Wednesday 26 May 2010

Thirty per World Cup match - no penalties

Moving on.

A child is raped in South Africa every three minutes. I saw it on TV. What do you say to that? You can press the “info” button on the remote control and bring up a wee box of text that outlines the content of any given programme. Modern. Listlessly surfing through the channels (a revolting habit), I landed on a Channel 4 documentary and pressed the button to see what it might be about. I needed to keep on pressing to recall the box to make sure that I was reading the information correctly.

But this wouldn’t do. I had to call Charlotte downstairs to ask her to read it out to me, just to double-check and be certain. Can you read that out to me, please? So she did. She’s a trusting sort and generally finds it easier to believe her own eyes at the first time of asking. This can be useful if we’re out and about and the world starts to feel lurchingly alien all of a terrible sudden. It happens.

Where are we?
We’re in Clonakilty, just about to go into….
No. Where are we?
Ah. That again. I don’t know, darling. I’m sorry.
Oh, let me pour forth my tears before thy face, whilst I stay here for…
Stop it. Don’t be getting all John Donne on me. Let’s just go and get the bacon, okay?

So she has her limits. She’s by no means indifferent to the surpassing peculiarity of our planet as it hurtles through God knows where, but she also quite likes to get the shopping done without existential mishap.

Right so. Documentary following the….. blah…. harrowing…. blah…. in South Africa, where a child is raped every three minutes?

The info box didn’t contain a question mark, this was just her natural response. She’s a good person.

Thank you.
Okay. Are you going to be watching this?
Nah. No way.

And I nearly didn’t. I lasted fifteen minutes and that was it. Pathetic, but there we are - and yet I can’t stop doing the sums.

1 hour = twenty child rapes
1 day = 480
1 week = 3,360
1 year = 174,720
10 years = the kind of figure that ought to make you hold your head in your hands.

What happened? What manner of sickness tears at the heart of South Africa? And these are only the child rapes, remember (a quarter of all women are raped by the time they reach the age of sixteen.) All in all, there are over half a million rapes every year, making South Africa the “rape capital” – a hideous term, seemingly favoured by all newsmen - of the world.

Unless you were sleeping or hiding in the cupboard, you may also remember that decent South Africans were struggling last year to comprehend a new strain of rapes – “corrective raping”, the act of raping lesbians to fix them. Is it okay to hate people who think this way? I think it might be. I think maybe we should all just hate them and be done with it.

Where are we?

Irish Blogs
Copyright © 2006-2012 TPE. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. Sorry about that. (All comments © the individual authors.)