I honestly do not know how to start this letter. Usually I would insert a witty and cool first line with a follow up sentence which explains how I could possibly say such. When it comes to rape I really don’t think that there is an appropriate way to begin, but let me try.
A few weeks ago I was on a social media fast. Coincidentally it was the same time when the #RUReferenceList surfaced. In case you were living under that rock where you think it is okay to violate a person in a sexual manner let me explain the events that occurred. There was a “reference list campaign” at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa which listed alleged rapists linked to the institution on social media. This of course was followed by multiple debated about rape culture, from the reporting to the fact that the victim must prove that she did indeed get raped while the rapist is presumed innocent.
I am so thankful for not being on social media during that time because after watching this video, I know for certain that I would have been triggered daily for the duration of the protests filling up my timelines. (Please don’t construe that to mean that I don’t appreciate and see the importance of the social media aspect of protests of this nature.)
Apart from myself I can name at least three women off the top of my head who have been sexually assaulted. Seeing in images through this video how women were further dehumanized by the callous behavior of people meant to protect was so hurtful to the point of tears at work.
Is society so threatened by women’s breasts that we tell them that they are indecent and call the police? So surprised by women taking back their power that we arrest them and let them have panic attacks in police vans. Utterly terrified that perhaps if women treated men the way in which we have been treated since the beginning of time that men wouldn’t be able to handle the inequality.
This reference list went far past the names of a few alleged rapists. When things turned violent these protestors, these survivor’s, these blazing flames for female rights were dehumanized once again.
Dearest rapist, I hope that you watch this video and you feel bad. I hope that the evil that lives within you consumes you to a point where you can’t look at yourself in the mirror without seeing the face of all the women whom you have hurt.
In the words of my friend Terry-Anne Adams, “Society guys, is draining my life.”
Written by Hulisani Khorombi, Staff Writer, #mygirlsquad