|MARCHING AGAINST "CORRECTIVE RAPES" IN SOUTH AFRICA|
From the "I can't believe it" column comes this "unfortunately I can" story about "corrective" rapes of lesbians in South Africa. You heard me right, "corrective rapes."
Lesbians are being raped and murdered in South Africa and, well, the truth is the South African State seems to care less.
Last year a study released by a leading South African gay rights organization, Triangle, found that 86% of black lesbians from the Western Cape lived in fear of sexual assault.
Of course, we are all familiar with anti-gay hate crimes throughout Africa. Zimbabwe and Uganda come to mind, but trust me, these countries aren't alone in this dismal regard.
South Africa, though, is allegedly more "open minded." Following the overthrow of apartheid, the new constitution of South Africa reads as one of the most progressive in the world in regards to the rights and protections for the LGBT population. Yet Dawn reports:
...the townships, where blacks were forced to live under apartheid, remain largely conservative with deep-set notions of masculinity, tradition and religion and little understanding of what it means to be gay.
Lesbians not only face being thrown out by their own families, but even the police, meant to protect them, are said to laugh or to call their fellow officers to listen in when the women report hate crimes.
"Corrective" rape has been described by Johannesburg based journalist Charlayne Hunter-Gault as a phenomenon where lesbian women, particularly those who affect a more masculine appearance, are targeted for rape by men who claim that they are going to cure their sexual orientation.
A report late last year from Human Rights Watch found that at least 10 lesbians are sexually assaulted every week in South Africa by men who claim to be "curing" them. The report said the attacks are generally accompanied by horrifying violence.
Earlier this year, The Advocate reports Noxolo Nogwaza, a member of the Ekurhuleni Pride Organizing Committee, a key South African LGBT group, was found murdered.
The committee, along with the Coalition of African Lesbians (CAL) said that Ms Nogwaza’s face was so badly beaten that she was unrecognisable. Her body had been stabbed all over with glass shards and an empty bottle and used condom were also reportedly found in her genitals...
Pierre de Vos, the Claude Leon Foundation Chair in Constitutional Governance at the University of Cape Town, says it is not uncommon for gay people's rights to be ignored by those who execute the letter of the law. "When I go to workshops I am shocked to hear from lesbian women and gay men that when they go to the police they are told to 'voetsek' because they are just lesbians or 'moffies' and don't have any rights," De Vos told the Daily Maverick.
Now comes news that adding fuel to the fire, the National House of Traditional Leaders is calling for gay rights to be stripped from the South Africa constitution. A Parliamentary report by the Constitutional Review Committee this April shows a submission by the leaders that proposed the "exclusion of 'sexual orientation' from Chapter 2 of the Constitution, which deals with the Bill of Rights." The chairman of the Constitutional Review Committee is Patekile Holomisa, who is also president of the Congress of Traditional Leaders . De Vos says Holomisa is himself part of a far wider fight-back by patriarchal forces in South Africa.
The following is from the Black Commentator.
To hear of human rights abuses of
The country’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill dubbed “Kill the Gays bill” criminalizes same-sex relations. And depending on which category your homosexual behavior is classified as - “aggravated homosexual” or “the offense of homosexuality”-you’ll either received the death penalty or if you’re lucky, life imprisonment.
On a list of 100 LGBTQ Ugandans whose names and photos were published in an October 2010 tabloid newspaper calling for their execution, Kato was murdered in January 2011.
Throughout the African continent there are stories of homophobic bullying, bashing and abuses of its LGBTQ population. None of us will forget
However, the one country one doesn’t expect to hear of anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and human rights abuses against this population of people is
And its method to remedy its problem with lesbian is “corrective rape.”
On any given day in
“Lesbians get raped and killed because it is accepted by our community and by our culture” a South African man told Time reporter, Lee Middleton, of
Corrective rape is the South African version of “reparative therapy.” It’s intended objective is to rectify the sexual orientation of women who are lesbians or perceived to be lesbians to that of heterosexual. The term “corrective rape” was coined and first identified in
Corrective Rape is a hate crime that for the most part goes unreported and unprosecuted in
And these rapes are the major contributor to HIV/AID epidemic among South African lesbians.
To many South African men who hunt down lesbians or happen upon them, “corrective rape” is seen neither as a hate crime nor as a sexual assault. South African men are sexually entitled to do them. And it’s just what patriotic men are expected to do for their country and tribe in a culture that upholds violent heterosexual patriarchal views at penis point.
In depicting a double rape, hers and that of her friend’s, Lungile Cleopatra Dladla shared withThe New Yorker reporter, Charlayne Hunter-Gault, how matter-of-factly their rapist was with them.
Dubbed as the “Rape Capitol of the World,” (A study by Interpol, the international police agency, has revealed that
In 2011, a woman was raped in
For example, South African President Jacob Zuma is a celebrated and acquitted rapist. He raped the daughter of a family friend. “He said that the woman in question had provoked him, by wearing a skirt and sitting with her legs uncrossed, and that it was his duty, as a Zulu man, to satisfy a sexually aroused woman,” Hunter-Gault reported.
And “baby rape,” not a new phenomenon in
But what’s not being talked about in “corrective rape” is how it, too, can be see as a cure for AIDS.
For these men who are feeling the societal pressures and scorn of raping babies and young girls, lesbians are the next best choice.
With both population of females believed to be virgins, “corrective rape” can convince a rapist that he’s doing his manly duty and he’s being rewarded by being cured of AIDS, too.