Friday, June 27, 2003

How to stop baby rape

An acquaintance of mine from South Africa pointed out an article from a women's glossy mag that discussed the topical issue of "baby rape." Baby rape is frighteningly common in South Africa (and some other parts of Africa). Part of this is due to the myth (urban legend) that having sex with a virgin will cure AIDS (another frighteningly common occurance in South Africa). Men began raping younger and younger girls (to ensure that they would be virgins), and it has become relatively common to rape baby girls as young as 6 months old (possibly even younger).

In the article, many "experts" were discussing possible solutions to this epidemic. In the midst of some great wisdom, one "solution" stuck out (and chilled me to the bone):

The solution to baby rape, according to Dr. Lorna Jacklin of the Teddy Bear Clinic for abused children, is to prevent it from happening in the first place. And this, she says, is achieved by working with mothers. She says that in all the cases of baby rape she's seen, the mothers either weren't ready for motherhood, or weren't coping with it very well. We have got to empower women to select when they are going to have babies and we have to support and educate them once they do have babies.

Now, I'm all for empowering women. I'm all for helping women select when and if they will have children. And I'm all for supporting and educating both the women and the children. But to pretend that this is a "solution" to ending baby rape is appalling. In the case, the more reasonable (and effective) solutions would including educating the men -- both that rape is WRONG and that it will not cure AIDS.

Once again, the responsibility for a man's greivous acts fall on the shoulders of women. [fume]


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