Discrimination against males in the context of humanitarian agencies/causes

Some time ago I came across the following item in ‘Inside Man‘, a rather good UK publication focusing on men’s issues:

Nine out of ten people pictured in charity posters are women (25 September 2014)

The article tells us that charities are loathe to use pictures of men in their posters and advertising campaigns because of an empathy gap that exists in the community. Pictures of poor men just don’t elicit anywhere near the same amount of sympathy as do pictures of poor women.

I have included a link to this article in quite a few tweets I have sent to organisations such as Plan International, in response to various gender-biased campaigns they have promoted online.

One example was a campaign that focused on providing clean drinking water for women and girls (google on ‘clean water for women’ for many examples of similar campaigns). Clean water for poor men and boys? Not so important it would seem, though I doubt that’s because they are sitting in deck chairs quaffing Moet.

There have been other campaigns related to the effects of global warming, for example. Apparently problems such as global warming have a greater affect women/girls, with men/boys protected by way of some kind of force-field.

Oh, and if we needed a reminder as to how little a male life is considered to be worth, who could forget #BringBackOurGirls?

And then today I came across a reddit mensrights discussion thread on this same theme. It’s entitled:

Did many men lose their lives due to discriminatory policies? (26 May 2016)

“Most international charities discriminate against men at least since 1995. In 2010 Haiti Earthquake men were denied food. Do you think such policies are responsible for many excess men’s deaths?”

It’s worth taking a moment to look at the readers comments (30 of them as at the time I uploaded this post).

The Australian Government not only provides far more more funding for women/girls with regards to its domestic programs, but now its foreign aid programs are increasingly gender-targeted. This January 2017 article, for example, discusses the Australian Government contribution towards UN Women. In November 2016 Prime Minister Turnbull advised that the resettlement scheme for those in detention centres would prioritise women, children and families. Because #genderequality

See also Australia urged to put women and girls at centre of foreign policy (17 April 2017)

A selection of foreign aid organisations that fail to address the welfare needs of men

List of human rights issues as identified/pursued by the United Nations … men are apparently missing in action. The UN doesn’t even bother to list International men’s Day (19 November) in its online calendar of events. Here’s a list of the female days celebrated by the UN (Tweet dated 5 April 2019).

globalgoalsSee globalgoals.org and their twitter stream (@TheGlobalGoals) for many examples of sexist statements and programs

See GirlRising and their twitter stream (@GirlRising) for more of the same

See ActionAid and their twitter stream (@ActionAid) for more of the same. Note the section called ‘The Facts’ contained debunked factoids – except Point 3 (violence) which if true is also true for men, who face far more violence overall)

Upon first arriving at the web site of Project Futures the organisation appears gender-neutral. Sadly the more you read the clearer their blindness to trafficked or enslaved men becomes, despite the size of that problem in the Asian region. They also appear to be supportive of disgraced activist Somaly Mam (refer wiki entry).

Further sources illustrating and/or discussing gender bias in foreign aid:

World Vision article prepared by news.com.au entitled ‘Why gender equality is about basic rights‘ only to then launch into a discussion of why (only) girls need help, and ignoring the fact that poor boys face the same challenges as poor girls, e.g. forced to work young, forced to marry young, genital mutilation, etc.

The article concludes with “All children can be vulnerable, and girls face particularly harsh realities because of their gender. That’s why World Vision has started a movement to sponsor 1000 girls by International Day of the Girl. You can join us now and help a girl in poverty live free of fear. Sponsor a girl today.” (September 2019)

Gender Empathy Gap Day (23 June 2018)

African Opposition to UNICEF’s Mass Infant Circumcision Campaign: UNICEF responds. So do Africans (1 August 2017) And when the UN does decide to ‘help’ men/boys, is this is the best they can manage?

Canada commits $97-million to Congo under feminist foreign-aid policy (6 July 2017)

How to spend foreign aid like a feminist (4 July 2017)

Ottawa unveils new feminist foreign-aid policy (9 June 2017) Canada

“The federal government has unveiled what it is calling “Canada’s first feminist international-assistance policy,” with plans to eventually ensure that at least 95 per cent of the country’s foreign aid helps improve the lives of women and girls”

Secret aid worker: Men have as many issues as women, we just don’t know what they are (14 February 2017)

“Despite cries that gender is as much about men as it is about women, most project proposals or documents referring to gender will mention women, but little about men. If they do talk about men, they do so in terms of their relations with and respect for women.”

