The more we study the topic of rape, the more we realize how uninformed we are. A case in India triggered our interest which led us to the discovery of another epidemic of rape in America. This is a type of
rape that most people have great difficulty in accepting, a type of rape
most people would prefer to leave unreported. That sort of us includes us, in that we had to steel ourselves before writing some parts this article. So we warn readers to keep this article away from young children, teenagers or even some impressionable adults.
Earlier in July, the veteran finance minister of the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, was reportedly forced to resign over allegations of sodomy. A servant of the minister alleged that he was and had been sexually exploited by the 79-year old minister for 3-4 years. A CD that allegedly recorded scenes of such sexual activity surfaced and was used by the servant to file a police complaint.
Kudos to this servant for his courage in reporting his abuse to the police. This might be the most unreported sexual crime in India. Indian law does not recognize coerced or forced sodomy as rape. So perpetrators of such rape can get bail fairly easily and might be able to escape persecution. Further, such rape is deeply shameful to a man, especially a young man or a boy. So the vast majority of such rapes probably go unreported.
We knew this about India but we had no idea what an epidemic such forced sodomy has become in America, especially in American high schools.We found that out from a long detailed article on June 20, 2013 on Bloomberg.com titled Sodomy Hazing Leaves 13-Year-old Victim Outcast in Colorado Town.
1. The Specific Case in Norwood, Colorado
The Bloomberg article began with:
- At the state wrestling tournament in Denver last year a 13-year-old boy was cornered by three upperclassmen who bound him with duct tape and sodomized him with a pencil.
The Bloomberg article further explained:
- Two of the attackers were sons of Robert Harris, the wrestling coach, who was president of the school board. The victim’s father was the K-12 principal. … For the boy and his family, that was only the beginning.
- After the principal reported the incident to police, townspeople forced him to resign. Students protested against the victim at school, put “Go to Hell” stickers on his locker and wore T-shirts that supported the perpetrators. The attackers later pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges, according to the Denver district attorney’s office.
- “Nobody would help us,” said the victim’s father, who asked not to be named to protect his son’s privacy. … “We contacted everybody and nobody would help us,” he said.
2. An Epidemic all over America?
The Bloomberg article makes it clear that the Norwood, Colorado case is just one of a newer trend in American high schools:
- “While little research has been done on boy-on-boy sexual hazing, almost 10 percent of high school males reported being victims of rape, forced oral sex or other forms of sexual assault by their peers, according to a 2009 study in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence.”
- “High-school hazing and bullying used to involve name-calling, towel-snapping and stuffing boys into lockers. Now, boys sexually abusing other boys is part of the ritual. More than 40 high school boys were sodomized with foreign objects by their teammates in over a dozen alleged incidents reported in the past year, compared with about three incidents a decade ago, according to a Bloomberg review of court documents and news accounts.”
- “About 4,000 sexual assaults occur each year inside U.S. public schools, as well as 800 rapes or attempted rapes, according to a letter the U.S. Education Department sent to educators in April 2011.”
The brutality of some of these boy-on-boy sexual assaults in American schools rivals that of the rape of the 23-year old Delhi woman that shocked Indian media, American newspapers & American NGOs. The descriptions below from the Bloomberg article are hard to read:
- Among them, boys were raped with a broken flagpole outside Los Angeles; a metal concrete-reinforcing bar in Fontana, California; a jump-rope handle in Greenfield, Iowa; and a water bottle in Hardin, Missouri, according to court rulings and prosecutors.
- At New York’s elite Bronx High School of Science, three teenage track-team members were arrested after a freshman teammate alleged they repeatedly hazed him between December and February, including holding the boy down and sodomizing him with their fingers. They pleaded not guilty in New York state criminal court in the Bronx, according to Melvin Hernandez, a spokesman for the Bronx District Attorney’s office. A lawyer for one of the boys was unavailable for comment; the other two declined to comment.
The Bloomberg article quotes experts:
- “This is right out of ‘Lord of the Flies,”’ said Susan Stuart, a professor of education law at Valparaiso University Law School in Indiana, who has studied an increase in federal lawsuits brought by male victims of sexual hazing. “And nobody knows about it.”
