Back in the sixties there was a television series called The Invaders starring a character called Roy Thinnes. As a little boy I loved the show. The basic premise of the series was that earth had already been invaded and the aliens were living among us, plotting and preparing for their eventual take over of our planet.
Roy Thinnes’ character became aware of this invasion when he got lost driving through unfamiliar countryside and came across an alien spacecraft deep in the woods. As the series progresses, David Vincent (the character played by Thinnes) is able to identify the aliens among us by looking at the little finger on their left hand. It is slightly deformed as a result of a mistake when they took human form.
Each week, David Vincent tried to convince sceptical government officials, law enforcement officers or any one who would listen that the invasion was real and that the aliens walked among us. You can imagine the reaction such claims drew from those he warned.
I tell my Maggie (my gorgeous wife) that I often feel like David Vincent when I am attempting to explain my stance on men’s rights to a friend or acquaintance.
They look at me with a wary, cynical expression on their face even as I present irrefutable facts about the issues confronting men. What to me seems to be simply stating the “bleeding obvious” appears to be entirely hidden or non existent in the eyes of many of my friends.
The notion of the disposable male is one of those invisible aliens which I see so clearly every day. Today my eyes fell upon a headline,
I continued to read.
More than three hundred Islamic State child soldiers-dubbed the “cubs of the caliphate”-have been slaughtered in Mosul after they were sent into battle by the terrorist group, a human rights group reports.”
It goes on.
In a desperate last act, reminiscent of the final days of the Nazis, they have deployed their brigade of child soldiers.
There is a photo of row upon row of young boys standing before an adult commander. The caption reads:
The terrorist group has brainwashed, trained and armed hundreds of children to fight for it.
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights hundreds of them have been killed as Iraqi government forces close in-backed by US warplanes and drones.
The UK based watchdog said: This will raise the death toll to at least 400 Syrian fighters killed in the ranks of the Islamic State since the start of the battle in Mosul. among them, more than 300 child soldiers from the “lion cubs of the caliphate.”
I have read hundreds of words on this horrific massacre and yet not once has the word “boys” appeared anywhere in the article. It is quite clearly a very deliberate choice, implemented on a regular basis by the media throughout the western world.
I read on, hoping for at least one reference to the gender of these dead boys.
The slaughter of the child soldiers came as Iraqi and Kurdish forces fought their way to the eastern outskirts of Mosul after a two week offensive.
As well as the killing of child soldiers, human rights groups accused government sanctioned tribal Sunni militia of carrying out revenge attacks against men and boys in areas recently recaptured from the militants.
So, eleven paragraphs into the story we finally discover that as well as the slaughter of the boy soldiers (whose gender is never identified throughout the article) other boys and men were butchered.
I find this journalism unfathomable. I am trying to understand how anyone could write about a subject like this and at no stage identify the gender of the hundreds of slaughtered children. When a child drowns in their backyard pool, we are alerted to their gender as soon as the facts are available. Yet whenever these gender based crimes are committed against men or boys their gender is either never referred to or can be found three quarters of the way through the article. This would not be so disturbing and suspicious if the very same approach was taken when girls or women are the victims of a massacre or some act of oppression or brutality. As we all know, the gender of female victims is always the major focus of any such story.
We all recall the meltdown when 200 girls were kidnapped by the Islamic Terrorist Group Boko Haram. Can you imagine the media taking the same approach to the kidnapping of those girls as they did to the slaughter of more than 300 boys?
Here’s a brief extract from a recent article.
Humanitarian group Human Rights Watch released findings on Monday showing police officers and military service members at seven government camps in the Borno State capital of Maiduguri sexually abused 41 women and girls who had fled Boko Haram.
It is bad enough that these women and girls are not getting much-needed support for the horrific trauma they suffered at the hands of Boko Haram,” said Mausi Segun, senior Nigeria researcher at Human Rights Watch said in a statement. “It is disgraceful and outrageous that people who should protect these women and girls are attacking and abusing them.”
The words “women and girls” appeared three times inside two paragraphs!
