to adult standards of accountability for her power, her influence, and her co-equal partnership. Sadly, however, I see scant evidence that humanity is yet prepared to love men enough to empathize with them or respect women enough to hold them accountable.
The entire catalogue of real or alleged female victimizations worldwide is vast. Counter-arguing and/or pointing out the equal-opposite MaleVictimization for each instance is very doable, but it is beyond the scope of this book. A more thorough debunking will have to wait for book 3, Love and Respect in the Present.
It is ambition enough in this book to argue that It All Balances Out in the industrialized west. I would be content with that ambition except that conditions for women worldwide seem to act as a kind of MalePower/FemaleVictimization (MP/FV) ideological sanctuary. As soon as it becomes clear that I have a comeback for every female complaint here in our culture, the question becomes: “How about conditions for women in the Islamic world?” If the question conceded balance in our culture, I would be content with that. But the question concedes nothing. It is brought forth to shame and stifle. The underlying assumption reads: given the monumental victimization of women (as compared with the patriarchal
paradise of male power and privilege that men are presumed to enjoy in third world societies); the question is really asking: “How can you be such an insensitive bastard?”
“Well, you’ve absolutely got to admit FemaleVictimization in Bosnia, or Arabia, or China, or whatever . . . right?” People look at me then as if to say: Either he admits MP/FV or his credibility is totally shot. Well, I could be wrong but the best evidence I know of does not support the MP/FV paradigm anywhere at all. My research indicates that matrisensus influence is always a match for patriarchal influence, and brutal places are brutal to both sexes. China? Over a ten-year period, 59,543
men and no women died in coal mining accidents alone! 19 Male slaves trafficked into China find prosecuting their slavemasters particularly difficult because Chinese law only protects women from being trafficked in as slaves. 20
You can go to a brutal place, catalogue only the brutality toward women, and on that basis conclude that women are the victims, but if you don’t research conditions for men, if you don’t compare the female victimization against male victimization, your conclusion is logically bankrupt. Even worse, our perceptions of gender reality are further distorted when the only comparison that is regularly made is the comparison between conditions experienced by the average woman vs. conditions experienced by the elite male.
Now obviously I’m not saying that horrors never visit Womankind. They do. But I am saying that feminism, in league with chivalry, fabricates, inspires, and enforces so much MalePower and Female-Victimization bias in the media, that information regarding MP/FV is information that cannot be trusted. It’s like the fable of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.” Feminists’ constant and extravagant cries of “victim” have destroyed much of their credibility with me. When I see the saturation levels of female-as-victim stories pouring forth from every media worldwide, what I see is the incredible focus of empathy directed exclusively at females.
The victim-dictum of feminism fails because it only understands female victimization within a hermetically sealed ideological bubble that shuts female power, accountability, complicity and culpability out of the equation. Worse, that same hermetic seal also shuts male victimization and male perspectives out of the equation, further distorting feminist conclusions. Worst of all, it tries to tell us that in addition to all things along the respect axis, women suffer all things along the love axis as well. And that’s where the phony fem-stats regarding “Violence Against Women,” under-valuing motherhood, discriminating against women in healthcare and education, being the victims of war and other female-only “brutalization” come into play.
In this way feminists would appropriate the victimization of men, claim it as their own and thus suck up all empathy. And it is there where feminism sinks to its most selfish, self-absorbed, self-serving, self- indulgent, self-righteous, self-proclaimed victimhood. It is there where female-ism becomes both false and contemptible.
It is important to come right out and say that because both sexes must be held accountable for the part they play in the love/respect dynamic. Both sexes are treated unfairly. Both sexes get “set up.” Both sexes are faced with double binds. Both sexes suffer bias and stereo-typing. And, both sexes are complicit in bringing it all upon them-selves! If I suggest that men are less loved because men are less lovable, I will expect no outraged outcry. If, however, I dare to suggest that women are less respected because women are less respectable, I can expect a firestorm of protest. Even so, we must explore the possibility that certain male attitudes and behaviors contribute to men being less loved. And we must explore the possibility that certain female attitudes and behaviors contribute to women being less respected.
- Male Matters, http://battlinbog.blog-city.com/
- Jones, Adam, (editor) Gendercide and Genocide (Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University Press, 2004) p.107.
- Ibid., p.109.
- Ibid., pp.111-2.
- Ibid., p.121.
- Ibid., p.122.
- Moxon, Steve, The Woman Racket: The new science explaining how the sexes relate at work, at play and in society (Charlottesville, VA: Imprint Academic Philosophy Documentation Center, 2008) p.226.
- O’Neill, Brendan, “The myth of trafficking,” http://www.newstatesman.com/200803270046, 03/27/2008.
- Rende Taylor, Lisa, Science News, September 24, 2005, Vol. 168, p.200.
- Ibid., p.201.
- Moxon, Steve, The Woman Racket: The new science explaining how the sexes relate at work, at play and in society (Charlottesville, VA: Imprint Academic Philosophy Documentation Center, 2008) p.227.
- Kipnis, Aaron, Angry Young Men: How Parents, Teachers, and Counselors Can Help “Bad Boys” Become Good Men (San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 1999) pp.74-5.
- Roberts, Carey, “Half-Truths About Human Trafficking,” ifeminists.net, 07/11/06.
- Moxon, Steve, The Woman Racket: The new science explaining how the sexes relate at work, at play and in society (Charlottesville, VA: Imprint Academic Philosophy Documentation Center, 2008) p.216.
- Ali, Lorraine, Newsweek, December 12, 2005, p.33.
- Ibid., p. 33.
- “The inexorable slaughter of Chinese miners: An overview,” February 02, 2005, http://www.asianews.it/view_p.php?l=en&art=2652
- See, Kang Yi, “Some human traffickers may walk away in 'slave' case,” June 15, 2007, www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2007-06/15/content_895414.htm. “‘Those traffickers who lure migrant workers, mainly adult males, to do forced labor will not be convicted as the criminal code only covers those who traffic women and children,’ Guan Zhongzhi, a lawyer with Zhonghuan Law Firm told chinadaily.com.cn. The legal loophole has put male victims in an awkward position when fighting against their traffickers in the court of law.”