Wednesday, January 03, 2007


In "The Boys of the Taliban", Jamie Glazov writes about one particular rule (rule 19) of the new Taliban "code of conduct" for its fighters in Afghanistan:
But there is a curious rule that the Western media has typically ignored. Rule No. 19 instructs that Taliban fighters must not take young boys without facial hair into their private quarters....

Aside from the question of what is permitted if a young boy does happen to have facial hair, this new Taliban commandment brings light to a taboo pathology that underlies the structures of militant Islam. And it is crucial to deconstruct the meaning of this rule -- and the horrid reality that it represents -- because it serves as a gateway to understanding the primary causes of Islamic rage and terror.

Rule No. 19 obviously indicates that the sexual abuse of young boys is a prevalent and institutionalized phenomenon among the Taliban and that, for one reason or another, its widespread practice has become a problem.

The fact that Taliban militants’ spare time involves sodomizing young boys should by no means be any kind of surprise or eyebrow raiser. That a mass pathology such as this occurs in a culture which demonizes the female and her sexuality -- and puts her out of mind and sight -- is only to be expected. To be sure, it is a simple given that the religious male fanatic who flies into a violent rage even at the thought of an exposed woman’s ankle will also be, in some other dysfunctional and dark secret compartment of his fractured life, the person who leads some poor helpless young boy into his private chambers.

The key issue here is that the demented sickness that underlies Rule No. 19 is by no means exclusive to the Taliban; it is a widespread phenomenon throughout Islamic-Arab culture and it lies, among other factors, at the root of that culture’s addiction to rage and its lust for violence, terror and suicide.

There is a basic and common sense empirical human reality: wherever humans construct and perpetuate an environment in which females and their sexuality are demonized and are pushed into invisibility, homosexual behaviour among men and the sexual abuse of young boys by older men always increases. Islamic-Arab culture serves as a perfect example of this paradigm, seeing that gender apartheid, fear of female sexuality and a vicious misogyny are the structures on which the whole society functions.
Glazov goes on to argue that Islamist terror can be thought of in part, at least, as a response to sexual rage, frustration, and the humiliation of being connected to a "degraded mother." Thus the men in the culture must constantly assert their masculinity, defend their masculine "honor", and strike out in rage against any who "shame" them.

This is apparent in the sexual mutilation of terror victims who are perceived as "inferior" by the Islamists, and on a par with women of their own culture. It is also seen in the Freudian symbolism of the barbaric act of beheading; as well as in the ubiquitous rape of non-muslim women around the world.

To some extent, such behavior has been seen in all cultures that debase or oppress women. In misogynistic cultures (and individuals) there is usually both the revulsion of the "whore" combined with a perverse obsession with, attraction to, and idealization of "perfection" in a woman (the "madonna" complex). In order to be idealized, women must be stripped of any hint of sexuality.
As a culture, the Arab-Islamic world has perfected this "stripping" to a nightmarish art form of shapeless, individualess, blank nothingness.

Misogyny can be defined as an unreasonable fear or hatred of women. Ever since Eve tempted Adam, women have been reviled in many ways and for many overt reasons around the world and in various cultures. They are hated and feared for their bodies, which tempt men to give into their "base" instincts; They are feared and considered "unclean" because of their monthly cycle of bleeding; they are hated for their unique feminine abilities, which are invariably considered malicious--or worse, evil--by the misogynist individual or culture.

There are three basic motivations underlying why men fear/hate/vilify women (and they are not mutually exclusive, but may exist in various combinations or all at the same time) :
-sexual frustration;
-castration anxiety, and
-resentment and anger at being dependent on women, especially the mother.

The idealization of women, on the other hand, originates from the innate desire of all humans, male or female, to return to the perfect union with the mother that each experienced in the womb.

There are also multiple reasons why women might hate other women on both an individual and societal level, and thus are often complicit in their own subjugation in misogynistic societies.

Many women hate or envy other women whose existence lowers their own status with men, i.e., other women who are more attractive than they are either in looks or accomplishment, depending on the cultural expectations. For example, in one culture a woman might attract men because of her beauty; in another because of her purity or religious devotion. A corollary to this is that the aging woman will increasingly become aware of her diminishing attraction to men or usefulness to a society that only values her reproductive capability. This sets up a dynamic tension between old and young women. In all cultures where female genital mutilation occurs, while it is the male-dominated society that mandates it, the operation itself is performed by older women on younger women; and has the direct effect of decreasing the sexual capabilities/responsiveness of the younger--thus "leveling the playing field" by some accounts. Older--"useless" women--can become societal heroes only by embracing the violence and rage of the sexually frutstrated and fearful men.