There were no “people”, “children”, “victims” or “villagers”. It was of the utmost importance that we identified the gender of these victims quickly and repeatedly.
Why not simply refer to children and people? Why the sudden urgent need to reveal the gender of those being harmed and abused?
This approach was used a few months ago in a story on our rising suicide rates.
The Project presented a story on our shocking suicide rates. It would appear to be almost impossible for a ten minute segment on suicide in Australia not to use the word men or boys once in the entire presentation, but this is exactly what the compassionate, caring hosts of The Project managed to do.
Not only did they fail to refer to the male gender, they focused on an increase in the number of female suicides which included graphics and was followed up by an interview with a woman who had attempted suicide. Three out of four suicides result in the death of a male yet this story focused entirely on females and the only graphics displayed related to females.
Can you imagine a ten minute segment on domestic violence in Australia failing to mention women or girls or focusing exclusively on the male victims? Of course you can’t because it would never happen. If such shocking approach was used you can be assured heads would roll and there would be a tsunami of outraged voices asking how this could happen when women make up the majority of those killed in DV incidents.
The Project segment resulted in zero protests (other than my comment on their Face Book page.) This is when the character of David Vincent comes to mind. I feel as if I am baying at the moon when I express my disgust at this bigotry which is almost a daily occurrence in our media. Sometimes I am so overwhelmed by the number of newspaper articles containing outright misandry or distorted figures used to perpetuate the myth of female oppression I simply omit a deep sigh and turn the page.
Another online article from the ABC on suicide begins by stating the fact that of the 3027 people who killed themselves in 2015, 2 292 were men and 735 were women. Promising beginning isn’t it? Sadly, it is all downhill from there.
The figures show that deaths from self-harm are three times more common for males than females, however the number of women who end their lives is going up.
Chief executive of Suicide Prevention Australia, Sue Murray, told ABC News this trend was concerning.
We have seen a 26 per cent increase in the suicide rates among women and the numbers of suicides among women (rise) over the last five year period,” Ms Murray
We don’t know why this is occurring, so we really need to see the government come on board with investment in research, so we can really understand what it is that is bringing about this increase and the way in which [women] are choosing to take their own lives.”
The ABS statistics also reveal that the number of teenage girls who die by suicide has risen.
In 2015, 56 girls between the ages of 15 and 19 ended their lives, up from 38 in 2014.
The numbers are not large but certainly the fact that it is a 45 per cent increase in a one-year period certainly needs good investigation,” Ms Murray said.
I think we need to be looking very carefully at the type of suicide prevention programs we’re delivering.”
Apparently, Ms Murray is not disturbed by the fact that three out of four suicides are committed by men. She makes no reference to this statistic and expresses no concern about why there is such a huge gender gap and what may be its cause.
But when she identifies the fact that there has been a slight increase in female teenagers’ suicide she demands more investment in research and an analysis of the way in which women are choosing to take their lives. She even questions the suicide prevention program they are delivering.
Of course , two women feature in the articles on suicide which follow.
I find this incomprehensible and often feel as if I am walking through an alien landscape. How can this type of horrendous bigotry go unchallenged? Is there no-one with power and influence who gives a damn about boys and men?
The excellent documentary, The Red Pill has a particularly harrowing segment on the media coverage of the Boko Haram Islamic Terrorist Group. It presents heartbreaking footage of massacred men and boys while the newsreader refers to “villagers” and “people”. This isn’t a rare slip or mistake. The documentary gives numerous examples of this deliberate camouflaging of the truth when it comes to the oppression or killing of males. There is simply no way a story on the massacre of 200 girls would be presented in gender neutral language. Well-it didn’t happen when girls were kidnapped so you can be assured a massacre of females would have gender as the major focus of the story.
I am yet to hear any journalist confronted with this damning evidence and being asked to justify this sickening approach to news reporting.
So, like David Vincent, I will continue to alert my fellow humans to the presence of this hateful, damaging agenda being played out before our very eyes each day. Sadly, like David, I feel my quest to open their eyes to reality is doomed to fail. Only a very small number of us will ever truly see the deformed little finger on the aliens among us.
Main photo credit: Flickr
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