The Values and the Numbers
Dear Fidelbogen: As I've not offered your blog anything of import in a while.....(Fidelbogen's commentary follows:)
You may entitle as you see fit.
HBO produced The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo released April 2008. Many other articles entitled "Breaking The Silence," "Silence = Rape," etc.. have been produced out of due concern for the atrocities women now suffer in Darfur and the Congo. While I view these contributions to our awareness as invaluable, it has also occurred to me that despite the "silence" no crime gets more press than rape. Nevertheless, there are atrocities more confined to silence; apparently too taboo to mention in the general media -- except rarely:
From: Brian Steidle of the Washington Post; March 20, 2005.
"Mihad now represents to me the countless victims of this vicious war, a war that we documented but given our restricted mandate were unable to stop. Every day we surveyed evidence of killings: men castrated and left to bleed to death, huts set on fire with people locked inside, children with their faces smashed in, men with their ears cut off and eyes plucked out, and the corpses of people who had been executed with gunshots to the head. Every day, women are sent outside the IDP camps to seek firewood and water, despite the constant risk of rape at the hands of the Janjaweed. Should men be available to venture out of the camps, they risk castration and murder. So families decide that rape is the lesser evil. It is a crime that families even have to make such a choice."
From: Afrique en ligne
"Kampala, Uganda - Uganda has accused rebels of renegade General Laurel Nkunda who is fighting the Kinshasa government of committing crimes against humanity by castrating men and using civilians as human shields. Stung by the revelations from refugees in western Ugandan district of Kisoro, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees Minister, Prof. Tarsis Kabwegyere, has called on the international community, especially the African Union, to move fast to resolve the crisis in the neighbouring Congo Democratic Republic. Rebels are (committing) all sorts of atrocities against civilians. They are castrating men, using civilians as shields against attacks from government forces and wanton killings."
From: The Inner City Press:
"UNITED NATIONS, November 11 -- To explain his government's refusal to speak with renegade general Laurent Nkunda, the Ambassador of the Democratic Republic of the Congo's Ambassador to the UN Atoki Ileka told the Press on Tuesday that Nkunda's forces "rape women and castrate the men." These words were spoken, in French, at the microphone in front of the UN Security Council, inside which the Department of Peacekeeping was asking for 3000 more peacekeepers. "
From Bayview: U.S. and Rwanda to blame for Congo’s human catastrophe
"U.S. military and national security interests are determined to control Eastern Congo, because its unparalleled mineral riches are even more geostrategically significant than petroleum. They are essential to the manufacture of defense products such as jet engines, missile components, electronic components, iron and steel."
"Tantalum and cassiterite, a.k.a. tin, so abundant in Eastern Congo, are also “strategically significant” in that they are essential to the consumer electronics industry that now plays such a major role in the U.S. economy."
"To control these resources, Gen. Laurent Nkunda and his militia terrorize the Congolese people of North Kivu Province, which borders Rwanda in Eastern Congo. They shatter and uproot communities and families, with systematic rape, castration, torture, looting and murder."
Please dear reader, ask yourself, how much of the above have you read in your corporately owned local newpapers? Nada? No doubt.. When venturing out of the camps, women are vulnerable to attack and rape. We are rightly informed of this. Castration and male genital torture are also used, like rape, as a means of terror in the Congo and Darfur but we are seldom informed of the casualties. For instance, there is no mention by Amnesty International or Human Rights Watch of the use of castration as a "weapon of war" or "means of terror" in either Darfur or the Congo. It would seem that sexual violence against the male gender is missing from their political focus. Or perhaps, as I suspect, male casualties of war have been traditionally acceptable, regardless of the humiliation they suffer, both in the Congo and America ... and they remain so (even to feminists).
Sadly and Sincerely yours,
From my scrutiny of the foregoing, and from my years of reading news stories and studying the world at large, a pattern emerges—one that will be instantly familiar to CF readers of pro-male political leaning:
- If women do bad things, play it down
- If bad things happen to women play it up
- If women have the advantage, play it down
- If women have the disadvantage, play it up
- If men do bad things, play it up
- If bad things happen to men, play it down
- If men have the advantage, play it up
- If men have the disadvantage, play it down
The feminist aim, as any feminist will tell you, is to correct the historical imbalance of justice arising from the oppression of women in the past; that is, to be sensitive to women's oppression—hence the phrase "gender sensitive". Skeptics might pretend to see a formal inequality here, but the feminist aim is to create true equality through a sensitive redistribution of "fairness". That is to say: "fairness" must be distributed away from men and toward women in order to spread fairness evenly—although not in a "formal" way, mind you, but in a gender sensitive way. Are you with me so far? Good!
