Corrective Rape – South Africa:

March 25, 2010 Leave a comment
 “Society exists only as a mental concept; in the real world there are only individuals.”  -Oscar Wilde
 
Murder. Rape. Assault. Violence. Sexism. Racism. Homophobia.  
 Which of these elicits the most powerful emotional response? Perhaps a culmination of two or three. These are agreeably a few of the most disgusting aspects of existence. The notion that one man, or woman (in this case) might be subjugated to such torture due to their perhaps individual stance, or not even for any particular reason at all.
 
The horrifying trait evident in South Africa of which I speak is named Corrective Rape. The name in itself evokes an introspective convulsion, a sheer feeling disgust and moral disagreement. What is corrected, through of raping a fellow human being? What form of twisted morality do these rapists conceal themselves behind? What delusional paranoia compels a human to rape another, for the victims benefit?
  
 Rape is particularly evident in South Africa. Since the end of apartheid, sexual violence is rapidly increasing, approximately 500, 000 rapes occur in the nation annually. A quarter (25%) of all women present within the nation are raped by the age of 16. Corrective rape is particularly malicious practice and has gained social normality due to a violently conservative morality evident within the society. Corrective rape is a practice, where lesbian women are targeted due to their sexuality. The rape is used as a lesson to the women to convert to heterosexuality. Obviously this is totally illogical and must be considered as a mere hate crime. In particular the increase in this specialised criminal activity is aided by a macho misogynist attitude toward women. Perhaps the philosophy regarding homosexuality and in particular lesbianism is thought of in a gender specific terms. Women being lesser to that of man (according to the misogynist stance evident in the society) must openly seek the affection of males, so as to level their place in society. Women that seek the affection of other females are inherently disgusting as the union of two women is one where two lesser beings join to become lesser within themselves. This stance is a disgusting violation of the equality and love preached (for the most part) across the Western world. This is a national trend, and the particular stance taken on this type of violence is atrocious. The legal batter for rape victims, is, in effect up hill. Courts are postponed for this kind of crime, due to a “loss,” of evidence. The prejudice evident within this type of legal system is rather ironic considering the international image of the rainbow nation of South Africa. The image that they are attempting to portray so as to evoke tourism, and the hosting of international sporting events. 
 
One case study in particular was widely publicised due to her national standing as a South African Footballer. Eudy Simelane, an open lesbian and LGBTI rights activist was raped, before being murdered in her home-town of KwaThema, Springs, Gauteng. She was gang raped, beaten before subsequently being stabbed twenty five times, in the face, chest and legs. If this were not course enough for emotional anguish, the mere reason behind her rape, was indeed, her sexuality. For further information on Eudy Simelane and Corrective Rape, see:

In the Western world there is this often-misguided notion that once a person dies, they instantly are in an ethereal plain, devoid of pain. Heaven, for lack of a better term. Now as not one being knows the exact experience after death§ , I shan’t postulate this further. However using this assumption, that a being does not experience pain after death, this makes rape a more notorious notion. As not only does the victim experience the pain of the rape, the subsequent trauma experienced is life-long. In essence the rapist is murdering the woman/man’s psyche in one act. Murder in the sense that, it changes the individual in a manner so detrimental that it eliminates an aspect of personally formed sexuality. This is the other reason in which it is an act considered to be intrinsically wrong. It exposes the individual, it strips an individual and projects their mind into a spiralling cycle of pain. Imagine, a lifetime of constant fear, trauma, and superficial joy. Strange considering rape, correlate closely to the notion of power, as though one feels so insignificant so as to feel the need to assert dominance over another being. Then I would ask of the Corrective Rapists, where this intention of Correction was derived. Perhaps the rape is an attempt to isolate the victim, so as to deny any future possibility of intimacy and relationships.

Whether these be, simple men (I understand exclusively male implications) recruited by some higher power of social moralist, or a religious fanatic it is still in every sense of the word hateful. What right does man have to degrade their fellow human, to destroy the capacity to live a life not plagued with fear and guilt. The power of society dwells within social acceptance and indeed the widespread form of subjective morality evident within the individual. This is the benefit of living in a nation with diverse cultural aspects and belief systems. Thus I must stress the importance of taking a stand for equality. To destroy the notion of objectification evident within societies across the globe, where women (and some men) are viewed as objects through which to achieve sexual, socially based or personal satisfaction (more on this topic at a later date). However as educated, citizens of a primarily well off, household I would ask you all to take action. Now I do not ask for torches and pitchforks regarding the international ignorance of such atrocities. But I call for a personal level introspection, to ask the question: What can I do to stamp out inequality in mine own social groups? It might be as simple as defending a person when they are being attacked regarding their morality, race or sexuality. It might merely be, changing one’s own mannerisms so as to not autonomously attack that which is different, but to weigh up the argument logically, before deciding what is intrinsically wrong. One thing can be said, before those evident in our society decide it is imperative to fix the issues of other nations, one must alter the issues within their own. I bring this case of a violation of human rights so as to raise awareness, perhaps place into perspective the issues evident in our own nation. However, in order to help others, we must take moment of introspection so as to not overlook the problems rooted within the very heart of ones own society. Carpe Diem.

