I am about to talk about something sensitive yet open. A topic that is addressed and then digressed. – Rape.
There is a rape culture here in Ghana, and in the world. I however am Ghanaian and so I will speak about Ghana.
Rape culture is an environment in which rape is prevalent and which sexual violence is normalized and excused in the media and in popular culture. It is mostly perpetuated by blaming the victim, making excuses for the victim, or denying the fact that it exists. That people, male and female, are getting raped.
All I keep seeing today is news about a 4 year old who had been defiled (raped) but the community chiefs completely threw it off, gave it no attention, didn’t punish the rapist because the ‘gods’ declared this pedophile, pervert and rapist innocent.
What in the world?!
This is one of the more extreme cases of rape culture manifesting in society. It is abominable. It is disgusting and it makes me mad.
They are not the only problem. We are all the problem. We are all responsible for this cancer that is affecting our children, sisters, brothers, friends, us. We grew this to where it is now. Every single one of us.
Remember when you said “Well she deserved to be raped?” “She shouldn’t have been there to begin with?” “That is what he gets for being gay” “You don’t expect to seduce someone and have them watch? Man is not wood.” “I don’t think men can be raped.” That was that rape culture then.
Do you remember that joke on Whatsapp, the one you had to share because it was hilarious. The one about a woman waiting for men who were on jogs to rape them and how other men happily went down the road as well, to get raped?! That was that rape culture then.
We have resorted to telling people how to avoid rape. All this narrative does is further hold the victim accountable for the actions of the perpetrators of sexual violence and rape. Telling the victims or likely victims what thy need to do or not do makes it seem like they are entirely in control of if they will be raped/defiled or not. They are not.
We caused this and we need to fix this. I have not doubt in my mind as I write this that we can change this.
Let’s hold rapists and not victims accountable. Let’s not pretend that it doesn’t happen because it does, more often than is heard of. Let’s stop victim shaming, Let us stop sharing jokes about rape. Rape is not funny.
Rape happens, regardless of sex, age or race. Victims do not get to choose. Victims do not get to avoid being raped.