I am thinking of the price list leaked out from the ISIS Sex Slave Market that included women and girls on the same list as cattle. ISIS needed to impose price controls as they were worried about a downturn in their market.
Forty- to 50-year-old women were priced at $41, 30- to 40-year-old women at $62, 20- to 30-year-old women, $82 and 1- to 9-year-old children, $165. Women over 50 weren’t even listed. They had no market value. They were discarded like milk cartons with past sale date markers. But they weren’t simply abandoned in some smelly dung heap of trash. First, they were probably tortured, beheaded, raped—then thrown into a pile of rotting corpses. I am thinking of a 1-year-old child’s body for sale and what it would be like for a hefty, sex-deprived, war-driven 30-year-old soldier to buy her, package her, take her home like a new television. What would he be feeling or thinking as he unwrapped her baby flesh and raped her with his penis the size of her tiny body?
I am thinking that, in 2015, I am actually reading an online Best Practices for Sex Slavery manual with step-by-step instructions and rules of how to treat your sex slave published by a very organized wing (Bureau of Sex Slavery) of a rogue government with the unapologetic mandate of regulating the raping, beating, buying, and enslaving of women.
Here are examples of the dos and don’ts in the manual: “It is permissible to beat the female slave as a [form of] darb ta’deeb [disciplinary beating], [but] it is forbidden to [use] darb al-takseer [literally, breaking beating], [darb] al-tashaffi [beating for the purpose of achieving gratification], or [darb] al-ta’dheeb [torture beating]. Further, it is forbidden to hit the face.”
I am wondering how the ISIS bureaucrats will distinguish punches, kicks, and choking as acts of discipline from acts of sexual gratification. Will a team of the Bureau break in and check for hard-ons as the beatings of slaves occur? And how will they know what actually made the soldier hard? Many men get turned on solely by the assertion of power. And if it is determined that the soldier beat, choked or kicked his slave for pleasure, what will the punishment be? Will the soldier be forced to return the slave and lose his deposit, pay a steep fine, or simply be made to pray harder?
I am thinking how easy it is to make ISIS a monstrous aberration, when in fact they are an outcome of a long continuum of multiple crimes and disorders. Their sexual atrocities only vary in design and application from many other warlords in other wars. What’s shocking and new is the brazen and unabashed display of these advertised crimes on the Internet, the commercial normalization of these atrocities, the ISIS app, using rape as a recruiting tool. But their work and its rapid proliferation don’t exist in an historical vacuum. It is escalated and legitimized by centuries of rampant impunity for sexual violence.