The U.N.’s Shocking Gender/Feminist Bias: Masterpost with Links (17 September 2016)

Dear #GamerGate, UN feminism is more dangerous than you know (27 September 2015)

Gender Equality in Humanitarian Assistance (March 2015) Sweden

“A gender equality perspective in humanitarian assistance takes into account that:

•  Crises affect women, girls, boys and men differently;
•  Existing power inequalities  between women and men exacerbates during crisis;
•  Women, girls, men and boys have different needs and different coping mechanisms;
•  Women, girls, men and boys have different opportunities to benefit from support; and
•  Women and girls are an important resource in designing and delivering humanitarian assistance.”

Sounds almost fair. But in terms of outputs this model is imbued with gynocentric bias, which manifests itself via a plethora of programs aimed at women/girls. There are few/no programs directed at men/boys, this being rationalised through the belief that they can cope better/are less affected/that supporting them may worsen the problem, etc.

Thai Team Receives World Bank Award for Innovations to Prevent Gender-Based Violence, with more details in a blog post entitled Ending the invisible violence against Thai female sex workers (June 2016) I submitted a comment to the blog post  which was not uploaded … par for the course when feminist author meets dissenting view.

“Women must believe that their safety and rights are worth defending – even when the odds feel stacked against them for involvement in sex work. Clients and police need these messages too. We must create an environment that tells women they do not deserve to be abused, that someone cares about their safety and well-being.   
 
We are invigorated, inspired, and challenged to transform a world that perpetrates violence and blames victims to one in which freedom, safety, health and human rights prevail for all.”

Presumably written by the author without a hint of irony. Female victims matter, male ones don’t. No mention in the write-up of this project about the violence experienced by male and transgender sex-workers … why?  Could the answer be ‘Gynocentrism manifested by way of feminist bias’?

Zika and Ebola had a much worse effect on women: we need more research to address this in future (20 October 2016)

Read down to see “By the end of 2015, the three West African countries most affected by Ebola – Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone – had a total of 8,703 cases of the virus in women compared to 8,333 in men. But the sex tally of those infected does not reveal the social impact of the disease on local populations.”

Take five with Joy Chebet Bii: Why does digital literacy matter for women and girls? (4 October 2016) Girls get taught to code, boys can watch on

Defining, Demonstrating, & Understanding Male Disposability (30 September 2016)

Iconic Australian charity changes its name to ‘Ourtown’ in 2016 after 55 years as ‘Boystown’, as explained by them and as announced in a media article

Unheard Voices: Men and Youth in Thailand’s Conflict-Affected Deep South (21 September 2016) An oh-so-rare example of consideration being given to the welfare of men/boys in a humanitarian program

Meteor hits earth: Women most affected (19 September 2016) Video

How Clean Cookstoves Create Gender Equality (15 September 2016) Apparent over-reach to promote this as a gender issue given lack of evidence in either this article nor the linked source article.

Commonwealth Ministers pledge four-point plan to empower women (9 September 2016)

Take a look at how fear of sounding politically incorrect forces the U.N into hypocrisy and inaction, ignoring the male education crisis in East Asia (23 June 2016) Reddit discussion thread

Teaching slum girls and female refugees to believe in themselves (17 June 2016) with related Reddit discussion thread here

5 Ways to End Poverty by Focusing on Women and Girls (14 June 2016)

Canada to turn away single men as part of Syrian refugee resettlement plan (24 November 2015) So Muslims OK, but men not OK, right?

Inside Story – The silent victims of rape (28 July 2011)

The rape of men: the darkest secret of war (17 July 2011)

“… The research by Lara Stemple at the University of California doesn’t only show that male sexual violence is a component of wars all over the world, it also suggests that international aid organisations are failing male victims. Her study cites a review of 4,076 NGOs that have addressed wartime sexual violence. Only 3% of them mentioned the experience of men in their literature. “Typically,” Stemple says, “as a passing reference.””

Haitian Men starve while “Women Only” get food (1 February 2010)

UN sets up women-only food aid in Haiti (31 January 2010)

Recognizing Gender-Based Violence Against Civilian Men and Boys in Conflict Situations (2006)

I will add further references and discussion to this post as time permits and as I come across relevant items.

See also my blog post entitled ‘Human trafficking of men and boys + other hidden sexual violence against males

Another double-standard: Genital mutilation

I have been meaning to write a post about this subject for some time but today I came across an article that basically took the words right out of my mouth, and is a great introduction to the issue.

That article is called Female genital mutilation (FGM) and male circumcision: Time to confront the double standard by Brian Earp (18 February 2014)

What is happening in many countries is that the issue of FGM is receiving a great deal more attention than male circumcision. This has generated an increasingly strong reaction from opponents of infant circumcision. The opposing reaction from feminists and some others, has been a combination of downplaying the actual and potential harmful effects of male circumcision, combined with exaggeration of is potential health benefits.

