Why don’t we care? Do we blame them?

There are many disturbing parts to this desperately sad Guardian story about one hidden group of victims of rape in war – men who are raped by other men, who cannot reveal what has happened to them without being even more victimised – but there’s one that we can apply immediate pressure to reform:

As part of an attempt to correct this, the RLP produced a documentary in 2010 called Gender Against Men. When it was screened, Dolan says that attempts were made to stop him. “Were these attempts by people in well-known, international aid agencies?” I ask.

“Yes,” he replies. “There’s a fear among them that this is a zero-sum game; that there’s a pre-defined cake and if you start talking about men, you’re going to somehow eat a chunk of this cake that’s taken them a long time to bake.” Dolan points to a November 2006 UN report that followed an international conference on sexual violence in this area of East Africa.

“I know for a fact that the people behind the report insisted the definition of rape be restricted to women,” he says, adding that one of the RLP’s donors, Dutch Oxfam, refused to provide any more funding unless he’d promise that 70% of his client base was female. He also recalls a man whose case was “particularly bad” and was referred to the UN’s refugee agency, the UNHCR. “They told him: ‘We have a programme for vulnerable women, but not men.’”

That’s not good enough. Oxfam? The “cake” might be too small, but you are adding to the problem by artificially excluding from help one group of victims with even fewer avenues for assistance.

It’s funny – peculiar, not ha ha – how selective compassion can be. Because the perpetrators of most violence are men, we ignore it when other men are the victims of violence – as if they deserve less sympathy because, hell, they already had the gender identity to be the givers rather than receivers of violence, so really it’s somehow their own fault that they fell into what we’ve defined as the woman’s role?

There’s a lot of nasty and destructive gender thinking in that last sentence. And you’ll see in the article just what it does in practice.

UPDATE: Not that you can imagine male rape being treated in the West with as much indifference.

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28 responses to “Why don’t we care? Do we blame them?

  1. I think I just tasted a little bit of vomit in my mouth

  2. Splatterbottom

    The attitude of the professional victim pimps like Oxfam is disgusting. This is not the usual issue of hierarchy among designated victim groups so much as a complete insensitivity to members of a specified oppressor group irrespective of their circumstances.

    The problem stems from the politicisation of aid. Instead of getting on with the business of helping people in trouble the problems of the world must be attributed to specific oppressor groups, all members of which are excluded from care and consideration. Other examples of this include the Duke lacrosse case, where the victims were vilified by the idiot left because they were white males, and in the current situation where the racist US DoJ has decided that civil rights violations should not be prosecuted where the victims are white.

    This ideological stereotyping is inevitable when the dominant analysis focuses so much on large and arbitrary groupings such as race, gender or class that individual circumstances and behaviour become irrelevant.

  3. narcoticmusing

    While I was not ignorant to this occurance, this was still a truly difficult article to read and I can only hope more read it.

  4. This case definitely shows that the patriarchy hurts men too with demands to conform with unreasonable macho standards. It prevents people from seeking help and redressing the wrongs done to them.

    SB, I’m sure you have an extensive and well-researched set of links to conservative organisations that provide better care for the vulnerable. Some care is better than none at all. And it’s a starting point to encourage Oxfam and others to be more equal in the future.

  5. Splatterbottom

    Unique, my preference is that aid groups be non-political. The tragedy is that when such organisations grow large enough they spawn a bureaucratic class who all too often not only tend to the left, but allow that tendency to affect their decision-making.

  6. A non-political aid group is an oxymoron, because helping the vulnerable equally and fairly is almost always going to tick off a powerful conservative politician or military dictator somewhere. Aid is a political act by its very nature.

  7. Splatterbottom

    Unique, the best, like the Red Cross, remain apolitical. The rest, to varying degrees, let politics and ideology get in the way of their aid work, as is the case here.

  8. The Red Cross are the custodians and overseers of the Geneva Conventions. Not political at all. Except when conservative nutcases want to fly off and bomb themselves an empire of course. The Red Cross strive for neutrality – providing equal care to all who are affected by war and tragedy. But to argue that they don’t have a political viewpoint is hilarious.

  9. Other examples of this include the Duke lacrosse case, where the victims were vilified by the idiot left because they were white males

    Prove it.

    in the current situation where the racist US DoJ has decided that civil rights violations should not be prosecuted where the victims are white.

