Like very many people, I have been refraining from saying something on this topic especially on social media where you are not sure at any given point the actual position of the person commenting on something you write. In the time I spent not saying anything, I helped myself to the comments sections of many of the popular posts related to the topic to try and make sense of what other people think about the whole issue and what they believe is the right approach to solving the problem.
When it comes to communication, especially on social media it is always a metaphorical shouting in the market square. In such a situation, one minor disagreement soon becomes the split factor and divides the crowd into two opposing sides. You have seen situations where two people get into a fight and in the end the fight becomes about if the two should be left to fight or the fight be separated. Of all the many things to consider when it comes to eradicating rape in society we have watered down the discussion to a dress code and missed the opportunity to have a full conversation.
I will state here very clearly that the idea that clothing contributes to rape is false and ridiculous. I do not call myself an expert in anything but I have read on very many topics to earn my right to present a hypothesis for examination. First I want to assume the people who are saying the way a woman dresses is a factor that contributes to rape are just looking for a physical representation to a stereotype they hold. How many times did I hear women tell their daughters not to dress like a prostitute? What comes to mind when many people think of a prostitute? A woman deserving of respect is likely not one of them.
You see, I am not saying prostitutes deserve to be raped but prostitutes have a very high risk when it comes to getting raped. I have seen statistics that show 44% of prostitutes reporting to have been involved in a sexual abuse incident (Please correct me if you have evidence proving otherwise). Prositutes, at least the entry level ones that we see beside Safari Nightclub in Yaounde, market by showing their goodies. It is not uncommon to see some with the breasts hanging completely outside for marketing purposes. If sex is becoming commoditized, then just like any other shop, shoplifters exists and if shoplifters exists, security measures must be taken by the store that doesn’t want to incur losses.
Wait, so Norbert is reducing women to a piece of item in a shop? Comparing apples to oranges? Actually NOT.
Which brings me to the actual point I started by making which is the conversation is a big one that cannot be had in a marketplace mode. I believe there are different kinds of rape and different people commit the same types repeatedly. So a guy who date rapes, does that. The guy who rapes young physically weak girls does just that and may even kill someone who rapes children under five with the same anger that we want to kill him. Then you have the guy who has a thing for babies that can’t talk and the one that rapes just about anything in a Kaba. So you have a spectrum of rapists that ranges from ignorant men to straight up psychos.
The major hurdle to the fight against rape is when we lump all the perpetrators and treat them as one. One person shared a Washington post article that was writing to dismiss the idea that there is a anti-rape dress code. In that article is quoted a statistic that only 6% of men commit all the rape crimes. Those statistics are from the U.S but I want to believe we would have something under 10% for most countries around the world. Most rapist are repeat offenders and there are many men who have had to go through certain experiences to know that a NO is a NO when she says so instead of reading signals or thinking it is their right. There are rapist that drug the woman because they know it is not right, and there are men who rape their wives because they believe it is their right to have it when they want it.
Growing up, without personally experiencing it, there were multiple stories of girls that had a train run on them for being snobbish to guys in the quartier. Young men grow up around theses stories and begin to normalize them. That same young man who did that to a girl in his university dorm room may puke at the thought of having sex with a 7 year old girl. So RAPE is RAPE but not all rapists can be converted which is why I gave the storefront analogy of having to lock your store. Which is why many people don’t want to be silenced for suggesting preventive measures that include the metaphorical locking the storefront. If one side wants to claim the other side has no point in bringing up preventive measures that include the women taking precaution, then you antagonize one side that clearly has logical reason.
I want to assume that there are more date rape cases than there are violent rape cases and many date rape stories don’t even come out because they are by nature harder to prove. Date rape has a lot to do with environment and behavior. I’m so scared of being accused of rape that I once recorded a conversation just in case I was accused. I was at a party and a friend asked if I could drop off two of his female friends. One of them was clearly drunk and had been making out with some other guy on the balcony during the party in front of everyone. The route meant I had to drop off the sober one first.
When I got to the drunk girls destination, she asked me to come in and I refused. She begged multiple times and I refused. She then asked for at least a kiss to remove the “odor of the other guys mouth”. As soon as she started insisting, I took my phone as if to look at the time and turned on the voice recorder. In my mind, I imagined a scenario in which I went in, did my thing then left only for her to wake up the next morning and come back to her senses and I’m not her type. I had to record because I don’t even know if the alcohol can create false memories of how the night ended with me doing something on her.
Imagine I was only an opportunistic guy who on a normal day won’t even intentionally get a girl drunk to take advantage of her. Then you have stone cold rapists that in my situation will use my technique to record and still go ahead to rape the girl then use the recording like evidence that they actually did some standup guy stuff that day. So if by this experience, I tell my sister to bring her own drinks when she goes to a house party only to have you hushing me to focus on the rapist and stop putting the pressure on my sister, do you think I will consider you as someone who has sense?
Which brings me to the many women who have been raped and by their own conscience do not say it because they are not proud of how they willingly ended up in the place where they got raped. Just to say, we need to have offensive and defensive strategy; and meanwhile I think dressing is off the debate, many other things should be there. It is still important to try to understand where those using dressing as low hanging fruit are coming from.
I have actually not accepted the idea that women rape men except women raping men does not include the man using his penis for anything. Except men get a hard on when they are getting raped. Otherwise what will a woman do with a limp penis? I know all too well of young boys being molested by older women and that has its own way of being solved.
The selling of people sexually grossed an estimated $32 billion in 2012 (United Nation Office of Drugs and Crime, 2012). Again to say there are people out there ready to prey on women and many are being paid to facilitate it so it is not going away because someone posted “Shouter” on a post you made saying the focus should be on teaching young boys how not to rape.
All I am saying is that to identify that a glass is broken is easy. Everyone can tell just by looking at it. To fix the broken glass needs you to do more than just seeing it and not everyone can because it requires a lot more information than a post on BetaTinz saying A raped B to death after she refused to wear the prescribed anti-rape Kaba. Don’t assume you know the answer.