Donnerstag, Mai 08, 2014

Warum sorgen entführte Mädchen für internationale Aufmerksamkeit – und brennende Jungen nicht?

Since the Nigerian Islamic radical group Boko Haram kidnapped over 100 schoolgirls in mid-April, the media and the American government have been up in arms over this outrage. With over 200 girls in captivity, Boko Haram warned that they may sell the children into slavery.

Beginning the night of the kidnappings on April 16 and continuing ever since, the press has devoted relentless focus to the crisis in Nigeria. Nearly a block an hour on the three major cable news networks has been devoted raising awareness about the group, their medieval views, their aims, and the atrocities they have committed in the past.

The pressure exerted by the media moved the American government to action. President Barack Obama expressed revulsion over the kidnappings in interviews with local and network news personalities. House Speaker John Boehner joined Obama and said that, as a parent, he cannot imagine the horror of having your daughters kidnapped.

(...) This focus on Boko Haram from both the media and the government is an unqualified good. The press arguably increased the pressure on global governments to do something about this backwards group of terrorists. But Boko Haram is not a new phenomenon. It was not long ago that some – including this author – were asking why this group’s atrocities were not generating any attention in the press.

On February 25, between 40 and 59 children were killed by the fundamentalist militant group. Early that morning, Boko Haram terrorists attacked a boarding school and shot many of children, aged 11 to 18, while they slept. Some of the students were gunned down as they attempted to flee. Others had their throats slit. In some buildings, Boko Haram militants locked the doors and set the building alight. The occupants were burned alive.

All of the victims were boys. Reports indicated that the young girls the militants encountered were spared. According to the BBC, the militants told the girls to flee, get married, and shun the western education to which they were privy.

Beyond wire reports and a handful of segments on globally-focused outlets like NPR, this atrocity went unremarked upon in the popular news media.

(...) The massacre in February prompted me to ask what the press found lacking in story surrounding Boko Haram’s atrocities that they would not cover it extensively. Was it a geographical bias? Was reporting from Western Africa more difficult than Beslan, Russia? There, hundreds of school children were massacred in 2004, and that event comprehensively covered in the Western press. Maybe there was simply an ethnic bias at play, and American audiences were prejudged to care less about atrocities in Africa than in Europe.

But the events of the last month have demonstrated that none of these explanations were accurate. Apparently, the press simply needed the right reason to cover this terrorist group and their brutal tactics. But an even more disturbing question needs to be asked now: why did the press spring to action when young women were kidnapped, but were virtually unmoved when it was young boys who were being slaughtered and burned alive?

Hier findet man den vollständigen Artikel.

Das maskulistische Blog Toy Soldiers kommentiert dieses Missverhältnis so:

That is not to say that nothing should be done about the girls. We cannot allow a terrorist organization to kidnap anyone and threaten to sell them into slavery. As an international community we ought to move against them, and it should not have taken as long as it has for the Nigerian government to realize they could not manage the situation on their own.

That said, we cannot allow a terrorist organization to murder people either. We cannot give them a pass because they killed boys. Our indifference to male victimization likely emboldens Boko Haram. If they can murder boys in their sleep and receive no outcry, why can they not kidnap 200 girls?

Boko Haram is another example of how we as a community turn a blind eye to violence until it is done to the “wrong” group. The same situation happens in Afghanistan. We rail against any violence against women and girls in that country, but pay no mind to the countless boys kidnapped, raped, and sold by Afghan warlords funded by Coalition dollars.

We should be outraged by those acts of violence, but we are not. No one writes petitions, no creates hashtags, no one sends troops. As long as the victims are boys, no one cares. In that sense the girls are lucky. Had they been boys, we would still be talking about the White House Correspondence dinner.

Dass sich überhaupt niemand um männliche Opfer kümmert, stimmt so natürlich auch nicht. Wir "Masku-Nazis" tun das – und stehen dafür in einer feministisch geprägten Gesellschaft täglich am Pranger. Das gravierend unterschiedliche öffentliche Interesse, je nachdem ob die Opfer unsäglicher Greueltaten männlich oder weiblich sind, ist beispielsweise Thema eines jeweils eigenen Kapitels "Menschenrechte kennen kein Geschlecht" in meinen aktuellen Büchern Not am Mann und Plädoyer für eine linke Männerpolitik.

Ein schwacher Trost ist, dass sobald durch weibliche Opfer das Medieninteresse einmal auf Boko Haram gelenkt war, jetzt auch über später erfolgende Untaten dieser Gruppe berichtet wird. Top-Meldung bei Spiegel Online, während ich diese Zeilen schreibe, ist aber selbstverständlich Michelle Obama fordert #bringbackourgirls.

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