- “Hazing in high school is fueling college hazing, experts say, as a new generation of players on middle- and high-school sports teams learn ways to haze through social media, said Susan Lipkins, a psychologist in Port Washington, New York, who has studied the subject for 25 years. The practice has been increasing in frequency over the past decade, becoming more brutal and sexually violent, she said.”
- “Each time a hazing occurs, the perpetrators add their own mark to it by increasing the pain or humiliation,” Lipkins said.
3. Related to American Culture?
The Bloomberg article makes it clear that the boy-on-boy sexual assaults are related to the culture of American schools:
- High school boys are trying to prove their masculinity to each other by humiliating younger boys because that’s what they think manliness is all about, said William Pollack, associate professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School.
- “We keep saying to the boy: ‘Be a man,’ and a
boy is not a man, so that’s not possible,” said Pollack, who is also director of the Centers for Men and Young Men at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts.
- In at least four cases of sodomy hazing last year, the coach or supervising teacher was alleged to have known about it, ordered it, witnessed it or laughed about it, according to police reports and court filings.
- At Maine West High School in Des Plaines, Illinois, a Chicago suburb, varsity soccer players allegedly “rewarded” new teammates by holding them down and sodomizing them with sticks and their fingers, while coaches did nothing to intervene, according to court documents and police reports.
What is the punishment for these perpetrators? The title of a section in the Bloomberg article says it all – “College Rapes Lead to Brief Suspension and Book Report” . This prompted an attorney to ask:
- “We don’t tolerate this anywhere else in our society,” said Antonio Romanucci, a Chicago attorney representing some of the alleged Maine West victims in a civil lawsuit. “So why are we tolerating it in our schools?”.
Kudos to Chris Staiti and Barry Bortnick of Bloomberg for breaking this story and for writing such a detailed factual article on this sexual assault epidemic in American schools.
But what about man-on-boy rapes in India? How do they fit in “Indian” culture?
4. “Manliness” in “Indian” culture & its influence in Man-on-Boy rape?
Let us be clear. In our opinion, sexual behavior of men & women has not changed since the beginning of the Homo Sapiens species. Sexual patterns, sexual fetishes, sexual fantasies and sexual assaults are basic to human nature and they are common to all countries, ethnicities, cultures & religions, in our opinion. Societal modes and social pressure might drive the acceptability of such practices but they don’t change the actual practices, they merely drive them into the proverbial closet.
Go to any small town or village in North India and you will find a culture that respects “manliness” & “virility”. Probe a bit deeper, ask whom they consider as the true “Mard”, the true manly & virile and they will respond “Pathans”, Pathan being the British name for Pushtuns of Southeastern Afghanistan, the men who make up the bulk of today’s Taleban.
North India has been defeated, subjugated by Pathans continuously from 1198 to 1761. In this long period, not one North Indian kingdom or ethnic group ever won a single battle against Pathan invaders from Afghanistan. During this long period, Indian women were routinely abducted and raped or sold off in the Middle East if they were found by the Pathans. Indians were helpless to protect their own women and began forcing them to remain closeted at home.
Almost every gender & sexual custom prevalent today in North India, from child marriage to control of women by men, can be traced to this fear or influence of Pathans or Muslims in general. For a more detailed discussion of this topic, see our article February 2013 article titled “India’s” Culture of Rape.
So is there a man-on-boy sexual practice prevalent in the Pathans, those “Mard” conquerors of North India? Yes, according to the Washington Post article in April 2012 about bacha bazi among the Afghans, meaning Pathans (meaning practice of taking (bazi) of a boy (bacha)).
- “A growing number of Afghan children are being coerced into a life of sexual abuse. The practice of wealthy or prominent Afghans exploiting underage boys as sexual partners who are often dressed up as women to dance at gatherings is on the rise in post-Taliban Afghanistan, according to Afghan human rights researchers, Western officials and men who participate in the abuse.”
