Empty as the silence
Empty with a vague
Empty as the silence
Empty with a vague
I hate talking about rape, but unfortunately it must be done. No matter how much is said, there is still so much left unsaid. It is tiring to say the same things over and over again, frustrating that these things even have to be said, infuriating that some people will never get it, no matter how many times these things are said.
Where do I start from? There is one commonly accepted idea of what rape is: a violent act in which a stranger attacks an promiscuous indecently dressed girl at an ungodly hour. In this definition, the victim is already being judged. Now God forbid a woman is raped by someone she knows But that is her husband, how can he rape her? in his house which she went to voluntarily Why was she at his house at that time? and she went through the motions If she was raped, why didn’t she scream? Incidents of these kind are not even viewed as rape by some. There are two prevailing options: she either deserved the rape, or what happened to her was not rape at all.
With all the focus on the woman’s actions and reputation, one would think “good women” who get raped will be assured justice. Ha! Listen, good women never get raped you know. A burqa clad virgin who gets raped at 2:30pm while she is knitting in her windowless room will be transformed into a scarlet woman just so she can share part of the blame.
Some people will literally go out of their way to avoid blaming the rapist. Everyone else will be blamed, the victim, her mother, her great aunts, her teacher, her pastor, her pet lizard, her breakfast, everyone but the rapist. It is maddening.
The real reason I am writing this post is to talk about false rape allegations. It should go without saying that falsely accusing an innocent person of rape is despicable, and should definitely be punishable. To cast such aspersions, which are sometimes irreversible, on a person’s character is contemptible in more ways than one.
It was already hard for rape victims to be taken seriously and to get justice, but throw in a couple of false accusations and their chances have plummeted even further. A society which was already uncaring towards those who have been raped was only too happy to add another weapon to its arsenal. Now when a woman comes out to say she has been raped, in addition to criticising her attire, they can say “You are probably lying. Women lie about rape all the time.” It seems to me that society places the right of the few people who have been falsely accused of rape over the multitude who have actually been raped.
I can understand the reluctance to disparage a person’s character based on one person’s unverified accusations. However, a lot of these “let’s hear both sides of the story” sound like they are just determined to undermine the victim in anyway possible. People hear a woman has been raped and immediately start looking for proof that she is either lying or that she deserved the rape.
Yes, people do get falsely accused of rape. Yes this can ruin lives. Trust me, waaay more people actually get raped. Way more rape cases go unpunished and way more rape cases go unreported. Is your fixation on the minority borne out of a desire for justice, or a desire to silence the women?
When a woman says she has been raped, I believe her. Yes there is a chance she is lying, there is even a bigger chance she is not. If the woman is Nigerian in Nigeria, I have even less reason to doubt her. In a society where rape victims are ostracised and seen as tainted, there is less motivation to lie about rape. Can’t we offer love and support to the victim while trying to ascertain all the facts? If it turns out she did lie, then she should be punished. But to dismiss her allegations with callous indifference, because of the slight possibility that it could be untrue is just evil.
Rather than tell a rape victim that she cannot be believed because some women lie about rape, imagine if we told the innocent men accused of rape that they have to deal with being falsely accused because, well some men do rape? Imagine if they were treated like the rape victims and had to answer to ridiculous questions.
Sounds ridiculous right? Rape survivors have to suffer such questions, asked by people who don’t give a damn about the rape and its resulting trauma, but are just seeking a way to absolve the rapist.
The issue of rape is a long tortuous road with many bumps and detours. There are so many sub topics: sexual purity, patriachy, male rape and the men who believe there is no such thing, non violent rape, grooming, stockholm syndrome, the list goes on.
It is a mad world we are bringing children into.
“I tire so of hearing people say,
Let things take their course.
Tomorrow is another day.
I do not need my freedom when I’m dead.
I cannot live on tomorrow’s bread.”
― Langston Hughes
“You have no idea how hard I’ve looked for a gift to bring You.
Nothing seemed right.
What’s the point of bringing gold to the gold mine,
or water to the ocean?
Everything I came up with was like taking spices to the Orient.
It’s no good giving my heart and my soul because you already have these.
So I’ve brought you a mirror,
Look at yourself and remember me.”
“Because my mouth
Is wide with laughter
And my throat
Is deep with song,
You do not think
I suffer after
I have held my pain
Because my mouth
Is wide with laughter
You do not hear
My inner cry?
Because my feet
Are gay with dancing
You do not know
Here I am again, talking about my healthy lifestyle. Gad, you would think I was the first one to be “healthy”. Whatever. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but I have always wondered just what makes a healthy breakfast. Brown bread and egg whites? Avocado and chia seeds? Fresh air and water?
I like oatmeal, and when I saw all the fitness gurus eating it for breakfast, I thought I was on the right track. What I did not know then was that they did not drown their oats in litres of full cream milk and spoons of sugar.
I am so unadventurous when it comes to food (and pretty much everything). I find something I like, and I eat it until I get tired of it or it is proven to cause cancer. Now that I have been trying to cook for myself, the procedure is the same. I cook something, it surprisingly turns out edible, delicious even, and I will be cooking that till thy kingdom come. Sometimes while cooking a familiar recipe, I tweak a little thing and voila, a new recipe is born.