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§ Those that use the notion of NDE’s or near death experiences are mistaken, as humanity does not require the presence of death to experience such a phenomenon. The human is a marvel of evolution, and through apt electrical stimulation a person may experience the exact same traits of an NDE (minus the death aspect). For further information please see: 

 

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Perfection.

December 4, 2009 Leave a comment

Humanity is imperfect.” – Or is it? As beings of finite existence, the ideology is thrown around that only deity figures exhibit innocence, purity and that which is desired above all things, perfection. This is evidenced in numerous photo-shoots, airbrushing and the invention of PhotoShop, so that people might gloss over their appearance, aiming closer and closer to perfection. But where does this leave the entirety of society? What purpose does this constant pursuit of perfection serve? Perhaps it caters to our most desperate desire to be loved, for the person that one has come to be. In this sense religion works against the esteem of society, stating that perfection is holy and something that must be desired. This ideology merely serves as a catalyst for personal degradation – It is amusing how if a person is told by another that they are a “bad,” person, it is merely brushed off, water off a duck’s back. Yet if a faith, or moral ideology states an exact or similar stance, thousands of people enter a personal quest to reclaim their own morality. It as almost as though humanity – at least a particular percentage of it – believes that it is justified to be judged upon their actions, if they are being judged from a religious standing point.

Numerous cultures and religious texts claim that it is only the eternal deity or deities duty/divine right to judge humanity. But what separates humanity from the animal population? Humanity differs in that, they have the capacity to reason, the ability to be creative, free will and indeed the capacity to love.

Love:
What is love? Is love a humble emotion? An intricate farce? Illusive? Non-existent? To fully understand what this means, it would be a good idea to analyse what love has the capacity to do to a human:
Confuse, empower, inspire, irrationalise, hurt, destroy, create, seduce, steal. Love has infinite capacities.

But before continuing, one must ask the question: Are these positive or negative capabilities? It could be defined as an almost equal balance of both positive and negative. The interesting thing about the human condition is that it is constantly changing, therefore an opinion I sate today on the matter of love may simply change in an hour.  However in our contemporary society, love is portrayed as a deep sentimental feeling of attachment to a person or object. Thus when this object or person is abruptly taken, results in immense feelings of sadness, guilt and may even begin an endless cycle of depression. One thing can be universally stated. Love is a powerful force that has the capacity to transcend nature, race, social status, sex and law.

In our post-modernistic society, a famous psychologist (Erickson) postulates that humanity undergoes eight stages in their, all that have their own unique conflicts that must be resolved. Positive and successful resolution of these conflicts will result in the successful development of self-confidence, and this notion of an ‘ego’.

N.B. This notion of ego is in no manner a negative element of our nature. Ego in this sense refers to this idea of people’s self confidence and willingness to participate in the wider society due to this ego. (Thus keeping society, the economy and the world in constant perpetuality)

According to this psychologist the stage at which the human becomes a young adult, that is, 19-40, the most important event in this stage of development, is love relationships. This period of their lives need to be spent searching for true intimacy and that is not exclusively sexual. Physical intimacy is not indicative of emotional intimacy. The young adult must learn to be truly open and honest with their partner, thereby experiencing these love relationships.

The issue with the topic of love is that it is so ambiguous that the young, often misled by numerous sources mistake love for lust. The exposure of adult material to those that are underage has a direct correlation to this confusion of lust with love. Viewing this same kind of adult material is one of the factors behind this desensitisation from graphic imagery thereby cheapening the concept of an intellectual love, relationship even.

One of the major factors of this detachment or desensitisation to the true power of love is technology. Texts, Instant messaging, e-mail to an extent, whilst having the capacity to connect those half way across the world, cheapens the humble communication that can occur without words, but through touch. Ironic I communicate this through the Internet, but is the best medium to reach people. When was the last time that you were told “I love you?”

Now ponder when was the last time you were told “I love you,” by a person you haven’t even met. I will acknowledge that in my own life this is an annoyance and waste of time. I love you, in the form of a text message from a person that you know nothing about is meaningless, or is it? It was once stated, that is what humanity communicated to sound sweet. This would logically mean that in our contemporary society love has been replaced by the emotional form of ice cream –This could at least be true in a biological context as love is comparative to that of eating huge amount of chocolate.

Culture also has a direct correlation to what a society perceives love to be. Do arranged marriages constitute love? At times this can be the case, but for the bulk of these financial arrangements the notion of love does not exist, finance is of more importance. Then as the couple lives together, a growth, of fondness occurs. Using this logic, love is nothing more than large amounts of chocolate combined with fondness? Well that certainly doesn’t sound right to Western Civilisation.

Perhaps it would be best said, that in the case of love, it is ambiguous to define yet it has the capacity to apply to everything with logic, reason and creativity.

