what is rape culture?

i mentioned rape culture yesterday in my blog about stories

these are examples of rape culture, some refer to tv stories others refer to actual statements made by President Zuma and Julius Malema. i will post more links to other definitions later.

rape culture says:

  • she was starting to enjoy it (i.e. is the harder she fought the more she seemed to enjoy it.
  • it is okay for a  colleague (or boss could be male or female) to ask a female to “take care” of a potential client.
  • they won’t believe you were raped because you led him on, you flirted with him. this victim blaming.
  • don’t report being (almost) raped by a powerful man because people could lose a big job, people could be fired.
  • she was only wearing a kanga in my presence so she wanted it.
  • a women that didn’t enjoy it doesn’t sleep over and then ask for taxi money in the morning.
  • do not wear a mini skirt in the taxi rank.
  • if you do not have any physical injuries or they are only minor then the rape was not too serious. therefore the jail sentence for such a case should not be harsh.

stories shouldn’t reinforce rape culture

sometimes storytellers ( writers, directors, actors, producers) make story decisions without really interrogating what they want to say or how it will be received (telling a single story and only scraping the surface). they are being reckless when they contrived a story situation like this:

girl falls for boy, boy is engaged but is in love with girl. boy and girl have an affair. boy’s fiancée, she luves in another city, arrives, girl gets angry because boy didn’t warn her. girl flirts with sleazy dude at party to make boy angry. boy is angry. girl leaves with sleazy dude to make boy jealous. then sleaze dude rapes (or tries to rape) girl. the end.

instead of exploring a story about the complexities of relationships and creating stories that challenge the audience to question their own flawed ideas about relationships. they lead the audiences into reinforcing problematic notions about why men rape, why people cheat, why girls deserve to get raped.

this is rape culture.

it says, girls that don’t say no loud enough; girls that change their minds or don’t fight off the rapist; girls that wear revealing clothing or are just too into themselves, too confident… it says that these girls deserve to be raped. it says they weren’t raped if they trusted ‘sleaze dude’ and went up to his room. it says it’s their fault.

this is rape culture.

 

 

 

post-script: this is sparked by a current story on generations. the story may not lead down he obvious way alluded to above but experience has shown the story is likely to and my gut is doing somersaults already.

a poem | they eat their own kind

They eat their own kind
Feast on the flesh of their kind
Drink up the blood quenching their thirst
With their teeth tear limbs apart
Ravage the brains; pick the eyes
Suck the marrow from the bones of
Their own kind.

These fingers once tenderly held a loved one
Those legs took a soul on a journey
That heart loved and loved
This blood that pulsed through the veins

They feast on their youngin’, their women
Plunder temples between infantile legs
Rip the cradle of mankind
Raid and pillage the sacred womb of humanity
They smack their lips with deranged joy
As the lifeblood oozes down their chins
Drips on the banquet table where
They feast on their own kind

Those eyes looked back at yesterdays and forward to tomorrows
These breasts from which life suckled futures
This tongue sent odes and laments and chants and ululations to hungry souls

They feed on their own kind
Walk the street the stench of blood up their nostrils
They stalk chicks as a fox near the farmhouse
Prey on the young and old and seemingly weak
Seeking only to fill their bloody hunger

Out in the street they took her soul
Under the kitchen table he turned baby into woman
Fighting for survival they consumed the dead
In a drunken delusion they sucked her dry
Ravage femininity pillaged womanhood
Licked their fingers
As they devoured their own kind

What abomination
A survival of the fittest?
A meal when times are toughest?
Or just pure cannibalistic, carnivorous, intentions?

Why do they eat their own?

this poem is linked to OpenLinkNight on dverse.com

my dress is not a yes – miniskirt wars & rape culture

this violence against women in miniskirts (and not in miniskirst) has been happening at taxi ranks for a long time. in fact, between the last publicised one with Nwabisa Ngukana in 2006 and this recent one, there have probably been more. i (personally) saw one such incident about ten years ago and it was a group of five men in comparison to the two incidents aforementioned. this time, they took pictures of it all.

a number of things make me livid: Continue reading