The forgotten men: sexual abuse of males in Cambodia

 

 

http://sea-globe.com/sexual-abuse-of-males-cambodia-southeast-asia-globe/

Huge numbers of males are raped in Cambodia. So why do these horrific crimes remain largely ignored by rights organisations and the media?

 

Illustration by Oliver Raw

The attack took place more than a decade ago. A young, long-haired man was at a dancing ceremony in a small Cambodian village when five men forced him into a nearby field. Beaten and bloodied, he was then violently gang-raped. When they finished, they inserted a Coca-Cola bottle into his anus and then ripped it out. It tore his rectum. They left the young man to bleed to death.

 

It is a warm Monday evening in Phnom Penh and, sat in a small French restaurant, Alastair Hilton shakes his head as he recounts the story.

In 2008, Hilton, who was working as a social work consultant at the time, wrote a groundbreaking report, titled I Thought It Could Never Happen To Boys. It was the first piece of research to focus solely on male victims of sexual abuse in Cambodia. The fatal gang-rape was just one incident it documented. There were others: young boys made to masturbate by monks in pagodas; motorbike drivers paying 1,000 riel ($0.25) for oral sex; street-living boys violently beaten until they submitted to anal sex. Sometimes the perpetrators were foreign; mostly they were Cambodian.

Gathering these stories wasn’t easy. Hilton explains that the sexual abuse of males in Cambodia remains largely ignored, disbelieved by many and denied by both perpetrator and victim, for whom there is much to lose by speaking out.

When such stories are discovered, Hilton says, typical reactions often range from: ‘That’s about homosexuality, not abuse,’ and ‘You’re gay if you allow that to happen,’ to ‘He must have wanted it to happen because he didn’t defend himself.’

Furthermore, the victim’s family might abandon him; teachers, family and friends might ridicule him; and parents might not want their daughters to marry him. He also might have caught HIV. Without support, many will go on to suffer mental health issues, turn to drugs as a way of coping or see violence as a means of expressing their pain. For some, life might just be too agonising to continue with.

“In patriarchal societies, such as Cambodia, males are essentially defined by their resilience and females by their vulnerability… For males, if you ask for help, it’s a sign of weakness; you’re less than a man,” says Jarrett Davis, an independent research consultant who has studied the sexual abuse of males in Cambodia, Thailand and the Philippines.

Despite such stigma, in recent years many courageous boys and men have come forward. At a conference in May, Samleang Seila, the director of Action Pour Les Enfants (APLE), said that of the 650 cases of sexual abuse the local child’s rights NGO had dealt with, 53% of the victims were males, aged between seven and 17. In 2013, a nationwide survey carried out by Unicef and the Cambodian government found that 5.6% of males aged between 18 and 24 said they had experienced sexual abuse prior to becoming 18 years old, compared to 4.4% of females.

Despite such evidence, Hilton says that only a handful of NGOs in the country are doing enough for male victims: Hagar International, M’lop Tapang, APLE, Friends International and First Step Cambodia, where Hilton works as a technical advisor. He says that other NGOs, including the UN programmes, overlook and rarely speak about male victims of sexual abuse, instead focusing their efforts on females. “If you stacked up all the research about female victims of sexual abuse in Cambodia it would reach the ceiling, but about male victims there’d be a few pieces of paper scattered on the floor,” he says.

Among those scattered pieces of paper would be the seven studies written by Davis. In one, More Than Gender, about the lives of transgender persons in Phnom Penh, one interviewee spoke about being raped more than 50 times, and another to being gang-raped by
15 men.

“Particularly with the UN, it’s incredibly difficult to get them to pay attention to the needs of males,” Davis says. “For them, vulnerability is about females. And when they describe research and other initiatives for the protection of ‘women and children’, in practice, they often mean women and girls… Those with the most influence to impact the conversation on vulnerability are often the ones least willing to change.”

A case in point is the 2013 UN report titled Why Do Some Men Use Violence Against Women and How Can We Prevent It? The multi-country study in Asia-Pacific found that one in five interviewed Cambodian men admitted to sexually abusing a female. However, just 229 words of the 107-page report mentioned men abusing other males, with 3% of Cambodian respondents admitting to this. The issue of women sexually abusing males was not mentioned.

