Boko Haram kidnaps 97 boys and the world remains silent

I knew this would eventually happen:

The Islamist terror group Boko Haram kidnapped at least 97 men and boys and killed 28 people this week in a raid on villages in Borno State in northeast Nigeria, a local leader and residents said Friday.

Boko Haram gunmen also injured 25 others during the raid in which scores of homes were burned, the sources said.

The gunmen raided the farming and fishing village of Doron Baga and surrounding villages on the shores of Lake Chad, about 110 miles north of the state capital, Maiduguri.

The raid and kidnappings occurred on Monday, but the news did not emerge sooner due to lack of communication and because cell phone towers were destroyed in previous Boko Haram attacks.

It is worth noting that even though the majority of the victims of this series of kidnappings and murders were male, various media outlets chose to ignore their sex. For example, the CNN article quote above is titled “Boko Haram kidnaps at least 97, kills 28 in raid.Continue reading

The last human rights taboo?

Originally posted on July 2, 2013

The Guardian published an article titled Male rape: the last human rights taboo. Rich McEachran questions why NGOs pay so little attention to sexual violence against men and boys despite growing concern for the problem:

There is a disconcerting disparity between how various aid organisations and NGOs are dealing, or are failing to deal, with the issue. On a macro-level, organisations may not be aware of what they’re looking for and may not see how male rape fits into the bigger picture. It may come as a surprise that the UN only changed its own definition of rape to cover male victims, in 2011; this followed the publication of an article in The Observer.

NGOs at a micro-level, some of whom are already working with male survivors – the Refugee Law Project for instance – face major obstacles, such as acquiring funding and carrying out field work or accessing survivors in remote areas. The author of the aforementioned article spoke to Chris Dolan, the director of RLP, who claimed that one of the project’s donors refused to provide future funding if 70% of the client base wasn’t female.

Despite the fear of losing funding, the pervasiveness of the problem (academic Lara Stemple writes that male sexual violence has been used as a weapon of war from Chile to Iran, Kuwait to Uganda) means that the humanitarian community needs to challenge perceptions of rape, improve understanding and create awareness.

Yet that may be difficult to do given the gendered focus on sexual violence. As McEachran notes in the article, many NGOs use gendered language to refer to victims of sexual violence. Even in instances in which NGOs acknowledge the existence of abused men and boys, little of their literature mentions those experiences. Continue reading

186 Kurdish schoolboys kidnapped and the world remains silent

I knew this would eventually happen. I knew some fundamentalist terrorist group would eventually kidnap boys. They cannot help themselves. They are compelled by their fanaticism to do stupid, horrible things. So it was only a matter of time before some well-known group went after boys. This time it was ISIS. According to the Guardian:

The kidnapping of 186 teenage boys in Syria on 30 May has gone largely unreported in the wider world, a curious omission given the outcry over the teenage girls in Nigeria. The abduction was no less sinister. The students needed to travel from the Kobani enclave on the Turkish border to Aleppo to take their exams, as required by Syria’s education system. The journey is perilous, but they reached Aleppo without incident. On the way home, however, a convoy of about 10 minibuses containing 186 boys aged 14-16 was stopped and taken to a religious school in Minbej, for training in the Qur’an and jihad. The vast majority are still there.

The omission is not curious. One hundred and eighty-six boys simply does not bring out international concern. After all, they are boys. Who, other than their parents, cares if some militant terrorist group kidnaps them? Continue reading

Bulletin Board v230

Child sex abuse royal commission hears paedophile Marist brother dressed students up before abusing them — A NOTORIOUS paedophile Marist brother made one boy dress up in women’s clothing and then kiss him, the child sex abuse royal commission has been told today. The 65-year-old man said he still found it difficult to talk about it even 53 years later. He said that Brother Kostka Chute, then aged about 26, had told him there was going to be a school play at the Marcellin school in Randwick.

Domestic violence: male victim tells of wife’s abuse — Eric was insulted, spat on and slapped in front of his children, but he did not want them to think he was breaking up with their mother. “Fear of losing custody of my children, fear that I would be perceived as the perpetrator, fear that things could get worse and uncertainty of finding shelter kept me from taking action,” he told The Sunday Times of Malta.

