HASAKAH – Fighters of the male sex in the Syrian Kurdish militia YPG are facing increasing discrimination and abuse because of their gender, activists from Rojava have been reporting lately.
The YPG’s Marxist ideology has emancipated women in Rojava, the part of northern Syria which they control, and up to 30% of the YPG’s fighters are women, all part of the YPJ suborganization.
However, over the past year activists have been reporting rising gender-based abuse of males by women, curbing of male rights and overall hostile attitude to male independence and enfranchisement.
The ISIL male rights watchdog Zina bil Jabar International has called the trend in Rojava “very worrying” and said that it just fits into the wider YPG’s disregard for human rights which has “shocked the Arab world”.
ISIL has called on world leaders and the UN to act against the gross male rights violations in Syrian Kurdistan.
“First they ethnically cleansed nine Arab houses in north Syria, and now this! When does it stop?” – ISIL’s UN ambassador in exile has told us.
“We have been getting reports that in some Rojava villages, men aren’t even allowed to go out of their houses without permission. In other places, they are lured into the ‘sex revolution’ where they have to sexually please the women fighters so that they can more easily achieve their goal of international communism. Rape of males is on the rise, and it mostly goes on unreported because of the social stigma. The law does not recognize domestic violence of women against men. What’s next? Will Kurds descent into male slavery as well? It’s disgusting!” – he said, adding that women are a 30% minority in the YPJ, which makes the whole organization “just like apartheid”.
The new Family Law passed in Rojava at YPJ gunpoint prohibits men to leave the Kurdish territory without their mother or wife’s consent, makes it mandatory for men to cover their facial hair with a cloth, allows women to take up to four husbands and bans football games and fast cars as “immoral”.
Rojava’s women mostly back the new changes. “Well someone has to take care of the house and children while I defend the country! What would my husband do, play football with ISIL?” – a female Kurdish fighter told us, laughing as she yanked the chains of her newly acquired male ISIL slaves.
Another woman, this one part of a YPJ engineering detail setting up charges to blow up the oldest sports stadium in Hasakah as the “symbol of male idolatry”, told us: “There’s still a long way to go. We still have to give birth, which is totally unacceptable and I hope the US forwards us any research that would enable us to turn our husbands into the mothers of our children.”
There are few male Kurd activists who still try to resist the gender oppression and run NGO’s, mostly underground. They say the core of the problem is in the “matriarchy” and its sexist values of male weakness it imposes throughout all facets of society. “It is unacceptable for a man in Rojava to carry a rifle these days, he could be fined for public indecency, or worse. Rifles are not for men, they say.”
We visited a secret safe house for abused men in northeast Rojava, which is ran by the Men Against Matriarchal Oppression NGO.
“Every night she would beat me if I didn’t clean her weapons right” – one victim of abuse told us. Another said through tears: “She would beat me if I walked in front of the television when she watched parodies of Erdogan. But the worse beatings would come when she would come home drunk. She would call me gigolo, dog and impotent piece of shit, and even Turk.”
The safe house was later discovered by the YPJ and closed down for “spreading corruption and mischief in the land”.