It’s rare to see social norms evolving as quickly as they have in the case of allegations of sexual abuse. But let’s take heed of the possible consequences.
Zapiro’s cartoon depicting Atul Gupta raping South Africa, with President Zuma’s blessing, is likely to be offensive to many. But does this mean that cartoons can never use the metaphor of rape?
South Africa – and not just SA, but the USA (Ferguson, etc.) and elsewhere too – is nowhere near as happy and harmonious as we’d sometimes like to pretend.
Allowing for rehabilitation seems a necessary position to take, at least if you’re a liberal. But when should we consider someone rehabilitated, and allow them to resume normal lives?
TopTV’s strategy for rescuing itself from financial ruin includes a second application to Icasa for the right to screen pornography channels. As with the previous application, religious lobby groups are up in arms. But with there being no good reasons to believe that pornography is harmful, Icasa will hopefully remember that their mandate does not include the enforcement of religious moralising.
Even though the vast majority of rape victims could have done nothing differently to prevent their rape, that doesn’t mean there aren’t strategies available to mitigate against the risk of being raped. Talking about those strategies is a matter of thinking about the evidence – even and perhaps especially when discussing so emotive a topic.
Richard Mourdock is the latest in a sequence of Republican politicians to have said something offensive with regard to women and their rights over their own bodies. But when expressing outrage over the moral conservatism expressed by the likes of Mourdock, let’s try to be honest to the evidence – and not cherry-pick our examples to justify our prejudices.
President Zuma claims that humanity is lost when there is no fear of God. In an environment where Helen Zille has to endure a week of criticism for speaking of education refugees, how can Zuma get a free pass on this dangerously intolerant rhetoric?
The important message of the SlutWalk campaign – that victim-blaming is not okay, and that women should not be free to behave and dress as they please without fear of certain judgements, raises a deeper issue about the meaning of words and whether they can be “re-appropriated”.
On such an emotive issue, and in the context of #Mooreandme, there is scope for justified sensitivity in The Daily Maverick’s award of Man of the Year to Julian Assange.