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Jan 04 2014

‘Corrective rape’ aimed at ‘curing’ lesbians

All right, I have to stop reading world news first thing in the morning. What did I encounter today? A crisis in South Africa — there is an epidemic of really stupid men who believe the way to ‘cure’ lesbians is gang rape.

"If we want to finish lesbians and gays they must be forcefully raped," says one, grinning at the camera. "A man must go back to his manhood. Women must be women. She must be ready and willing to have sex."

"They must be raped so that their gay and lesbian behaviour can come out," adds another.

The third raises his voice, points two fingers at his temple and concludes: "This gay and lesbian thing must end. I say bang bang bang!"

If I were a woman, those men would turn me into a lesbian, I think. Also, no illusions here: this isn’t about converting women to heterosexuality. It’s about intimidation and power. Some of the events in the story are about women being executed after the rape.

95 comments

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  1. 1
    marcus

    Too early for hatred and evil. Men like this make me wish I was a lesbian. (An armed lesbian.)

  2. 2
    Bernard Bumner

    Rape, child rape, murder… it makes me want to weep.

    That is a picture of SA which is in very stark contrast to the recent celebrations of Mandela’s life and achievements, and the ideal of the Rainbow Nation.

  3. 3
    opposablethumbs

    Violent hatred of women, homophobia, toxic hyper-”masculinity”. What an evil, poisonous cocktail.

  4. 4
    karley jojohnston

    It’s times like this that I wish Hothead Paisan existed in real life.

  5. 5
    Doubting Thomas

    Nope, not gonna read that this early and before coffee. Maybe later but it’s not like I need more proof there are assholes in the world.

  6. 6
    Dick the Damned

    I can’t read, in depth, such stupidly evil diatribes. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that the bozos would be susceptible to the benefits of education on the topic of human sexuality. I guess we can blame their attitude on religion &/or stupidity.

  7. 7
    Inaji

    :shakes head: Yeah, just rape that gay away. It doesn’t do for people to get complacent and think Oh, South Africa though, because this is unfortunately all too common thinking all over the world, and corrective rape happens all over the world, too.

    “A lot of people are outraged that gay people have equal rights, and are becoming more angry as gay people become more visible,” she says. “It’s a deeply patriarchal country – men are numero uno in the townships – and use corrective rape as a tool to assert their masculinity, all while egging each other on. Combine that with a lack of education, high unemployment leading to mass boredom, frustration and problems with drink and drugs and you have a perfect storm for patriarchal sadism.

    Gee, that outrage sounds familiar. Patriarchal sadism – good term.

  8. 8
    Lynna, OM

    Mormon bishops could give South Africa’s anti-gay, misogynist men a run for their money. Mormon culture’s damaging attitudes are revealed in this discussion:
    http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1128208

    No, the bishops are not advocating rape, but they are punishing women if they are raped, and they are letting rapists off scott free.

  9. 9
    Rich Woods

    “They must be raped so that their gay and lesbian behaviour can come out,”

    So the bloke who is volunteering to rape a gay bloke, does he perhaps have any issues he’d like to mention to his associates?

  10. 10
    Inaji

    Lynna:

    No, the bishops are not advocating rape, but they are punishing women if they are raped, and they are letting rapists off scott free.

    All too common behaviour, and the attitude is as old as the hills. The whole tomboy business in the article resonated with me, I heard plenty of that growing up, from adults and peers. When it came from peers, there was always a subtle undercurrent of threat. It’s terribly common for people to think that “a good fucking” will set that shit straight.

  11. 11
    Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk

    If I were a woman, those men would turn me into a lesbian, I think.

    The article makes it clear that often there is family corroboration, so it’s not just an issue of trying to avoid men.

    Really, y’ll should just read the whole thing. I wanted to quote passages with statistics and police reactions and court times and 24 out of 25 reported rapists never even seeing the inside of a court and 25% of men admitting to having raped at least once, but there’s just to much.

    So yeah. I do have a hair-trigger when it comes to rape. I’m sure assholes like Rusty and other trolls laugh their asses of at me, but I live in South Africa. Look at this shit and tell me how you can still be laughing. If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention.

  12. 12
    Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk

    And I humbly offer my post at 11 to Borkquote and Tpyos. All hail their greatness.

  13. 13
    Rey Fox

    “Grateness”.

  14. 14
    Inaji

    PZ:

    If I were a woman, those men would turn me into a lesbian, I think.

    I don’t think so. Unless you wanted to be beaten, raped, and possibly murdered.

  15. 15
    Inaji

    Marcus @ 1:

    Men like this make me wish I was a lesbian. (An armed lesbian.)

    No. I hope you’ll reflect a bit and realize just how stupid this is, and just how much it doesn’t help. What needs to be fixed is the endless sewer of toxic sexism and misogyny, which is world-wide, and the continual efforts to dismantle patriarchy, whether religion based or not.

  16. 16
    Bronze Dog

    …this is unfortunately all too common thinking all over the world, and corrective rape happens all over the world, too.

