[When the Taliban did nothing wrong to women]
In a deeply cynical ploy by feminist Tracy Clark-Flory, the endemic abuse of boys and use of male prostitutes in Afghanistan is being portrayed as a result of women’s oppression in this recent Salon piece. Although it is doubtless that Islam may play some role in the context of Afghan culture in the practice of “bacha-baz,” the idea that feminism is the solution to the abusive treatment of boys is either the result of deeply held ignorance or deliberate dishonesty. Male prostitution and pederasty have been a problem in the area for at least a couple hundred years, and probably far longer. Famed 19th century British explorer and secret agent Richard Francis Burton was tasked with investigating a male brothel in what is now Pakistan at one point, and wrote extensively about the practice, which led to spurious accusations that he was an avid participant himself.
Since that time much has changed, but Afghanistan is notoriously backward and resistant to change, so the practice has persisted despite reforms in the Islamic world. However and this is very important where Clark-Flory’s article is concerned the fundamentalist Muslim Taliban have made it a priority to stamp out bacha baz. It is not in the strictly fundamentalist parts of Afghanistan where the women are veiled and kept out of school that bacha-baz is practiced; it is found primarily in the north where the ethnic groups who are allied with NATO have control. Fundamentalist Islam is not so much a characteristic of Afghan culture as tribalism, but it has made inroads thanks to Arab fanatics filled with a missionary zeal and a desire to fight what they see as the godless “North,” which includes Russia along with what we call “The West.”
Furthermore, if we are to take an example closer to home, we could shine a light on the problem of pederasty in the Roman Catholic Church in the late 20th century during which time liberal ideologies, including feminism, gained the upper hand in seminaries and parishes across the US, and then even Europe itself. The relaxation of tradition and the rise of feminist ideology in the Catholic Church occurred at the exact same time that the epidemic of pederasty did, which suggests a correlation between the two. So no, it is not “the patriarchy” that is raping boys. In fact, many of the rapist priests were notoriously “progressive” in their views and feted by wealthy liberals, some of whom doubtless were aware of their proclivities.
Unfortunately, most people are not all that well-informed, and may be susceptible to appeals to human decency. This is how feminism has gained so much ground: by usurping moral issues and proposing feminist policies as the solution. Even conservatives have fallen for these tactics, passing hardcore feminist legislation and enabling feminist radicals because they never took the time to study and get to the root of problems, preferring instead to blindly react to social problems with heavy-handed, ill-considered measures.
It is important that we keep an eye on feminist arguments to prevent them from making appeals to our sense of decency in an effort to fool us into giving them even more power and influence than they already have. As we know well, the situation has not improved for boys since the advent of feminism, and eliminating abuses such as pederasty are best achieved not by giving women more privileges, but by caring about the humanity of boys, which is not even remotely part of the feminist agenda.