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Sex for aid. More of this shit

(33 Posts)
StealthPolarBear Tue 27-Feb-18 06:20:39

www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-43206297

Calledyoulastnightfromglasgow Tue 27-Feb-18 06:28:56

Endemic is the word.

Who can you trust? Who are these men? Locals? Aid workers?

Beyond depressing

StealthPolarBear Tue 27-Feb-18 06:34:49

Closer to home I used to get irritated by the suggestion there was a pervert on every corner waiting to snatch children. Or that there were loads of rapists around and women should be extra careful.
I am starting to think I was very naive.

Calledyoulastnightfromglasgow Tue 27-Feb-18 06:37:37

stealth true. I remember after the breakdown of Yugoslavia, families whom had been neighbours for years etc would see men rape the women.

I think in a disorganised society, many men quickly will become sexual predators. I’m sure I will be told I’m a hysterical man hater but most conflict show this to be the case

StealthPolarBear Tue 27-Feb-18 06:51:27

That is really stressful and the problem is the people in power who need to deal with this are mostly men. And if many men are corrupt (I cannot bring myself to type 'most', I just cant) what hope is there?

StealthPolarBear Tue 27-Feb-18 07:12:26

Bumping this

Viviene Tue 27-Feb-18 08:08:36

There's a movie called 'The whistleblower'. It will seriously fuck you up but it will make you realize that thing like that happen in every conflict zone.

yolofish Tue 27-Feb-18 12:19:42

Agree. I kind of gave up with my fairly recent AIBU oxfam thread because so many people seemed to think it was if not normal then at least not totally reprehensible, not all bad apples, think of the good they do etc.

It just seems that every single day there's another story. And yes I know some charities have acted better than others, but what that doesnt acknowledge that it happens in the first place - I do wonder what drives these men to do it? And as far as I am aware in this particular context it is always men that do it.

StealthPolarBear Tue 27-Feb-18 12:47:17

Yes

SnibbleAgain Tue 27-Feb-18 12:51:44

Yet again the idea that it should only be women on the ground to try and avoid this.

Critics say yes but women are capable of doing awful things and sexually abusing as well... But, statistics paint a pretty stark picture when it comes to sexual abuse, which is singularly grotesque.

Critics say that it's "sexist".

I say that it would be worth doing something different becasue this seems to be a feature when men are given any type of power over women whatsoever, all over the world.

If the women turn out to be just as bad (and I'd be AMAZED) then nothing is lost is it. They can't be worse than the men.

A lot of men see this as a perk and they don't see women and girls as fully human. So really the aid is for men and children - for female children under about 12 or 13 only. The older girls and women are there to be consumed.

SnibbleAgain Tue 27-Feb-18 12:54:04

Of course UN peacekeepers have previously been reported as carrying out the most grotesque sexual abuse on girls aged around 5 years that you can imagine and I'd rather not repeat it.

I don't believe that any action was really followed through on that.

Of course men with arms do always tend to carry out sex attacks on the females of the populations they are sent to, whether they are "invaders" or "protectors" - for women, often, there's no difference between the two really is there.

SnibbleAgain Tue 27-Feb-18 12:55:49

"I think in a disorganised society, many men quickly will become sexual predators."

This - this is shown time and time again to be true.

Why is this.

How can we stop or at least mitigate it.

OR as society is run by men across the world, is there simply not any interest in stopping it? A lot of men only really care about the safety of "their" women.

yolofish Tue 27-Feb-18 12:58:37

Rape is defined as a weapon of war isn't it... why UN peacekeepers (the clue is in the name) should feel it a relevant tool in um peace-keeping is completely beyond me.

I think I suggested only women on the ground in aid scenarios and was told NAMALT. But I agree snibble it is really unlikely to be worse than the current scenarios which are played out every time, all over the world.

Yellowshadeofgreen Tue 27-Feb-18 13:04:09

*Closer to home I used to get irritated by the suggestion there was a pervert on every corner waiting to snatch children. Or that there were loads of rapists around and women should be extra careful.
I am starting to think I was very naive*

Snatching children is rare, men who have massively compromised sexual boundaries who will rape women and abuse children are literally everywhere. Most abusers/rapists sadly though are well known to the victims. Since 1 in 4 children are sexually abused (not accounting for adult women who get raped) it is very much a part of ‘not all men are like that’ cognitive dissonance to be able to tell yourself that there is not an abuser/rapist around every corner.

SnibbleAgain Tue 27-Feb-18 13:04:28

It would also act to put money (pay) into the hands of women in some of these areas, given that a lot of poeple distributing aid are locals eomplyed by these large agencies.

Putting money into the hands of women in areas where help is needed has been shown to result in better outcomes than putting it into the hands of men.

These stories are a case in point around what happens when you put things in the hands of men I suppose.

It is worth thinking about, can you imagine the furore if one of the agencies said they were going to do this? Society would go nuts as any criticism of men as a group / loss of "opportunities" for them is seen as dreadful. Maybe they could start doing it quietly.

I mean if they are putting someone in to go out to a village somewhere and help girls aged 11-18 access education or something then just fucking well send a woman.

StealthPolarBear Tue 27-Feb-18 13:07:34

Snibble your posts are making me feel sick. I wish I thought you were overreacting but everything you're saying sounds right.