    Again, prove it. You’re paranoid anti-left fantasies are not to be confused with facts.

    What is it with the right and their constant victimology? Oh boo hoo, so tough to be an oppressed white man. When black guys get falsely accused of things in criminal courts, it probably doesn’t get as much air time as when it happens to rich white guys. Funny that.

  10. Splatterbottom

    There is a real point to be made here Unique, notwithstanding your willful obtuseness (which is not hilarious so much as very fucking sad). That is that there is a world of difference between an organisation devoted to delivering aid and some dumbfuck leftist organisation letting their political ideology get in the way of their aid work.

  11. narcoticmusing

    SB I whole heartedly disagree that it is ‘leftist’ ideology that is enabling this tragedy to occur. I think you’ll find it is these ‘leftists’ that are trying so desperately to bring the issue to light. Such as lefty has today.

  12. The way it works, narcoticmusing, is you start with the conclusion that dumbfuck leftists are responsible for all of the problems in the world, and then work back from there to cobble together whatever bullshit argument you can that leads to you that predetermined conclusion. And if the facts don’t get you there, then just make things up. Then ignore anyone who calls upon you to substantiate your lies.

  13. Splatterbottom

    Narcotic, if it isn’t ideology that disentitles members of the “oppressor” class, what is it?

    Buns it is all there in my first post – the essential problem is the politicisation of aid. Too much focus on ideology leads to bad decisions. In this case it was an ideology of the left. Feel free to argue a different point of view, or just trade insults as you wish.

  14. What’s “dumbfuck leftists” if not an insult?

    I’m not so much interested in trading insults as seeing whether you can substantiate your claims that:
    1. the victims in the Duke lacrosse case were vilified by the idiot left because they were white males; and
    2. the US DOJ has decided not to prosecute any civil rights claim in which the victim is white.

    I’m certain you can’t, because they’re not true, and that these claims are just a product of your obsessive anti-left fantasy and hatred. There’d be no problem provided you stopped trying to pass off your fantasies as fact.

  15. SB, what strategy should we use to encourage Oxfam and others to widen their support for victims of rape, female or male? Highlighting the problem and asking them to do better (as the article is)? Perhaps seeing what can be done to improve their funding to cover new areas? Starting new groups to help those who fall through the current net? Or should we just fall back to your strategy for dealing with everything: smear, smear, smear? At best, that does nothing to help the male victims. At worst, it could radicalise the debate and derail existing services for women, creating even more victims. How is your extremist rhetoric helping?

  16. Barry Jones is a leftist, is he a dumbfuck?

  17. narcoticmusing

    There is actually a very real and sensible rationale that women are targeted for aid in these places, to over-simplify, empowerment of women makes things better for the entire community. Societies where women are empowered have more compassion and consideration for all of the vulnerable in their society. So I fully support programs that target women. Without wanting to in any way diminish the impact of this moving article, I don’t think it can be underestimated just how bad women have it in these places. And yes, the perpetrators are men.

    Nevertheless, it is not right wing organisations offering to assist either side. Indeed, I doubt religious organisations are any more compassionate to men’s plight in this situation than they are to the spread of HIV/AIDS via rape.

    My objection to your post, SB, was that it attempted to hijack such an important issue to push an anti-left message, rather than attempting to be constructive. I agree ideologies are at play, but they aren’t left or right – that is overly simplistic and insulting. It is, afterall a Left blog that highlighted the issue we now debate. I don’t see reference to this in right wing services; although I have seen right wing media accuse rape laws of being anti-male – not because they are inadequate for male victims, but because of some underlying context that women should know their place and if they dress sexy they deserve it.

    If you are willing to discuss the ideology at work constructively, happy to engage, but not when you are using it to propagate hate.

  18. SB
    The problem stems from the politicisation of…

    You of course, would never ever ever cross-your-heart-hope-to-die ever EVER politicise human suffering or anything else EVER.

    Never ever in a gazillion bazzillion years would you ever resort to crass partisanship, unlike the crass partisan cunts who keep calling you out.

    Let me guess – all these blokes were clearly asking for it?
    They were prickteasing various rebels and warlords? Leading them on?
    They dressed in a fashion consistent with sexy hawtness and therefore deserved to be hammered like bent nails?