    That’s exactly what I was thinking when I saw this being about South Africa. I’ve heard the disgusting rationale too often here in America, and I imagine I’d be hearing it a lot more if I was a lesbian instead of living on easy mode.

  17. 17
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Rich Woods

    So the bloke who is volunteering to rape a gay bloke, does he perhaps have any issues he’d like to mention to his associates?

    Besides the issues of being a violent sadistic waste of space? Probably not.
    Statistically, yeah sure, some of them are gay. Some of those who rape women are gay too.
    But really, this “the worse the homophobe, the more it’s probable he’s gay” thing is getting really old. Has there ever been any evidence of anything like that? Because every time I read this it reads more and more like a “politically correct”* way of using gay as an insult.

    *deliberate use of the term, without irony

  18. 18
    Inaji

    Beatrice:

    But really, this “the worse the homophobe, the more it’s probable he’s gay” thing is getting really old.

    It’s beyond old.

    Because every time I read this it reads more and more like a “politically correct”* way of using gay as an insult.

    Yes, it is. I’m not altogether sure those that still make “oh, latent” remarks realize that, though.

    The first comments were all from men, and that’s why you see the “makes me wish I was a lesbian” and “oh latent” and “nope, not gonna read it” stuff. I think that most men, when they see something like this, they feel at a complete loss and don’t know what to say, so, something stupid results.

  19. 19
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Caine,

    I didn’t want to read the article at first either, but by being aware of this I felt I owe it to those women to read it. No matter how painful it is to read, that feeling is in no way comparable to what will stay with them for the rest of their lives.

  20. 20
    Inaji

    Beatrice, I hear you. I didn’t want to read it either. I did though, because it’s a very, very tiny thing to do for these women – to read their stories, look at the photos, and in doing so, at least be someone who grants them validation. :fistbump:

  21. 21
    Onamission5

    I’d like to address a few things. First, to the dudely dudes who said things like “I wish I was a lesbian.” Why? Because you, with your manly manliness would, were you a lesbian, be better equipped to defend yourself from gang rape than actual lesbians who just don’t know how to fight back properly? And a lesbian with a gun, oh yes, that is even better, so that you can get shot in the head while you’re being raped rather than beaten or strangled. Or maybe you could manage to shoot one of your attackers before you were disarmed and then, should you live, spend the rest of your life getting raped by prison guards, and that’s fine because at least one of the guys who raped you the first time would have learned their lesson and that’s all that really matters. Please do tell us more about how you could out-lesbian the lesbians (and invisible bisexuals) and show them all how to do it, if only you were one.

    tl;dr/less ranty: these sorts of contributions are not. fucking. helpful.

  22. 22
    Onamission5

    What I am saying is that the answer to one kind of destructive, toxic sexism is not the assertion of a different kind of toxic sexism.

    Caine, Fleur de Mal @ #15:

    What needs to be fixed is the endless sewer of toxic sexism and misogyny, which is world-wide, and the continual efforts to dismantle patriarchy, whether religion based or not.

    QFFT.

  23. 23
    Inaji

    Onamission5:

    What I am saying is that the answer to one kind of destructive, toxic sexism is not the assertion of a different kind of toxic sexism.

    Absolutely. And therein lies yet another reason we must continually educate. Even when people mean well, the results can be awful. I do think a whole lot of men do find themselves enraged and at a complete loss, so they end up saying something distinctly unhelpful.

  24. 24
    Inaji

    Myself:

    I do think a whole lot of men do find themselves enraged and at a complete loss, so they end up saying something distinctly unhelpful.

    I’ll add that this sort of thing is usually the result of systemic sexism and patriarchal values, in which we all end up swimming. It’s a lot of work and self-awareness to get past it all.

  25. 25
    Onamission5

    Caine, I admire your ability to have active compassion for people while they are in the process of doing and saying unhelpful things. I usually get stuck at rageflail and then shut the fuck down.

  26. 26
    David Marjanović

    Statistically, yeah sure, some of them are gay. Some of those who rape women are gay too.

    Statistically, many of both are bisexual, unless we’re using a very narrow (…sorry) definition for that term.

  27. 27
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    David,

    That too. Got caught in the trap of habitual erasure of bisexuality there, didn’t I?

  28. 28
    Gregory Greenwood

    I managed to force myself to read the entire article, and the sheer depth of brutal, hateful misogyny and homophobia it described really does make me wonder about the future of our species. That we are capable of such sadistic evil, and remain so even in the modern age when we should surely know better, leads me to wonder if humanity is simply broken beyond repair. It is another example of the all too common phenomenon of the sheer depth and pervasiveness of human cruelty leaving me depressed and rather ashamed to be a member of this species of semi-hairless, semi-sapient ape.

    And then I read the comments. Which, as usual, was a mistake.

    The common response to this article about the horrors of ‘corrective rape’ was not a discussion of the creeping ubiquity of rape culture.

    It wasn’t a discussion of how patriarchy creates an environment conducive to the replication of the attitudes that lead to such hideous crimes.

