Wednesday, August 26, 2009

From Erica: "corrective rape"

The trial for the three men who raped and murdered Eudy Simelane- a lesbian soccer player in South Africa, where both aren't considered appropriate roles for women- began today. Here's the article discussing the case and its connection to a broader phenomenon, "corrective rape," which the article defines as "the rape of a lesbian by a man either to punish her or cure and correct her sexual orientation." The article's worth reading, and Not Another Wave will keep updating on this story, but I have one question:

Using rape as a corrective tool makes no sense to me. This isn't just because I find the whole idea revolting and enraging; even if you can possibly take the utter wrongness out of the act, think of it this way. How can rape- an experience that its victims generally hate- "fix" lesbianism? If someone doesn't like penis-in-vagina sex to begin with, how does forcing the issue make it any more desirable?

The obvious answer, of course, is that it's not about "fixing" anything by making it desirable; "corrective rape" attempts to "fix" lesbianism by exerting enough power and pain to scare its victims away from engaging in anything lesbian ever again. But I still find it as senseless in the practical sense as the moral sense.

1 comment:

  1. I'm also trying to understand what logic would lead a man to believe raping a lesbian will make her heterosexual. This is all I've got:

    Perhaps there are some men who rape women in a way that is not as blatantly violent as the murder of this women. Perhaps some men take such pride in their own sexual prowess that they persuade themselves any woman whose vagina they penetrate will a)enjoy the experience b)achieve an orgasm and c)understand sexuality in a new way. After all, heterosexual women are sometimes raped by men who believe those very things, and rapists sometimes don't even recognize what they're doing as rape. (I'm thinking of the whole "sometimes 'no' means 'yes'" argument).

    How is the court case going so far? It would be beyond horrible if any of those men weren't locked up for life.