‘Beautiful Teen Boys of Pakistan’: A chance for us to introspect

Published: January 27, 2014
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Beautiful Teen Boys of Pakistan. Why have our authorities failed to keep a check on such Facebook pages which are a threat to the nation on so many levels – moral, ethical, behavioural and psychological? PHOTO: AFP

There are many evils on this earth and our country has its fair share. Since our childhood, we have heard a countless number of disturbing stories – stories about little girls beaten to death by angry employers; the youngest daughter of a poor farmer being ‘taken’ by a cruel landlord only because her father failed to pay his debts; a young boy molested by his teacher in primary school; girls traded for money, women raped by beasts in the guise of aamils.

And the list goes on.

While female writers – including myself – are more sensitive towards issues of their own gender and tend to write more about the sufferings of women at the hands of men, I recently came across something which shook my entire being.

One lazy evening, whilst browsing on Facebook, I came across a page called ‘Beautiful Teen Boys of Pakistan’. Alarmed and intrigued, I read the description of the page,

“Hi friends, u can c the contact numbers of beautiful teen boys.”

Photo: Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Beautiful-Teen-Boys-Of-Pakistan/234868620019613)

This is followed by dozens of photos of young boys aged around 14-15 years.

It is obvious that most of them have been taken from mobile cameras by the boys themselves like selfies.

In a bid to ‘market’ their ‘products’ on the page, each individual photograph is accompanied by a brief description; this includes a line stating the characteristics of the boy as ‘beautiful’ and ‘stylish’, and then goes on to encourage those seeking to befriend these boys to register themselves so that they can access the contact numbers of these boys.

Photo: Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Beautiful-Teen-Boys-Of-Pakistan/234868620019613)

Yup, you guessed it! Girls are not the only ones upon whom these despicable businesses thrive; the market is now offering boys as well and that too ‘in the privacy of your home’. So while earlier our women and homes were not safe, now our brothers and sons are in danger as well.

This page and other similar pages only encourage paedophilic and homosexual behaviour.

The fact that such a page existed was eye opening. It showed that not only girls, but even boys are targetted for the sake of such sick pleasure. It was scary because those kids, those boys, could have been your son, nephew, brother or friend. It is scary because pages like this exist today and will probably always exist – as shameful as they may be.

Jonathan Swift was not wrong when he described us humans in these words,

 “…the most pernicious race of little odious vermin that nature ever suffered to crawl upon the surface of the earth.”

One thing that is common in all Pakistanis is arrogance. They simply do not hesitate in boasting about their race and ancestry and are quick to criticise, blame and shame others. Everyone in this country believes that he himself is the best and looks down upon others. The unfortunate irony is that these self-proclaimed descendants of prophets, kings and heroes also have the ability to stoop down to this disgusting level. What a fall thy pride has taken!

Over the weekend, a large group of my friends and I tried to report the offensive page but were disappointed to receive messages from Facebook saying it did not fall under any violent or sexual content and thus did not violate any of their ‘community standards’.

Although initially this message did infuriate me, and I may be in no position to question Facebooks ‘community standards’ but obviously young boys in minimal clothing making suggestive gestures definitely seemed to have met their community standards. I do suppose that Facebook probably does not have the time to answer each and every request personally – they probably receive thousands a day.

So the blame could not lie entirely on them.

Today, however, I received a message that the page was in fact removed. This probably meant that a large chunk of our people took it upon themselves to put the activities of the page to an end. It showed that there is a large chunk of society that is actively involved in rehabilitating miscreants in any way that they possibly can.

We do not know who the admins of this page were, how they received those photos- we do not know the circumstances under which these photos were taken or if any parental permission was acquired, but what we do know is that none of those boys looked over the age of 15 and so would all safely fall under the category of a minor.

If one of those boys in the pictures is harassed, sexually abused, molested or worse killed due to the activity of the page in question, who are the parents to blame? Who is society to blame?

With cases of cyber bullying growing rapidly all over the world, I do not believe anymore that it is just up to the authorities to fix things. In the name of security they have blocked You Tube, Skype, Viber, WhatsApp and many more, despite the fact that YouTube actually provides informative and educational material too. They have gone as far as monitoring words used in text messages and even our Facebook private messages are filtered for the ‘greater good’ of society.

They have done all they could do. They have done enough!

