Bleak…in black13 February , 2013
I am feeling so bleak today that I’m not even going to post this ramble with a photo (and you know how much I like doing that – even when they’re unrelated).
The first thing is that I have yet again managed to pick up some sort of tummy bug. I suspect that I may have gotten it from Nicola, who brought it home from school – but other than complaining about a sore tummy a few nights ago she hasn’t actually been sick. It is quite likely that her immune system has now become more robust than mine (not complaining about one little bit).
Anyhoo, yesterday I had to rather abruptly pull over at a petrol station in the middle of my trip home to go and throw up in their bathrooms. The attendant took it all in his stride when I chucked my keys at him and asked for R200 of fuel and directions to the ladies room or a shrub they don’t much care for.
I just felt like crap last night until I finally convinced Nicola that it was time to sleep. They seem to sense when you just want to curl up and play dead, and then they take the opportunity to milk it for all that it’s worth, don’t they?
The second thing is that my poor phone was severely injured this morning. It accidentally got kicked out of my hands when I dropped the pink terrorist off at school and the screen is cracked to kingdom come. I’ve taped it up as an interim measure and it still works, but it makes me sad every time I lay eyes on it.
I called five different places for quotes on repairs this morning. It varies quite a lot! The place I am feeling most optimistic about will fix it in 20 minutes for R1700. Some of the other quotes go up to R2200 and they send it to bloody Cape Town for repairs and you’re looking at weeks. Really?! Really?! My dad thinks I should just claim for a new phone because the excess is the same on a screen repair or a new phone…but I really love THIS one.
It just sucks…all of it.
Thirdly (yes, we are really counting), one of the secret agents from secret group started this long and unnecessary email witch hunt, which has really eaten up HOURS of my time to field already. I’m not even the witch in question! Well, at least I managed to herd enough documents together and fire them off to him this morning to get him to his happy place, at last. It then turned out that he needed a favour from me: crow-barring one of the reports that he’s responsible for – I did it for him in 5 minutes flat (I really just want to stop communicating with him so that I can get on with my day job!).
About the best thing I can say about all that is that at least he said thank you.
And fourthly…a.k.a lastly for today, I am wearing black for this anti-rape campaign. I wore black on Tuesdays for three months in a row against the stupid secrecy bill and I can honestly tell you that I don’t think it made one bit of difference to that situation, but here I am – wearing it again.
Anyway, I’ll wear the black – not to raise awareness – because I think people are about as aware as they are ever going to want to be about this. No. I am wearing black because I am mourning about the rape statistics of the world, but especially this beautiful country where I live. It’s a crying shame!
I am not going to put a sticker on my car either. My car is in no danger of ever being raped and the odds of me being in my car if something like that happens to me are probably fairly slim, also I don’t think it will be a deterrent at all even if it does.
I don’t think “raising awareness” will help one little bit. People are fucking aware, and I think they are also aware that it’s not getting any better either . I think what needs to be raised are people who aren’t rotten to the core. What needs to be raised are people who respect each other and who don’t feel the need to break other people because they themselves feel lost or broken.
Those are all too long term to address the current crisis though. At one person raped every four or whatever minutes, you’re talking about a lot of suffering taking place while this all dangles unresolved. As an interim measure I think what needs to be raised is the conviction rate and the punishment for convicted rapists (let’s chop of those bits that seem to be bothering you so much!). And we need a nationwide roll-out of ass kicking classes, so that people can defend themselves against these fiends. The time for turning the other cheek is gone – now is the time for action. Grrr!
You know, this whole business bugs me tremendously. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I’ve thought about it, dreamed about it, had nightmares about it. I have a few self defence classes behind me, and a temperament to match. There is no doubt in my mind that with a bit of luck I would be able to hold my own if someone attacked me, if there are more than two I’m also pretty sure that I’m going to lose that battle. However, my biggest worry is keeping my daughter safe. There is nothing that I wouldn’t do to ensure her safety…nothing. Just the other night, right after I heard about that poor girl in Bredasdorp, I had a nightmare that someone broke into our house and that he threatened to rape Nicola. In my dream I killed that man and was thrown in jail for murder because I overstepped the boundaries of self defence. Unrealistic nightmare? Maybe not as much as we’d like to think. We’re so bloody concerned with the rights of the accused (innocent until proven guilty), but unfortunately not too overly concerned with the victims they leave in their wake!
I would still do it in a heart-beat if I could save my daughter from something as ugly as that.
My own pet theory about why rape has become our country’s claim to infamy is that some men are having a bit of a gender role crisis. Think about it. Rape isn’t about sex, rape is about power. Why are our men so angry? The role of a man has drastically changed over the last couple of decades. They used to be the head of the family, main or in some case only breadwinner, fathers, husbands, more likely to be promoted to managerial roles at work, in charge of all family money matters, etc. Now, none of those things are guaranteed anymore – could be a bit frustrating and cause a fair amount of uncertainty when you don’t know where you fit into society anymore, don’t you think? It’s not an excuse though, but I think it might be pretty close to a root cause? (Well, that’s my guess anyway)
I should also just mention that I’m not trying to say that some women don’t rape or are not sometimes involved as accessories to the whole business, but my theory only covers some of the men for now. The women who do these kinds of things are a whole other kind of fucked up, which I don’t even want to think about right now.
I don’t really know how you can fix something that’s as broken as this is? It makes me very sad just to think about it. I still believe that there is a lot of potential for this country to flourish, but when I think a little bit too hard about things like these…sometimes…just sometimes…I wonder if the best thing I could do for myself and my child wouldn’t be to raise her somewhere else where life still has some value to people?
Of course then I snap out of it too, and I remember that this is MY country, where most of the people and things I love are. And I’ll be damned if I let someone take that away from me without a fight! Grrr…
If you’re not part of the solution, then you’re part of the problem.