I like comments that make me think. Ones that often make me have to argue my post’s case back. Cause if you cannot argue back… then maybe you have to be the one to change your perspective.
I’m not sure why, but the short comment from Anon got me thinking in circles…
''London makes you forget this'', do me a favour, you go to any Walkabout or Zulus on a friday or saturday in London, and you se plenty of guys trying to pounce on the drunk easy girl. Its not a south african phenomenon, but a worldwide problem. Maybe London just gives some the false impression they above that. Sorry but this guy just needs to get over himself!
I think, in this case, you would have to rather blame the author than the character. I think I might have left out a vital sentence or two.
We had just been having debates and heavy chats about HIV an hour before, so when we were talking to those kids it was still on our minds. Including that statement in my summarising of his distress was rather to highlight the topic of HIV transmission in SA’s youngsters.
Young black poor girls are seen as a main group for contracting HIV, and current themes are that these girls often are not in a position to argue for the use of a condom. This girl was not even in a state to argue whether she wanted sex or not, let alone a condom. The simplistic “ABC”s of Prevention (Abstain, Be Faithful, Condomise) were completely foreign to this moment.
And standing next to me was an intelligent, highly educated, very caring guy built well enough to take on a physical fight for this girl. However, could he talk this girl out of this situation, but more pivotal, should he even get involved.
HIV is being so easily transmitted in front of our eyes. Here in SA. If we are concerned about it, at what level and how aggressively should we be fighting for prevention. If I am all for “HIV Prevention”, should I step in and rally my point at an individual level, or can I take solace in me sitting at my computer in my office battling it out during the working year.
I don’t think there is an easy answer. And that’s where the distress and inaction came from. Too many elements playing about the argument.
Parallel to this was the “date rape” aspect of the incident. And that is most definitely universal.
Added to this are the start of questions about whether there is a hierarchy to the negative aspects to sex. Yeah, I was date raped, but at least it wasn’t a violent rape by a stranger, and hey! at least it wasn’t gang rape, while even better I didn’t become pregnant or get an STI, and BEST OF ALL! …. I did not contract HIV from this traumatic incident.
When being politically correct, we all say of course there is no hierarchy to rape or sexual assault or sexual violation. But what is really going on in each person’s mind or are people saying in private. I know that my irrational side believes in this hierarchy, as much as my rational side fights against it.
So, on one level, people who live in London are able to put out of their daily minds the worry of HIV’s devastation of their present society. Lucky them?
On another level, sexual violation is universal, and if you take out the guy’s paraphrased statement about London, I was hoping people would still consider the questions of when, if ever, to step in.
There are still a few other elements to that incident that have got me thinking – such as was I stereotyping her danger, and would it have changed the post if I mentioned the kids’ race and socio-economic status… but that’s all the thought I have for now.
So, thanks for making me think and argue back to my thoughts!