Male superiority in Iraq

Major news organisations (CNNWashington PostBBC) missed a key point yesterday in their coverage of the Human Rights Watchreport on sexual orientation and gender in Iraq, reducing the issue to one of attacks on “gay” men. 

As I explained here yesterday, and as HRW goes to some lengths to make clear, there are two strands to this. One is the religious strand – homosexual acts are “sinful” – and the other is a social strand – enforcing gender stereotypes to ensure that Iraqi men (not necessarily gay men) appear sufficiently “manly”. The latter is part of a much wider issue about patriarchy, male superiority, etc.

Posted by Brian Whitaker, 18 August 2009.