Needless to say, the family dynamics in viciously misogynic cultures like those dominated by Islamic extremists, create severely impaired girls and boys. It has been noted by many researchers and observers that children of both sexes are routinely physically and sexually abused by male relatives (indeed there are religious rules that designate under what circumstances babies may be used for sexual gratification by adults) . The boys are publicly circumcised and the girls clitoridectomized. Women's behavior becomes the source of all shame and dishonor, and they must be ruthlessly controlled. The degree of control is proportional to the degree of sexual repression and frustration (and hence rage) that is mandated by the culture/religion.

In normal societies, the act of "mothering", which is almost always relegated to the female, may be accomplished by either females or males as long as they provide that early and continual nurturing, acceptance and security that a baby needs. The role of "fathering" can also be taken on either by females or males, particularly to the offspring of the same sex and that role usually begins at about the toddler (age 4 give or take). To raise a healthy child, healthy males and females are essential. But the cultural debasement and humiliation of women has a profound impact on the children.

Male children in societies that demonize or debase women must overemphasize their "maleness" in order to separate from the mother. As grown men, far from being able to mitigate the aggressive impulses of a child, such men will encourage these impulses in order to "prove" to the world at large that they (and later, their sons)have not been "feminized". Cultures where women have extremely low status almost always encourage the development of inadequate, "macho" men, who need to prove their manliness and constantly.

In "Where Have All The Mothers Gone?" I commented about a study which demonstrated the power of "good" mothers --i.e., normal, healthy, functioning and unoppressed by their culture-- in overcoming aggression or "bad" behavior in children. Researchers discovered that "good" mothering was able to prevent aggressive and self-destructive behavior in at-risk monkeys. In human terms, "Good" mothering provides a child with respect, love, and security-- the basic aspects of "nurture" that are essential for normal development.

The findings of this and other landmark research clearly suggest that without an early mothering influence children were much more likely to grow up to be aggressive and antisocial.

From a psychological perspective then, the freedom and empowerment of women in society are absolutely critical because they are responsible for the earliest environmental influences on children--influences that will impact the child throughout his or her life. If the society has little respect for women and regularly demonizes, debases or humiliates them, it will have a profound generational impact. This is why encouraging women's rights around the world should be a high priority in US Foreign Policy.

Women subjected to institutionalized, societal abuse (such as what we saw under the Taliban; and what we see to a greater or lesser extent in almost all Islamic countries--where physical abuse is sanctioned; where women are sexually demonized; where they are deprived of education, as well as physical, social, economic and political freedom) are hardly in a psychological position to be able to provide effective "nurturing" to children.

Women whose own aggressive impulses have been savagely constrained by society and who have few options to sublimate those impulses, are at grave risk of encouraging aggressive and violent "acting out" on the part of their children on their behalf-- especially the male child who must be seriously conflicted about his love for and identification with a lowly-regarded woman.

In other words, such women will hardly prevent inappropriate aggression in their offspring, when such aggression vicariously meets their own needs. And the male children will have to assert their separation and distance from the debased female that is their mother, as aggressively and violently as possible. The father, who might undo some of this early pathology is himself also in the grip of the dysfunctional societal demands, and he must constantly deal with subverting his own normal sexual drives which can only find expression through sanctioned deviancy (as exemplified in Rule 19) and aggression toward women who dare to challenge the societal taboos(i.e., unveiled women, "uppity women", or any infidel women).
Is it any wonder sexual impulses become so perverted and directed toward children? Or that child sexual abuse becomes the only societal outlet for sexuality? Or that the residual aggression is expressed in a barbaric, uncivilized manner?

Family dynamics obviously play an extremely important role in the development of personality, especially in providing values and role-models. The dysfunctional family of Middle Eastern Muslims, where women are hidden and oppressed; prevented from ever being able to grow up normally, while the sexually repressed and enraged men must avoid the shame of the feminine and must aggressively defend his honor and manhood by controlling and debasing anyone who threatens it.

Under the Taliban, which arguably is the most malignant iteration of Islam's dysfunction, women were actively oppressed and beaten for any attempt to express themselves. Even today, there are actual "debates" about this.

Sexuality is an essential part of each of us. The double standards of modesty and behavior encouraged by the current practice of Islam is destructive to the normal development of personality in both males and females. Psychopathic traits in males are societally encouraged, while females are conditioned to be their willing victims. (When women seek to "equal" men by blowing themselves up, you know there is some sort of psychopathy at work--as opposed to "gender liberation"). Also, how will a child grow up normally knowing their mother thinks of them in this way?

A culture that is viciously misogynistic creates both men and women who are severely dysfunctional in almost every sphere of human activity.

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