- “Sitting nearby was 23-year-old Assadula, who said he’s an Afghan soldier assigned to a unit in the southern province of Kandahar. Assadula said he has been attracted to teenage males for as long as he can recall. Two years ago, he took on a 16-year-old as his bacha. The relationship will end soon, he said, sitting next to his companion, Jawad, who is now 18.”
- “You cannot take wives everywhere with you,” he said, referring to the gender segregation in social settings that is traditional in Afghanistan. “You cannot take a wife with you to a party, but a boy you can take anywhere.”
These bacha boys of today are sort of lucky in that they are not castrated as a part of being taken as a bacha. That was not the case in the conquering days of the Pathans.
Alla-ud-Din Khilji, the greatest Pathan conqueror of India, the man we call the First Great Man of the Indo-Afghan Continuum, made his boy a eunuch. That boy went on to become Khilji’s undefeatable general named Malik Kafur, the man who seized immense wealth from South Indian kings including 240 tons of Gold and the famous Koh-i-Noor diamond that now adorns the crown of England’s Elizabeth. Malik Kafur, perhaps due to his bacha days, also became known for extreme brutality towards captured and defeated Indians.
Pathan influence is not just old history. Today’s Bollywood is dominated by Pathan actors like Shah Rukh Khan, Amir Khan and Saif Ali Khan. And North India to this day practices the “mard” customs of their Pathan conquerors. So is it any surprise that man-on-boys rapes are prevalent in today’s India?
5. Pipe-Cleaning or Getting Empty
Frankly, man-on-man rape could be the recourse of men due to their basic sexuality, especially when women are not available. Hear the words of Dr. Walsh, the well known American expert on sexuality who advises American TV networks.
The excerpt below begins at 0:41 of the above clip:
- Men’s sexuality is very different from women’s; Men’s is a little more like basic plumbing; they need the pipes cleaned every once in a while whether it is once a day, twice a week, whether it is once a month; all men are different. But it is sort of a routine pipe cleaning.
We used this clip because it is the most correct, most basic, most culture-neutral, and most religion-neutral explanation of male sexuality. And it is offered by an a
ttractive blond American expert whom even the most biased, Indian culture hating American newspaper can accept.
If this is so basic, why isn’t so in India? It is as amply demonstrated in the Hindi dialog below between three unemployed young men from a Youtube movie about a maalishwali or masseuse:
- guy 2 – “let us take her together, (with vivid directional description about how)”
- guy 3 – “if we don’t find her, we will have to use the handcart route”
- leader guy 1 – “stop jinxing, if we don’t find her, I will “take” you”
- guy 2 – “forget him, too hairy at the back”
- guy 1 – “who cares, I just want to get empty …”
Sorry, this is as sanitized a translation we could use without missing the equivalent description of Dr. Walsh’s “pipe-cleaning” demands of male sexuality.
This brings us to our real fear about India. The focus on rapes of women has made Indian police and politicians less tolerant of sexual assaults on women. So what will the roving bands of unemployed aggressive young men do for “pipe-cleaning”? Will they move to raping young boys or younger men just to get empty or will they continue to look for women that are alone or vulnerable?
This is an issue that Indian social scientists, policymakers and police need to focus on.
6. Why the silence from New York Times, Ford Foundation & Human Rights Watch?
The entire phalanx of American newspapers, American NGOs and their paid Indian activists have zero interest in this issue, an issue that may be even more abusive than violence against women. We understand that Indian activists may be only interested in topics that fit the agenda of their American funding sponsors.
But what about the American bureaus of New York Times, Washington Post, Reuters and other US newspapers. Why can’t they follow the example of Bloomberg reporters who took pains to research their story and then broke it?
And what about New York based Human Rights Watch and their funding sponsor, Ford Foundation? Will they realize that rape, whether of women, girls or boys, may be an issue of basic male sexuality and as such needs remedies that are rooted in “basic plumbing” rather than elaborate, contrived efforts that may actually worsen the problem.
And will Ford Foundation, Human Rights Watch, New York Times, Reuters, Washington Post ever accept that rape of women, girls & boys is not a cultural or religious issue? The answer, in our opinion, is they will NOT. Because we think their central agenda is in fact cultural & religious change rather than social change or betterment of society.
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