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My solution for the sexual and rape attitudes of male South Africans

11 February 2013, 15:56
In South Africa, rape is linked to manhood

South Africa records the highest rates of rape in the world. It is estimated that 500,000 rapes are committed annually in South Africa, while there are an estimated 450 000 rape cases that have go unreported It is estimated that one in every two women would be raped in their lifetime. This means that a woman is raped every 17 seconds. A new survey by the Medical Research Council (MRC),  found that more than one in three South African men questioned in a survey admitted to rape, it also found that more than three in four men said they had perpetrated violence against women.

Of men who knew somebody who had been raped, 16 percent believed that the rape survivor had enjoyed the experience and had asked for it. In a survey conducted among 1500 schoolchildren in the Soweto township, 30 percent of adolescents reported that their first sexual encounter was forced. While a quarter of all the boys interviewed said that they had participated in 'jackrolling', a term for gang rape, and stated it was fun.

From the above stats, it is clear that in South Africa, we live a violent patriarchy culture of male dominance, aggressive and supremacy that is finding its way down to our youth, generation after generation. Does this not tell you a story of many boys trying to become men, through rape?

Rape, like all forms of male violence against women, is connected to the broad socio-cultural milieu which is suffused with beliefs of male dominance, supremacy and aggression. In the South African political economy, where working-class and particularly black men daily experience themselves as oppressed and impotent, their frustration about this marginalization is likely to take expression in domination in the private domain, where women are the most accessible target.

As a result, men through the generations and different political economies of South Africa have come to define their power in terms of their capacity to affect their will, without the consent of those involved, especially women. This is evident when men often try to bridge a gap between their impotent selves and the dominant men they seek to be, through the practice of rape. Thus inequalities in male-female relationships as well as in the social, economic and political structures in South Africa ensure that women remain vulnerable to attack.

South Africa's long history of migrant labor, in which men left home to work in the mines, as having broken apart generations of families. This system set the stage, he says, "for an epidemic of young men who, in the absence of positive male role models, are now consumed by a sense of anger and entitlement. This has manifested itself in the attitudes of young males towards sex and sexuality. This is evident in the exclusive domain of young males that practice Jackrolling or force there partners for sex in an act of supremacy. Young women are viewed as peripheral yet crucial components of this youth culture. They are seen as objects of competition and as sources of affirmation for the masculinity of the young men.

Therefore what we have are the wounds of men creating wounds in women, creating wounds in children. Who is going to stop this vicious circle?

The above highlights the need and importance of interventions and policies that start seek to change the way in which boys are socialized into men, interact with females and practice courtship, through means of building a culture of consciousness that celebrates gender equity and respect for women among the male youth of South Africa 

Through the means of providing a male consciousness that stands up to the values of responsibility, respect, integrity, humbleness and dignity, The Man Up Campaign envisions a South Africa where young males are empowered to become leaders of a gender balanced society through their active participation in eradicating the practice of rape in our society and setting the national standards to what is manhood    

The Man Up Campaign seeks to engage the need and importance of inventions and policies for young male education in sexual behaviour and practice and socialization in manhood, through a range of workshops with high schools across the country, a pledge of Maness that celebrates gender equity and respect for women and a variety of platforms that provide young males access to male role models of high gentleman and warrior qualities, established leadership and moral grounding.

Need to have a spokesperson or face of the campaign is very popular amongst the male population (all races). He must be a South African celebrity, be artist or actor, that has a high moral grounding, exceptional leadership skills and the perfect MAN according to the core values and principles of manhood according to the Man Up Campaign.

Phase 1
Man Up Day South Africa

South African Man Up Day in collaboration with International Suit Up day will be held across schools, universities, institutions and businesses across the country on the 13th of October where young and old males of this country suit up in their best suits or outfits in support of rape victims or any woman who has been a victim of sexual and physical abuse.

• For the Man Up campaign to be nationally popular among the youth of South Africa, and to create participation from the rest of our nation’s public in the campaign, it is been decided that we make the 13th of October, National Man Up Day in association with International Suit Up Day, where males no matter what age, race, religion, occupation, ect, get dressed up in their smartest suits or outfits in solidarity and respect of all the victims of rape in our country. Like the Movember Prostate Cancer Movement, all who participate in this event can donate money on their own terms to the Man Up cause of providing financial support to organizations that provide services such as trauma counseling, health care, protection, legal advice and shelter for victims of rape. The aim is too get as many males as possible participating in this event, thus encouraging all schools across the nation to have a civies day on this day where all male scholars dress up in their best looking suits, have fashion shows and raise money for the Man Up victim of rape cause.

• Do Something for Females in Threes. It is stated that one in three woman in South Africa have been raped and a woman in South Africa is raped every 3 minutes?. Thus all South African males should either do something good or helpful for a female person, be your mother, your sister, your friend, your girlfriend, your wife, for three minutes or three hours or one third of the day.