Feminism Is Directly Responsible For The Rise of Men’s Right’s Groups — The recent rise of men’s right’s activist groups is due to two primary reasons. 1) Men are responding to some of the double standards and biases introduced in some feminist philosophy. 2) Men have realized the need to increase advocacy and awareness of issues primarily affecting the male gender just as feminism has done the same for the female gender. Unfortunately, the rise of men’s advocacy groups has been met with an onslaught of bashing, shaming and name-calling from feminist groups. Continue reading

Bulletin Board v228

After Serving 10 Years For Rapes He Didn’t Commit, Man Is Vindicated — A Brooklyn man who spent ten years in prison for rape was cleared of his conviction yesterday. Tyrone Hicks finished his ten-year sentence seven years ago, but never stopped fighting to prove his innocence. Hicks’ troubles started in 1998 when a man known as “the Bronx rapist” was terrorizing women in the area.

Ex-nun ‘denied abuse at boys’ home’ — A former nun interviewed by police investigating alleged abuse at a children’s home in Northern Ireland has said she loved the young people, a public inquiry heard. In the 1970s, the ex-nun worked at Termonbacca boy’s home in Londonderry, run by the Sisters of Nazareth religious order, and admitted witnessing sexual acts. But the woman denied causing physical or sexual harm.

FBI: 100s have contacted us on pedophile teacher as possible victims or offering information — Hundreds of people have contacted the FBI about a teacher suspected of drugging and molesting boys during a four-decade career at international schools on four continents, greatly expanding the potential number of suspected victims. The FBI said last month that William Vahey had molested at least 90 boys, whose photos were found on a memory drive stolen by his maid.

‘Judgement day has come today': Scoutmaster accused of sexually abusing children is jailed for 12 years — A Scoutmaster who was alleged to have been part of a secret paedophile ring in the 1970s has been jailed today for 12 years. Mold Crown Court heard how Martyn Tucker, 68, of Sealand Road in Chester, knew his day of judgement would come, particularly when the Jimmy Savile scandal came out. Police finally knocked on his door last summer after one of the victims, who said Tucker stole his soul, had the courage to come forward after he realised that those prosecuted for sex offences in Wrexham children’s homes went back further than the offences committed on him when he was a boy. Continue reading

Bulletin Board v227

10 years after Abu Ghraib, no justice for torturers, tortured — “You can’t spell abuse without Abu,” said one US Army medic to another, Sgt. Andrew Duffy, after throwing a seriously injured and handcuffed Iraqi prison to the ground, face-first, upon his arrival at Abu Ghraib. The majority of abuse at the notorious US torture prison, formerly Saddam Hussein’s notorious torture prison, wasn’t fatal. But it was even more heinous and brutal than most Americans realize, even those who have seen the photos that are now international symbols of US brutality in the War on Terror and recruiting tools for countless terrorists.

Exclusive: ‘X-Men’ Sex Abuse Lawyer Says He Was Assaulted, Too — When Jeff Herman sees a child held by their arms and legs it is, as he puts it, “an uncomfortable trigger. I have some vague memories of being very young, and there were two older girls holding me by my arms and legs, and they had cut my pants open.” The lawyer has tried to remember more, but cannot. Herman, 54, is mulling my question about whether he has been sexually abused.

Inside the mind of a paedophile — In a way he had always known. But it wasn’t until he was married with kids that Nick realised he was a paedophile. One afternoon, while his wife was out of town, Nick went to the park and watched children play basketball. Those children would never know that they had been watched so intently, would never know that the deviant observation of them would dramatically alter a man’s life. Continue reading

The other side of Boko Haram

The terrorist organization Boko Haram made news this week following their kidnapping of over 200 Nigerian schoolgirls. The kidnappings occurred weeks ago, but outcry from the families finally hit the international stage.

Boko Haram is an Islamist group opposed to Western society. They attack schools in particular as a sign of their contempt for the West. Their most recent attack involved kidnapping the schoolgirls and threatening to force the girls to marry or selling them into slavery for as little as $12.

This sparked international outrage once the media caught wind of it. There are numerous social media campaigns supporting the girls and their families. President Obama has pledged to give support to the Nigerian government, including sending in troops.

All of that is perfectly fine, and also perfectly ironic. Why? Primarily because the international concern is only for girls. Continue reading