A go-to argument to support feminism, when it’s made clear that feminism has essentially jumped the shark in the Western World, is to point to the women of the Middle East as the apex of sexism and misogyny as proof-positive that feminism still has relevance or value.
Let us be clear on the subject. Here’s a map of the Middle East.
Do note, of course that this map is a political map, as is the designation “Middle East”. The lines are arbitrary. I’d like to point your attention to the very right hand side of the map, to India. India shares a border with Pakistan, a country well accepted as being part of the Middle-East. Do the women on the Indian side of this border deserve the same intense empathy and caring that those in Pakistan do? How about compared to the women of Afghanistan? And do they deserve the same compassion and gravitas as the situation of the women who live in Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia? What of the other direction? How about Bangladesh or Sri Lanka, Burma, Thailand or Malaysia?
Do women all over the world, geography be damned, deserve to be treated with dignity, respect and fairness?
And so do men.
People are people, regardless of our variants. We are all worthy of a basic level of respect and empathy, and choice and freedom, aren’t we? We Westerners are familiar with the stories of hardship and inequity endured by the women of the Middle East.
And we believe in a fair and just society, world-wide, for all, don’t we?
It is time for people of good faith to disabuse themselves of the notion that “The Middle East” is a gulag where women are the only to suffer while men joyfully prance about in fields of daisies. We need to acknowledge that crime and horror is a world-wide, sex-neutral phenomena.
We’ve heard the stories of heinous crimes against women. There is a constant highlight of women who have suffered acid attacks and of women being beaten. All to frequently these are used to gain political advantage in the political gender narrative. Are these stories true? Sadly, too often, they are. Sometimes they’re not. It is time for a more comprehensive, adult perspective.
Let us see how acid attacks are addressed in Bangladesh, neighbour to India.
“The overwhelming majority of them are women and children”
A simple turn of phrase is all that is needed to discount and dismiss men who are victims of acid attacks. Note how the chart includes “women and children” as one group, not “women and girls” or “males and females”? Had the numbers been reversed, it is quite likely to have been presented as “over 25%, that is 1 in 4 of the victims were women.”
From the Acid Survivors Foundation website:
ASF was formed in 1999 with the growing concern of the rising trend of acid violence in Bangladesh. Acid violence is a form of gender based violence that reflects and perpetuates the inequality of women in society. Gender based violence is a common scenario in Bangladesh. This form of violence cuts across cultural and religious barriers and impede on women’s right to fully participate in society. It has the effect of denying women important rights such as economic well being, social well being, political participation, personal fulfillment and self worth. Fear, anxiety, fatigue, post traumatic stress disorder, sleeping and eating disturbances are some of the psychological effects of acid violence. Many victims suffer from complete mental breakdown including identity crisis because of their lost and distorted appearance. Most stop their education or work during the length recovery period or beyond, due to disfigurement. Some survivors and their families face huge economic losses because of the time and money spent on treatment and lengthy legal proceedings.
“Acid violence is a form of gender based violence that reflects and perpetuates the inequality of women in society.”
One must imagine that men do not have a gender and that acid violence does not reflect or perpetuate inequality for men in society. Male victims of acid attacks? You are a mere 26.62% of victims, unworthy of attention. Dismissed! Oddly enough, by their own statistics, when comparing sexes directly, for the last two years we have this: The actual count of male victims, based on their own chart is of 46.26% in 2012 and 54.54% in 2013. It is a shifting trend. It is also reported that Acid Attacks By Punjabi Women Against Men Are On The Rise In Pakistan.
Male victims: 46.26% in 2012 and 54.54% in 2013 yet the foundation claims “The overwhelming majority of [victims of acid attacks] are women and children”
I encourage the reader to view the Acid Survivors Foundation’s stats page and form your own analyses and conclusions.
Are men attacked with acid by Middle Eastern women? Yes they are. In fact, men–in the Western World–are also attacked with acid. But we don’t hear as much about this, do we? Men suffer the same crimes that women do. One would think that something “in our back yard” might be worthy of notice. It has been made quite explicit that acid attacks in London, England serve the very purpose of emasculating men. This is happening all over the world, from Canada to China.
What of “honour crimes?” Yes, men suffer these as well.
What of beatings? Are men beaten in the Middle East? Oddly enough, yes. Dare to break the Feminist taboo of being on the wrong train car at the wrong time? Bring a smile to women’s faces as they beat you off the train. Perhaps a man is guilty of being too attractive? Expel him from an event! Should he offer free hugs? Arrested. Is this a case of Patriarchy? Or more likely, religious fanatics? And what of those gender-war fanatics that will ignore another fanatic’s behaviour if it serves their purposes?
The point being made is a simple one: neither men nor women, in any country, or at any time have had an ideal situation. Life is hard for all living creatures. The problem is not men. The problem is not women. The problem is that we are human.
Even in what the Feminists might consider as being the most patriarchal societies, men are–to this day–subject to mistreatment by the religious police, by culture, by men and by women. In the greatest majority of the cases, men are ignored, and dismissed and marginalized thanks to the power of a wilfully blind eye.
Gynocentrism can be defined in three words: Women, women, women.
In no way does the Men’s Rights Movement discount the horrors that affect women, locally, or world-wide. It does, however seek to offer a more complete picture. Men matter, and to the degree that men are ignored, dismissed, marginalized by stories that contort to ignore men, and to put the exclusive focus on women, our children are harmed, families are destroyed, and 50% of the global population of good, decent and simple human beings are accused of being, and are treated as monsters.
A fair world includes looking at both the advantages and disadvantages of both sexes with compassion. It involves crediting people with their meritorious success and holding them accountable for their despicable acts, regardless of sex. The Men’s Rights Movement seeks to redress this imbalance, impartially. Women are important. And so are men. Men’s Rights are human rights. Men matter.
It is time to end the feminist inspired, men-as-oppressor-class, women-as-victim-class narrative that exclusively highlights women’s hardships and dismisses men’s and boys’. Feminists: It is time to prove that you actually believe the claim that men and women are equal. It is time to bring balance to the world, by showing compassion for men and boys.