The rapes that we forget:Stop the victim blaming and look for justice for the women in our lives…..

RAPEverb   /reɪp/ [I or T]

Definition: to force someone to have sex when they are unwilling, using violence or threatening behaviour

Wikipedia: There is no single theory that conclusively explains the motivation for rape.

Victim blamingterm

Definition: holding the victim of a crime to be in whole or in part responsible for the crime. In the context of rape, this concept refers to the Just World Theory and popular attitudes that certain victim behaviors (such as flirting or wearing sexually provocative clothing) may encourage rape. In extreme cases, victims are said to have “asked for it”, simply by not behaving demurely.

 

-He locked the door. He turned to face her. “Like you said, we don’t want anyone coming in on us.” He reached under Liberty’s head and produced a roll of duct tape hidden under the cushions. He cut off a length and sealed her mouth. He pressed down and spun the roll around her wrists…

..Liberty’s muscles refused. Her legs were bound. Virgil leered above her. Hands searched her body.

No. Don’t.

Her skirt rose up.

Don’t.

Pressure.

Pain.

Pain.

Pain!!

If you tell anyone, I’ll kill you.

He left the room. Liberty laid on the couch until the final school bell rang. She struggled out of the restraints and cleaned up the mess of herself.

Only when she saw the bloodstains on the couch did she cry.

Where could Liberty turn to for help? To the police? To the school? She understood nothing of the law. But she did know she was acting against the rules by first talking to a boy and to eating lunch away from the lunchroom. To her friends? She had none. To her parents? Girls who let that happen to them had been asking for it, she was taught. To God? Her parents told her He didn’t exist.

Liberty could only rely on herself. She retreated into herself, and stayed there. – A rape scene excerpt from  John Oystein’s novel

 

I know any woman reading this, has either been a rape victim, downplayed a story of how she narrowly escaped the ordeal, was in an uncomfortable situation where her ‘possible rape alarm bells’ where going off even though luckily nothing happened or knows someone close to them that has gone through one of those horrifying experiences.  I’ve learnt recently that one in four women report that their first sexual experience was forced-Amnesty International report.  For most, these traumatic experiences have either been bottled up within the victim or gone no further than a close friend’s ear in the hope to forget it, knowing that even if reported, it will still be blamed on her, or even worse the fear of sarcastic ridiculing and mocking, jokes like ‘kulika agasajja’, a comment that a work colleague made to Ndagire, a Ugandan journalist that was gang raped last year.  She later committed suicide.  Rosebell’s blog has more on this terrible incident.

For me, such a story as well as the most recent story of the Indian girl gang raped and left for dead on a bus, is a constant reminder that no matter how educated, how successful, how independent, how powerful we get as women, it only takes a moment of being caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.  We are not as emancipated as we’d like to think.  Men still possess and wave a dangerous tool of oppression over us: rape continues to aggravate discrimination against women and girls.

 

Even more disturbing is the fact that it might not always be a stranger.  More than 55% of rapists are men we trust: our fathers, our brothers, our uncles, our boyfriends, our teachers, our neighbors.   Men who make dealing with the trauma and humiliation of having had your body violated even harder because if someone so close could have raped you, you surely must have been asking for it somehow.

don’t even want to get into how hard it is to get a rapist arrested; I’m not even talking conviction here. How victims are left facing inadequate responses by police, having to pay for the cost of police transportation to arrest the accused, forensic examination fees and other expenses related to the investigation. 

But I’ll talk about the poor men that have been forced to blame the woman for what happened- ‘she brought it on herself’ is usually what they say.  Why else would a man forcefully penetrate her vagina over and over again? She must have refused to give him ‘some’ of what is owed to him, or her skirt was so short, he could see her shiny wet vagina beckoning him to punish her for her indecency. Those slutty ungrateful women!

I don’t pray a lot but I did pray for those poor men that have to go through life with such women, that are forced by the woman’s lack of demure to rape her. What a heavy burden to carry around. I pray such men never have wives, girlfriends, mothers, daughters that some other poor men are also forced to rape. I pray they never have someone they care so much about be raped by another man and castigated because she had to have brought it on herself.