Hilton recalls an incident three years ago at a Unicef-organised conference. After hearing reports of the high prevalence of male sexual abuse globally, a UN expert from Washington announced: “Maybe it’s just boys messing around.” At another event, an attendee exclaimed: “Don’t expect me to feel sorry for men.” And then there’s the former NGO worker who told him that she had to “fight” to get male victims included in a report. “The level of ignorance is shocking at times,” Hilton says.

What Hilton and Davis believe has happened is that a troubling narrative has been developed and accepted. It says that males are ‘perpetrators’ and females are ‘victims’, that females are more likely to be abused than males and that even when males are abused it is less serious and they can probably cope better than females.

“The media accepts and reflects this,” Hilton says. “Photos of vulnerable-looking, brown-skinned girls sitting in a corner are much better for the media than boys”, whose reaction to abuse might be different, manifesting itself as aggression or awkwardness.

A look through the archives of the Phnom Penh PostCambodia Daily and Southeast Asia Globe reveals
a clear tendency to report on female victims more than males. The exception to the rule, Hilton says, is when foreigners are the perpetrators.

Donors and society at large are no doubt affected by such depictions, but when these concerns were put to
a handful of international and local NGOs they were denied.

“Unicef is guided by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, where boys and girls should be fairly treated… Unicef ensures non-discrimination of its assistance and support to all children, boys and girls,” reads a written statement provided by Bruce Grant, chief of the child protection unit at Unicef Cambodia.

Likewise, Sokunthea Chhan, head of the women’s and children’s rights section at the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (Adhoc), says that her organisation provides equal services to both genders. She adds that all of the 201 cases Adhoc assisted with last year involved females as the abused party.

“Adhoc recognises that there is a strong focus on female victims of sexual abuse in Cambodia – our view is that this emphasis is justified,” she says. “It logically follows that because women and children represent the overwhelming majority of victims of sexual abuse, a concerted effort should be made to ensure that special services and considerations are in place for them. We do not believe that special consideration for the needs of women victims… detracts from the support services that male victims deserve and receive.”

Savann Oeurm, regional communication officer at Oxfam America in Cambodia, said he wasn’t sure if the organisation was working with such an issue.

But Mike Nowlin, the deputy country director of Hagar Cambodia, said that some NGOs are “not yet” doing enough to help male victims.

Hilton suspects that money may be a reason. The logic goes like this: the international community sees information about abused males as a threat to their existing financial resources as it will take their already overstretched funds away from females. This was denied by the NGOs contacted by Southeast Asia Globe.

“The truth is,” Hilton says, “services and resources for females are also not adequate, but what’s needed is more resources for all.”

He adds that finding funding for NGOs that focus on male victims is “almost impossible”. When working for a similar organisation in the UK, he says they were funded by a trust for ‘unpopular causes’, meaning male sexual abuse was classified alongside leprosy.

There may be another reason for the accepted narrative. Hilton leans forward and stresses that he strongly supports women’s rights and that support for males should not be interpreted as being less supportive of women. “But,” he says, “the politics of feminism and the way it is interpreted often steers people away from understanding boys and men as anything but perpetrators… Gender politics of the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s has morphed into social welfare policies that exclude half the population and has become the dominant narrative.”

Theresa de Langis disagrees. She is a specialist on women’s human rights in armed conflict and post-conflict settings and lead researcher at the Cambodian Women’s Oral History Project.

She contends that feminist advocacy helped to broaden the International Criminal Court’s definition of sexual violence to include women and men, girls and boys. She adds that women’s rights advocates have pushed for decades to help make the issue of sexual abuse a global conversation.

“It’s only recently that attention has broadened to include men as victims of sexual violation,” she says. “I absolutely empathise with any movement that is trying to raise awareness for victims… [but] it’s important to remember that, whether committed against men or women, sexual violence must be linked to power and gender relations in society.”

She adds that, even when males are the victims, most often it’s men who are the perpetrators. “So it’s still within the framework of gendered power relations and violent masculinities with the aim to disempower, or ‘feminise’, the victim.”

