We are moulding our sons into rapists and making our daughters the scapegoat. I say that because when we tell our sisters, mother and daughters that the way they dress could affect whether or not they are raped; we are making them accept responsibility for being raped.
I have talked about how Swaziland has banned mini-skirts and openly stated that women and young girls who dress provocatively can face up to 6 months in jail. It is a now a criminal offense to dress provocatively, which I find ridiculous because a bare shoulder can be just as provocative as bare feet, exposed legs or cleavage.
In Swaziland, police spokesWOMAN Wendy Hleta was quoted as saying “The act of the defiler is made easy, because it would be easy to remove the half-cloth worn by the women.” Once again perpetuating rape culture by putting the blame on the victim and not the perpetrator. With people voicing such outrageous and back dated thoughts on the subject of rape is it any wonder that we are raising a generation of rapists?
Yes, that sounds dramatic but with the rape statistics of Sub-saharan African countries we need to be dramatic. South African police statistics record more than 64,000 cases a year – more than seven an hour.
Here in Zambia the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) stated that “more than ten girls are raped in a week”. I remember reading that in Zimbabwe child rape is up by 42%, UNICEF said the number of cases of rape of minors reported to police surged from 2,192 in 2003 to 3,112 in 2006 .
In Zimbabwe 15 women are being raped daily, these are just the reported cases, we all know that the shame of rape and stigma often leads people not to report it. I don’t even have statistics on men being raped in or outside of prisons but I am sure you get the picture. Rape is not just our problem it is the continent’s problem, it is the world’s problem.
Women and children are being told that the things they wear could determine their safety, the dress they wear to a friends birthday party could be the thing that gets them raped. What they wear to gym class could provoke a violent assault, how they dress when going to the club, supermarket or anywhere public is now seen as the “catalyst” of rape. All of these ideas are uneducated, unfounded and just so bloody outrageous.
The point of this post is just to raise awareness about what we are doing to the next generation of men on this continent. We are taking away an aspect of their humanity, we are messing with their psyche by making the women the problem. We are encouraging them to rape because we are teaching them “if she wore a mini-skirt she was asking for it” Whatever happened to teaching them that NO means NO, that they should love and respect all women the way they would their mother or sister. What happened to teaching them right from wrong, to putting them in their place when they step out of line. What happened to fathers teaching their sons how to be good men? Or how to have proper relationships with women.
Guys, what the hell happened to common sense? Parents please raise your sons to be kind and compassionate non violent people. Who see the opposite sex as human and not some prize to be won or challenge or something to be defiled.