Bacha Bazi and the Left's Promotion of Gender Fluidity

The Left's love affair with Islam has long been exposed.  The Red-Green Alliance is usually seen in geopolitical terms, with each side vying to gain ultimate power.  But forgive me if I might become confused with the hideous practice of bacha bazi practiced in Afghanistan with the leftist promotion of alleged fluid genders.  Both exploit children, the most vulnerable in society.

Bacha bazi refers to "boy play" and is a slang term in Afghanistan for a wide variety of activities involving sexual relations between older men and younger adolescent men or boys.  It often includes sexual slavery and child prostitution.  Western travelers in 1872 noted that boys were trained to take the place of dancing girls. 

Under the Taliban, the practice was outlawed, but the laws are seldom enforced.  In 2010, the documentary The Dancing Boys of Afghanistan exposed the horrific practice, in which "young Afghan boys are sold to warlords and powerful businessmen to be trained as dancers who perform for male audiences in women's clothing and are then used and traded for sex."

Irshad Manji explains that boys who refuse to participate are often murdered, and once the "victims become 'too mature' to be considered desirable, they are sent home where they are usually rejected by family and society, leaving them homeless, desolate and traumatized."

Since women are not allowed to dance in public in the Islamic world, boys can be made to dance in women's clothing.  Rustam Qobil of the BBC World Service describes a scene at a wedding party in a remote village in northern Afghanistan: "There is no sign of the bride or groom, or any women, only men.  Some of them are armed, some of them are taking drugs.  Almost everyone's attention is focused on a 15-year-old boy.  He's dancing for the crowd in a long and shiny woman's dress, his face covered by a red scarf.  He is wearing fake breasts and bells around his ankles.  Someone offers him some US dollars and he grabs them with his teeth."

Under Obama, when American soldiers attempted to publicize the systematic rape and enslavement of young boys at the hands of Afghan Muslim military officials, it was the American soldiers who were punished!

In his 2015 Newsweek article, Will Everett asserts that "a 2014 study by Hagar International found that on average one in 10 Afghan boys they interviewed had experienced some form of human trafficking, including bacha bazi.  Sara Shinkfield, country director of Hagar Afghanistan called the study 'a striking reminder that boys in Afghanistan are even more at risk than girls for trafficking.'"

At the Wilson Quarterly, Maya Wesby states that "[i]n a Western context, cross dressing and reversing gender roles are used as a means of outwardly expressing gender identity.  But in Afghanistan, altering a child's appearance as masculine or feminine often signals a social response to oppression or even the trappings of abuse."

Wesby highlights what happens to girls in the custom of "of bacha posh, the Dari term for the representation of girls as boys.  The custom is so popular, in fact, that Afghans often know someone — a friend, neighbor, distant relative, etc. — who grew up as a girl disguised as a boy[.]  Disguised daughters can attend better schools, play sports, escort their sisters outside, and help their families with chores outside their homes."

There are no legal or religious rulings that speak against bacha posh, yet the practice still comes with negative repercussions.  Because these girls are raised and treated as boys, they have immense difficulty when their parents make them behave and dress like girls once they enter puberty.  At this point, the girls are of marriageable age and must take on the role of a woman.

So how does what happens in a country more than 7,000 miles from the United States have anything to do with the sexualizing of children here?

In her 2013 book titled The War against Boys: How Misguided Policies Are Harming Our Young Men, Christina Hoff Sommers writes that "increasingly, in our schools and in our homes, everyday boyishness is seen as aberrational, toxic — a pathology in need of a cure."  In fact, "boys bear the burden of several powerful culture trends: a therapeutic approach to education that valorizes feelings and denigrates competition and risk, zero-tolerance policies that punish normal antics of young males, and a gender equity movement that views masculinity as predatory." 

The militant Left is never satisfied, and the child transgender movement has now "reached the point at which governments are rapidly internalizing and using it to sever the parent-child bond."  A few examples will suffice:

  • In Ohio, parents lost custody for not being sufficiently supportive of their daughter's claimed transgenderism.
  • In Texas, a father is told that he will lose access to his son if he does not agree with his ex-wife's insisting that their six-year-old son wants to be a girl.
  • If a child claims to be transgender, she may be persuaded to get injections of puberty-blockers.

Additionally, story time in libraries from California to New York features drag queens.  Good Morning America celebrates an 11-year-old drag queen who danced suggestively on the show.  Finally, in England, first-graders are being taught to massage each other.

Teen Vogue has an article written by Tlang Mofoken, founder of an organization called Nalane for Reproductive Justice, which states that prostitution should be decriminalized and children should "fund public campaigns to decrease stigma."  Keep in mind the age group of those Teen Vogue readers as they read the following: "The idea of purchasing intimacy and paying for the services can be affirming for many people who need human connection, friendship, and emotional support[.]"

Is the pedophilia of bacha bazi a stone's throw away from the campaign to legalize pedophilia in this country?  Stella Morabito writes that "[a]ctivists for normalizing pedophilia are on the move.  Public acceptance of adult sex with children is the next domino poised to fall in identity politics.  It's being sustained, among other things, by the rapid sexualization of children in the media and in K–12 education."

The idea of the "virtuous pedophile" is now being advocated as just another sexual orientation that should be protected by anti-discrimination laws. 

The relentless Left cloaks its agenda in civil rights language.  But what is really different from the heinous acts of bacha bazi except language manipulation?  Mary Hasson writes that "[g]ender-inclusive puberty education is an invented term that conceals ideological hokum under language vaguely suggestive of fairness and science.  It's an activist-driven maneuver to embed the gender-identity construct into the minds of impressionable children — all children — under the guise of health education.  The real goal is to normalize transgender and non-binary identities and the drastic medical and surgical interventions that 'affirm' them."

Obama's safe schools czar, Kevin Jennings, aggressively promoted child pornography in the classroom.  In fact, his "actions had nothing to do with creating a safe, non-discriminatory environment for young people with different sexual orientations[.]"

And what of the children?  USA Today features the following:

I started my transgender journey as a 4-year-old boy when my grandmother repeatedly, over several years, cross-dressed me in a full-length purple dress she made especially for me and told me how pretty I was as a girl.  This planted the seed of gender confusion and led to my transitioning at age 42 to transgender female ... but, as I now know, transitioning doesn't fix the underlying ailments.

Zahra Cooper has written about her experience: "[s]ome people call it "transgender regret."  When you attempt change from one sex to another and then feel, somehow, you've made a mistake.  Others call it "detransitioning" or a "reversal."

Teaching tolerance is the mark of an advanced civilization, but when a society promotes confusion of identity and accepts the manipulation and degradation of children under the rubric of alleged compassion, we should all be concerned.

Eileen can be reached at

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