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"Culture is the heritage of us all. some may be more interested than others in the treasures of the past, but no one can fail to take a pride in his country's participation in the story of mankind, as represented in carvings, sculpture, music, paintings and the other arts. And there is a personal commitment to this, for no man can really say he is alone: we are all joined through our identity, with the cultures which are part of the mainstream of life"
- Simon Kapwepwe, Zambian Independence Freedom Fighter

"Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm" - Winston Churchill

"Try to be the rainbow in someone else's cloud" - Maya Angelou

"Your time is limited so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinion drown out your inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition" - Steve Jobs

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Rape in Africa

This article on Kenyan women living in fear in the slums reminded me of something passed on to me about a new female condom that was to be passed out during the World Cup.

A South African woman has invented a female condom, called Rape-aXe, which latches onto the male assailant during process of him violating his female victim.  Some people think this is barbaric.  Others think what is the point, what is done is done, the man effectively has succeeded in raping the woman.  I think it is a way for women to at least feel confident in the fact that even if they cannot stop the act from occurring completely, when it does happen, the man does not derive any pleasure from it because of the pain that ensues once he penetrates.  Also more importantly, this means that there is concrete evidence, as he is inextricably fused to the device until he seeks medical help. Doctors can collect evidence, and they can report the incident to the appropriate authorities and this information can corroborate the woman's statement. I think more women would report their rape if they knew they had backing from at least the evidence.   A lot of the time such cases play out as a 'he said she said' fighting match. It also protects from STDs.  Its uses in high rape location such as the slums of Nairobi and the war zone in DRC cannot be denied.

This condom has the potential to empower women.  I do not think it reinforces fear.  Being able to have some control over what happens to your body is potent to me.  It reminds me of a conversation I had with BIMBO a long time ago while walking in the dark and I mentioned how it was nice to be able to walk with someone on campus after hearing about the man who was going around sexually assaulting women on his bike.  Her and her twin sister LOLZ are over 6ft.  She said to me that she never has that fear of being overpowered, she  is confident she can fight toe to toe with most dudes.  I am a pygmy not an amazon and constantly have that fear when I find myself alone at night.  I know that even though I am feisty, really if faced with such a situation, my fight would be futile, knowing that inevitably I would lose. So this device makes sense to me. Even if you cannot completely protect yourself physically, being able to stop someone from violating you and others in the process through the justice system is a huge step to deterring others who may be thinking about doing the same.  Which man wants to be marked for life with the little scars the teeth leave?! This will make them think twice before trying to get away with such abuse.  Every woman after the incident will know what he has done.  The only con I see is if a woman forgets she has the condom in and a poor dude suffers from her lapse during a consensual encounter!

Of course there will be abuse of the condom from scorned lovers and the unhinged, vengeful type.  But there are always two sides to a story.  Isn't sex supposed to be an expression of your love for someone, a way to deeply connect with another human being, and if you are lucky to be able to create the miracle of life, or a bit of fun (of course so long as you are SAFE) and yet is is used as a weapon to manipulate, to control and to traumatise just as often too?

Thanks HAYLEY for sending me the article about this.


  1. Sad as it is that it needs to go to this, I think this is a positive development aiding towards empowering women against a all too frequent crime.

  2. It is sad that so drastic a measure has been thought of. I wish people would self-correct instead of being forced!