21 January 2007 | domondon
Save the Lost Boys but forget the girls
this movie described an ordeal experienced by these boys and men that is difficult to comprehend. It's impossible not to sympathize with their plight but the fate of the girls (who merit token mention but no attempt at solution) remains an even greater unresolved tragedy.
Why aren't women and girls being offered these types of massive resettlement? While the Lost Boys have had a horrific experience, is what they have suffered worse than what the girls have experienced?
At any given time there are at least 20 wars raging on the African continent, these wars are being fought over control of the vast resources of Africa. The primary casualties of the conflicts are women and children. Calling the conflicts "wars" is probably a misnomer, a more accurate word would be genocide. Women are the strength and power keeping tribal social structure and self sufficiency alive, this form of life has has been disrupted and fractured by the West's exploitation of Africa, it now has no place in the modern world, so the women must be eliminated. Along with murder women also bear the brunt of sexual torture that is one of the primary weapons used by the agents of Western corporate interests. How many millions of women and children would welcome genuine help or resettlement to America to escape this?
Why are we focused on only the male suffering in this one atrocity?
The US government and mainstream media wouldn't be investing so much time, attention and money in an issue like this if there weren't some strategic interest involved, there's may not be much in Sudan that has value to the US but the regions proximity to key energy resources has kept the US very interested in the area. OK, that's fine but if the US wants to cultivate closer ties with the Sudan by exporting thousands of males to America, why are women not being included in the deal? The media information makes it sound like it's not possible to rescue any girls, it that really true? Reading between the lines indicates that it would have been more difficult to rescue girls, but not impossible. How much of the money used for resettlement of boys could have been used rescue some of the girls? Perhaps only a few hundred could have been saved but if even that many could have been saved maybe it would have been worth it. If the choice had been offered to the men and boys that if some of their sisters and mothers could be saved even if it cost them their own chance to go to America, would they take it? Was that a choice ever offered? If there was a choice of saving 3,000 boys or 500 girls I guess we take the 3,000 boys. More bang for the buck I guess. Boys have more value anyways, right? Perhaps we should ask 11 year old girls in forced marriages with older men, suffering early pregnancies, venereal diseases and sexual abuse. I'm sure they would agree with the choice. Taking a look at some actual reports posted on the internet it appears that more girls could have been resettled than the media reported, but very few were. Why? Is there something more intrinsically appealing about boys? Are they just plain "cuter" on camera? Are girls somehow unclean and dirty? I wonder if the specter of sexual violence makes females somehow poor candidates for public sympathy, much easier to describe the trials and tribulations experienced by the boys than the trials, tribulations AND sexual violence perpetrated on girls. Perhaps this is just a manifestation of a male centric culture that values men more than women.
Millions of men, women and children worldwide have suffered atrocities as bad or worse than what the Lost Boys have experienced. In many places of the world young girls are a commodity to be bought and sold, indigenous women and girls in the last remaining rainforests are routinely raped by government soldiers, many thousands of female babies languish in orphanages in China, women are burned alive and aborted during pregnancy in India, thousands of children of both genders roam the streets in major cities with no families or homes. Many of these children are boys but it is girls that bear the brunt of sexual violence. Where is the public outpouring of sympathy for these girls? Where are the demands they be brought to America to escape the horrors being perpetrated on them? Where are the celebrities championing their cause? Have any books or movies been made about these girls ever received the attention the Lost Boys have received? Are the US based churches, immigrant rights organization, and resettlement agencies planning on resettling female victims of violence on the same scale as males? Is this planned for the future? If not, why? If so, when? Tomorrow? Next Year? Never?
The following excerpts are from GBV (Gender Based Violence Report): "In the late 1980s, thousands of boys and girls fled their homes in Sudan because of armed fighting. They wandered around East Africa for years, with many dying on the way and the rest surviving as best as they could until, in the early 1990s, they eventually reached the Kakuma refugee camp in northern Kenya. The ordeal of the so-called 'lost boys of Sudan' received quite a lot of media attention. After several more years languishing in the camp, 4,000 of the boys, whose parents had either died or were missing, were offered resettlement in the United States. By contrast, no one highlighted the plight of the 'lost girls'. Among those who made it to Kenya there were several thousands girls aged 810. Most of them were absorbed by foster families in the camp, with many becoming little more than unpaid servants. No one offered them resettlement. In the refugee camp, the girls suffered from rape, early pregnancies, kidnapping, and forced marriage."