Now it’s our turn; it is our job to fix ourselves now.

Photo: Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Beautiful-Teen-Boys-Of-Pakistan/234868620019613)

Our existence does not just mean a healthy body; we need a healthy mind too. Can you imagine what the impact of such activities will be?

It can destroy generations to come. After all, would you wish to live in a world where there are people who run, contribute or visit such pages? I know that I would not and I would hope that those dear to me would not have to either.

But the fact of the matter is that people like this do exist and will probably always exist unless we start reforming ourselves, individually and as a society. I understand that it is important to prevent such material from reaching and influencing young minds but it is even more beneficial to educate them on the good and evil that may exist around them.

We, as parents, guardians and adults need to understand the importance of being proactive. We need to educate our children in an appropriate manner so that, despite the evil surrounding them, their values and morals are strong enough for them never to be influenced by such activity and have a voice determined enough to fight back when required to protect themselves.

This does not mean that we expose our children to adult material before they are mature enough to understand, but it does mean that we intelligently make them aware of sensitive matters. In many countries children are taught to inform parents immediately if they are touched inappropriately even though they are not told exactly what the danger behind this act could be, if they happen to be too young.

Considering how fast paced our society has become and how quickly and easily our kids have access to information, it would not be fair to place them in a little bubble, far away from reality and keep them from accessing these sites. They will grow up one day and will demand their right to independence and freedom. We need to prepare them for the world. It is important to make them aware of what is appropriate and what is not.

Sharing basic information with our adolescents, and even younger children, to give them confidence and awareness to protect themselves – physically, mentally and psychologically will not only help our kids today, it will change the face of society tomorrow. It will start with one child, one family, one community, one society, one country and soon enough, if we try hard enough, it could be a changed world.

But we need to take that first step. Start at home.

Yousra Javaid

Yousra Javaid

A Masters in English literature with distinction, Lecturer, living in an era where being normal is probably the most special thing one can do. The usual beliefs, contradictions and complications to follow. She tweets @YousJavaid twitter.com/YousJavaid

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Babar Khan

    well that was awkward.Recommend

  • MyraM93

    So, so glad that the page has been taken down. A friend of mine had come across it a few days back and she sent me the link, and i was just so, so horrified when i scrolled through the page! I couldn’t believe my eyes, or the fact that a page like this actually exists on Facebook! Good to know that something has been done about it.Recommend

  • Sanam

    You did a great job in getting that page down and posting this blog. Admirable. You have articulated beautiful thoughts in a beautiful way. Recommend

  • SamarYz

    I’m proud to have reported it too!Recommend

  • AamAwam

    I did too, I infact registered my complaint with Canadian Child Abuse center incase Facebook doesn’t respond.Recommend

  • wajeh

    Brilliant written. Great points, well made. But this page is just the one out of hundreds out there. I have been doing a little search and found many alarming fb pages. But your post is right on time. We need to educate our children. We need to tell them about social media security. We need to keep an eye on their social media so called private life. As i have came across not just normal pictures posted under explicit manners but also explicit pictures of teens. Education, information and awareness, that’s what we all need. Recommend

  • Mr Bajwa

    It is a good article. I agree with your suggestion to educate children specially teenagers about sex. But it is very difficult to outline syllabus for this. Liberals says teach them all, while religious people say teach them nothing. Both stands on extremes. And both is dangerous for society equally.

    I think we need to outline syllabus for sex education in the light of religion guideline.Recommend

  • Anum

    I’m not sure what your end message is. Are you saying these kids took pictures themselves and sent them to the
    group to put up, that parents should make sure their kids don’t do that? Or that
    talking to kids can prevent paedophilia and homosexual inclinations in
    future? Or that kids need to be taught about sexual harassment? Your conclusion is a bit haphazard, hence my confusion.

    The pictures on the page basically looked like they had been copied off other peoples profiles – pictures a parent might put up of their child that someone copy-pasted. The whole ‘send in your number to speak to this child’ could simply be some strange scam or even a phone sex operation – worst case these are kidnapped kids being targeted through FB and used in a child traffiking ring. Talking to your children is important, but in this case I feel strong emphasis needs to be placed on Facebook’s privacy settings – keep your security strong enough to make sure randoms can’t access your pictures. As for paedophilia, that’s a mental illness, a depraved fetish that requires criminal action and psychiatric rehabilitation – facilities we sorely lack.