    It wasn’t cautionary reminders that ‘corrective rape’ may have been coined as a term in South Africa, but it is no way limited to that country, but rather is a worldwide scourge.

    Oh no, the comments focussed on one of the few things that could actually make the horrors described in the article even worse; gross racism. The thread quickly descends into a procession of bigoted idiots opining that such things never happened before the whites lost power, but that this ‘truth’ is being suppressed by some ‘politically correct’ conspiracy. The pining for the lost days of unfettered white privilege and power is quickly joined by racist pontificating on the supposedly innately ‘primative’ nature of black African peoples, before moving on to trying to claim that the UK is being subject to some cultural ‘invasion’ that is resulting in growing criminality. Voices are raised in opposition to the rampant bigotry, but they are mostly ignored or simply drowned out by the sheer volume of idiocy.

    It is notable that relatively little discussion of the actual issues raised in the article is to be found, and very little consideration of the suffering of the victims is to be found. Empathy, it seems, is not currently in vogue among the commenters on the Independent website

    Reading all that was probably bad for my blood pressure, and I certainly find that I don’t like our species very much right now.

  29. 29
    Inaji

    Gregory:

    It is notable that relatively little discussion of the actual issues raised in the article is to be found, and very little consideration of the suffering of the victims is to be found. Empathy, it seems, is not currently in vogue among the commenters on the Independent website

    I’m afraid that’s rather notable in this thread as well.

    Much credit to you for wading into the comments, I did not go there. It was all I could do to read the article, to validate those women who did survive, to cry over and honour the memory of those women who did not. From what you say, reading the comments may have resulted in me killing my relatively new computer.

  30. 30
    blf

    “[T]he worse the homophobe, the more it’s probable he’s gay” thing is getting really old.

    It is used far too frequently and freely. I presume it’s origins are in the stories of publicly homophobic, typically fundie, preachers (and similar politicians) who do turn out to be gay (or bi). An example: George Alan Rekers, who needed help “carrying his luggage”. Another example: Ted Haggard, who is “completely heterosexual” (but apparently has since admitted he’s bi).

    Rekers was(and still is?) an extreme homophobe, and was involved in so-called “conversion therapy”, which is not all that distant from “corrective rape”.

    Haggard was also publicly homophobic. I’m unsure of his current attitude (e.g., he now apparently supports civil same-sex marriages).

  31. 31
    Inaji

    And…the “talk about anything except the women and the world-wide problem of corrective rape” continues.
     
    Sigh.

  32. 32
    David Marjanović

    Sigh.

    Have we perhaps exhausted the topic?

  33. 33
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    I’m sorry, Caine.

  34. 34
    Inaji

    Onamission5:

    Caine, I admire your ability to have active compassion for people while they are in the process of doing and saying unhelpful things. I usually get stuck at rageflail and then shut the fuck down.

    Thanks, but I’m afraid I’m hitting the rage wall now. I think I’ll go clean, the house can handle my hostility.

  35. 35
    Inaji

    Beatrice, no worries. Gonna go clean.

  36. 36
    mikeyb

    Sick beyond belief, but not a surprise. The Duck Dynasty mentality is global.

  37. 37
    Onamission5

    @David Marjanović #32:

    I for one certainly hope the topic of women and little girls being raped en masse the world over as punishment for their perceived sexual orientation is not exhausted until the problem is good and goddamn solved. As long as rape is still occurring the victims are, at the very least, worthy of a moment’s thoughtful attention.

    @Caine I wish you the best.

  38. 38
    Gregory Greenwood

    Caine, Fleur du mal @ 29;

    I’m afraid that’s rather notable in this thread as well.

    Commenters like yourself and Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought are doing an excellent job of reminding people that expressing sympathy and support for the victims is rather more useful than unhelpful remarks about the supposed liklihood of latent homosexuality among homophobes or engaging in vicarious revenge fantasies.

    Much credit to you for wading into the comments, I did not go there.

    You are smarter than me. I should really have known better. Comments on articles like this are rarely anything other than a cesspool of privileged bigotry that at best swaps one form of prejudice for another, and at worst simply amplifies the horrors described in the article itself.

    It was all I could do to read the article, to validate those women who did survive, to cry over and honour the memory of those women who did not.

    As you probably already know, I am a cis/het white guy – I am verily swimming in entirely unearned privilege along multiple axes, and very much live life on ‘easy mode’. One of the products of that privilege is that I have thus far lived largely personally untouched by the the monstrosity of rape culture. Despite all of this, I found the article to be very painful and distressing reading, and the comments only made it worse. I cannot imagine how difficult it must be for someone like yourself with your experiences and who is facing the ongoing, gruelling gauntlet of having to deal with society’s ingrained misogyny every single day.

    Free cyberhugs are available if you want them.

    From what you say, reading the comments may have resulted in me killing my relatively new computer.

