I’ve been following the Boko Haram story since it broke nearly 3 weeks ago. 200-300 girls abducted for the purpose of rape and sexual slavery which took 2 weeks to be covered by the mainstream media because the media doesn’t give a shit about girls. Missing planes with men aboard get 24 hour coverage. Girls kidnapped for the intention of rape and sale: not so much.
I have tremendous respect for the activists, writers and journalists who’ve fought to get this crime international press and demand that the international community take responsibility. That they have managed this in face of a malestream media which cares little for women’s safety is nothing short of amazing.
The focus on Boko Haram is important but the media is missing the next obvious step. Boko Haram abducted several hundred girls to rape and sell their bodies. This requires men willing to purchase the bodies of children. This isn’t just about Boko Haram abducting children to rape. This is about a world-wide market of men willing to buy children’s bodies to rape.
We need to start connecting the dots and stop referring to this as an “isolated incident” perpetrated by a group of extremist men in Nigeria. There is no doubt that Boko Haram are an extremist religious group but we need to be very careful in not reporting this story of abduction and rape as something “other people do”. It isn’t.
Male violence is systemic and endemic. Men of every culture and faith buy the bodies of children to rape. Slavery, for rape or work, is a global problem.
We need to bring back these girls. And, we need to save the life of every child currently living in slavery.
There are no “isolated incidents” when dealing with male violence.