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25% of South African men admit to having raped women

(46 Posts)
morningpaper Thu 18-Jun-09 10:10:06

No words for this really

flamingobingo Thu 18-Jun-09 10:11:26


Buda Thu 18-Jun-09 10:13:42

Christ. One child is raped in SA every 3 minutes. My God. That is horrific.

JulesJules Thu 18-Jun-09 10:14:07

Bloody hell. So shocked.

funnypeculiar Thu 18-Jun-09 10:15:10

terrifying stuff.

ahundredtimes Thu 18-Jun-09 10:17:49

Y Y is v. bad and v. out of control. I think the point about Zuma is well made in that article too. It's a form of corruption.

Penthesileia Thu 18-Jun-09 10:19:42


It's horrible. I agree, MP. No words, really.

Thing is, I wonder how easy it is to dismiss this study as indicative of South African "gender hierarchy and the sexual entitlement of men" and being "rooted in an African ideal of manhood" (quoted from the article)?

I do think there is a double problem here: on the one hand, addressing the endemic sexual violence; on the other, not falling prey to racist stereotypes about "African" men (I'm a bit surprised at the Professor's use of "African" - it's a large continent!)

TBH: I wonder if a similarly anonymous study were done in the UK, how many men would admit to being rather more "forceful" in their pursuit of sex than they might otherwise acknowledge? It's not as if the UK has such a stunning record of prosecuting rapists.


morningpaper Thu 18-Jun-09 10:22:35

agree Penthesileia

ahundredtimes Thu 18-Jun-09 10:26:43

No, I really think it's different Pen. Mostly because as a culture rape is basically endorsed. I don't think rape is endorsed in this country, even if it isn't always prosecuted successfully. I would be very suprised if the stats were in anyway comparable.

SA has v. high rates of all kinds of violent crime though doesn't it. This is just one of them.

Penthesileia Thu 18-Jun-09 10:33:55

Of course - and I hesitated before posting as I didn't want to be seen to be brushing that aside, 100x.

FWIW - I'd be interested to see whether there is any evidence that this "culture" of rape and violence isn't - in part - a consequence of apartheid. I think I read somewhere about sexual violence being prevalent in societies where racist segregation was at its most severe (e.g. the American South).

So, yes, there is a difference. But I am still anxious about this study being categorised as an "African" problem, IYSWIM?

ahundredtimes Thu 18-Jun-09 10:34:45

I read an article about how younger and younger adolescents and children are being raped because there was an idea that it would cure men of HIV. I don't know if this is truly held belief. It appears to be endemic in SA though.

ahundredtimes Thu 18-Jun-09 10:38:49

Yes, I'd personally agree with you, and I think Zuma would too, though perhaps for different reasons. It makes absolute sense that the impact of living under such a violent and degenerate system, is going to lead to all kinds of problems for years after.

Others would also say, that there is a built-in belief that sex is there for the having and the taking. I am wary about making generalizations of course. A female lesbian footballer was gang raped and I think eventually killed, because she was a lesbian. There seems to be a very violent attitude towards women prevalent.

Penthesileia Thu 18-Jun-09 10:40:14

The rape of children is beyond horrific. sad

And yes, there is clearly a shocking and horrifying practice of raping children as a cure for HIV. The SA government has evidently not done enough to address this superstition.

In fact, Mbeke's (and now Zuma's) stance on this and on HIV/AIDS in general should earn him a special place in hell, really. sad angry

ahundredtimes Thu 18-Jun-09 10:41:20

Yup. Is macho posturing.

Kimi Thu 18-Jun-09 10:44:53

Too vile for words TBH

misschatterbox Thu 18-Jun-09 10:45:58

As a South African woman I can confirm that the violence is terrible, I never went out on my own. Apartheid as a cause - how interesting, no doubt fed by the British media. There are rapists in every country, a sad, but true fact. I have seen much racism in this country and experienced it myself. It is very easy to judge a whole country, by what you are given to read in a newspaper.
It is believed in some South African cultures that sleeping with a virgin will cure HIV, and the younger the child the more likely she is to be a virgin.
It is such a pity because it is a beautiful, vibrant country, dominated by a minority of violent people.