    I reported the page, and am glad its gone. I just wish we could have also reported the thousands of people who liked and solicited that page too.Recommend

  • Kamran Ahmad

    Actually it z kinda perfect gud work
    Recommend

  • Ali

    I went through this page and was in shock that what kind of people exists in our society, what was more disappointing to see is the comments on the photos from grown up man. I reported this page immediately and glad this page is being removed. But our job is not over yet, and we should take every step in order to protect children of our society.Recommend

  • SamarYz
  • syed m shah

    thank you for shedding light on this. horrifying to think this is being done. we need to expose such mindless and often sadistic behaviour. for too long we allow such things to be hushed.Recommend

  • Hamid

    Can’t you report it to the PTA or FIA? They should do a sting operation and arrest the guys.Recommend

  • tungi

    *facepalm*Recommend

  • F.N.siddiqui

    your blog was a real guide for me… i stumbled across a same kind page, and dont know what to do other then being shocked! thank you sooo much!!Recommend

  • Muhammad Moiz

    I started the campaign originally to get this page down and it feels so good to see that how friendly and cooperative everyone is when it comes to dealing with issues related to child-abuse. Thankyou allRecommend

  • khan

    great Job indeed……..Recommend

  • khan

    what i want to say to the author of this story that many perspective in this story should have been highlighted…the cleric in seminary ,,,the big brothers in the street using small boys for such things should also comes under consideration…Recommend

  • khan

    i dont Know ET has made the comment system so difficult…now we cannot comment easily..all its want is pw along with email…unlike others sites….do u guys want to control the traffic of comments?Recommend

  • khan

    This does not mean that we expose our children to adult material before they are mature enough to understand, but it does mean that we intelligently make them aware of sensitive matters. In many countries children are taught to inform parents immediately if they are touched inappropriately even though they are not told exactly what the danger behind this act could be, if they happen to be too young.Recommend

  • khan

    the very picture of a small boy in the blog suggest the entire scenario..that wt kind of friendship page it was….Recommend

  • gp65

    Good on you that ou ok action. I am also lad that you were successful.Recommend

  • Parvez

    One of the many down sides of modern technology. It makes stuff like this easy to access and stopping this easy access is necessary. What actually needs to be addressed is the sickness within society itself.
    In a way one can be thankful to technology that it has allowed this to come out of the closet……..hopefully to be addressed in a responsible manner.Recommend

  • Monte Albert

    “encourage paedophilic and homosexual behaviour.”

    Can you take it is easy on homosexuality? Pedophilia should be criminalized. Homosexuality should not!!! And both of those words must never be used in same sentence!Recommend

  • Fraz Naqvi

    The Dilemma of our so called Muslim Society is that such Evils are on the increase.. We really need to be careful not only in this Virtual world of internet, rather in our real lifes as well.. We have to take care of our younger brothers and sisters both… It is really tragic to know that such incidents are happening all around us and they are on the increase…. Just to my horror i came across another such page (Link:https://www.facebook.com/pages/Yar-araam-sai-daalo-dard-ho-raha-hai/1415128432042155) and When i reported it to Facebook the reply was the same as u initially got… We all should play our role not only to clean such things from facebook but also to aware our children and try to keep them in safe hands…Recommend

  • Fraz Naqvi

    Tragic.. please read my previous comment and join hands to remove other such pages.. specially the one i mentioned in the comment.. Recommend

  • Waqar

    Excellent job Yousra, in getting the page down and writing this blog. “start with one child, one family, one community, one society, one country and soon enough, if we try hard enough, it could be a changed world.” Beautifully written… 968772 56833 63 6623Recommend

  • Rabblerouser666

    While your act is commendable, it’s dangerously ignorant to equate pedophila with homosexuality. Pedophelia is an act committed by an adult violating a child, while homosexuality is an act of love between two consenting adults.
    Most perdophiles are married men with children of their own who violate girls and boys. Please educate yourself a little. It’s scary that you’re a professor. This country can ill afford more homophobia.Recommend

  • Zaeem

    I reported this page and I received the same response. However, there was an option to dispute the decision and I added more detail about the page. I received an update a few hours later that the page was removed. So FB does listen to you. However, I do regret not taking a list of names on the page that could be reported to authorities in .pk.Recommend

