I strongly support the concept of rough parity in the number of male and female members of Parliament in the UK. The Labour Party has brought this about by means of all-women shortlists. Although the aim of this was laudable, the policy has had some unforeseen consequences. One is that some of the appointees were frankly not that good and have lost safe Labour seats; the apocalyptically self-righteous Laura Pidcock being a good example. She managed to lose the historically safe seat of North West Durham in the 2019 election with a swing against Labour that exceeded the average. Another problem is that some of selected candidates see it as their role to represent women and girls in particular rather than their constituencies as a whole. In my opinion, one of the worst of these is Jess Phillips who is MP for Birmingham Yardley. To find out more about her, I recommend the Glass Blindspot on YouTube that you can find here. There are several enlightening videos.
Of course it isn’t all bad, I voted for Emily Thornberry as Labour Leader and Annaliese Dodds strikes me as one of the more able and intelligent of the new wave of Labour MPs.
Returning to Jess Phillips however, whenever she has said or done something particularly outrageous, such as laughing and gurning when Philip Davies tried to introduce a debate of the subject of male suicides, (see here) she distracts attention from her actions by claiming abusive tweets including rape threats. The number of these unverifiable tweets seems to vary depending on who she is speaking to, ranging from 600 to 60 then 60 notifications. I wish the media would stop being so gullible and ask to see screengrabs of the tweets, For a good account of this issue see here.
Back to Afghanistan. Jess wrote the following article in The Independent. To see the article see here or click the image below.
Predictably, Jess focussed purely on the plight of women and girls in Afghanistan. You might even think from her article that it was always going to be a ‘picnic’ for the boys. Sure enough, within 24 hours a different picture begins to emerge. A picture of marauding Taliban gangs rounding up, torturing and killing men from the Hazara minority. For example, nine Hazara men were killed between 4-6th July in the Malistan district. Similarly, in Mundarakht six men were killed and three were tortured. Click the image or click here to learn more.
This disaster does not exclusively affect women and girls and I would be surprised if by the end of it men do not grossly outnumber women in the death toll. This is a humanitarian disaster that affects men and women, but Jess’s self-absorption and sense of aggrieved entitlement are such that she can only see one part of the problem.
Although we have focussed on the plight of women and girls in Afghanistan the plight of boys has historically been anything but rosy. Ali Mehraspand is an Iranian engineer and writer who has first-hand knowledge of the life of boys in Afghanistan. He writes that a combination of western feminism and Islamic legal theory have led to the following interpretations.
- Forcing a woman to take up paid employment is illegal and an imprisonable offence.
- Insulting a woman is punishable by no less than three months in prison.
- Speaking in a manner, or making gestures, that scare women is punishable by no less than three months in prison.
- Creating pressure on a woman so that she finds relief in drugs is considered forcing a woman to use drugs and therefore punishable by prison.
This often results in what is in essence slave labour for boys who have to provide money for their families. There is no reciprocal obligation for women some of whom do work. Many boys work abroad in Iran and Dubai for example where they have no employment rights and where they live in wretched circumstances in order to send their money home. There are 1.9 million child labourers in Afghanistan and a similar number in Iran. These are mostly boys.
Ali Mehraspand goes on to write
Every now and then, self-righteous idiots remind us that they would rather be a man in Afghanistan. They of course do not have the slightest clue what the fuck they are talking about. Being an Afghan man means to continue to be a sweat machine to provide where provision is so difficult that 50% of children suffer from malnutrition. Being an Afghan boy means to be a child labourer, perhaps in some other country, just so you can send back the money for female family members. Being an Afghan boy means facing more threats of sexual abuse and forced labour. And labour in the minds of Afghan men and boys is extreme labour.”
I suspect Jess Phillips its the sort of person Ali Mehraspand is referring to. At the moment, I wouldn’t like to be a human being of either sex in Afghanistan.