Monday, October 05, 2009

African tribal customs and rape in the DRC

from IWPR:

First part of article discusses the custom of a widow sleeping with her husband's brother to "get rid" of his spirit.

They then discuss teenaged marriage.
(sorry, but I am not shocked at 15 year olds marrying...some of my friends married at 16 and that was in the US).

They then discuss why men desert their wives for being raped:

Not because the women are unclean, but because the rape proves they are not man enough to protect her, so they discard her in shame.

They then discuss how men who can't afford to pay a bride price will "rape" the virgin so that under tribal law they have to marry her (without having to pay the dowry).

Again, I'm old enough to remember "shot gun weddings", where the couple gets pregnant so their parents have to allow them to marry.

Finally, they discuss the idea that a woman doesn't need an education, and that her duty is in the kitchen and to obey.

But in Africa, since educated girls bring a higher bride price, this may not be the case.

As to teaching girls that her duty is in the kitchen: The best comment on this was by humorist Erma Bombeck, who said that the woman's movement taught women that being a sales clerk in a store was a "higher" calling than bearing and raising a child or being a home maker.

so the article has very little to do with rape per se, and a lot to do with complaining about coerced sex under tribal customs.

1 comment:

iRead said...

FANTASTICALLY offensive. I don't even know where to begin to comment on this. For one, why is rape in quotes? Are you suggesting that it's not truly rape? And, in no way are rape and shotgun marriages synonymous, as you suggest here.

I recommend you have your material proofread before posting by one, someone with more experience; two, someone from the DRC; three, a woman.

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