Some of the arguments put forward in support of circumcision include better personal hygiene, and related to that a reduced propensity to infection by STD’s including HIV/AIDS. In reality, however, in western society such benefits are marginal. Curiously one does not hear corresponding arguments that infants’ fingernails and toenails should be removed for these reasons, nor the breast buds of pubescent girls (to prevent breast cancer, which is far more prevalent than HIV).

This conflicting treatment of the GM issue for males and females is now being enshrined in an increasing number of new laws that ban FGM whilst ignoring the circumcision of male infants (example).

Further useful and/or disturbing information can be obtained from the following sources:

The Circumcision Information and Resource Pages

The BBC just released a video featuring Nimco Ali entitled, “FGM and male circumcision aren’t the same” (7 February 2019)

Turkish boys scream as they’re put by agonising circumcision ritual in photograph sequence displaying their contorted faces (30 June 2017)

Mother laughs at son’s circumcision pain as he walks holding his pants away from the wound (21 April 2017) Reddit discussion thread and linked video.

MGM: Claimed medical benefits Part 1 (25 March 2017) This is the first in a three part series of articles in this web site

World Journal of Clinical Pediatrics study finds evidence in favour of male infant circumcision (8 February 2017)

uncircumcised males face an 80 per cent risk of developing a foreskin-related condition requiring medical attention” which could equate to a dab of bepanthen and extra washing – but let’s cut the little blighter anyway and be done with it.

Denmark’s doctors express their view on circumcision (12 January 2017) See related Reddit discussion thread here

Why female genital mutilation is a very different issue to male circumcision | International Business Times (7 November 2016) Reddit discussion thread and linked article

Oxford Doesn’t Understand Genital Mutilation (31 August 2016) Video

Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics: ‘Circimcision is Unethical and Unlawful’ (14 July 2016)

Why The Fight To End Female Genital Mutilation Needs To Include Infant Male Circumcision (1 June 2016)

Västra Götaland Parliament: Genital mutilation of boys is OK (13 April 2016)

Why circumcision is the same as FGM (30 March 2016) UK. Video

No More Intactivism for Me: Here’s Why (5 January 2016)

MRA interrupts HeforShe speech at Stony Brook University, challenges speaker on MGM (2 September 2015) Reddit discussion thread and linked video

Circumcision debate raises health claims and ethical issues (12 May 2015)

Female Circumcision – The Hidden Truth (2 April 2015) A Muslim perspective

Defending FGM (18 February 2013)

The Doctors: Daytime Talk Show Disaster (16 January 2014) Good Youtube video

Sex Talk Realness: Circumcised Penises vs. Uncircumcised Penises (23 October 2014) Unbelievably tasteless article from Cosmopolitan

12 African men forced to undergo circumcision (3 August 2014)

Don’t compare male circumcision with FGM (30 July 2014) Rubbish article but comments worth reading

http://www.sott.net/article/282359-Why-the-benefits-of-circumcision-are-based-on-false-assumptions-erroneous-conclusions-and-misleading-medical-information (21 July 2014)

Three charged with circumcising girls committed to stand trial (23 May 2014)

A Youtube video on the subject of circumcision

Sexually-transmitted infections and circumcision: A systematic review and meta-analysis (2013)

“Consequently, the prevention of sexually transmitted infections cannot rationally be interpreted as a benefit of circumcision, and any policy of circumcision for the general population to prevent sexually transmitted infections is not supported by the evidence in the medical literature.”

http://www.collegehumor.com/video/6966989/the-real-reason-youre-circumcised

http://www.examiner.com/article/female-genital-mutilation-vs-circumcision

http://www.circinfo.org/Circumcision_and_women.html

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/baby-dies-herpes-virus-ritual-circumcision-nyc-orthodox/story?id=15888618

The case against the case against circumcision‘ (18 October 2009) Some interesting info amongst the readers comments section

http://www.avoiceformen.com/men/mens-health/circumcision-is-a-universal-horror-so-why-do-some-of-londons-most-powerful-feminists-refuse-to-save-boys-from-genital-mutilation/

http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2013/09/18/how-intactivists-are-ruining-the-debate-on-circumcision/

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/mar/03/men-and-female-genital-mutilation

Reddit discussion thread about a pro-circumcision article in the Sydney Morning Herald

http://j4mb.wordpress.com/2014/06/08/herbert-purdy-comments-on-andrew-delaneys-paper-on-the-double-standards-concerning-fgm-and-male-circumcision/

Should we circumcise women to prevent throat cancer in men?  (7 July 2014)

US Navy study on the (absence of a ) link between circumcision and HIV infection (July 2004)

And finally … I couldn’t believe this when I first read about it … sick stuff. Skin cream for women made from the foreskins of baby boys (12 April 2013)

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