I happen to enjoy watching talk shows. They get me thinking and of course talking alone, seeing that I m alone most of the times. A week ago on Motswako, which is a talk show on SABC 2, a very sensitive issue was being discussed and this issue happened to draw all my attention.
Now a certain question that rape victims are usually asked when in court , “What were you wearing?” popped up in the discussion. Questions then arose whether this was an appropriate question to ask, the implication of this question and whether this question was prejudice or not.
I then asked myself the same question, why in the world is this question asked? Is it implying that women are to blame when getting raped? What about women who get raped in their own homes, by strangers, by their husbands? What about women who get raped in their pyjams?
Are they still to blame for this tragedy, are they still to blame for being assaulted? Now I’m asking these questions because I’m trying to establish the difference between a man who rapes a woman wearing pyjamas and a man raping a woman wearing a short skirt. To be quite frank I’m finding it difficult to do so, if a man wants to rape you, then he will, regardless of your color, your smell or your dress code.
On this show, men were interviewed and asked if short skirts and dresses were to blame for rape and most of them agreed, some even said most ladies who get raped have no one to blame but themselves because of the way they dress. I mean I do get that men do have desires and some of these desires get enhanced when they see a beautiful lady, either in a short dress or long skirt.
It’s natural and this definitely doesn’t make them animals. However, a REAL MAN knows and understands the meaning of a “NO”! Do you know that most man who commit this crime of rape leave their homes with the intention of hunting a rape victim? So clearly this has nothing to do with what the victim wears.
Now as sad and pathetic as it sound I do know that in Francistown there were cases where women who wore short skirts were assaulted and even undressed by taxi drivers at the bus rank! Now come on guys, do you think this was necessary? What’s devastating even more is that these men were never really imprisoned or even charged.
When asked why they did this, some taxi drivers went on to say that they were helping these ladies to undress since they looked like they didn’t want to dress at all. I know some people might go on to say that it’s immoral to walk around in a short outfit but really, morality differs from one person to the next.
What might be immoral to you, might not be the case with me, so then another question arises, “it’s immoral according to whom?”
Now guys, I clearly understand that there might be a conflict between freedom and rights and responsibility. This is a democratic country and we do have the right to dress as we please, no one can take me to court for wearing a short dress. However we all do have individual social responsibility and we all need to somehow fall within what is seen as socially acceptable. I would not advice you to wear a skirt as short as your underwear and walk around town, however, if you do, no one has the right to rape nor assault you. What do you think?