    Either a stygian pit of despair or a blind, stuff-breaking-inducing rage (quite possibly both) can easily be induced in any half way decent human being by witnessing idiots compounding heinous, violent misogyny and homophobia with an extra frisson of vile racism, all stated with the wholly unjustified smug certitude that this kind of thing could never be the action of ‘civilised’ (meaning pasty of hue, apparently) people, while all the while corrective rape is happening all over the world, and almost certainly in their own neighbourhoods.

    I had to stop reading the comments, if for no other reason than that it seems inevitable that sooner or later some MRA arsehat would turn up to employ some varient of the old chestnut that the victims were probably ‘asking for it’, and then I would fear very much for the future health of my own (admittedly rather old and wheezy) computer.

  39. 39
    Gregory Greenwood

    I hope the cleaning helps, Caine. I usually like to deal with this kind of thing either by walking the dog (always relaxing) or by playing something full of gratuitous opportunities for blowing virtual stuff up.

  40. 40
    CaitieCat, in no way a robot nosireebot

    Thank you, Beatrice and Caine; I read the first couple of comments, after PZ’s unfortunate post-blockquote coda, and just left this thread because it was too toxic to wade into.

    I’m grateful that you were in a place to be able to do the spadework, women. Thank you.

  41. 41
    Rich Woods

    @Beatrice #17:

    But really, this “the worse the homophobe, the more it’s probable he’s gay” thing is getting really old.

    I accept your point, although that particular interpretation wasn’t uppermost in my mind (yet I now see how it could lead there). I didn’t consider other possibilities.

    Has there ever been any evidence of anything like that? Because every time I read this it reads more and more like a “politically correct”* way of using gay as an insult.

    *deliberate use of the term, without irony

    Personally, I take it as a general rule that whenever someone denounces something as politically correct, most often it means that the speaker is annoyed that s/he no longer feels free to use a particular belief to more directly denigrate another person. FWIW, I try not to do that about anything or anyone. If I’ve fucked up here, I apologise.

    As for the evidence side of it, I really don’t know. I think we’d need a social scientist to give us pointers.

  42. 42
    Pteryxx

    reminding people that expressing sympathy and support for the victims is rather more useful than unhelpful remarks about the supposed liklihood of latent homosexuality among homophobes or engaging in vicarious revenge fantasies.

    Sympathy and support, and listening, and empathizing, are all coded as unManly ways of behaving. I don’t think it’s coincidental that many of us react to stories about vicious gender role enforcement in reflexively masculine-coded ways. They’re much safer reactions to have in public.

  43. 43
    Inaji

    Pteryxx:

    I don’t think it’s coincidental

    It isn’t. I said as much, upthread, more than once. That isn’t stopping men from going full court idiot, though. I expect better here.

    *goes back to cleaning*

  44. 44
    The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical

    I had to take a two mile hike through the snowy woods (it’s a balmy -10c right now, so I’m trying to enjoy it while I can) before I could read the article, knowing it would trigger me. And then after I read the comments here I had to pace around a bit before I could collect my thoughts enough to respond.

    Corrective rape happens everywhere that rape culture exists. It can be a tool against people for having the wrong sexuality or gender identity or presentation or people whose bodies don’t match the expectations of society somehow. A straight woman who fails to perform her gender to the satisfaction of others may be targeted for it. Do not for one smug second think that you live in a glorious and enlightened country where this isn’t happening. South Africa has many heartbreaking problems and rape is an epidemic there, but this is still a horror that you’ll hear about anywhere when you get people who are members of gender or sexual minorities together in an environment where they feel safe to share their stories. Not just gays, lesbians and bisexuals, but people who are trans*, people with disorders of sex development, asexuals, etc.

    I’d really recommend reading the article if you skipped it and are not risking your mental health by reading it. The man who violently assaulted me and and tried to choke me to death said I couldn’t know if I was a lesbian without experiencing the wonder of his penis first. And I still read the article. You are not doing any victims of corrective assaults favors by turning your face away.

    Some statistics from the article:

    Ever since a 1998-2000 report by the United Nations Office on Crime and Drugs ranked South Africa as highest for rapes per capita, it has repeatedly been described as the rape capital of the world: 500,000 rapes a year; one every 17 seconds; one in every two women will be raped in her lifetime. Twenty per cent of men say the victim “asked for it”, according to a survey by the anti-violence NGO, CIET. A quarter of men in the Eastern Cape Provinces, when asked anonymously by the Medical Research Council, admitted to raping at least once – three quarters of whom said their victim was under 20, a tenth said under 10. A quarter of schoolboys in Soweto described “jackrolling” – the local term for gang rape – as “fun”.

    This is a problem born out homophobia and transphobia and misogyny and toxic masculinity and rape culture. This is a massive societal problem. Focusing on how likely the rapists are to be gay–seriously?–is both feeding into hateful stereotypes and taking the focus off where it needs to be, which is breaking down the system that’s created this situation and providing help to the survivors.

  45. 45
    Inaji

    CaitieCat & MM, thank you for your voices.

    A quarter of schoolboys in Soweto described “jackrolling” – the local term for gang rape – as “fun”.

