Saturday, 21 April 2012

Please stop.

On Wednesday the #rapevideo went viral in South Africa. Why? A 17-year old girl ( it has not been confirmed if she is mentally ill or not) was raped in a field by seven men aged between 14 and 20. The girl had been missing since the 21 of March.

Several aspects here are disturbing and all the news reports don'r provide the same information:

 -  why did the mother not report her daughter missing?
       - the CNN report states that she did, but that the police did not open up a missing person's report. Why??

 - what does it matter if she is mentally ill or not? Does it make her more of a victim? Or less?

The girl was found only after students at school showed each other the video on their cellphones and a mother discovered her daughter watching it. Instead of going to the police, the mother took the story to the Daily Mail, a tabloid with the highest amount of readers, who then alerted the police. Why would she not go to the police herself?

This whole story is horrible and highlights not only a corrupt system, but a break with morality in society. Where are the father's of these boys? Have they not taught their children to have any respect for women? And the children at school watching the girl being raped, or the requests on Twitter for the link to the video? How come no one spoke up? What does it say about us as people when we can watch a girl getting raped for 10 minutes, when we can hear her pleading for them to stop? How could the young men even think of such a thing? And laugh at her, egging each other on, ignoring how they are hurting her?

I just do not understand it. People are weak and have lost all sense of what is right and wrong. Many South Africans pride themselves on their Christianity, but to me, a non-believer, it seems that they see it as going to church on a Sunday to socialise and not actually to stick to the 10 commandments.

This rape just shows that there is a blackness at the centre of our country that is sucking the youth in and they are not being taught by their parents, their families, their friends, or anyone in their lives, what is good, what is pure and true.

Look, I sound like some moralising bitch sitting on a high horse because I am "safe" behind my white skin and my black gates and walls and alarm systems. But the fact is, a woman gets raped every 26 seconds in South Africa, and only about 10% gets reported because the women feel ashamed of something they had no control over. And it's not even just women. Men get raped, too, but the shame is even bigger, even more engrossing, because "a man cannot be harmed".

What bullshit. When they broke in, they told me they would not rape me. At that moment, I thought "Duh. I am certain you won't. No one would. One does not harm others".

But now, after this report of 14-year-olds involved ( yes yes, peer pressure and all that, but you make your own choices), I don't know. As I said, there is a black hole of immorality that keeps expanding exponentially and I think that as a society, one must make a conscious choice to somehow teach what is good again.

There are basic things one accepts, a basic code to live by, but somehow, here, the respect for individual life has been lost, and if that is gone, what remains?

Read this M&G editorial.

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