ahundredtimes Thu 18-Jun-09 10:48:40

I don't think it is something fed by the british media. I think it is something the ANC would say too - as would many sociologists. You sound very defensive. SA is a beautiful country, I agree, and an extraordinary place. That doesn't mean that there isn't an epidemic of rape, or that we shouldn't face that reality with our eyes open.

misschatterbox Thu 18-Jun-09 11:10:26

I never denied the violence, if you read my post you will see that. I do however remember certain stories reported in England, that were actually made up. General stories, these were when I was growing up. How could you say that I need to face the reality. I did face that reality, everytime my father was shot at, when they threatened to kill my entire family, when my brother had a gun held to his head on a regular basis while paying wages (becuase people didn't trust the banks), when my brother was hijacked and everyday that I worked as a nurse I faced that reality. So you will see if you read again, that I wasn't being defensive, I was agreeing with the state of the country. In fact it always amazes me when people move to SA because they say there isn't really a problem there.

ahundredtimes Thu 18-Jun-09 11:14:23

I think it was because you said 'there are rapists in every country, a sad but true fact.'

This suggested to me that what you were saying was - the rape problem in SA is no different to anywhere else, no better, no worse. Why are you singling SA out?

Also because you suggested that the statistics were the product of the media, keen to represent SA as a mucked-up place.

All of that sounded defensive, and as though you simply weren't happy to say, 'yes, there is a problem.'

Callisto Thu 18-Jun-09 11:15:22

I think blaming the incidence of rape in SA on aparteid is a bit dubious. It is a terrible problem and a problem in other African countries too (I'm thinking rape as a tool of war and enforced sexual slavery of women and girls by various 'armies' and para-military forces in particular here). It is tied in with a perception of women in general and of course the belief that HIV/AIDS can be cured by sex with a virgin.

Penthesileia - why are you anxious about it being seen as an African problem? It does interest me how Brits tie themselves in knots to try not to blame African countries for certain problems.

ahundredtimes Thu 18-Jun-09 11:16:42

What general stories were made up? Did you find the media in SA when you were growing up gave you a full and unbiased picture of your own country?

ahundredtimes Thu 18-Jun-09 11:17:40

Yes Callisto that is a v. good point

Rindercella Thu 18-Jun-09 11:22:30

Very sad & shocking article.

Purely anecdotal, but many years ago I went out with a (white, if that makes a difference?) SA fuckwit man who was quite vile in his beliefs. We were staying with his friends and went out for dinner. We started a discussion about rape and he became very vociferous - all women who are raped are asking for it. They shouldn't dress up, show their legs off, have their breasts on display in tight little outfits, etc. Am sure you get the gist. It was just awful. We started this arguement in the middle of a restaurant, it got very heated, and other diners joined in, calling him a wanker, c*nt, etc.

Anyhow, that was the end of that particular relationship. And I don't think his friends saw very much of him after that either.

Now comes the cliche - I know several SA men and I do know not all of them are like that.

bleh Thu 18-Jun-09 11:24:45

I agree with Callisto: it is a problem in socially unstable areas (particularly in places like Sudan).

It makes me so sad that this happens in my home country. But this has been a problem for years and the government's head-in-the-sand attitude to the crime problem and the HIV problem is doing very little to help.

OhBling Thu 18-Jun-09 11:31:41

"1,738 men in South Africa's Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal provinces."

I don't want to downplay the seriousness of violence in SA, especially against women, but a sample size or less than 2000 in the two poorest and most troubled parts of the country does not accurately reflect the country as a whole.

Rape and violent crime is a huge problem that South Africa has to get to grips with. But, if I recall my basic sociology and history from uni, those areas where there is the most poverty, the least education etc tend also to be the areas where rape is more prevelent.

These figures are so shocking they almost make trying to deal with the problem impossible. It paints a picture where 25% of the 25million men in the country are raping the 25% of the 25 odd million women which is not realistic. What you do have is a country that has serious and systemic social issues that need to be addressed. Those issues vary somewhat from region to region but are real. Making the leap from Zuma's multiple wives to rape in areas of the country most ravished by poverty, aids, and hardship seems a little over enthusiastic to me.

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