  • ali

    Its easy for this govt and military to act against a terror group threatning americans and their values from Pakistan but not the ability to protect pakis shame on our leaders all of them Recommend

  • amina nur

    it is nice many of us saw this and reported it, but what i saw in Islamabad young boys are at risk, i walking home with my sisters when i notice three boys trying to put two young boys between 8 and 9 (wearing namaz hat and salwar qameez) on their bike, when i ask those young boys if they know the older kids they said no and they are going to for Quran class , but those older kids were keeping coming to those boys to put them on their bike, i had to interfere because i know from their action they were no good, i had to yell at them to leave them alone, they start disrespecting me, i took those two boys and walked them to their mosque, talk to them to never go with a strangers, my sisters were really scared because for time we believe they are gonna attack us, once i got home i realized how scared i was too, but i had to be strong for all those kids, i use to be scared for girls, but now i m more scared for boys, i wish parents do pick and drop kids for even Quran class, if fathers are working mothers or someone older needs to walk with minors, because our kids are at ricksRecommend

  • Ahmed

    Thankfully the page has been taken down, but I’m of the opinion that we were a little too hasty in reporting it. Those predators are still out there and it was a chance to identify them. Sure, our legal system couldn’t have done jack about it if we did identify them, but at least the real identities of some of them could have been exposed.Recommend

  • observer

    Ours is a most hypocritical society, a society which is stratified in different layers, each to its own moral, ethical codes, each to its own level of hypocrisy, its own bigotry, its own double standards, each to its own complexes. We do not have any space in our society where there can be an easy comfortable way where young people can meet in a natural, healthy environment, people meeting and talking to each other ( of the opposite gender ) is considered immoral. So what can be expected? hypocrisy, bigotry, frustration. This is where we are, and the article above is a good testament to this state of our thinking our mindset.Recommend

  • a r modak

    the proliferation of smut in our techno world is the greatest danger to society-not only muslims, but the greater world’s innocent youth. the writer’s bold attempt to unmask those who are spreading moral corruption has to be lauded!Recommend

  • LOlx
  • ali

    Will u agree to your son going gay? Islam do not agree with western or so-called scientific definition and reasoning of gays Recommend

  • Iffat Javaid

    An eye opener….Keep it upRecommend

  • Moiz Omar

    Glad this Facebook page was taken down.Recommend

  • Moiz Omar

    If I was a parent, I would have no problem with my son being gay. And not everyone is a Muslim you know.Recommend

  • Muddassir Abbas

    I am gay. It’s a scientific fact. Islam don’t get to decide who gets to be gay or not! 10% of any given population is gay. Next time do some research using science rather than assuming your religion has more authority to facts.Recommend

  • His son won’t need anyone’s permission to “go gay”, but for his sake, I hope his son is NOT gay because it can be heartbreaking for parents to know that their child might face a lifetime of violence, discrimination, self-righteousness, and loneliness because of something the child can do nothing about.

    I too noticed the gratuitous inclusion of homosexuality in that sentence and wanted to correct it. For most of her article, she’s skirting dangerously close to condemning gay men in general. Unfortunately,conflating homosexuality and pedophilia is an age-old homophobic trope; I only wish the writer had known better!

    Fact is, I came across this page on teenage Pakistani boys because a GAY friend of mine posted it to his Facebook asking all his friends to report it for despicable sexual content about minors and for exposing children to danger. I was shocked to see pictures of and comments on young boys who were clearly underage and immediately reported the page. Glad it’s been taken down!Recommend

  • They would probably ban Facebook in Pakistan and then just leave it at that for a few years.Recommend

  • The less religious guidelines in public curriculum, the better.Recommend

  • Unknown

    Nice blog and author should be appreciated for spreading awareness. Good keep it up.Recommend

  • Oh wow! =(Recommend

  • tungi

    you may not agree wth somethn but u also maynt impose!everyone knows what islam says, me and you dont hav to force the world to beleive what i beleive.Recommend

  • Alam

    I have reported many such pages but facebook is not taking them down saying that this doesn’t violate their rules. When reporting, they do not give us the options of ‘paedophilia’ or ‘incitement to terrorism. So I have to choose milder options!