No man should have to see someone so close go through such an experience, just like no woman should have to be raped, let alone be blamed for it.

Now, can we have some meaningful action done about rape already? Outrage shouldn’t wait for incidents pushed in the lime light. Somewhere around you there is a woman who has been raped, living silently with the trauma and deserves justice.

 

PS: I know my mind seems to be allover the place, but a topic like this is hard to have a direct chain of thought about.

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Just thought I should share this particular piece with you, especially considering how heated the talk around the Anti-homosexuality bill has been in Uganda, share the feelings of an LGBTI activist in Uganda. 

Desmond Tutu
“Churches say that the expression of love in a heterosexual monogamous relationship includes the physical — the touching, embracing, kissing, the genital act; the totality of our love makes each of us grow to become increasingly godlike and compassionate. If this is so for the heterosexual, what earthly reasons have we to say that it is not the case with the homosexual?
The Jesus I worship is not likely to collaborate with those who vilify and persecute an already oppressed minority. I myself could not have opposed the injustice of penalizing people for something about which they could do nothing — their race — and then have kept quiet as women were being penalized for something they could do nothing about — their gender; hence my support for the ordination of women to the priesthood and the episcopate.
Equally, I cannot keep quiet while people are being penalized for something about which they can do nothing — their sexuality. To discriminate against our sisters and brothers who are lesbian or gay on grounds of their sexual orientation for me is as totally unacceptable and unjust as apartheid ever was.” -Desmond Tutu

Opimva

By now I think you have heard that my beloved country Uganda- the Pearl of Africa is not largely remembered for the atrocities allegedly committed by the late President Field Marshall Idi Amin Dada, but by the Anti Homosexuality Bill or “Kill The Gays” Bill. It is because of all the faces homophobia has worn over the last 3 years. I remember that day in 2009 when I walked out of a meeting to take a phone call only to be ambushed by press asking me what I thought about the “Homosexuality bill” that had been tabled in Parliament.  “Huh?” I questioningly thought. My comment was that “I haven’t seen the bill, but I believe there’s no need for such a bill”. I never imagined the magnitude of its effects on my life and the movement both negative and positive. It has generated debate we never imagined in less than…

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Men in Skinny jeans; I’m coming out of the closet

I’ve been meaning to write about sex for awhile, but of course I cannot talk about the act itself because the judgmental society I live in would brand me too forward for their sons, so I’m stuck to talking about things we pretend are completely not associated with IT so are ok to talk about; like how certain guys with certain buns in certain skinny jeans ooze a lot of nice sticky, finger licking sex appeal 🙂

Yes, there are a lot of standard lists women throw around; like rich, tall and handsome (yes, I left out the dark because I think it’s a bit racist), but we all kinda vary as you go further down the list and I for one have recently discovered that I like men in skinny jeans. There is just ALOT you can tell about a guy in those nicely tight jeans. It’s out and official now.

Jean

Jean (Photo credit: Johnny.Lai)

Yes, they absolutely work for me so stop judging me you man reading this that that has never tried them. If the guy has a nice ass, nice ass + skinny jeans = me trying not to get caught staring. Pardon? what’s a nice ass?; well it shouldn’t be too big and shouldn’t look like it was flat ironed and pressed before wearing the pants, it should be just enough to check out while he’s walking away and enough to slip my hand into his back pocket and play with if we are walking together. A guy’s ass should be like those dorm buns we used to have in Nabisunsa. For those that I’ve lost by now, Nabisunsa is one of the better schools in Uganda; it’s an all girls’ secondary school that used to give out free buns once or twice a week and those buns were smaller than your average Ugandan bun and oh so perfect, they were so amazing for small sandwiches that could be eaten in 4bites or less if you have a big mouth and two of them were just enough, not too filling and not living you wanting more. Now that is how a nice guy’s ass should be, just enough.