“What about when the perpetrator is female?” I ask. In Davis’ 2014 study on the sexual exploitation of street children in Sihanoukville, I Want To Be Brave, one boy said his first sexual experience was at the age of three and, as with many of the cases, that first experience was with an adult woman.

“When a female is the perpetrator,” De Langis says, “she is often trying to assume ‘masculine’ cultural roles within a patriarchal society. It’s important to understand that sexualised violence against women and men have distinct causes and impacts.”

Hilton counters that De Langis’ statement essentially means that “women cannot be abusers in their own right”. He also emails a link to an opinion piece in the Independent written in response to a 21-year-old woman being spared a prison sentence by a UK court after being found guilty of having sex with an 11-year-old boy. The judge claimed the boy was “mature” for his age, and the woman “immature”.

“When men are sexually assaulted by women, we often fail to take the victims seriously because of gender stereotyping about power dynamics,” the piece reads.

This is not dissimilar to a comment by Lara Stemple, director of the Health and Human Rights Law Project at the University of California, who was quoted in an influential 2011 Guardian article, saying: “Ignoring male [sexual abuse] not only neglects men, it also harms women by reinforcing a viewpoint that equates ‘female’ with ‘victim’, thus hampering our ability to see women as strong and empowered. In the same way, silence about male victims reinforces unhealthy expectations about men and their supposed invulnerability.”

For Hilton, incremental changes are taking place in Cambodia. First Step Cambodia works in several provinces and trains an increasing number of local staff from other NGOs. In May the South-South Institute, an organisation that focuses on the issue of male sexual abuse, held a week-long conference in Phnom Penh, the first of its kind in Asia.

“When you have to listen every day to accounts of men and boys being raped, you just wish people would take the issue more seriously, more quickly,” Hilton says. “Perhaps, in the future, sexual abuse victims will be seen as human beings and individuals, not just identified by their gender.”

Keep reading:
Divided they fall” – Last year, trade unionism in Cambodia appeared to have reached its high-water mark. But with minimum wage negotiations taking place this month, there are already concerns it has become a divided and weakened movement

What’s Wrong With ‘Equality’?

 

http://theothermccain.com/2016/01/02/whats-wrong-with-equality/

 

“Believe me, sir, those who attempt to level never equalise. In all societies, consisting of various descriptions of citizens, some description must be uppermost. The levellers therefore only change and pervert the natural order of things; they load the edifice of society, by setting up in the air what the solidity of the structure requires to be on the ground.”
— Edmund BurkeReflections on the Revolution in France (1790)

 

“Women are an oppressed class. . . .
“We identify the agents of our oppression as men. . . . All men have oppressed women.”
— Redstockings, 1969

 

“Woman’s biology oppresses her only when she relates to men. The basis of the inequality of the sexes here is seen as the inequality inherent in heterosexual intercourse as a result of sex-specific anatomy. To transcend or avoid this in personal life by having sexual relations only with women — lesbianism — eliminates the gender-based underpin­nings of sexual inequality in this view. . . . Women and men are divided by gender, made into the sexes as we know them, by the social requirements of its dominant form, heterosexuality, which institutionalizes male sexual dominance and female sexual submission.”
— Catharine MacKinnonToward a Feminist Theory of the State (1989)

 

“In the early 1970s both gay and feminist movements concurred in critiques of patriarchal, heterosexual institutions, such as the family, and there was a sense of common cause. . . . [A]ddressing the patriarchal structures that shaped family life, revealing women’s discontents with heterosexual relationships . . . feminists laid the foundation for a thoroughgoing critique of heterosexuality . . .”

— Stevi Jackson and Sue ScottTheorizing Sexuality(2010)

 

“By demonizing males and stigmatizing heterosexuality . . . feminism seeks to create equality, but what it actually creates is decadence and chaos.”
— Robert Stacy McCain, “Feminism: Death Cult Chaos,” Dec. 30, 2015

One of the fundamental principles of logic is that you cannot reach a true conclusion if your argument is based on a false premise. Feminists have been proving this for nearly 50 years.