Phase 2
Documentary – Broken Rainbows

A group of outspoken and active female victims of rape band together and travel the country by road from the crystal beaches of Kozi Bay to the wilderness of Limpopo to the busy streets of Soweto to the sand dunes of the Kalahari to the fashion capital of SA, Cape Town, and to the Mountains of the Drakensberg; on a quest to find out what it is to be a man in South Africa and what manhood entails in their views of ordinary and famous South African citizens. This group will investigate the core issues of why we live in such violent patriarchy culture of male dominance, aggressive and supremacy, and why men rape, especially in our society. While on this journey, they will try and discover solutions to solving this violent inequality of gender and providing hope for all rape victims out there that there is life after rape and by coming together as movement they can make way for better legislation that will legally and physical protect them from harm.

This documentary will try and get interviews will South African male icons like Desmond Tutu, Mbeki, Zola, etc and female icons and activists. It will also interview many ordinary citizens from places such as rural villages to townships to big cities. 
However most of the documentary will be on the group of female rape victims, their journey together, both the ups and downs, the bonds they make as friends, the empowerment in giving hope to other rape victims and their development to becoming national and international recognized ambassadors against rape and woman abuse.

Phase 3
High School Workshops

• Workshops will be held at high schools around the country with just the males scholars of each school, ranging from grade 8 to grade 12, once every two years
• Workshops will depend on the demographics of each province and be conducted by a volunteer male celebrity role model of that province.
• Workshops will be conducted a range of popular male celebrities/sportmen/businessmen who fit the descriptions of a male role model according to the core values and principles of the Man Up Campaign. These volunteer male role models will be the MCs/co coordinators of workshops and will be supported by a popular female celebrity who volunteers who will be his co star in the workshop.
• The workshops will also include testimonies of previously or still convicted rapists and outspoken victims of rape or rape activists (shock and awe factor of workshop). {This part of the workshop is debatable and one would have to question ethnics, but by having these testimonies from both sides of rape, and it consequences, I am questioning whether this will create fear within the audience in terms of jail time and life, sympathy for the victims of rape and reconciliation of gender inequalities}
• Workshops will discuss issues of manhood and moral, respectful and responsible acts of courtship. Workshop MCs or coordinators will entertain audiences with interactive re enactments of right and wrong situations of gender socialization, interaction and courtship according to all cultures.
• Workshops will also outline what a man is according to the many cultures of this nation and the role men have in their families, relationships, communities and South African society as a whole. This will be done in an interactive manner where male coordinator gets the audience through discussion, debate and acting to come up with the core values of manhood according to what they have learnt in the workshop.

At this stage, once the core values and principles of manhood are drafted into a manifesto or the national Man Up set of core values and principle of manhood, the stage is opened up for male scholars to come up on stage and make a life long pledge towards those values and principles spelt out before them in which they were apart of constructing. This pledge will be called the MAN PLEDGE. On swearing upon these values and principles, each participate is given a pledge ring/bracelet or necklace of which they can wear and should wear at all times, even at school.

But this only if they obey the core values and principle of manhood according to their Man Manifesto or the Man Up Manifesto of Manhood. If they come in dispute of these values and principles their pledge ring/bracelet or necklace may be taken away from them and they disband from the Man Up Club. By taking the pledge, male scholars are upload to a national database and become part of the Man Up Club which allows them membership to a network of other pledgers across the country, a online website and mobile site that provides them with information, interaction and  online services and Man Up Events.
• In addition to National Man Up Day on the 13th of October, high schools that have completed the workshop at the beginning of the year, provide their female scholars access to vote for the Man Up Gentleman of the School, 4 weeks before the 13th of October, thus depending on the day some where between the 10th and 15th of September.

They vote accordingly to the core values and principles of Man Up’s ideals of a man or gentleman and who ever has manifested thee values and principles into his everyday life and interactions with women. The chosen Man Up Gentleman of the School then participates in a regional two day conference with other selected Man Up Gentleman two weeks later, where they discuss their experiences of manhood, gender equality and human rights, debate issues on these three topics and then provide local solutions to problems within these subject matters and the eradication of rape and woman abuse.

One the last day of the conference regional participates vote on a regional Man Up chairman who will attend the National Man Up Conference/Gala on the 12th and 13th of October where they discuss and debate issues with government departments, officials and institutions, public figures, civic organizations, NGO’s, celebrities and the private sector on inventions and policies that can provide solutions in eradicating rape and woman abuse and providing be protection and legal services for rape victims
• At end of the Conference/Gala, participates will attend a charity dinner in which government, the public and the private sector will try and raise money for the Man Up victims of rape cause. Everybody will be suited up in their best dresses and suits.



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