Why I Won’t Be Wearing Black ….

1302_Black Friday

I am growing weary of the many campaigns we have — there are just too many to keep up with.  There appears to be a lot of money and a lot of effort being spent on some fabulous ad campaigns with good causes behind them.

What at the end of the day does “our call to action” actually do to prevent the crisis we are experiencing?

Does wearing a pink ribbon really do anything for breast cancer? Surely giving money towards an organisation, donating your time and going for a mammogram does more – but how many of us do that?

Does growing facial hair really do anything for cancer?  Ditto the previous question, changing the mammogram to a prostate exam.

Does wearing a pink shirt really help find lost children? Doubt ditto the previous question.

I get so irritated with the constant requests to like a campaign or a picture on Facebook.

Is my liking “people against rhino poachers” actually going to do anything.  If they get 100 likes, do two rhino poachers lose their gonads and one rhino get to keep his horn?

The one that is doing the rounds at the moment is the “wear black on Friday” in support of the “stop rape” campaign.  I am made uneasy at a group of people standing around, in black, smiling at the camera, in support of RAPE AWARENESS – based on the photographs I have seen on Facebook today.

Nice idea, great poster, but what is the point?

It always seems to me that the awareness around campaigns is directed at people who get excited by ad campaigns (which is me), and not at the people who actually need to change their behaviour.

Nothing in the campaign appears to be aimed at the problem and how to resolve it.  Or is it, and the campaign message has not been followed through to me?

Rape is without a doubt one of the biggest problems we have in our society.

I have no idea why it has escalated to the level where it is at.

As women and girl children we are constantly aware of the possibility that we might be raped.  Anywhere at any time.  We almost expect it, we are just unsure of the date and time.

The entire situation is beyond absurd, we are past absurd and moved into the realm of ludicrous.

I need to be aware of how I dress my girls, and send them out into the world.

Reality/crime statistics make it clear that RAPE is a problem and is getting worse.  We are all statistics, and judging by the figures as a woman in South Africa you have either been raped, or are going to be raped.

There appears to be nothing we can do to protect ourselves …. because it can strike any of us at any time, and that is the constant statistic that is being fed to us.

I do not know all the factors, that makes someone rape.  I hope that there is an educated person out there who does, and will give us all a solution as how to change our society so that rape and abuse is not the rampant scourge it is at the moment.

I am not sure how wearing black is going to achieve this.

I think about the possibility of rape every day.

When I am safely tucked up in bed, I wonder if tonight is the night I am going to wake up to find someone in my room who is about to rape me.

When I drive in my car, when I walk down a road, I am constantly aware of where the risks might be, that what might put me in a situation where the outcome is rape.

I can’t stop at the side of the road to assist someone as I might be raped. I need to be sure where I am, as I do not want to get lost and be raped.  I weigh up my odds every time I walk into a parking garage or step into an elevator with a man in it.

I think about the possibility of my children being raped every day.

I think about the possibility of the ladies who work for me being victims of rape every time they leave my house.

I am more than sufficiently aware of rape.

Will wearing black make me think about it more, or make me more sympathetic to the plight of the women (and men) who are being raped as I type this post?

I would like sexual education to be discussed at school level.

I would like sex and all it’s intricacies to be discussed in a very “biology” kind of way at primary school level.  So young children (who might not have got this education at home) understand their bodies, and understand there are boundaries and understand how to respect each other and what is deemed unacceptable behaviour.

I would like young girls and young boys to be educated in how to value their bodies and how to value other people and their rights.

Logic tells me, that the more rapes there are, the more traumatised victims are being created.  The victims of sexual trauma often (not always) play out this trauma in the next generation as they are unable to form “positive sexual” relationships.

I would like police stations to be better suited to being approachable to rape victims.  Caring, sympathetic and well trained.

I would like hospitals and clinics to be better suited to deal with rape victims in an empathetic manner, and at the same time being able to process rape kits so that the chain of evidence is kept in tact.

I would like therapy, counselling and support to be available to every victim, and every victim’s family so that they have the opportunity to work through “their anger and their pain” so that it is not translated into other actions.

I would like anti-retrovirals to be available easily and for free.

I would like there to be a better understand of “what makes people rape” so as a society we can get on top of some real preventative programmes, that actually work, instead of aiming campaigns loosely into the dark.

I would like a campaign that has every person who is ever charged with a crime (no mater what) to be entered into a DNA tracking system, and every victim who has a rape kit done, to be able to cross reference these results against the large DNA data base.

I would like rapists to be NAMED AND SHAMED!!