So, it is mistaken to see a so-called double standard in all of this. Rather, you must learn to see a gender-sensitized differential standard. Do you follow me? Do you see how this works? Good!
In a related vein, let us consider the gender inequality of human misery reportage, to which the news stories lately shared are a notable exception. Readers of this blog, being a keen and savvy crew, are doubtless aware that such orgs as Amnesty International have a long record of reporting wartime atrocities against women while having little to say about the fate of men.
The keen and savvy readers of this blog are doubtless also aware of what the feminists have been keen to inform us many times over the years: that "women are the primary victims of war", or "women suffer most from war". . . or the like.
Again, it would be easy to complain of 'double standards', for we know (thanks to such stories as those given) that men suffer from war at least as much as women do, and even more in terms of sheer numbers. And such being so, men should enjoy the same spotlight in the misery olympics as women do! Or so you might assume. But, would this be a proper assessment of things. . .?
What do the feminists really mean when they say that women suffer most from war, that women are the primary victims? I must assume that they aren't talking about mere numbers, since I have never heard a feminist say that "greater numbers of women are senselessly slaughtered or hideously injured in war". No, according to them, "women suffer most" or "women are the greatest victims"—and various reasons are given for this purportedly higher misery index, although none of them are demonstrably more poignant than getting your viscera pulped and scattered in all directions by machine-gun fire, or getting your arms and legs blown off by a hand grenade, or getting castrated by terrorists.
Therefore, we know that the feminists don't equate war victimization with mere numbers, and we may fairly conclude, in addition, that they don't equate it with any palpable indicia of suffering. So I feel good that we have eliminated those possibilities, because I am sure the feminists must have something altogether different in mind, when they tell us that women are the greatest victims of war or suffer the most from it.
So what DO the feminists mean, when they say that women are the greatest victims of war or suffer the most from it? I see two possibilities remaining: 1.) that men inherently suffer less from war because they are inherently less capable of suffering, and 2.) that the degree of victimization or suffering is indexed to the objective human value of the victim or sufferer.
Let us consider Item Number One. From a feminist viewpoint the logic is easy to follow, since any feminist will surely inform you that most violence is committed by men, that wars are started by men, that military technologies are invented by men, and so on. So clearly men must lack sensitivity in the first place, correct? And lacking sensitivity, their capacity for suffering surely cannot be anywhere near to that of women. So it is not the least bit difficult to understand why women suffer the most from war, and are its greatest victims. And as the former United States Congresswoman Barbara Jordan so unforgettably expressed it:
"I believe that women have a capacity for understanding and compassion which man structurally does not have, does not have it because he cannot have it. He's just incapable of it."
Item Number Two might be said to unfold naturally from Item Number One—for what can you say about the human value of creatures who are responsible for the inhumanities of war? It should therefore manifestly stand to reason that a creature of lower objective human value rates lower upon any possible scale of victimization or suffering. But make note of a subtle distinction: we do not mean that such a creature necessarily undergoes less suffering in an absolute sense (when the individual case is correctly assayed for the sum total of applied misery), but only that his suffering is of less import—and therefore less to get fussed about—because he is himself "less" on the objective scale of human value. Likewise, his "victimhood" is of less import than the victimhood of one whose inherent human value is objectively greater. He is therefore a secondary victim rather than a primary victim. Do you follow me? Do you see how this works? Good!
Bearing all of this in mind, it is easy to see why Amnesty International does not talk much about wartime atrocities against men: because AI is a progressive, humanitarian organization, and quite current with the requirements of gender sensitivity and redistribution.
So now at last we are in a position to know just what the feminists really mean when they tell us that women are the primary victims of war, or suffer the most from it—and as I hope you can see, it makes perfect sense when you understand the feminist frame of reference! I hope that I have supplied some insight here that will clear away the misconceptions and help us all to feel better about things! :)