Tag Archives: ethics

#Itsnotrapeif trend is heartbreaking

In South Africa today and yesterday, a strange trend appeared on Twitter with the hashtag #itsnotrapeif.

The trend was caused by people on Twitter using the hashtag with examples, such as “#itsnotrapeif she agrees to have the baby” or “#itsnotrapeif you were “celibate” … stop being so stingy”; there was even one saying that #itsnotrapeif she’s a lesbian and you’re trying to correct her.

I have no clue why this sort of thing started trending, or why anyone would take part in such a horrible “joke” because the reality in South Africa is that several women and girls get raped every minute here.

Corrective rape is also a massive trend in this country. The worst thing is that these crimes are being ignored by the state and the legal system. In just one example, Eudy Simelane was gang-raped, brutally beaten and stabbed 25 times across her body.

Women are targeted every day for being openly lesbian, and 86% of black lesbians in the Western Cape walk outside every day in fear of sexual assault. There are as many as 10 new cases of corrective rape every week.

Following the trend, Rape Crisis released a statement saying that the tag is “devastating for the rights of survivors”. So many women, men and children are subjected to “sexual penetration” without consent every day, and that there are these people who openly make fun of their plight is sad for humankind.

What is glaringly obvious in our country is that rape is not seen as a crime by those who are meant to help us – we are one of the countries in the world who take part in victim-blaming, and this goes for lesbians, women walking in the streets at night and even children. Rape is simply “sex without consent”, regardless of whom was raped, what they were wearing, how drunk they were, or any other reason. Forced sex cannot be justified.

This issue makes me so sad because it proves that humans are just not evolving into the beings of love that we are meant to be.

If you are in need of support or advice, or would like to make a comment, visit Rape Crisis for more information.

Otherwise, what is your view on the issue?


5 worst countries to be a woman in

It was International Women’s Day this week, which is supposed to celebrate how far women have come in the world with regards to equality.

But every day we are faced with news of all kinds of abuses. Lara Logan‘s experience was one of these, as are thousands of women’s every day. Some of us are still at the mercy of abuse.

AOL wrote a story about the five worst places to be born a a woman. Although it was made clear that it’s difficult to determine which countries these are, since we can use different aspects  – everything from humanitarian issues and economic conditions to cultural and religious biases and literacy rates.

But a popular modern index to use for the comparisons is the UN Development Program’s Gender Inequality Index, which measures labor market participation, empowerment and reproductive health.

The countries with the worst scores are:

Photo by Bernard Gagnon

1. Yemen

This little country has the worst score. The country is known for the “violence and discrimination” women face every day in the Arabian country. At least 46.3% of women in the country had been abused by either their spouses or a family member. Most of the acts take place in homes, and consist of everything from intimidation and sexual violence to emotional abuse and home arrest. Over 50% of women were regularly intimidated, and over 54.5% would be at risk of physical violence!

Congo demonstrants 2. Democratic Republic of Congo

Violence against women in the Congo has not ended, as evidenced by the recent mass rapes the rebels undertook in the country. Sexual violence has been used by a weapon of war by all sides, despite the women having nothing to do with the fighting.

Niarney, Niger capital3. Niger

In Niger, one in seven women will die in childbirth. Rapes and beatings of women is seen as “normal” behavior.


Photo by Martin Wegmann

4. Mali

This African country tried to improve women’s equality in the country. What happened? Widespread protests and street demonstrations against the movement. There is also still a firm belief in female genital mutilation.

v5. Afghanistan

Women’s rights are clearly not a priority in this country. Women are stoned for being raped, and they are the mercy of their husband’s and male family members’ whims. One woman had her nose and ears sliced off by her husband.

The best place to be born female: the Netherlands!


Expect some rape if you wear a tube top?

Women have it tough as it is already, but now a Canadian judge has set a precedent that might make it more rough for us.

The judge, Justice Robert Dewar, was overseeing a case of rape against a Kenneth Rhodes, who apparently forced himself on a woman who was wearing high heels, a tube top and lots of make-up. The pair had also had a few rounds to drink.

But Dewar seems to think the poor man was just a “clumsy Don Juan” and society would not be any safer by putting him in jail, because, dressed like that, the woman was practically asking for it.

He said the case should not be seen as a precedent, but how else can we not see it that way? Simply because she was dressed the way she was she should have expected to be raped.

This statement goes along the same lines as the comments being bandied about over Lara Logan – that she deserved being raped and beaten by a mob of about 200 men because she was pretty and she was in a foreign country and because she didn’t cover her hair, usually a sign of a prostitute.