Burning the village: sex and the intimacies of terrorism
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Burning the village: sex and the intimacies of terrorism

By Steve Korver Thursday, November 17, 2016 - 15:37
Why male killers just want a date … Why women killers prefer poison … Why sexual frustration is a geo-political issue … These news flashes and more in this week’s Sex in the Press.

Is that a gun in your pocket or do you just want to ask me out on a date?

There’s something to be said for making love, not war. For one, making love is more fun – especially if you make love in this life, instead of putting it off for the next.

Yet promises of endless sex in an afterlife filled with virgins is a handy recruiting tactic to lure horny young men to kill and get killed in far-off lands, according to ‘Sexual frustration driving kids to ISIS’.

“They’re being failed by everybody – their family, their local community and us,” says the director of the documentary Exposure: Jihad. “The fact that somebody is able to sell them death and make death look appealing to them and we’re not able to sell them life… That’s not just their fault that’s also a failure on our part.”

“Nine times out of ten, look to the dad and you’re gonna find he did something; beat them.”

Then terror recruiters offer brotherly reassurance. “God, they really cared; they would call to see if you got home OK. My Dad never did that,” says one of the recruited.

“Joining ISIS promises to release these young men from parental pressure, minority status and sexual frustration all at the same time.”

“I’m there with my gun, which is more or less just a penis extension,” says Alyas Karmani, a former Islamist and now an imam in Bradford, UK. “Look at me, I’m a mujahidin now… I’m powerful now, I’m sexy now, girls are going to look at me, and there’s girls who would wanna become my bride now.”

I’m there with my gun, which is more or less just a penis extension.

Intimate terrorism

Besides sexual frustration, a history of domestic abuse – either as an abuser, a victim or both – is also often correlated to becoming a mass killer, according to ‘Control and fear: What mass killings and domestic violence have in common’.

Domestic violence, often referred to as “intimate terrorism”, follows a pattern where the abuser tries to control another’s life – “her finances, her social contacts, the clothes she wears.”

And if she resists, hit her.

Meanwhile, the so-called Islamic State has applied “intimate violence on an industrial scale” by creating “a vast infrastructure of rape and slavery in which women are held captive and bought and sold by its fighters.”

And this system particularly appeals to those who are angry about the loss of “traditional gender roles”.

If she doesn’t do the laundry, hit her again.

Lone wolf killers – such as Omar Mateen who slaughtered 49 people in a Florida nightclub earlier this year – also often share this sense of grievance: “a belief that someone, somewhere, had wronged them in a way that merited a violent response.”

Earlier in his life, he had reportedly used this sense of grievance to severely beat his ex-wife. In addition, Mateen seemed threatened by his own apparent homosexuality – which also does not conform to “traditional gender roles”.

“This connection makes it somewhat easier to understand an apparent contradiction: that Mr. Mateen targeted a gay nightclub and that his father and ex-wife have said he had a history of homophobic remarks, but that he also had been seen visiting Pulse, the gay nightclub he targeted, and, according to some news reports, used a gay dating app.”

“Could Mr. Mateen have been trying to use violence to reimpose rules about gender and sexuality that he himself was troubled about violating? If so, he would not be the first.”

Many shooters leave manifestos explicitly detailing their hatred of women and of men who seemed to navigate relationships with women with ease.

Women prefer passive homicide and nasty gossip

“Women are violent at much lower rates than men. And mass killings, even more so than other types of violence, are overwhelmingly a male phenomenon,” according to ‘Female mass killers: why they're so rare’.

In those few cases where women do commit murder, they prefer more “passive” forms of violence such as poisoning and suicide bombing. Blowing yourself up is regarded as passive violence because you aren’t around to see the fear in innocent people’s faces. "And sadistic violence like this is almost exclusively male."

And this male sadism often comes backed with – yes – sexual frustration: “Many shooters leave manifestos explicitly detailing their hatred of women and of men who seemed to navigate relationships with women with ease.”

Women tend to deal with these “reputational struggles” in other ways – “usually involving self-harm or nasty gossip”.

Nations that best utilize their entire population, not just men, are wealthier and are more productive and innovative.

Powder kegs of the future

In China, social scientists are warning against a “testosterone glut” where the country may have at least 40 million more men than women by 2020 thanks to selective abortion and a cultural preference for boys, according to ‘5 things China won’t do this week’.

Authorities are taking little preventative action, even when “all the research shows nations that best utilise their entire population, not just men, are wealthier and are more productive and innovative.”

 

The real worry for China is the “geopolitics of sexual frustration”: “the idea that nationalistic tendencies and armies of young, lonely men are the powder keg of the future.”

As the African proverb puts it: “If the young are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth.”

Have you experienced domestic violence? As an abuser or a victim? Leave a comment below or join the discussion on Facebook. If you have any questions, visit our discussion board.

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