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We Vilify The Violated

Of course when one considers 'privilege', even as a word with negative nuances in the 'woke' world we live in today, it is hardly ever with regards to the disadvantage of the person possessing the privilege.

It is increasingly becoming so easy for people to express their advantage over others with the click of fingers from the comfort of their own, often, not so comfortable worlds.

The truth is we live such variant lives that it is not always easy to appreciate the disadvantages a person who is not, in this moment, you, experiences. Often, we end up vilifying persons who are already battling with their inner most beings, just to stay alive.

 As a society we generally apologise for a violated person expressing themselves, in the many ways we question and blame them for what might have transpired, who they are, innately, and how they require the world they exist in, to view and interact with them.

We tend to have found pockets of comfort in passing judgement without at the very least appreciating first and foremost that unlike cans of beef, we are not all identical. And isn’t that rich diversity has gives us so much character as a people?!

In transactional inter-generational relationships, we often forget that in a country with a few economically privileged people, women and girls sit at the bottom of the pyramid. It is somehow simpler to assume that young women love money, and therefore end up in a lot of trouble because of it.

This of course helps us to avoid confronting the economic inequality that is glaringly problematic, in our world. Victim blaming is such a norm, that it is not clear whether we even realise that we are doing it.

We reprimand girls for ‘liking older men’.

We fail to conversely address the other side of this coin, which is why older men need to assert their power and authority and manness, by being with young people who will view them as these colossal beings.

When a trans-identifying person finally gathers up the courage and self-knowledge and understanding, to self-identify, as we all should have the space to do, we obsess about the ‘bird’ between their legs, without first saying, ‘welcome to yourself’. We are fixated on the idea that a person’s sex at birth should correlate with their gender, expression and identity.

This emanates, of course, from a neurotic need to

control and the discomfort that we would of course not be able to control who we do not understand or know.

So it is easier to sweep anybody who is different from us under the rug so that we continue in this illusion that gender identity in Botswana is confined to male and female, and any deviation will disrupt what we are teaching ourselves to be ‘normal’.

 When it is reported that 80 cases of rape against women were recorded between December 24, 2017 and January 2, 2018, this high rate of reported cases is blamed on what is termed, ‘the lax behaviour of women’.

What we are avoiding to confront is the reality that this is hardly even 30% of the actual instances of rape, because most rape victims will not report the matter, particularly because this crime is often blamed on the person who has suffered.

The truth is that addressing the fact that many more women were raped, than those who report it, means we have to have the conversation about who has raped these women.

The spotlight is on the person raped, leaving the rapist in the shadows, protected by a society that celebrates men, despite what they do, because we apparently forget easily.

Naturally, with the society we construct daily, in how we interact with situations we do not understand, or cannot, for various other reasons, engage with, it has become uncomfortable, for many to co-exist, and therefore imperative to have actual conversations about practical solutions to the challenges we are faced with.

The reality of empowerment is that it is accompanied by actual change in behaviour, understanding and perception.

So, let us go back to the privileged person and how they are disadvantaged by their own prejudices and biases.

Simplistically speaking, failure to acknowledge that we are all different, in our humanness, and experiences, creates a hostility in how we engage with each other.

Life is not as two dimensional as how we impose it on those who we are not. I wonder, if how aggressively we judge people who are different, or who have suffered differently from us, is inherently because of how violently we view ourselves.

There Are No Others



DPP Botswana

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