    This sentence, of all things, ended up being a trigger. The things you find out about yourself, eh? This had to do with what I described in #10 as a subtle undercurrent of threat from peers. There were simply too many times that I felt so strongly that getting cornered by a group of boys I was acquainted with would result in very bad things. I made damn sure I was fast, and could climb, better than any boy[s] who might decide I needed my tomboy ways fucked out of me.

  46. 46
    The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical

    Caine @ 45

    This sentence, of all things, ended up being a trigger.

    :wince: I am so sorry. That is an experience far, far too many people who failed to conform have shared.

  47. 47
    Inaji

    MM:

    :wince: I am so sorry.

    No, no, that’s not you, it happened when I read the article. Thank you for pointing out that it’s people who simply don’t conform who end up being correctively raped, because that’s what is at the bottom of it all, no matter the ‘reasons’ given.

  48. 48
    Damien

    Mellow Monkey, thank you for the perspective. You shouldn’t have to convince us to read it, but thank you making me reread instead of just giving it a token skim. I’ve never been triggered by anything in my life, and I feel ashamed to think I felt too uncomfortable to really let the article sink in.

    Caine, you also shouldn’t have to calmly point out what’s wrong with the knee jerking. I don’t deserve to have my hand held, but for what it’s worth it was helpful that you did.

  49. 49
    Inaji

    Damien:

    I don’t deserve to have my hand held, but for what it’s worth it was helpful that you did.

    Thank you. That helped me a lot.

  50. 50
    Sili

    Some of the events in the story are about women being executed after the rape.

    Of course, you wouldn’t want them relapsing, now, would you?

    Anyway, that’s the biblical thing to do.

  51. 51
  52. 52
    ck

    @aaronbaker,
    I would hope that no one here would be under the illusion that it’s unique to Africa. In addition to that radio host, there is porn dedicated to that idea (being the wellspring of misogyny that it often is), and I’ve lost count how many times I’ve seen that sentiment expressed in comments in any forum discussing someone who has been identified as a lesbian.

    I miss being shocked by these horrible things, and thinking they’re rare.

  53. 53
    aaronbaker

    @52:

    I had in mind the racist idiots commenting on the Independent story. Hope what wrote I wasn’t misunderstood.

  54. 54
    Inaji

    ck:

    I would hope that no one here would be under the illusion that it’s unique to Africa.

    Gee, anyone bothering to read the comments would notice that was mentioned. More than once.

  55. 55
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    I’ve written some pretty hard-to-read things. So I knew I would have to read this as soon as the link went up.

    But, for a while, I didn’t. I knew it would be awful. I certainly didn’t venture to the comments.

    The “tomboy” bit was especially triggering for me. I think of Brandon’s story. The comments’ reported content only reinforce that relationship for me. <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boys_Don't_Cry_(film)#Controversy"Pfft's section on "controversy" related to the film doesn’t even mention the strong reaction from those in my community to the whitewashing of the actual murder: it removes Brandon’s friend of color and the white supremacist graffiti left at the crime scene.

    I also think of how I was “correctively raped”. Like quite a number of victims, I’m sure, at the time of that rape I hadn’t really figured out how to even talk about myself and I certainly hadn’t called myself lesbian. Nor had I identified myself as trans. I was simply too androgynous, and that itself was sufficient to necessitate rape.

    I doubt that QT women in South Africa whose gender presentations conform to expectations are safe from corrective rape if it becomes known (such as to family, according to the article, eeeyyuuuggcch) that they are queer/lesbian/bi/something-else-non-heterosexual. But it’s clear that one major avenue through which victims come to the attention of attackers is gender.

    I think it’s quite telling that the group started by one of the women in the story is “Free Gender”. Not “Free Love” or “Free Women” or “Free Lesbians”.

    “Free Gender”.

    I think of the time when I was starting a group that eventually did some very good work, and recognize some of me and my group in that effort. I’m hopeful that since my efforts had some success, so will those of Free Gender. Then I think of the hate mail, the internet denouncements, the public shaming, and, ultimately, the death threat I had to take seriously. Then I think of TERF and just fucking cry.

    It’s a long, long road.

  56. 56
    Francisco Bacopa

    Can I mention there’s an inherent paradox in the idea of “corrective rape”?

    I’m glad most of understand that the idea of corrective rape is alive and well here in the US. But it’s also common that people think no woman would be a lesbian unless some man had hurt her and put her off men. So if the only lesbians that exist are those hurt by men, how is men hurting her more going to make her straight? Wouldn’t you think if she was going to be “converted” it would be through the sweetest and kindest expressions of heterosexual interest? BTW, I don’t think even this form of conversion is plausible, but it makes a hell of a lot more sense than corrective rape.

    This is pretty much about rape as punishment with no other goal than the harm inflicted. The cruelty is an end in itself.

  57. 57
    Inaji

    Francisco:

    But it’s also common that people think no woman would be a lesbian unless some man had hurt her and put her off men.