It should have been obvious from the moment the Women’s Liberation Movement emerged in the late 1960s that feminists would ultimately fail to bring about the “equality” they promised, and that this radical movement would inflict enormous damage to American society. Here we are, decades later, and young feminists who were not even born when this movement began are vehemently insisting that they are victims of an “oppression” for which “all men” are to blame. What feminists now demand — as a bare minimum, sine qua non — is that Hillary Rodham Clinton (Wellesley College, Class of 1969; Yale Law School, Class of 1973) be elected President of the United States, and feminists will condemn everyone who opposes Hillary’s election as a misogynist.

The Bernie Sanders campaign is a token resistance to the foregone conclusion of the Clinton nomination, and it does not matter who the Republican Party nominates as its candidate. In 2016, feminists will attempt to convince the electorate that the only people who will vote Republican on Nov. 8 are those who hate women. Anticipating this attack (it has been evident for many months now) it is necessary for conservatives to understand what feminism actually means, so that they can explain to the American people why “equality” is wrong.

This requires an argument that is as difficult to make in 21st-century America as it was in 18th-century France. Long before the outbreak of theReign of Terror during the French Revolution, Edmund Burke foresaw the danger inherent in the premise of the radical rhetoric of “equality.” That the revolution ended in the establishment of a military dictatorship under Napoleon should suffice to prove that Burke’s warnings were prophetic. Furthermore, as must be obvious to any student of history, the radicalism of Jacobin France was the inspiration of Marxist socialism, which in turn inspired the Bolshevik Revolution, which led to the dictatorship of Josef Stalin. Over and over, we see the same lesson repeated: Radicals promise “equality,” and the end result is tyranny. Only a fool would expect feminism to deviate from this precedent, and what we see on university campuses today — where opposition to feminism is effectively prohibited — is a foreshadowing of what we might expect under the regime of President Hillary Clinton.

Explaining what is wrong with the politics of “equality” is never easy. Everyone can think of some unfairness they have experienced in life, and it is easy to accept “equality” as a synonym for fairness, which is why a political rhetoric that promises “equality” has such an enduring popular appeal. It takes a lot more thought, and a consideration of consequences that are not apparent in the superficial discourse of campaign slogans, to realize that (a) measures intended to create “equality” are generally both harmful to society and expensive to taxpayers, and (b) “equality” itself is ultimately an impossible goal. Of course, if you are willing to run up a national debt of nearly $19 trillion, the expense of “equality” may be something taxpayers can ignore. However, as Margaret Thatcher said, the trouble with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money, and not even the wealthiest nation on Earth can forever postpone paying its debts. Perhaps there are those who would justify such reckless spending in the name of “equality,” yet we are told that the gap between the rich and poor keeps growing, despite the many trillions of dollars that have been spent to help the poor since Lyndon Johnson inaugurated his “War on Poverty” policy in the 1960s. When you listen to Democrats talk, it seems as if they have forgotten what Ronald Reagan said in his 1988 State of the Union address:

 

My friends, some years ago, the Federal Government declared war on poverty, and poverty won. Today the Federal Government has 59 major welfare programs and spends more than $100 billion a year on them. What has all this money done? Well, too often it has only made poverty harder to escape. Federal welfare programs have created a massive social problem. With the best of intentions, government created a poverty trap that wreaks havoc on the very support system the poor need most to lift themselves out of poverty: the family. Dependency has become the one enduring heirloom, passed from one generation to the next, of too many fragmented families.

 

By attempting to make government a substitute for the family, liberal anti-poverty programs “created a massive social problem” that Democrats are now evidently determined to make even worse.

The Democrat Party is committed to feminism, and feminism is committed to the destruction of the family. Feminists have spent decades denouncing marriage and motherhood as “patriarchal structures” by which “all men have oppressed women.” What is their motive?

The feminist myth that their movement is about rectifying an unjust inequality is exposed as a self-serving lie once you begin examining the biographies of the leading proponents of feminist ideology. Catharine MacKinnon, for example, is the daughter of a Republican congressman and judge; her family’s wealth enabled her to attend elite schools (Smith College and Yale University) and to spend 18 years writing her grand opus, Toward a Feminist Theory of the State. It is astonishing to read, in the preface of her 1989 book (p. xiv), that the first chapter “was written in 1971-72, revised in 1975, and published in Signs in 1982.” Only an extraordinary sort of financial security can explain how a writer could be able to wait a full decade between writing the first draft of an essay and its initial publication. During the intervening years, MacKinnon publishedThe Sexual Harassment of Working Women (1979) just two years after graduating from Yale Law School. This Marxist daughter of a Republican father was able to make herself an “expert” on the problems of “working women” precisely because she never had to work a day in her life.

