Whenever a rape is reported in the media you can almost always be guaranteed that the majority of people commenting on the news will be calling for the death penalty as a punishment for such the crime. And fittingly so, some would say. Rape is one of the worst crimes one can commit upon a human being.
And as a feminist, myself, I will admit that at times my voice has been the loudest in the chorus of people demanding a sterner punishment for rapists.
But that was before I truly began to think about the possible repercussions of establishing the death penalty as the punishment for rape.
Before we jump to conclusions I think these are some questions we must ask ourselves as a community.
What are the possible negative psychological effects executing the rapist could have on a victim?
I began to ask myself a question when I read somewhere that a community had murdered a thirty-seven year-old man that had raped a six year old girl. I was taken aback by a very new thought: ‘what would the little girl think of this as she grew older?’
It was recently brought to my attention that a certain journalist in South Africa, that is known to behave like one who is twenty-minutes away from applying for a trademark on Black Consciousness, dates nothing but women of European Descent (or White women, as I may continue to refer to them for the rest of this article).
Upon seeing that my response was a sarcastic “surprise, surprise” my friend quickly wanted to know why I was so unimpressed by this piece of information, that I went on to say something along the lines of: “these Black Consciousness brothers couldn’t care less about Black Women.”
But there’s a lot more to it than that and I’m going to show you why I think many subscribers to Biko, Fanon, Garvey and Co.’s principles end up with romantic histories that predominantly feature non-Black lovers.
Before we begin, let me confess something: At the age of fifteen I nearly got arrested for shoplifting Steve Biko’s ‘I write what I like’ from CNA.
That began my path into the wonderful world of Black Consciousness (BC). I ran into the aforementioned contributors to the movement and have since grown to understand a lot about my identity as an African woman and what exactly that means to me.
But I am beginning to suspect that I have outgrown staunch Bikoism and can therefore look at this topic with a detached wisdom on the issue.
Why subscribers some Black Consciousness date White people:
THEORY #1: Deification of Black People leading to disappointment
Hello! Today I review Khanyi Mbau’s biography, “Bitch, Please! I’m Khanyi Mbau!”. Continue reading VIDEO: Book Review | “Bitch, please! I’m Khanyi Mbau!”
I’ve taken to yelling “Do your thang, girl!” at women that I perceive to be dressed excellently in public spaces. Accompanied with a sassy snap of the fingers, my little ritual makes me both proud to put a smile on a woman’s face and simultaneously, very worried about the evident descent of my mental health.
In any case, this little thing I do serves as my attempt to push good energy into the world on a daily basis as well as a small manifestation of my positive woman-centric principles.
But lately, I’ve begun to think about my interpretation of ‘excellent dressing’ as well as the role it plays in plaiting a larger idea of ‘appropriate attire.’ What is the definition of excellent dressing and why should that have to be a pre-requisite before I encourage a woman to do her proverbial ‘thang’?
I realised that I had the conventional way of thinking. I was one of those women that could tweet quite whole-heartedly about which women should or should not dress a certain way. I had no problems forming imaginary rules about which attire I deemed appropriate for mothers and women over a ‘certain age’.
The concept that women cause rape is laughable at its best and at its worst – a terrifying indicator of how little respect our societies have for the female person. The law passed recently in Swaziland is a sad mixture of both.
The Swazi Monarch has decided that banning women from dressing ‘provocatively’ is a sure-fire way to prevent rape.
Because everyone knows only women dressed in mini-skirts and low-rise jeans can get raped. It only takes a quick look at the very low rape-rate in Islamic countries where only conservative garb is tolerated on women to see this.
Oh, what? That isn’t true?* That’s weird.
But it’s not weird. Because this has nothing to do with women’s clothing. Rape never does.
Rape is about control. And laws like the one passed in a country like Swaziland where traditional ceremonies in the King’s honour are more than tolerant of scantily-clad minors are still a firm fixture of the country’s cultural identity, are proof of this.
What we are looking at here is a very common situation that happens in the mind of many men groomed in the pits of their patriarchal societies. We are looking at a kind of thinking that these men hold onto—the kind of logic that makes them believe that a woman’s body is theirs to police.
Whenever a woman asks me this question I never shy away from taking the time to retrieve a mirror from my handbag and point it directly at her face by way of an honest answer. (I mean, everyone knows only hoes ask questions.) And if you subscribed to this here blog you should have received a little compact mirror in the mail for this very purpose. But those of you just subscribing now, I’m just going to have to answer this question with words. So, what is a hoe? A hoe, according to most dictionaries is a garden tool used for … Continue reading What is a Hoe?