    Yes, a fair amount of people think that, but generally they mean hurt on an emotional level, and figure if the right guy comes along, everything will be okely dokely, and she’ll fall in love the straight right way.

    So if the only lesbians that exist are those hurt by men, how is men hurting her more going to make her straight?

    Oh, I don’t think the corrective rape thinkers are the same as those who figure a good romance will set someone straight. Those who go in for corrective rape would have raped for any other reason, you know. They’re predators.

  58. 58
    Inaji

    CD:

    I think it’s quite telling that the group started by one of the women in the story is “Free Gender”.

    It broke my heart that what they have is themselves and a house. I’d dearly like to help them, in any way necessary.

  59. 59
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @Francisco:

    The idea that lesbians are “angry at men” rather than “attracted to women” is so common it’s in PZ’s original post above. I assert the following, without having sociological evidence at the mo.

    1. Patriarchal jerks are more likely to believe such.

    2. Self-centered jerks are more likely to commit violence, as the consequences to others don’t matter as much as whatever the self-centered jerk gets out of it.

    3. Rapists’ fantasies include the idea that once sex starts, the victim will totally get into it b/c boy is the rapist a totally awesome lay.

    I’ve seen more than one man express the idea that being raped ***and having a bad experience of it*** made me/someone I was with queer, and that fucking them would totally cure me/the person I was with …even if the man had to rape me/that person in order to get the magic penis inside us, the experience would be so good for me/that person that lust for the magic penis would inevitably result.

    It’s not contradictory if you get that it’s “bad experience” not rape that “causes” queerness in this trope. Rape is used as a shorthand, but in rapists’ minds they frequently intend to make victims enjoy the act.

    I have to shower now.

  60. 60
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @Caine, 58:

    That’s what I and 2 friends had when we started. Our “hotline” was my home phone number. For my birthday one year I got a 2 line phone with some extra cash to get a 2nd phone number so my partner wouldn’t be accidentally answering calls from distressed victims of violence.

    For some reason, that part didn’t break my heart, though it could have. It just made me feel close – and proud.

  61. 61
  62. 62
    Inaji

    I’ve also emailed to see if I can purchase a copy of Rivers of Life.

  63. 63
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    Well, Free Gender is connected up with Sonke. I know Sonke and have had conversations with some of the people there. Good folk doing good work. It’s nice to know that Free Gender has community connections.

  64. 64
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Caine, MM
    Onamission, CD, others I may have missed.
    Late to the thread, afk most of the day. All the gestures of support, and thank you for coming in and commenting. I’m not sure how much I can add to what’s already been said, but if I think of something I’ll try.

    Caine

    It broke my heart that what they have is themselves and a house. I’d dearly like to help them, in any way necessary.

    This, so much.

  65. 65
    aaronbaker

    Caine @54:

    Was the snark here directed at my comment? If so,

    1) I’ve read the thread;

    2) I wasn’t commenting on the attitude of anyone posting here; and

    3) Unless I missed something, no one had previously mentioned the vicious American DJ.

    Just to be clear.

  66. 66
    David Marjanović

    We evidently haven’t exhausted the topic, so this is moot… just…

    I for one certainly hope the topic of women and little girls being raped en masse the world over as punishment for their perceived sexual orientation is not exhausted until the problem is good and goddamn solved. As long as rape is still occurring the victims are, at the very least, worthy of a moment’s thoughtful attention.

    Absence of comments doesn’t mean absence of thoughtful attention, especially on a topic where everybody here probably agrees.

  67. 67
    The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical

    CD @ 59

    I’ve seen more than one man express the idea that being raped ***and having a bad experience of it*** made me/someone I was with queer, and that fucking them would totally cure me/the person I was with …even if the man had to rape me/that person in order to get the magic penis inside us, the experience would be so good for me/that person that lust for the magic penis would inevitably result.

    It’s not contradictory if you get that it’s “bad experience” not rape that “causes” queerness in this trope. Rape is used as a shorthand, but in rapists’ minds they frequently intend to make victims enjoy the act.

    Absolutely. As I said upthread, the rapist who tried to kill me was, at the same time, saying that the magic of his penis would get my sexuality/gender presentation all worked out for me. I don’t believe he saw what he was doing as bad for me. He saw me refusing to enjoy it as me being bad

    Caine @ 61 and 62: Wonderful. Thank you for those links. I’ll be writing to purchase a copy as well.

  68. 68
    Inaji

    MM:

    Caine @ 61 and 62: Wonderful. Thank you for those links. I’ll be writing to purchase a copy as well.

    Welcome. I had the e-mail returned as no longer functional, but I’m sure there’s a way to get in touch, to donate if not to get the book. The poem I read by Theo Masalaza was beautiful. I’ll do some more poking about tomorrow.

    He saw me refusing to enjoy it as me being bad

    Yes. It’s seen as a stubborn refusal, which means the ‘correction’ needs to be more harsh. Also on the paradox front, brought up by Francisco in #56, is that it’s often believed if a lesbian or bisexual woman has been raped at some point by a man, that’s what makes her have a relationship with women, but of course, a corrective rape will fix that right up!

