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WFP Women’s Food Entitlement – The key word really is ‘entitlement’

February 4, 2010 11 comments

Beard Reel is mostly about media, but some things in politics simply must be discussed.

The recent earth quake disaster in Haiti has been in all the news, and rightly so. It was a truly devastating event which has left the country in ruin. It is extremely important that other nations help them to re-establish livable conditions.

However, I think the U.N. may be a bit confused on how to do that.

As reported on here, the World Food Program has a policy (readable here) which directs that all food resources be given out exclusively to women, as in ‘no boys allowed’.

The logic arises from the issues women can face in obtaining food when they have to confront larger, stronger men vying for the same resources. To resolve this the U.N. decided to just ban men all together from the food distribution compounds. They also seem to think that women are somehow better suited to the distribution of food.

This is messed up on so many levels that I’m not even sure where to start, but I’ll try.

First, there is the obvious (like the moon) flaw in this system: it excludes half the adult population! Apparently the WFP is going to take steps to ensure all the men get fed, but that is planned for stage 2, some time in the future. Too bad many of those men won’t live that long.

If it seems obvious that this is an attempt at unfairly empowering women, that’s because it is. That is one of the official reasons for it. Since empowering people is so important, I guess the old patriarchal system wasn’t so bad. In Haiti we are empowering women by giving them control over the food, something they are apparently better at using. By that logic, it was good that we used to give all the jobs to men, since they are better at them, empowering them to be better people. Empowerment is what really matters.

Seems fair to me.

What they are calling equality is pure sexism.

The men of Haiti are now going to have to go through women for their food, leaving them in a potentially life threatening position of submission. This leaves them vulnerable to exploitation and abuse, just as women are said to have been in the past age of patriarchy.

If that was unequal, how is this any more equal?

As an additional insult to men, it seems the WFP intends for them to work as body guards to earn their supper:

The women are encouraged to bring male family members or friends to wait for them outside the distribution compound, to protect them and help them take their food home.

So the women are the only ones suited to get and distribute the food, but men are still expected to go out of their way to protect these women, and then have to rely on them to get any food.

It seems to me that it would have been easier to just ban women from the food centers. Then everyone would have been on the same physical standing, and the people could have protected the food themselves.

The misandry in this whole policy is mind-boggling, but I think the worst part of it is how it blatantly insults countless generations of male sacrifice. For millennia, it has been men (and often boys) who have died on the hunt, in the field, down the mine shaft and on the assembly line to provide food for their family, including their women. Now the WFP is insisting that women can better serve as primary providers and so should be given the food. However, they still need protection from men, not that the men should receive anything special for providing that protection. This is the first time I have heard of a group being expected to be both submissive to and protective of another group.

They just spit in the face of every man who has ever died for his family.

Maybe it’s time for someone to spit back.

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