Can someone please explain to me how getting my 7-year old son to pledge not to rape anyone is going to actually prevent him from raping anyone?
See, as part of the Gubernments Stop Rape Campaign, on 01 March 2013 some 10,2 million kids all across Mzanzi assembled at their respective places of learning to pledge:
• To uphold the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa
• To abide by the laws of the country
• To respect the rights of others irrespective of age, race, sex or sexual orientation
• Not to rape or commit any form of sexual harassment, abuse or violence
• To report any form of wrongdoing to authorities
• To honour the responsibilities that come with these rights and to be a good citizen.
Which is all fine and well provided that the child in question has the slightest inclination as to what the constitution of South Africa actually is. Or hey, maybe if they had a clue as to what rape was then it would also have made sense to get them to promise not to do it.
I reckon my kid could have been spared this. I reckon they could have kept this confined to high schools. I reckon that the majority of South Africans experience a life that precludes the vague notions of equality espoused in the most progressive constitution in the world. When you spend your life living in a tin can, having to walk miles to access the nearest tap just so you can scrub off the worst of the dust before heading out to hang onto the outside of a train to go and stand on some street corner to beg for the chance to clean up some other person’s mess, then that whole concept of equality sort of loses it shine doesn’t it?
South Africa is, I think, a society in which the old eye-for-an-eye concept would work best. You rape someone; we cut off your dick. You steal something; we cut of your hand. You pitch up for work; we pay you your salary. Instead of buying submarines, we build houses. In a place where raping a baby to rid you of AIDS, surely such is the only way to progress? Coercing my child, who knows nothing about sex, into promising not to rape someone, will serve absolutely no purpose if I do not enforce, at home, the concept that doing such is unacceptable.
If I, some nobody, can figure this out, why can’t the leaders of this potentially great country, not do the same? Is it because acquiescing to such base tactics would then mean we as a society are base creatures? Well shit, how can we be anything but base creatures if raping and disemboweling some child just for kicks is met with nothing more than a collective frown and a promise elicited from school children to do something about it? Or actually, to not do something about it.
No, this is just stupid. There has to be consequence. And that is what is lacking in South Africa, consequence. Jail may be a deterrent to me, but the guarantee of three square meals a day and access to a working toilet may not look all that bad to someone living under a bridge. But everyone, everyone, looks unkindly upon having parts of their anatomy sheared off.
Why can’t we vote on that, Mr. President?
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