    Are we getting warm?
    I mean, you couldn’t possibly be doing this for the sake of mindless trolling.
    Could you?

  19. Splatterbottom

    Buns: “What’s “dumbfuck leftists” if not an insult?”

    It is an apt description of the particular leftists who let ideology get in the way of their aid work.

    “I’m not so much interested in trading insults as seeing whether you can substantiate your claims that:
    1. the victims in the Duke lacrosse case were vilified by the idiot left because they were white males; and
    2. the US DOJ has decided not to prosecute any civil rights claim in which the victim is white.”

    As to the DoJ, here is an official brave enough to resign in disgust and testify to the racist approach taken there.

    The Duke lacrosse case had it all – gender race and class. A deranged black stripper alleged she had been raped by members of Duke’s lacrosse team. The corrupt DA pandered to his black electorate and pursued incredible charges not backed by any evidence.

    The tenured radicals of Duke went on an insane witch-hunt. Wanted posters were put up on campus with mugshots of the entire lacrosse team. A pot-banging lynch mob demonstrated outside the students’ residence.

    A lecturer was disciplined for grade retaliation against a lacrosse player. Another “respected” academic wrote to a student’s mother describing her son as a farm animal. To be clear “respected” in the forgoing sentence means “dumbfuck leftist”.

    The accused had their pictures plastered across the front page of Newsweek and as expected the NYT ignored the relevant facts and ran a campaign against the accused students that had nothing to do with reporting the facts and everything to do with reinforcing leftist stereotypes.

    The president of the university suspended the accused students stating that whatever they’d done, it was bad enough.

    In the event the state attorney-general had an enquiry which declared that not only where the accused not guilty, but that they were innocent.

    The A-G was disbarred and jailed. The university settled with the accused players and is fighting an action by other members of the lacrosse team.

    This case was the perfect storm of victim stereotyping. The members of a designated “oppressor” group, rich white males, had their civil rights violated. Most of the leftists involved jumped on a corrupt bandwagon. Mostly these disgraceful fools have retained their jobs or been promoted.

    The only good thing about the whole affair was that a few thinking leftists, like Susan Estrich for example, realised early on that the whole thing was a hoax and said so.

  20. Splatterbottom

    Narcotic: “My objection to your post, SB, was that it attempted to hijack such an important issue to push an anti-left message, rather than attempting to be constructive.

    Narcotic I was actually analysing the subject of the thread and putting forward a view as to why such a disgusting position had been taken.

    “I agree ideologies are at play, but they aren’t left or right – that is overly simplistic and insulting.”

    You have had ample opportunity on this thread to get down to a discussion of the ideology involved. I said what I thought it was in my first comment and given other examples of the same ideology at work. Perhaps you should tell us you views on the ideology at play here.

    Lykurgus, see above. It is not surprising that you do not wish to engage on the issue at play here. The difference between us is that I started with a statement of what I thought was a relevant issue whereas you have wasted your time trolling.

  21. SB
    …wasted your time trolling.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_projection

    Yes, thank you for proving yet again that nobody likes the taste of their own medicine.

    You read that column (an unconscionably generous assumption on our various parts), and literally the FIRST and ONLY reaction you were capable of was to scream – at even more length than usual – about some monolithic Left, and YOUR feelings of personal victimisation thereof.

    Normal people do not react this way!

    In short… the self-inflicted wounds that you’re being forced to lick are of interest only to you.

  22. Splatterbottom

    Lykurgus, I read the column and was horrified by the story and the callous inhumanity of the aid agencies putting ideology before humanity. I then wrote a comment discussing what may drive people to behave this way. I am interested to read other vies on this.

  23. Focusing on the battles they think they can win? Not wanting to give airtime to trolls who actively seek to derail services to women by polluting the political debate with false equivalences?

  24. It is an apt description of the particular leftists who let ideology get in the way of their aid work.

    Also an insult.

    As to the DoJ, here is an official brave enough to resign in disgust and testify to the racist approach taken there.

    That’s certainly interesting. However, it hardly proves your claim which was that “the racist US DoJ has decided that civil rights violations should not be prosecuted where the victims are white”. That may be the opinion of one disgruntled ex-DOJ employee, but so what?

