An old piece from 2002 but I like it…
Guest Author Clarence Arboghast
‘Propaganda is to a democracy what the hammer is to a dictatorship’
‘None are as thoroughly enslaved as those who believe themselves to be free’
We are led to believe that everyone is free to practice and promote their beliefs or way of life in our new ‘global village’. In practice this means everyone who has access to the media and the press in a manner approximating to ownership. Modern mass media have historically unprecedented reach and power. Where such media serves a political or proselytizing purpose under the banner of entertainment, it must rightly give up its claim of being entertainment and take up its proper label: propaganda.
How then are we to differentiate entertainment or the philanthropic promotion of beneficial and superior ways of living from malignant propaganda? Simply, by checking the portrayal of a way of life or system (in the media, broadly speaking, ‘Western’ or ‘secular/liberal’) with the reality on the ground in those places purporting to follow these systems. It is clear that the global media as an industry is controlled by a small minority of cultural interests. Anyone who disputes this homogeneity of the media need show media produced in the so – called developing world which can compete with those routinely generated by the West, either in terms revenue or access to homes and minds.
Fair enough you might say, no one likes to show their bad points; if programs like ‘Friends’, for example, portrayed a realistic view of life in New York, they would be boring and unpopular. Realism is the domain of documentaries or the news. Assuming, for a moment, that the portrayal of ‘American’ life in the news is any more accurate than in shows like ‘Friends’, is it not true that the superiority of very narrow cultural milieu are ruthlessly advocated in both forms, while other beliefs and ways of life are subtly or overtly demonized?
But should people in glass houses really be allowed to throw moral stones unopposed?
Before we in the West start to lecture others on how to manage, for example, their economies, women’s rights or even religions, perhaps we should allow those people to know the teacher from whom they are receiving the lesson…after all, when one takes on a job (in the case of the Western media, that of re-educating the rest of the world on the treatment of women for example), one should have the necessary qualifications. I urge you then, to browse the ‘West’s’ résumé on women’s rights and ‘liberation’.
Physical/sexual violence against women:
- At least 20% of all adult women, 15% of college women and 12% of adolescent women in the U.S claim to have experienced some form of sexual assault/abuse in their lifetimes
- Sexual assault is the most rapidly growing violent crime in the U.S, each year over 700,000 women are sexually assaulted, yet less than 50% of rapes are reported
American rape and sexual assault statistics only count females over twelve years of age.
Source: American Medical Association: ‘Strategies for the Treatment and Prevention of Sexual Assault’. American Medical Association, Chicago 1995.
•23% of women aged 16-59 have been physically assaulted by a current or former partner.
•26% of women and 17% of men have experienced physical or non-physical domestic violence from a partner.
•The highest incidence of domestic violence was reported by women aged 20-24, of whom 28% claimed to have experienced assault with one third claiming to have experienced assault or threats.
•Every week in the UK two women are killed by current or former partners.
•Domestic violence accounts for one quarter of all violent crime.
•On average a woman will be assaulted by her (ex) partner 35 times before contacting the police.
•Domestic violence occurs at similar prevalence among people at all income levels, and among people from all ethnic backgrounds.
Source: U.K. Department Of Health/Home Office (1999),Domestic Violence: Findings from a newBritish Crime Survey self-completion questionnaire, P 62.
In the U.S;
- In a study of 6,000 students at 32 colleges in the US, 1 in 4 women had been the victims of rape or attempted rape. (Warshaw, Robin 1994 “I Never Called It Rape”)
- Of the nearly 3000 male students surveyed, 1 in 12 male students surveyed had committed acts that met the legal definition of rape or attempted rape. (Warshaw 1994)
- Of these college males who committed rape (as legally defined), 84% said what they did was definitely not rape. (Warshaw 1994)
- In another study, 13% of college women indicated they had been forced to have sex in a dating situation. (Johnson and Sigler, Journal. of Interpersonal Violence, 2000)
- 3 – 4 million adult women are battered every year in the U.S.
Source: Judith Z Clarke, ‘Marital Discord’ Saunder’s Manual of Medical Practice, 2nd edition, WB Saunder’s publishers, ISBN No 0 – 7216 – 8002 – X
Portrayal of women in American pornography:
- There are 211 hardcore (meaning women receiving anal sex in up to 90% of titles in one survey) porn titles released in the U.S (of endogenous origin alone) every week.
- The industry is estimated to be worth $8 – 11 billion in the U.S alone, not including ever growing sales of web based products, a figure comparable to the revenue generated by the Hollywood studio based film industry.
In the ‘developing’ world the statistics are not as easily available you might argue, women are reluctant to seek divorce etc. All well and possibly true, but are they really in need of lectures from the likes of us? With roughly a quarter of all ‘western’ women claiming sexual assault and a similar number domestic violence do we really believe they are so much worse off than us that they are in need of aggressive re –education, liberation at the cost of the lives of our troops? What about getting your own house in order first?