Proverbial patriarchy

Yesterday there was more talk on the accusation of rape against Brickz and when I read the comments Sunday’s City Press article my blood boiled. I immediately took to twitter to express my disappointment.

I was upset by the number of people (an overwhelming majority) led by a woman called Eve, who believe that the girl is lying because she took so long to report Brickz. They also questioned why Brickz’s wife would report him. They believed she was bitter and had a score to settle with her husband and therefore used this young girl to further her cause.

While I was ranting another guy was tweeting about rape and he said it’s funny how people do not discuss how many crazy men there are out there. This was a light-bulb moment for me as I began to unpack the reasons for women being seen as these sociopathic characters who seek vengeance whenever things go pear-shaped in their relationships.

Last year, I wrote a post called Sidechick Chronicles, in it I mentioned a pedi idiom “monna ke selepe re a adimana”. I will not go into the meanings but I touched on the oppressive nature of the small sayings we use each day.

I thought African proverbs were guilty of oppressive idioms that leave women in position of inferiority to men but as I ranted yesterday I thought: one of the main reasons women are seen as so vengeful has to be the idea that “hell hath no fury like a woman scorned”. Our quotes, idioms and proverbs have influence over our lives and I do not think we realise it until we are faced with a proverb that provokes our lifestyles and mindsets.

Men are never crazy. They are painted in a beautiful brushstroke of ambivalence. In my university years I constantly heard stories of the crazy girls who just never let go when they had been dumped. When I heard of a guy who had behaved in similar ways for some reason the story was not told in the same way. Somehow the guy was a “G” who showed these girls who was boss. He got even – that’s all.

Brickz may very well be innocent but this post is not about him. It’s about the number of cases that will; come up in the future that involve men who are seen as powerful and most loved in our cyber and middle class circles. This includes our politicians, our celebrities and other businessmen. Somehow because of who these men are no one can believe that they would commit such a heinous crime. The women who accuse them must have some ugly score to settle, they must be scorned.

I mean obviously if a girl is rejected by a hot celebrity the best way to get back at him is to say he raped her. These days girls are crying wolf and their targets are these men who have everything going for them. They are jealous that they are not part of what these men have that’s what it is right?

Somehow we need to start interrogating our use of language to perpetuate the stereotypes that lead to the marginalisation of women and lack of belief in women’s stories. Yes there are people out there who will go to any lengths to ruin the lives of others but every story that has flooded our timelines regarding a man in the public eye has been ignored or led to the women being called liars and manipulators.

According to an article regarding the crime rates in South Africa for 2012/ 2013 on Africa Check, Sexual offence cases increased from 64 514 to 66 387, an increase of 2.9%.  I am not sure what the number of false rape accusations is and I will therefore not suck a number out of my thumb but considering how high the number of rapes in this country is I dare say I doubt the number of false of accusations is anywhere near that.

For years women have been raped by noble men in their communities. Just because these men were not on the covers of Forbes Magazine and didn’t trend on our timelines does not mean they were any less influential. These are the men who were uncles, pastors, teachers and fathers to some but sick twisted rapists to others. The image of a man should not be what leads us to believe that he is not capable of rape nor should the idea that women are out born of Eve and evil in nature lead us to be in denial about their very real experiences.

Not every woman is scorned, very few are. They are raped and they remain silent because we tell them they are liars. We let them know long before they are raped that we will never believe them. We need to stop.

Disclaimer: I do not know enough English idioms to interrogate those that are sexist and perpetuate stereotypes against men and I will not pretend to know any. Hell hath no fury is a quote from a play by William Congreve. I simply thought of this saying and ran with it.

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One thought on “Proverbial patriarchy

  1. Very true.. To give u a number on one of ur points. Its about 2% of men to be found falsely accused to rape I read somewhere.. “More people fake their own deaths than lie about being raped.” Its said. I love that quote.

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