The secret ingredient of feminist ideology is Daddy’s money. It was her remarkable socioeconomic privilege that was the basis of MacKinnon’s lifelong assault on “male supremacy,” and we see a similar pattern in the lives of many other feminists. Consider this statement:

 

“We are angry because we are oppressed by male supremacy. We have been f–ked over all our lives by a system which is based on the domination of men over women, which defines male as good and female as only as good as the man you are with. It is a system in which heterosexuality is rigidly enforced and Lesbianism rigidly suppressed.”

 

So wrote Ginny Berson in the 1972 cover story of the first issue of The Furies, the lesbian-feminist newspaper published by a radical Washington, D.C.-based collective founded by Charlotte Bunch. Both of these women were the beneficiaries of elite education. Charlotte Bunchgraduated from Duke University in 1966, and Ginny Berson graduated in 1967 from Mount Holyoke College, one of the prestigious “Seven Sisters,”the all-women’s colleges that were analogous to the Ivy League, back when elite schools like Harvard, Yale and Columbia were all-male. Annual tuition for the 2015-2016 academic year is $49,341 at Duke and $43,886at Mount Holyoke, so the claim that privileged women like Charlotte Bunch and Ginny Berson were “oppressed” and “f–ked over” by “male supremacy” was as manifestly absurd in 1972 as it is today.

 

Feminism is a movement led by privileged women who seek to gain money and power for themselves by advocating an ideology which aims to destroy the family as the basis of society. The consequences of such a movement’s success will not be “equality,” but rather the destruction of all hope for happiness for many millions of American women who do not have the advantages of wealth, social privilege and elite education that feminists like Hillary Clinton take for granted. As Burke said of the French Revolution, feminists “therefore only change and pervert the natural order of things,” and anyone who thinks that President Hillary Clinton will do anything else is in for a rude awakening.

 

Will America drink the Kool-Aid of “equality”?

 

 

 

Former teen mom teaches her son how to be a beta white knight

 

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/mums-amazing-facebook-post-raising-7107657

A moving Facebook post in which a mother explains how she raises her six-year-old son to treat women with respect and learn the value of money has gone viral.

The personal story was shared by Nikkole Paulun, who appeared in a season of MTV’s popular show “16 and Pregnant”.

The popular figure, who is now 22, told her legions of Facebook followers that once a month her six-year-old son Lyle takes her out for a “dinner date”.

She explains: “Once a month my 6 year old son takes me out on a dinner date.

“He opens doors for me, pulls out my chair, talks about his day & asks me how mine was, pays the bill with money he earned by doing chores, and even tips the waiter/waitress. ”

 

She then explains the reasoning behind this nice family tradition, adding: “By doing this I am teaching him how to treat a lady & how to take her on a proper date.

“How to show that he respects the woman he loves (right now that would be mommy).

“We put our phone and iPad away (except to take this photo) and sit and talk to each other about our days, things we want to do, etc. I’m teaching him proper table manners and that it’s rude to sit on your phone on a date with your mom or with anyone else.”

 

This gesture is particularly poignant as fans of the hit show will remember the unsavoury behaviour of, then un-born, Lyle’s father Joshua Drummonds towards his mother.

Nikkole later went on to accuse the father of her child of physical and emotional abuse off-screen.

She makes a subtle reference to her unhappy past, saying: “Yes he is young but I believe this is something he should learn now.

“It’s never too early to teach your child how to properly respect others, especially women.

“As a woman who has been abused & treated like crap in the past, it’s extremely important to me that I teach my son how to show respect.

“Too many men these days have no idea how to treat women or how to take them on a nice date.

“It’s nice to know my son won’t be one of them.”

The inspiring post has been shared over 200,000 times.