So a guy not afraid to suck it in and pack neatly into those babies, means the guy is daring and adventurous and might be the same in other regards but mostly because I can look out for those nice buns I like.

You know what I don’t get though? I absolutely don’t get why the men around here are so afraid of these jeans though, why they won’t return the favor women are always doing for them. Do you think we like the pressure of push up bras, heels, and weaves? But we do it anyway.  They cringe every time they see the brave souls in a pair claiming the jeans kill the little chap down there but I know faster ways to kill your masculinity than skinny jeans; I’m sure those phones always vibrating in men’s pockets take down sperm count using some earthquake theory or something like that and I know for a fact men with very unflattering bodies that wear spedos at public pools are intentionally out to starve their ninjas.

So I’ve decided to let every guy around me know that I will still like them if they get a pair of skinny jeans, maybe even a bit more depending on the buns. So get one pair, at least one, if not for me at least to tell your kids and grand kids that you did it. Ok, I’m done, I promise to write about more serious something more serious in the next post.

PS: I hope I’m not losing my street cred by admitting that my eye candy is that far down though

LOSING MY LIFE, TRYING TO GIVE LIFE IS NOT HOW I WANT TO GO

English: pregnancy at 8th month

English: pregnancy at 8th month (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A lot of people keep asking me why I want to stay childless and of course, usually I just retort- ‘why not?’ but I’d like to tell everyone who cares to know that while death is inevitable; I don’t want to beg it to come to my doorstep and becoming pregnant lately will do just that. I have enough things bringing me closer to my Maker without having to add child bearing to the list; our life expectancy is at a mere  45years and I should be experiencing a midlife crisis anytime now, then there are those high risk transport things called boda bodas ridden by special men that try to see how far they can tease and coax death and get away with it every time I jump on one, and because of the high unemployment rate which stands  at about 78% among youth, I just might die of starvation, desperation or depression- whichever gets me first.

But let me just walk you through the odds women have to go through in Uganda to give that life that so many people demand of them

On average, an estimated 16 pregnant women die every day in Uganda- that’s a lot of pregnant women if you ask me especially given that these deaths are preventable. I read and hear so many stories of women dying in the ward because of complications giving birth and my resolve not to get pregnant just becomes stronger and stronger.

There is the story of Jennifer Anguko who bled to death in a government hospital in October 2010, while waiting to deliver her child as her husband begged health workers for attention.  Another lady recently is reported to have lost one of her twins while giving birth in IHK, a respected private hospital in Kampala and when asked what caused the death, the doctors actually dint know so it’s not just a public institutions problem.

I was also shocked to learn that for every woman or girl who dies as a result of pregnancy-related causes, between 20 and 30 more who survive will develop short- and long-term disabilities, such as obstetric fistula, a ruptured uterus, or pelvic inflammatory disease.

But more saddening is the fact that with Uganda’s fertility rate at 6.9%, and with your average Ugandan woman getting married at 18yrs, the number of women getting pregnant is not about to reduce.

Lately also, there have been more women that have pregnancy complications and need caesarian help to produce their child but there are only 200 surgeons out of the 2,105 registered doctors in the country. This means there is only one surgeon for every 400,000 Ugandans. And this morning I was reading an article in the New Vision about how unqualified doctors are operating on patients, case in point being the ongoing case against one Dr. Ssali of the Fertility hospital in Bukoto who admitted the doctor he allowed to operate on a female patient that passed away did not have a practicing certificate in Uganda.

Government hasn’t really done anything to change these statistics; in fact our health care system is falling apart if you ask me. CEHURD, an NGO, brought a petition against government complaining that it violated the women’s rights by neglecting to put essential medical commodities in place for them when they are pregnant and the Constitutional Court threw the case out holding that it could not interfere with the Executive’s mandate- I know, real jokers!

And so tell me reader, why in God’s name with all those odds against pregnant women, would I want to conceive on a whim of faith that at the end of those 9 months, I’ll be sitting on a hospital holding a bouncing baby girl?

I prefer to meet my death in another way, thank you