Little girls at the beach. Gili Air, WNT, Indonesia. 2010

As I walked past these little girls who were having such an unselfconscious blast in the water, I felt uplifted and glad to see people so blithely happy.


Then, I couldn’t help but feel a bit sad for them, knowing that when they get older, going to the beach won’t be such a simple and carefree affair because they live in a Moslem community. Before anyone thinks that I’m trying to start some kind of anti-Moslem rant, consider a strange man taking a photograph of little boys at play at the beach in the West and what kind of suspicions that would raise.

All around the world in so many societies, men are often seen as predators.

What I think that what so many people forget, is how many men have an instinctive need to protect. Years ago I remember being brought to tears whilst reading the paper about the “Port Arthur massacre”. The article recounted how some of the men who died that day, did so because they stepped in front of their loved ones to protect them from the gunman and took the bullets themselves.

So heroically selfless.

Yet this same heroic protective instinct causes some men to oppress others for what they think is for “their own good”.