broadsideblog

Rape in South Africa, Where Little Girls and Lesbians Are Targets of Choice

In politics, women on July 28, 2009 at 6:19 am
CIA map of South Africa

Image via Wikipedia

Today, BBC World News, a radio show I listen to every morning for an hour, will focus again on this horrifying issue, one the BBC has been following for years. In 2002, they posted the news that one in four South African girls under the age of 16 had been raped. Now, a survey of 1,730 men conducted by the Medical Research Council there finds that 25 percent of men say they’ve raped, and half of them have done it more than once.

In addition to child and adult rape, consider the phenomenon of “corrective rape” — the idea being that a brutal sexual attack by a man, or several will “cure” lesbians of their preference for women. Eudy Simelone, one of the nation’s star athletes, a lesbian, was raped and stabbed 25 times for the crime of being gay.

I’m embarrassed to say I didn’t know her name or much about her story. Imagine the international outrage and horror if we heard of the raping and stabbing of openly lesbian athletes like  tennis legends Billie Jean King, Aurelie Mauresmo or Martina Navratilova, Canadian hockey player Nancy Drolet, German cyclist Judith Arndt, American mountain biker Missy Giove or Carol Blazejowski, a former basketball star now the general manager of the New Jersey Liberty of the WNBA.

  1. I am shocked and appalled by your story about South African men raping children, as well as children and women who are gay/lesbian. I think this combined with the apparent facts supporting that slave trading of young girls flourishes in our modern world, reveal that, for females, life is filled with threat of harm, actual harm, humiliation, diminishment and whatever descriptive words could apply to those born female anywhere in the world. In my opinion, the dominant religious groups are at least partly to blame by including in their dogma the inferiority of the female to the male. The belief system of many men, I think, includes that they hold a higher position and purpose on Earth. Men feel entitled and women feel dependent upon men, in many cases, without any real choice. The history of our laws indicate this and the history of the dominant religions reveal this too. Unfortunately, most mothers are not willing to give up whatever protections they receive by continuing this big lie. Amazingly, our media has very nearly made being female equivalent to being a sexualized siren – a whore. Dolly Parton even said that she wanted to “be like the town tramp.” And she has been heavily rewarded for that image. It would take a top to bottom cleaning out of all the established “way that things are” to change this dismal fact for girls. I worry about the plight of young girls often, especially after watching any popular tv show in which mainly females are abused and mutilated by males; or, they are helpless and do not know how to do anything but worry about catching a man, how they look is everything and how they think is not important. They are fed this message by their parents, men, their churches, their movies, their music, our culture, all countries.

  2. I listened to the 30 minutes that BBC devoted to this issue and I was struck by two things. One was an interview conducted by a male BBC reporter with a group of young men in a bar who boasted about how they pick up women, get them drunk and basically gang rape them. It was clear they saw this as sport. Another man, who had raped when he was 15 and discussed it, with remorse, said that women in South Africa — at least poor black women — were so devalued by the culture at large, even from choosing to educate boys instead, that the powerful message starts early. Girls are worth less. Or worthless.

    Deeply disturbing.

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