    I am so sad to see many pages about Pakistani boys with naked bodies and with shorts only (some of them as young as 5) but facebook has refused to take them off (one of them is called ‘yeh bacha abi kacha hai’. They only remove it if it has complete naked pic :(Recommend

  • Alam

    Well done, There are many other pages and facebook doesn’t take action after I complained. Can you report other pages.. e.g. ‘yeah bacha abhi kacha hai’ etc?Recommend

  • Alam

    suppressing homosexuality leads to paedophilia. If someone is openly gay you know that in advance. Imagine someone is hiding his feelings because you do not agree and he marries a girl. People like you trust such fake straight people and leave their kids to play in their home. Being openly homosexual is much better than doing these things behind a marriage.Recommend

  • Imtisal

    Well exqusitely written, i agree with you.. you have mentioned about youtube, skype blockage but the point over here is its not the government who have to look after the things, its people who make the right shape of the nation. Unfortunately we dont make the right use of these informative websites. This demeaning manner and making these lame pages doesnt make any nation stronger and yes, this point should be raised so that our government should take corrective actions against these douchbags and we can avoid this deplorable condition of our state! By this way our kids future would be secure and we must promulgate these kind of information to our friends/families in order to make the things go in a right way:)Recommend

  • makaveli

    Evil dwells in there heart. May Allah shows them the right path.Recommend

  • Hina

    I reported ..Recommend

  • http://about.me/shobz Shobz

    To be honest it wasn’t all the campaigning or reports which brought the page down. It took emails from 2 Digital rights activists to someone influential at Facebook that brought the page down. We had also pinpointed three more pages which were also taken down within hours. It’s sad to see that Facebook has no options to report this category.Recommend

  • a mother

    very good effort to bring more awareness among people about this grave matter. as a mother of a son, i am equally insecure and terrorized as anyone with daughters in this society. this menace is spreading like fire and parents need to be equally concerned and cautious about their sons as much as their daughtersRecommend

  • arsha

    “going gay” is most times not a choice that a person makes so a parent agreeing or disagreeing is irrelevant. I for sure will support my child whatever his or her sexual inclinations may be as long as those sexual inclinations do not involve hurting someone. And yes, my child and my relationship with him is more precious to me than following any rules so as long as I believe he is not deliberately trying to hurt others he has the freedom to choose his own life and my job as a parent is to stand by his choices and not condemn him for those.
    And if you do more research you would realize how much pain and suffering homosexuals go through because of at the least shame and at the worst, physical harm that society chooses to inflict on them, right from their childhood. For someone who already has been dealt a bad hand by fate, how can we as humans choose to aggravate that suffering instead of showing some compassion and understanding.Recommend

  • Guest

    “This page and other similar pages only encourage paedophilic and homosexual behaviour.” Please don’t equate the two.Recommend

  • Mr Bajwa

    Exactly this is what crappy media try to impose on us. Dear religion is complete code of life, it provide guideline for every matter of life including education.

    This thinking destroyed our education system. Separation of religious and non religious education destroyed our education. These different education system cannot produce a united nation.Recommend

  • gy

    Exactly. These are grassroots levels changes which we need to work on, monitor, etc as these are muchh more dangerous nd prevalent.A lot of these abused boys will grow up to hide their asault, marry girls, maybe become abusive or unstable husbands which elads to the cycle.Recommend

  • Hina

    While I agree with your comment I guess your wish is too far fletched, so let’s just help to remove such sick platforms.Recommend

  • Hina

    How to get such pages removed? First identify it as “pornography” then Facebook will reply that they did not remove the page as it did not contain pornographic images. Next to this reply is a “feedback” button. Fill the questions and on last page it asks you to contest the decision. Please fill that the language is pornographic and they should engage an urdu/hindi speaking employee to take the decision. Hopefully such feedback will not only get the page removed but also teach Facebook that words are more harmful than photosRecommend

  • Talha Zubair

    I cannot applaud the author enough fo bringing such a disgusting and possibly dangerous issue to our attention

    Keep up the awesome workRecommend

  • http://Blogs.tribune.com.pk Aimen Ali

    You did a marvellous job for pointing out this page and highlighting the issue.i will definitely report the page and I request others to do so please.Recommend

  • Wardah Ahmed

    religious guidelines will be their for muslims. you should not be bothered.Recommend

  • Percy Dovetonsils

    So, why don’t we see pictures of the ‘Beautiful Teen Boys of Pakistan’? After all, that’s why I clicked on the link.Recommend