  69. 69
    Inaji

    David @ 66:

    Absence of comments doesn’t mean absence of thoughtful attention, especially on a topic where everybody here probably agrees.

    An absence of thoughtful comments does harm. It especially does harm when people will actively discuss *anything* around the edges, rather than address the subject at hand.

    An absence of thoughtful comments means there are people who aren’t interested in learning, when it’s taking the time to learn which would mean the most. (See Damien @ 48 for an example of someone who learned and gets it. Same with Dalillama @64, and all of Gregory Greenwood’s posts.) The rash of unhelpful, stupid comments are the result of systemic sexism and patriarchal values, which none of us can get away from, however, the regulars around here have read enough threads on rape, sexism, and patriachal values to know better – there’s been one opportunity after another to learn, and yet, we see the skirt around it and knee jerk comments once again.

    Men are still routinely taught to be problem solvers, to fix things, so when confronted with an article like this one, there’s a tendency to feel completely overwhelmed, so out comes the unhelpful and stupid. That’s understandable. What isn’t so understandable is seeing regulars here doing this, rather than taking the time to say something on point and substantial.

    Most of the men who commented in this thread should read MM’s post @44, over and over until it bloody well sinks in.

  70. 70
    Pteryxx

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/saeedjones/beautiful-photographs-of-couples-and-friends-at-soweto-pride

    Zanele Muholi’s photographs are deceptively radical. A recipient of the 2013 Carnegie Fine International Prize, she regards her work as a visual documentation of black women and LGBTI experience as a form of advocacy. The joy and vibrant affection Muholi captured at this year’s Soweto Pride festivities are a counterpoint to the violence and homophobia South Africa’s LGBTI community continues to face.

    On the way home from the Sowete celebration, a group of performers was reportedly threatened by a mob of 20 to 30 people just as they were getting into a taxi. The attackers jumped onto the car and attempted to break the windows in order to reach the victims. The performers were eventually able to escape uninjured but the attack underscores the significance of Pride which, all too often, is taken for granted.

  71. 71
    Francisco Bacopa

    So in response to others who replied about what I said, some people are into corrective rape as an end in itself for largely punitive reasons though a few dudes imagine that the thrill of the cock will set things aright even in these non-consensual and traumatizing circumstances. And all of this while often believing that trauma makes a woman a lesbian.

    Corrective rape simply can’t be about making women straight. It’s all about making some women pay for perceived wrongs.

  72. 72
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Re: the speculation of how corrective rape could “work:”

    It’s quite simple.

    Lesbianism is a woman refusing to submit to her proper place (i.e. an object of fucking by men and babymaking).

    She thus needs to be reminded of her proper place, by being made to submit. Her enjoyment is beside the point: cowed obeisance would be acceptable. What is required is for her to accept that her duty is to belong to a man and submit to him sexually.

  73. 73
    Pteryxx

    Francisco Bacopa… did you read the OP article?

    One of the women telling her story says her mother wanted her corrected, so she went out and found a ‘fixer’* to repeatedly rape her daughter. There’s more to systemic problems than what a few dudes think.

    ( *my phrasing, not theirs)

  74. 74
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    Corrective rape simply can’t be about making women straight. It’s all about making some women pay for perceived wrongs.

    These are not at all mutually exclusive. Moreover, as Esteleth correctly notes, creating heterosexuality/eliminating queer sexuality *is* clearly an explicit goal.

  75. 75
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    Sorry, as Pteryxx correctly notes, not Esteleth.

  76. 76
  77. 77
    ck

    I would not be surprised if the group refused donations from non-Africans, although it shouldn’t hurt to try and see if they’ll accept them. From what I’ve read on Yemisi Ilesanmi’s blog, the opponents of LGBT rights have wrapped themselves in the cloak of anti-colonialism even as many of these same people accept western money from Evangelical Christians. While Yemisi is Nigerian, I did see the article mention the idea that homosexuality is un-African, which is the exact same rhetoric she mentions in use in Nigeria in conjunction with this.

    I do have to wonder how much of this “corrective rape” is just a post-hoc rationalization. As always, the victims are those who hold the least power and are least valued in the larger society. Do these people really think they’re raping women straight, or is that just a convenient excuse to use to justify the abuse of the powerless?

  78. 78
  79. 79
    Inaji

    ck:

    I do have to wonder how much of this “corrective rape” is just a post-hoc rationalization.

    Did you read the article? Because if you did, you don’t seem to have comprehended it much.

  80. 80
    Inaji

    I would not be surprised if the group refused donations from non-Africans

    They provide the necessary info to donate on the about page of their blog, and they can also be contacted via their FB, if one is on facebook.

  81. 81
    ck

    Did you read the article?

    I did, and while I don’t doubt that some people think they’re actually “helping” with this (like the mother in one of the stories), I can’t help but believe that there is a lot of opportunism there. It provides a ready-made convenient excuse to subject someone to sexual slavery, and to make someone subject to your every whim. In one of the stories, the woman started getting raped not because she identified at the time as lesbian, but because she dressed tomboyish, and that reminds me other other excuses used for rape.

