MAN, 65 years, rape 4-year baby; child raped to death; rape of a daughter; rape of a sister; rape of a domestic worker; rape of an in-law; rape of a student or apprentice; rape of a girlfriend, rape of a married, etc.; have become common scandalous headlines in Nigeria. Incidences of rape are worldwide; dominating political spaces across the world with the imperialist US occupying the top spot in the moral debasement of the society!

We are in a world in which the moral compass of society is gradually being dominated by campaign for same-sex marriage as a human right and as condition to spread donors fund to countries categorised as underdeveloped. Raping women is the latest height of patriarchal domination!

The latest rape cases trending in Nigeria are the rape to death of Miss Vera Uwaila and Miss Barakat Bello, both in their teens, while  the rapists, as usual, would walk the streets on bail and could hope to manipulate justice and get emboldened to commit further raping! And several rape incidents are going on unreported, unnoticed, unsung and it’s like a normal movie always cast to humiliate women to submission despite the pretence by the politically male dominant society that it guarantees the security of life. But women largely remain unsecured, unprotected and exposed in several countries to sexual assault, with the exception few countries. In the US and most countries with high incidence of rape, men raping men have become fashionable and promoted as a culture in human rights. But our concern here is the women, who are victims of triple exploitation in the society – patriarchal order, exploitative modes of production and domestic slavery!

We need a society that would place compassion for women a top priority, a society that should define a worst life experience for sex possessed men who deserved to be in a zoo of rapists! There are options for rapists – rape a woman and be confined to a zoo for rapists as animalistic specimen who lost their ways to human society or exist without their manhood! Rapists deserved to experience permanent trauma and stigma their victims have for centuries been made to undergo!

Victims of rape carry the psychological trauma throughout life. There is nothing like rape by consent! Rape is rape because it is conducted without mutual consent. It is a forced action! An act carried out to please or satisfy a momentary instinct, but which leaves a life-long scar in the victim. To rationalise rape with indecent dressing as a cause is to insult the collective sensibilities of society.

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One of the most harrowing experiences of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade was the millions of black women raped for procreation by the slave raiders, by feudal lords, etc. The instinctive obsession to rape flows from commoditisation, an article to exploit, to take advantage of, to satisfy a momentary mental disorder. Hence, rapes have taken place in various strands depending on the character of the exploitative contradictions in the society. We have had histories of patriarchal rape, slave raiders rape, kingship raping of their subjects, rape as war booties, rape by armed robbers, rape by gangsters, rape for rituals, rape by law enforcement agents of women in custody and prisons, rape for interviews, rape for funders’ funding, rape for marks, rape for jobs, rape for patronage, rape by demented animal-like men/boys for ego, etc. 

For all incidences of rape, society is the loser. Depending on the nature of rape, women are not only the losers, but both women and men. In the case of rape committed against a wife, daughter, sister or relatives, there are multiple losers but women become the most affected, the most traumatised and the most depressed for ever. Rape must be elevated as a crime against humanity and the severest punishment must be imposed to serve as deterrent to those men or boys who cannot control the animalistic instinct in them.

The Trans-Atlantic slave trade brought out the beast in the slave masters and this continued till slavery era in America. The concept of cheapness and surplus value in exploitative production relations was already defined for capitalism by the raping of black women. Acquiring slaves as property meant growing more procreated slaves and increasing their profits, hence slave owners, their male children, slave traders, accomplices would seized women for sexual abuses and would later accused their victims for seduction with their  attractive features. It’s the same argument today by beastly men who would rationalise rape as temptation by devil, seduction or act of curse!

If women walk naked, let men walk blind. We have instances of women mostly half naked in serious protest situations to make a point! Would men in such situation be interested in their nudities or the essence of the resistance? Or why would a medical personnel exposed to the nudity of a woman in labour pain for child delivery be concerned about her anatomy? This shouldn’t any longer about *zip-up. It should be about deterrent measures to deal decisively against the criminal mind, the diabolical mind, the animal in human skin!

Conditional raping is growing in the guise of prostitution now called sex trade? Why must a society degenerate to sex trade? Women conditioned to survive with offering sex – can that be fulfilling? It is not. It is conceded out of violence, out of pains near death and there is no feeling to it.

 

An insight into one of the narrations of Fanon would reveal interesting phenomenon of rape. Fanon revealed the case of a patient in the Wretched of the Earth. Worst experienced by the victims than imagined. Though Fanon was in a different context of the devastating effect of colonialism in dehumanising Africans in its comparison of the occupation of Germany by France who treated the Germans as human beings despite the occupation of their territory but in the context of Algerian occupation, the Africans were not human beings to the French and their racist tendency reflected in their raping specialty.

In his psycho-analysis of the mental disorder suffered by rape victims – not necessarily by the direct victim – the woman but the family, children and husband, Fanon narrated “the case of a 26 year old militant in the National Liberation Front (FLN) in Algeria who following the crackdown on militants went underground and abandoned his home. But a group of French soldiers and policemen went to his home and finding him absent took away his wife and kept him for a week.

She was not only violently beaten but was first raped by one of the soldiers while the others were ordered out. Immediately after, a second soldier came in to rape her in the presence of the other soldiers and was reported to have said: “If you ever see that your bastard husband again, don’t you forget to tell him what we did to you.” That started her trauma for life. When she narrated her ordeal to her mother, the mother convinced her to narrate it to her husband and she confessed her disgrace to the husband when he got in touch!

And for weeks, the husband acted the typical bossy man, infuriated at the rapists but felt no pity for the wife. In his words: “When I learned during my time with the freedom fighters that she had been raped by some French soldiers, I first of all felt angry with the bastards. Then I said oh, it’s nothing serious, she wasn’t killed. She can start her life over again. And then several weeks later, it dawned on me that she had been raped because they had been looking for me. In fact she had been raped for keeping quiet. “That woman had saved my life. It was my fault she had been dishonoured. Yet she didn’t say: this is what I endured for you. On the contrary, she said: forget me, start a new life, I have been disgraced. It was then I made up my mind to take her back after the war.”

Millions of women have gone through such harrowing experiences for centuries till today – dehumanised and made miserable by the rapists and disowned by the society that instead of protecting them, would rather make mockery of the condemnable incidences that: “women caused it by exposing their bodies! But why must there exist randy animals in human skins? Society can do without such beasts of men!

If women walk naked, let men walk blind. We have instances of women mostly half naked in serious protest situations to make a point! Would men in such situation be interested in their nudities or the essence of the resistance? Or why would a medical personnel exposed to the nudity of a woman in labour pain for child delivery be concerned about her anatomy? This shouldn’t any longer about *zip-up. It should be about deterrent measures to deal decisively against the criminal mind, the diabolical mind, the animal in human skin!

We need a society that would place compassion for women a top priority, a society that should define a worst life experience for sex possessed men who deserved to be in a zoo of rapists! There are options for rapists – rape a woman and be confined to a zoo for rapists as animalistic specimen who lost their ways to human society or exist without their manhood! Rapists deserved to experience permanent trauma and stigma their victims have for centuries been made to undergo!

Comrade Aremu is Co-Coordinator, Amilcar Cabral Ideological School (ACIS-M) Movement.

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