SnibbleAgain Tue 27-Feb-18 13:30:32

Sorry.

I get immersed in this stuff and it can start to feel very hopeless.

I do believe that most men are fine but that a significant minority are not.

I also beleive that quite a few of the "fine" ones will behave in ways that are bad for women and girls if they feel it is allowed by society.

Many men seem to feel that paying for sex is OK and to be fair so do lots of women - most of our political parties in the UK are in favour of decriminalisation for men who buy sex / control prostitutes etc. This policy is all about breaking down some of the stigma around buying sex, stigma which I approve of wholeheartedly.

If there is no stigma in buying sex and it's a job like any other, why the outrage about what these aid workers are doing?

The cognitive dissonance is stunning TBH.

We need to accept that sexual exploitation is always bad, and that it's not right that so many people are able to "see" exploitation when it's people >>> over there, but unable to see it when the same dynamics exist in "our" society with "our" men. The whole thing gets very racist as well.

Peel it back and you have a common theme of men, with power (of whatever sort), sexually abusing women and girls (and sometimes men and boys). This is what needs addressing.

In the case of trying to control what men do when they are being sent into situations where they are given power over desperate people, I can see that it is hard when they are using 3rd party orgs to distribute. However, their own people have been caught as well. And UN peackeepers from other countries. So any excuses around it being 3rd party suddenly don't wash.

So, start using women instead. Kills multiple birds with one stone. Money / paid work into the hands of local women. Empowering them. The way women spend, has more benefit to local econmies and also to children. And, they are less likely to rape the people they are supposed to be helping.

StealthPolarBear Tue 27-Feb-18 13:34:07

It occurred to me as I posted op that women in charge was the answer but there's not hope in hell of that happening. Local women, even less likely.

StealthPolarBear Tue 27-Feb-18 13:37:13

We heard from someone who had been working on primary care in a remote village where women were disempowered, and a big part of his (white obv) drive was to empower the women. Apparently there had been one health centre where it was discovered the workers were sexually assaulting the women and girls. The women of the village paid him a visit and beat him up. He told us this story with a veil of disapproval but I think he was pleased the empowerment had got to that level.

StealthPolarBear Tue 27-Feb-18 13:39:15

this thread is the opposite, girls being abused by people they're not meant to trust but my mind keeps linking them..

Why aren't vrthese all over the news rightnow? I want to shout it out in the streets. This shit is happening to women and girls.

ElsieMay123 Tue 27-Feb-18 14:06:22

The report covers the time and place I worked. The story is of abuse by local 'implementing partners' including local councils. There was no access to southern Syria for international staff (i.e. unbiased observers, not talking white folk) which made monitoring especially difficult. Having more women staff doing distribution would be better but in a conflict area it's hard to get women employees, for safety rightly or wrongly they tend to stay at home.

SnibbleAgain Tue 27-Feb-18 14:09:38

I see that someone on that thread is trying to blame religion.

The common denominator is men.

Certainly different parts of the world have it better or worse, this is due to a mix of things, religion is one,

However, these people seem to forget that "our" men are more than capable of rape sexual abuse etc. The sexual crimes they commit follow slightly different patterns though, and I suspect they are better at getting away with them, combined with the police being less inclined to look into things if the person being accused is an "upstanding" local white man.

Certainly English men do things like; sex tourism including for children, sex abuse within the family, sex abuse of children in a premeditated way via trusted positions (celebrities, priests, sports coaches etc), plus men raping vulnerable women in hospitals, care homes, and of course after the pub on a saturday night. For the last one, culturally, we say as a society this is understandable...

So, all in all, I hate the misdirection that brings. Yes the extent, method etc are different, but there is one commonality. That seems to be way too uncomfortable for lots of people to face though.

SnibbleAgain Tue 27-Feb-18 14:11:40

" it's hard to get women employees, for safety rightly or wrongly they tend to stay at home."

I'll bet given that the men they would be working with are busy raping.

If you had a gang of 15 women working together to distribute aid though, it might be a different story.

I take your point though.

BUT something needs to be done about this, unless we are to accept that charity and aid is by men, for men, women and girls are just another consumable, like a bag of grain or a barrel of water themselves.

LeKirby Tue 27-Feb-18 14:16:56

I don't think it's anything to do with religion.
I've travelled to lots of places where for eg, child prostitutes are common (or at least easy to access compared to the UK) and most of the punters are... white British men.
We need a global action plan to protect women and girls. And women need to be the ones behind it.
That'll never happen though and if it did, men would find a way to muscle in and do extreme damage along the way, as ever.

I don't want to sound like a man hater and I understand it's hard to comprehend but look at the statistics for sexual assaults, abuse, domestic homicides, violent crime... mostly committed against women and mostly by men.

But if you say that, you get cries of "NOT ALL MEN ARE LIKE THAT!" True. But a sickening number of them are and that needs addressing.

Yellowshadeofgreen Tue 27-Feb-18 14:32:17

Yes LeKirby I completely agree. In addition the culture of cover up that churches got such an enormously shameful name for is far, far more prolific in families and communities.

Thankfully MN is working overtime on trying to broaden understanding of these issues and introducing the notion that a very significant minority of men are exactly like that and we need to call them out.

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