If the criminal system cannot show that they are able to rehabilitate someone to enter society, then they must keep the person in for life or end his/her life.

This releasing a rapist/child molester after he has served his sentence, is outside what my brain is able to understand as “responsible law enforcement and a government that protects it’s innocent.”

I would like women and girls to be supported in their societies and be able to wear what every they want and walk around at 10pm at night if they want to, and not live in fear of being raped. Or made to feel it is their fault when they are raped.

I would like RAPISTS to be treated quickly and harshly and made to be the PIECES OF SHIT they are, and not for women to be treated as “asking for it” or “if you had done something differently you could have prevented being raped!”

Rapists need to be fast tracked through the criminal and legal system, and resources be available to protect their victims .  Do you realise that rapists are released “pending judgement” or on parole go back into their communities where their victims live?  Imagine having to face your rapist because he is your neighbour.

For every person that is raped, there is a RAPIST being protected by his family, his neighbours, and society.

I think the question we need to ask ourselves is why our legal system and criminal system is not geared to deal with the rape crisis in our country?

Why is our president (who himself was accused of rape) and law makers, not making more of an effort to initiate action or a policy that has legs and can drag us out of our present crisis?

I am seldom one who likes to circumvent law but …… I really could get behind a public hanging every Friday for RAPISTS.  Now there is something I could wear black for!

1302_Lets teach

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16 Comments

  1. Love this post.

    Reply
  2. Alexandra

     /  February 19, 2013

    Sorry I posted the link to the video not the letter. Here is the link for the letter:

    http://www.jaynaidoo.org/an-open-letter-to-my-fellow-south-africans-i-am-ready-are-you/

    Reply
  3. Alexandra

     /  February 19, 2013

    I thought this letter aimed at men was of more significance than the wear black campaign:

    http://www.jaynaidoo.org/video-an-open-letter-to-my-fellow-south-africans-i-am-ready-are-you-interview/

    Reply
  4. Reluctant Mom, I posted this to my facebook wall. I’ve had a request by a friend in our little dorp as to whether we could have this blog post published in our local free newspaper (The Edge) – it’s almost like the DFA, just smaller and free….. What do you say?

    Reply
  5. I feel exactly the same way I do

    Reply
  6. Very very well said! Very well said indeed!

    Reply
  7. Kristin

     /  February 15, 2013

    I wondered how a rape survivor might feel seeing all these people dressed in black today. I just can’t get my head around how it could possibly help.

    Reply
  8. Great post and thinking! I wore black purely out of needing an easy to nurse in top… And the bulk of my wardrobe is black. But your point is great!

    Reply
  9. It’s so sad that I know exactly how you feel when you start to think, “is today the day that I will be raped?”, I also constantly have it on my mind and even more so now after the past few weeks. I think this post is exactly what we need to hear. Very well written and I totally agree with all your practical points – wearing black won’t help anything at all. Here’s to hoping that this kind of thinking really will make a difference!

    Reply
  10. Juanne

     /  February 15, 2013

    Celeste, now this is what awareness is all about. This will make a great AD for every single South African Citizen, Politician etc. This is what our President need to hear!

    Reply
  11. Kennith

     /  February 15, 2013

    I wore black today…any raising of awareness is a good thing. I think it is great that this campaign has caused you to write a blog post voicing some great thoughts and if 5 people read this with a different outlook and spoke to their child about one or two relevant points, or maybe a teacher who decides to have a discussion with their class, it would be a good thing.

    Although the bulk of black wearers today may well just be sheep following the herd…some great conversations will have been had and if just 1 person changed their mind on an action they may have taken, this could only be a good thing.

    In my mind there can be no harm in chosing a black garment from your cupboard to state that you are aware of the problem and would like to see it go away.

    Reply
  12. Karen

     /  February 15, 2013

    Agree, agree, agree & agree!!! You took the thoughts right out of my head on this one. Great article.

    Reply
  13. Denise

     /  February 15, 2013

    **blush** I wore black today… when I met hubby for lunch he said “your boobs look great in that dress” oh dear not quite the right black then?

    Reply
  14. Jimina

     /  February 15, 2013

    I wore black today. And dressed my kids in black today. And I explained to them why. I told them that a girl was hurt and then killed by 4 horrible men and that is wrong. And this happens to alot of girls. No one is allowed to do that to anyone else EVER. We need to start telling our children about these when they are so we don’t raise rapists you are right. We as a society have lost so much respect for each it other.

    Reply
  15. I love this post. As a rape and sexual abuse survivor I chose not to wear black today…

    Reply

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