Blogs Coffee House

Boko Haram also murder boys. Where’s the ‘selfie’ protest for them?

9 May 2014

12:31 PM

9 May 2014

12:31 PM

The kidnapping of the 276 predominantly Christian schoolgirls by Islamic terror group Boko Haram is an atrocity, but it is not the first atrocity they have committed. It is just the first one to trip the West’s interest switch. A girl’s right to an education has become an important pillar in western ideology, and an important pawn in the battle against radical Islam. It is why Malala has seen herself elevated to an almost saint-like position.

The recent kidnappings have enraged western sensibilities, because they desecrate hallowed ideas about female equality. The West has responded in the only way it knows how: a self-righteous selfie protest using the hashtag ‘Bring Back Our Girls’. Michelle Obama, Cara Delevingne, Jessica Biel and Anne Hathaway have all involved themselves in it. On a more pragmatic front, Britain announced this week that it would send in a small team of Whitehall experts (the subtext being that they are members of our intelligence services and Special Forces). In a toss-up between a selfie and the SAS, I know who I’d back to ‘bring back our girls’.


But Boko Haram – whose name means ‘western education is sinful’ – does not distinguish between the education of  girls and boys. In February, the group attacked another school. After boarding up every exit, its men seized 59 boys and gunned them down or cut their throats with machetes. Some buildings were sealed up and set alight. The girls were ordered to go home, abandon their ‘wicked’ schooling and seek husbands.

Where was the selfie protest then? Or does a savage affront to male education matter less than a savage affront to female education? The answer should clearly be no. For equality to count, both boys and girls need to feel safe in school. By focusing only on the girls – ‘Our Girls’ – we forget the boys who are also in danger.

Subscribe to The Spectator today for a quality of argument not found in any other publication. Get more Spectator for less – just £12 for 12 issues.

Show comments
  • itry2brational

    The nerve of the title being “Boko Haram *also* murder boys” when she goes on to explain “59 boys and gunned them down or cut their throats with machetes” while “The girls were ordered to go home”

    Boko Haram almost exclusively slaughters boys and men.

  • David Messner

    Bring back our girls: “YOu go girl! You are a pride! Support them”
    Bring back our girls and avenge our boys: “Oh look that MRA pig! Oh look at the menz tearz!”

  • Cornelius Bonkers

    OK so what is it you’re protesting about? For Islam all this is like night following day: what do you think the West will ever be able to do about it? It’s the future, get used to it. Democracy is only a healthy system when it includes democrats and pluralists. Islam is here now…

  • Christopher Russell

    “Bring back our girls.” We all agree, but why stop there? That’s it, then? They bring back the girls and leave the girls alone and then we’re going to be happy? How is that enough? How about “stop killing people” or “stop kidnapping people” or “stop terrorizing people”? What would be the problem with that? Explain.

  • napocapo69

    It is a trade. Boys for girls, life is a matter of choices.

  • The Grouse

    More compassion on display….

  • Mike Hunt

    Because writing crap on a piece of cardboard is going to change the mind of someone who most likely doesn’t read English because they think a western education is wrong. stupid feminists.

  • ericniegel

    Thank you for posting this.

  • gary959

    Amazing insights -thank you!

  • iggy

    Western media is gynocentric, and the death of boys is so commonplace its practically cliché, as cruel as that is (and I hope you all still think its cruel). The boys are dead, and murder apologists seems to think that the story should focus on the remaining survivors. Apologist’s don’t want us to get ‘sidetracked’ with worrying about the poor dead boys who were burnt to death or bled to death from having their throats slashed. Send in the marines to rescue the children… please do… sure… I’m on board with that but don’t just stop at the rescue. These murderers are NOT done killing boys… nope… and that’s what the apologists either ignore or hope you don’t care to promote their gynocentric white-knight agenda. This IS a gendered issue because the murderer made the rules that boys die, girls live, and the media attention has been about the girls. Thank you Lara for being the exception and voicing your concern for the boys in the NEXT village this religious nut visits with his band of murders.

  • DukeLax

    American big 5 media cannot mention the burning alive of 59 young boys, because that would not serve to further de-humanize males. American big 5 media now has a financial stake in breaking and de-humanizing males….male labors are easier to exploit if the American public has been conditioned to ignore the plight of the male.