Chris Moerdyk

'Stop rape,' we say, but do rapists hear?

2013-03-04 08:13

Chris Moerdyk

Isn't it great that South Africa is united in shouting "Stop Rape"?

Everyone from the president to the mass media; just about every representative body in society, labour unions, churches, children and communities - the clamour against rape has been loud and clear, militant and angry.

But, are the rapists listening? Can rapists hear?

Or, are they like the people who cause mayhem on our roads by driving drunk and recklessly in spite of massive media campaigns, threats of zero tolerance by the authorities and being named and shamed in newspapers?

It is wonderful to see so many people and organisations coming together to make their voices heard about the scourge of rape in this country.

But, to be honest, while there is a huge amount of noise being made about the problem, I am not seeing any sort of solution coming out of it all.

Absurd voices

I get the feeling that we are resorting to a habit that we as a nation have developed recently and that is to complain to each other about something, hear government continually "addressing issues," holding incessant talkshops, making lots of speeches, but not actually rolling their sleeves up and getting something done.

What worries me is that the louder our voices get the more absurd they become and eventually everyone gets tired of hearing about it - as they have done with the HIV/Aids pandemic - and it all just disappears from the front pages of newspapers and political agendas. We all get used to it and live with it.

An example of this absurdity was the knee-jerk, unthinking and singularly stupid remarks made by one of our Cabinet ministers on Australian television about the negative effects of Calvinist teaching on young Afrikaans men.

We have also heard talk of young white guys playing rugby and that this somehow translates into becoming bullies and women abusers. 

Frankly, I am appalled at seeing a serious social problem being turned into a racist political game of one-upmanship.

What I want to see is somebody doing practical research into the problem of rape. Heaven knows, there must be a lot of rapists languishing in our jails. Has anyone had a look at who they are, where they came from, what their upbringing was like, their communities, their cultural heritage?

And instead of ministers making stupid remarks about Calvinism, why don't they put their efforts into properly researching how many Afrikaans kids have actually turned out to be rapists and women abusers. How many rugby players have been convicted of rape or spousal abuse?

Action needed

Why don't they do some research into the diverse cultures that we have in South Africa, particularly those that are patriarchal? Are there any cultural groups that perhaps do not see the subjugation of women, for example, as abuse but rather a form of entitlement?

We need to find out what role unemployment and poverty plays. We need to find out what role drugs and drinking plays. Right now, I am pretty certain we know nothing at all about what drives men to rape.

I am worried that all the shouting, placard-waving, media campaigning and speechifying by politicians is not going to bring down the incidence of rape and abuse.

Because, we really don't know to whom we are talking. We don't know who the potential rapists are.

And frankly, I am pretty certain they are not listening anyway.

Action is required not words. Action that is based on fact and not guesswork.     

- Follow Chris on Twitter.

Send your comments to Chris

Disclaimer: News24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24.


- News24

NEXT ON NEWS24X

The testimony that sunk him

2014-04-18 07:00

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
32 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Saturday Newlands - 12:32 PM
    Road name: M3 Inbound
    DELAYS between Wynberg Hill and UCT due to 2 Oceans Marathon
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

DSTV Mobile iDrifta

The iDrifta is a plug and play mobile DVB-H receiver...

From R445.23

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Self-indulgence may be strong today. You may want to enjoy yourself to the fullest and share it with those that make you feel...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.