Monday, June 22, 2009

Predators are not real men

Well said Mr Malala, finally a black male that will say what needs to be said.

By Justice Malala: Monday Morning Matters (Columnist The Times)

1 in 4 South African BLACK males ADMIT to rape

South Africa: Rape capital of the world
- Examiner (USA)

The problem with South Africa is that we get outraged by the things that don’t matter. When issues arise that really matter, we are subdued and quiet.

Probably the most earth-shattering piece of news this week was the release of a report by the Medical Research Council, on a study in Eastern Cape and KwaZulu- Natal, that showed that one in four men had committed rape. Released last Thursday, it was hardly news in the media the next day.

There are reasons to quibble with the study: the people questioned were from devastated, extremely poor provinces, the logic of the extrapolation of the results to all of South Africa is not convincing, and the sample might not have been wide enough.

But, in a country where up to 52,000 women are raped every year, it is impossible to hold up a sustained argument against these figures. They go to the core of our country. They might not all be true but certainly they are largely true. To quibble is to indulge in the semantics that led this country to debate whether HIV causes Aids while people died.

The study makes for chilling reading. The MRC interviewed 1,738 men from the two provinces. The Associated Press reported that the survey found that 28 percent of men interviewed said they had forced a woman or girl to have sex against her will. It said that 14 percent said they had raped a former or current girlfriend, 12 percent said they had raped someone who was not their partner and 10 percent said they had raped both a stranger and a partner.

Nearly 20 percent of those who admitted to sexual abuse were HIV-positive.

The report said that 17 percent of the men surveyed admitted to attempted rape, and 9 percent said they had taken part in gang rapes. In all, 42 percent of the men surveyed said they had been physically violent to an intimate partner (current or former girlfriend or wife), 14 percent of them in the past year.

Chief researcher Rachel Jewkes said: “Our study suggests that the pathway which leads to these ideas and the practices of rape and other forms of violence against women starts in childhood.”

She said that “rape is far too common and its origins too deeply embedded in ideas about South African manhood”.

Anywhere else in the world, survey results like these would lead to the declaration of a state of emergency.

If one in four men has indeed raped, then surely there can be one, and only one, conclusion: we are engaged in the systematic murder of our fellow citizens.

But the silence is deafening.

As deafening as when the statistics and evidence mounted that HIV and Aids were killing people in the millions. The silence is as deafening as when we keep quiet when we hear that a woman wearing a short skirt is “asking for it”.

What can be done? A friend recently attended a political rally in Mpumalanga. A prominent politician was speaking. In the crowd was a pretty young woman. The politician sent an aide to ask her to see him after the rally. She did. The politician decided to spend the night in the province. He slept with her.

This story was told to my friend by a breathless young man. In excited tones, the young man said: “ … The way he [the politician] just spoke to that woman and the next minute she was his — well, I respected him after that. That is a real man.”

So is that what a real man is? A rampant sexual being? Someone who consistently shows off his prowess and speaks the language of coercion and violence?

A conversation is needed among South African men. We need to start defining what we mean when we say that we are men.

There is a problem with the way we perceive ourselves, and the way in which we present ourselves to the world: to our brothers, our sons, our sisters, our wives and our partners.

We are not men; we are broken beings.

The statistics show that we murder our wives and partners as if there were no tomorrow.

We fight, we shoot, we rape.

The cycle needs to stop. It cannot go on. We urgently need to talk. We need to start somewhere.

7 Opinion(s):

Anonymous said...

"we are usbdued and quiet"

We have to be, we're not allowed to knock another "culture". If you want to live in a multi-culti state, you must accept the other cultures, even if rape is part of their culture!

If you want to live with only your own culture, STOP employing people from the Bantu Culture!

FishEagle said...

Having been through all of it myself, I don’t think people realize how much it takes to survive rape. I think if people knew they’d do a lot more to prevent it. I guess the onus falls on the victims to speak out and make a lot more noise. I started to blog about my experiences.

FishEagle said...

Anonymous 4:14, Rapists are not part of the black culture only. But it seems like it is only your culture that takes pride in them as you have so beautifully illustrated with your previous comment.

Anonymous said...

White SA men have never been all that subtle themselves, you know. But actual rape, without benefit of dinner beforehand, no not exactly. Although I had a "date" from hell who tried to kick my front door down even after I paid for dinner myself.

FishEagle said...

@Dachshund, Sorry to hear about your bad experience with the nutcase that tried to kick down your door. Hope he got what he deserved.

I LOVE guys that express their sexuality. Judging from the guys on this site I don’t think SA men have too much of a problem in that sense. Lol. I think if women encouraged it we would see more of it. I had a friend that just never stopped expressing his sexuality and I loved him to bits for it, even though there were times that it drove me nuts because of it. The irony was that of all the guys that I knew, he had the most understanding of a woman’s boundaries.

Ana said...

The fact is that rape is tolerated and I fear celebrated not just in South African culture but in most cultures. Women are simply not considered human beings but we must not be ashamed of having been raped and we should speak up about our own experience.

FishEagle said...

Ana, God be with you.