  82. 82
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @ck:

    there are any number of ways in which gender enforcement and sexuality enforcement are intertwined. In what way is assaulting androgynous or masculine women/female folk incompatible with a motivation of rape-away-the-gay?

  83. 83
    ck

    But, I may be completely wrong. Just between this story, and what The Mellow Monkey posted, it sounds like the perfect excuse: you get to use another human being for your own personal gratification, blame them for bringing it upon themselves, and justify your own behaviour as doing them a favour.

  84. 84
    ck

    In what way is assaulting androgynous or masculine women/female folk incompatible with a motivation of rape-away-the-gay?

    I’m sure it’s completely compatible. Maybe I should just shut up and think about this some more, since I’m not sure I’m making sense.

  85. 85
    unclefrogy

    I was taught that rape is a crime of violence that it is about domination more than sex.
    It us the submission that is important. That makes sense for corrective rape it is a threat, how dare a women not submit to a man they think they can live without men they mist be made to submit they mist be fucked by force.
    It smells of deep insecurity and loathing.

    No thanks I do not want to read the link I have heard enough to last a life time because it is not in the past it is now!
    uncle frogy

  86. 86
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Lesbianism is a woman refusing to submit to her proper place (i.e. an object of fucking by men and babymaking).

    She thus needs to be reminded of her proper place, by being made to submit. Her enjoyment is beside the point: cowed obeisance would be acceptable. What is required is for her to accept that her duty is to belong to a man and submit to him sexually.

    I think how she actually feels and thinks afterwards is beside the point. The important thing is how she behaves.

    My heart goes out to the women hurt by this is SA ad elsewhere. My heart goes out to those of you who shared your stories here

  87. 87
    Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk

    From what I’ve read on Yemisi Ilesanmi’s blog, the opponents of LGBT rights have wrapped themselves in the cloak of anti-colonialism even as many of these same people accept western money from Evangelical Christians

    This is indeed the case, as the article states too. Being gay is “unafrican”, something that the colonizers brought with them to infect Africans with, is the message being sent from many a pulpit.

    I think how she actually feels and thinks afterwards is beside the point.

    I agree. I think it’s a punishment, pure and simple, for failing to conform to gender expectations. “If you fail to act like a woman and be submissive to men, you will be made to” is the feeling I get.

  88. 88
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    Being gay is “unafrican”, something that the colonizers brought with them to infect Africans with, is the message being sent from many a Christian pulpit built with missionaries’ hands and/or money to spread the religion of Europe.

    I thought that horse was twitching a little bit, and though it may just have been your axe in its brain stem, I decided not to take any chances.

  89. 89
    Inaji

    I heard back about the book. I can have it sent to NY for R180. I think I’ll donate considerably more than that, and ask nicely if I can have it sent to ND. (I have someone in NY who can send it on to me if not.)

  90. 90
    burgundy

    There’s a bit in Deuteronomy that basically boils down to, “if a man rapes a women away from the city, then kill him, but if it happens in the city, kill them both, because it wasn’t rape,” the idea being that if the women “cries out” away from the city, no one could have heard or helped her, but in the city someone would have, so if they didn’t, it means she didn’t cry out, therefore consent and adultery and death. And that’s awful.

    And then there’s this:

    Witnesses are often disregarded in court, as even seeing and hearing a victim screaming is deemed “hearsay, as the woman may be screaming in pleasure and this may be the way they like having sex”.

    It’s like Patriarchy Calvinball. If you think you’ve figured out the rules and you’re safe, the rules will change, so that you are never, ever safe. It doesn’t matter how ridiculous or contorted the reasoning is; all that matters is that the game continue to be rigged so that women can’t win.

  91. 91
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Caine, if by NY they mean “anywhere in New York State,” I can be your conduit. If they mean “New York City,” I cannot.

  92. 92
    Inaji

    Thanks, Esteleth. I have a friend in the city who can help me out if needed. State/City wasn’t clarified. I think it’s mostly a matter of postage cost.

  93. 93
    ck

    @burgundy,

    I think even in the first case, were only the person who committed the rape is killed, the women still gets a shit end of the stick, since she’s now considered unmarriable (not being a virgin anymore) and no longer has even that small place in society anymore. Given the so-called “divine law” in Deuteronomy alone, it’s a wonder any women survived to adulthood.

  94. 94
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    I really did not want to read that but, persuaded by Beatrice’s argument at #19, I did. It’s horrific. Apparently “A quarter of schoolboys describe ‘jackrolling’- the local term for gang rape- as ‘fun’.” Fuck. That properly shook me up.

    And of course the first comment is some arsehole complaining that white people in SA have it much worse than lesbians. For fuck sake.

  95. 95
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @aaronbaker #51

    Jesus. I read your linked article. This Dieter arsehole was not even reprimanded for his public advocation of corrective rape. I am now literally shaking with rage, and desperately need a ciggarette.

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