No such thing as 'asking for it'

HARARE - He received a lashing over the social network for his statements — from some of the strongest and most respected women in the country — and even though he was clearly out of line, he still maintains his idiotic sentiment.

What scares me about this is not just this idiot’s attitude, but that this is the attitude of many men when it comes to rape.

What @markgamanya is saying is that it’s a woman’s fault if she is raped.

In an age where we are trying to fight violence against women in every way possible, a statement like this just takes us back to the dark ages.

Women are still perceived as objects, and this is perpetuated by magazines, movies and legislations that restrict women’s freedom.

The problem is not how women dress. It’s how men react to it, and men like @markgamanya propagate these backward ideologies with stupid statements.

He is basically looking for a scapegoat to justify the inability of some men to control their urges.

We don’t need this. Women have it hard enough as is without idiots like him shooting off at the mouth.

What we need is affirmation that a woman is free to do what she will and men should be controlling themselves instead of blaming their inadequacies as men on women.

Who are you to judge what a woman should wear? My short skirt or tight jeans are by no means indications that any man should shove his private part where he wants to.

My bathing suit is not an invitation for him to violate my body, or even just my personal space. My sun dress is not a provocation for a man to ravage what is underneath.

My dressing has nothing — and I repeat — NOTHING to do with anyone else but me.

If my dressing rouses your loins, it is not my fault. It is yours. It is your fault if you see a pair of shorts as an incitement to rape and abuse.

Women are not free. In some countries they are still not allowed to vote, drive, or wear what they want to wear, yet rape is still rife even in those places.

In fact, the woman is punished for being the victim of sexual violence and is often stoned to death. We see that as barbaric. There is no difference between this and @markgamanya saying that women should learn to dress “properly”.

In this country, women are technically free to choose what they want to wear and so it should be. But with statements like @markgamanya’s, this is made very difficult because we are shown that men like him see dressing as a reason to desecrate a woman. This sentiment is used as an excuse.

They see women’s rights as being limited to what men think.

Hence, a woman is raped in South Africa every 17 seconds.

This figure from research conducted did not include the number of child rape victims.

It was estimated that one in every two women would be raped. And these are just reported cases. Only one in nine women actually report sexual assault.

Rape statistics in 2011 revealed that a four-year-old girl died after being raped by her father.

A 14-month-old girl was raped by her two uncles.

In February 2002, an eight-month-old infant was reportedly gang raped by four men.

Were those due to their dressing? Between 28 percent and 30 percent of adolescents reported that their first sexual encounter was forced.

Is that because of their enticing school dresses?

No, @markgamanya. It’s because some men are just sick and cannot keep their package in their pants.

And you, in making that statement, are complicit to these crimes against women and children.

You are equating women to objects and men to animals who cannot help but covet what they see.

Your “holier than thou” attitude stinks. It reeks of hypocrisy and is the same as  sympathising with rapists.

As long as people like you think that women are to shoulder the blame for men being devoid of any morals, our society will NEVER be free from the scourge of sexual violence.

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