    And thanks for the helpful outline of the Duke lacrosse case. Very useful to those of us who haven’t heard of Google. However, the outline you’ve given, even if entirely true, doesn’t support your claim that “the victims were vilified by the idiot left because they were white males”. There’s no dispute they were wrongly vilified. What you haven’t established is that the vilifiers were part of the “idiot left” (assuming for now that such a thing exists outside of your paranoid fantasy) and that the vilification occurred solely because the accuseds were white.

  25. narcoticmusing

    SB – which ideologies are at play when the Catholic church denies condoms to areas ravaged by venereal disease?

    I have already stated that there are indeed VERY good reasons to have specific programs for women. This is actually contrary to right wing ideology that still perceives women as property and is pissed that it can’t continue that publicly in the West. Most aid agencies have seen every excuse under the sun thrown at them to try to derail programs that support/assist women ranging from endorsement of the rape of female children as a cure for AIDS through to the current argument against gay marriage – tradition.

    Nevertheless, if the aid agencies were not aware of the magnitude of the problem facing men (and even if they are), what we have is actually a market forces ideology at play. If you look at the left, they prefer to see interventions despite the market, where the right prefer to let the market prevail (unless it contradicts with tradition). Thus this is far more a right ideology (market forces) than a left – and it is the left attempting to expose this and raise the profile of it in order for it to be acknowledged and addressed.

    When you demonise the left in these situations, you jump on the band wagon of extremists that use terms like ‘feminanazi’ and ‘gaystapo’ as if these groups fighting for their rights is illegitimate, simply because someone else is also oppressed. I hope that is not your intention, but that is the conduct of your posts.

    You have often said you are a creature of balance. So where is your scathing critique of either the right wing response? Including the lack of any response from the right and responses like restricting distribution of condoms, attempting to block/veto aid, blocking/vetoing distribution of medication at discounted rates or for free (ie caring more about profit than the lives of the people on the ground). I would’ve respected your post if it didn’t just come across as taking advantage of a horrible situation to vilify the left in a context where our awareness is being raised by the left and the right are either facilitating the conduct or doing less than the left.

  26. uniquerhys
    SB, what strategy should we use to encourage Oxfam and others to widen their support for victims of rape, female or male? Highlighting the problem and asking them to do better (as the article is)? Perhaps seeing what can be done to improve their funding to cover new areas? Starting new groups to help those who fall through the current net?

    I have some thoughts on that.
    Kicking some of the church groups out of the process wouldn’t hurt. They’ve been in the drivers seat from day one – and look where it got us.

    World Vision appeals to the generosity of casino groups because Tim Costello doesn’t want to associate with the Eros Foundation. Mother Theresa names abortion and condoms among the gravest threats to world peace, and Nobel kisses her arse. Never mind that Indians couldn’t feed the kids they had.
    African kids are born with AIDS by the oodle because condoms=sin.
    A brush no doubt liberally applied to these thousands of male victims.

    Ever walk into a place of worship? Seen the significant investment they make in their physical presence?
    As much as they say they divert to worthy causes such as clean water for Indians, it’s evidently far less worthy than their rumpus room.

    (and we wonder why groups like Oxfam and Red Cross are so jealous of the slivers left over)

    How much do they in fact divert to aid?
    No idea.
    Secular aid groups are properly subject to a wide variety of reporting and vetting requirements – church groups are not. They don’t have to tell us where their money’s going.

    The world drowns in such commodities as milk, yet starvation spreads. Supplying the world with clean water would cost 5-6 billion a year, that’s somehow unavailable.

    Getting the god-lobbies out (or making them follow some basic rules) might not stop the bickering over the “cake”, but there would be a lot more cake to go around.
    Making many of these outrages a good deal more tractible.

    Come to think of it, might want to bring the IMF in for questioning too. Just ask the Congo.

  27. _______this is not a duplicate______
    “I have already stated that there are indeed VERY good reasons to have specific programs for women.”

    I agree, that wouldn’t surprise SB but who’s that other famous person who not only agrees with this but is pushing it and funding it as the way to solve poverty???? That filthy leftist Bill Gates!

  28. “The world drowns in such commodities as milk, yet starvation spreads. Supplying the world with clean water would cost 5-6 billion a year, that’s somehow unavailable.”

    When Bob Geldof asked Maggie blue rinse set Thatcher to help release thousands of tons of over produced butter from storage to give to the starving she said ‘” Oh Bob it isn’t that easy ” Neither is starving to death.

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