It was a beautiful night. We were inspired. A birthday night in july 2013. I went to a friend’s birthday braai with my sister and a friend. On our way home we stopped at a 24hr supermarket two blocks from my apartment. As we were standing in the line to pay we were approached by two young men whose advances went from drunken compliments to passionate suggestions that we take their “whatsapp”.
After a short dialogue (made up mostly of no’s, why’s and “akafuni’s” from our end) the energy became aggressive. Though I will never condone aggression as a positive means to resolution, I suppose, when I think about it,I can understand that one might respond negatively to rejection, especially under the influence of alcohol.
What happened next bruised my spirit. I turned around to grab something of the shelf and felt this young mans hand on my waist. After turning around and telling him not to touch me his response was this; “ngathi bangak’Rape-a ngob unenkani” (losely translated: you need to be raped to cure your stubbornness).
You can only imagine my shock, standing in a supermarket in my own neighbourhood being I think this moved me even deeper into desperation because the friend whose braai we had been to is a lesbian woman who, one evening (not too long before that weekend) had been chased down the dark streets of Johannesburg by four who were eager to know if she had seen the (then) most recent episode of intersexions (a south african drama series).
The episode they were referring to was one in which a lesbian girl gets raped because of her sexual preference. “Correctional rape” as it is termed.
It was a car full of women that stopped and gave her a lift and saved her from he situation. They didnt know who she was or what was going on. They saw a woman in trouble and they extended a helping hand.
In this life of emotion.. in this time of technology… In a world where the spread of HIV/AIDS has become a very light yet real and heavy norm. It is sometimes the most difficult thing to be a woman.
What kind of world are we living in??!! What kind of men are we raising when RAPE is the solution to ANYTHING?!? HOW DID WE GET HERE!?!
Homophobia doesn just affect women but guys are stronger you know? The other day I heard a news report about a young woman who had been raped and killed in Thokoza. Her attackers had shoved a toilet brush up her vagina.
I hate it when women hurt. I hate it when being a woman makes me feel weak.
Every story. Every scar. I feel as though im experiencing these injustices personally. Every death almost kills a part of me somehow.
Ive heard of place in the world where young girls are not allowed to go to school. A place where women’s minds are not really valued, never mind empowered. I don’t know what I would do in such a place.
Nature also seems to have chosen pain to be part of the woman’s journey. From her first menstrual cramp to the first time she has sex to the day she gives birth and beyond. Even sexual inter course is a probing of sorts.
Look, im not here saying being a woman is some sort of curse but it definitely is not a walk in the park and more than anything this note is to women. Only a woman can understand how boring, frustrating yet beautiful being a woman is. That even when men hurt us we hurt each other more. That our lack of support,patience and understanding towards each other is the core of some of society’s cracks.
I believe in God/Light. I believe in the energy human beings radiate. Maybe it is because I have been watching a lot of supernatural stuff but I genuinely feel like women have this energy. This power. Strength.
For all the pain you will experience there is a sister out there who has been through it and has advice that could help.