The second essential aspect to humanity is the ability to rationalise, to reason, to apply logic to almost any given situation. Some may chose to discredit logical reasoning as the more bland aspect of existence, yet it is key to the attribute that allows humanity to defines themselves as indeed human. Yet it must be stated that creativity – another key aspect to the identification as human – is almost a contradiction to logic. In this sense humanity is a complete paradox in itself. Humanity reasons, yet it can ignore reason, to be creative, to have faith, to experience an essence of existence that is evident within each being – Spirituality. One of the fundamental, logical reasonings behind the existence of God are the patterns that appear in nature. The manner through which the world has been organised, the numerous eco-systems, in addition to the delicate creation of bacteria and microbes that keep the higher order of life functioning.

What does this examination of the attributes of humanity mean for this discussion? Consider the notion that humanity was created in the image of the eternal creator. Yet, humanity is imperfect, God is perfect. Let us use one of the attributes that humanity was endowed with, logic. Using this facet of humanity, it is possible to see God in a different, perhaps more imperfect light.

God existed before life. This eternal deity created all manner of existence on this planet and indeed the universe. If this God were indeed intrinsically perfect, then why would there be the desire to create anything in the first place? God being the embodiment of all perfection would mean this deity would not require nor feel any desire to do anything other than exist in his own self righteous glory. Humanity being made in the likeness of God would mean two things, either humanity is perfect in its imperfection or indeed God is not perfect.

But I would postulate the former to creatively viable. Humanity has the capacity to be perfect. But the only action detrimental to this ideology is seeking perfection. As a species we must acknowledge our imperfections, embrace them, thereby changing the minds perception of immaculacy. Yet seeking for it, merely demeans humanity, as it places our own desires and power to be complete within a being, object or image that exists outside ones body, thereby hindering what could be perfect.

Same-Sex Marriage – The Debate

November 29, 2009 Leave a comment
In the attempt at quashing the discrimination evident in even the most modern of societies, it is an inevitable discussion – Same-sex marriage. As I am writing from Australia, I feel it is only applicable to write about this issue in the context of our Australian political spectrum. That being said, recently (November 2009) legislation was passed within the Australian Capital Territory allowing civil partnerships, with the inclusion of the choice of an additional ceremony. Across Australia civil unions are legally recognised within three states and territories. These changes offer a glimmer of hope to the GLBTI community. However this is technically not an institution that can be defined as marriage. The Rudd Government supports the notion that marriage is an institution that exclusively exists between a man and a woman. This ideology has won the support of numerous religious groups across the nation and indeed peace of mind in the confidence of the status quo.The entire notion of same-sex marriage has been opposed by the Australian Government since its creation, yet with the emergence of civil unions society has been lead to believe that these partnerships are the most apt solution to the unrest present in the community. Yet the question still remains – Why cannot two consenting, taxpaying adults marry, regardless of their gender? Political groups respond with the finesse in rhetoric, stating that there should not be a redefinition of marriage for the mere minority. But the issue has far more depth than the generalisation stated above. The entire notion of separate but equal, equal yet blatantly not, is one that makes no logical sense whatsoever. If this is the case, then why implement an institution (an institution for a major event in the lives of humanity) that embodies this notion? Discrimination is the element that provokes this lack of equality across the board for single sex relationships, not to mention the ordeal undergone by inter-sex or transgender peoples in the recognition of their relationships.

 

Youthful Discrimination

November 29, 2009 Leave a comment
According to statistics founded by Latrobe University, figures suggest that school is one of the most dangerous places to be same-sex attracted. Due to the amount of verbal and indeed physical abuse evident in this spectrum. This also provokes thought regarding the nature of Australian relationships and their portrayal within the wider society. Regardless of the inclusion of civil partnerships, Australian society and in particular family life is used to great effect in shaping these homophobic attitudes amongst the youth. The elements of bullying that occur to students that follow the majority is ridiculous, add the topic of sexuality to the cauldron and there are serious ramifications for homosexual or transgender youth.

This is where issue of marriage is particularly crucial. In effect, whilst civil partnerships, unions are a step in the right direction (to borrow form the phrase pool of Rudd) they are not equal to marriage. Civil unions are legally recognised for residents within the three states and territories present within Australia. In addition these unions also vary from state to state in the level of protection offered by the Government, some may receive adoption rights, whilst in another state couples may only receive property rights. Civil union may not even be portable, two may be considered ‘life partners’ in one state, and nothing legally binding in another. Marriage offers an entirety of protection, it establishes a spouse as the next-of-kin, substitute blood relatives in the eyes of the law. This title is essential for loving couples, as it provides peace of mind, knowing that your partner may have an official say in medical, property or funeral matters. Marriage is also legally recognised by all Governments across the globe (currently between a man and a woman, but this stresses the importance of the global community to expand the notion of marriage), and it can be performed anywhere and still be recognised, which is more than what can be said for civil – unions. Theoretically these unions were designed to provide protection and equality for single sex relationships, whilst remaining separate from marriage. Why? To keep the sanctity of marriage in tact, to not redefine the notion of marriage, to keep the status quo. On those points I feel it is essential to meticulously dissect each argument for the purpose of revealing the sheer paradoxical and illogical beliefs behind this lack of equality.

 

The Sanctity of Marriage?

November 29, 2009 1 comment
Why shouldn’t homosexuals, transgender or intersex people be allowed to enter an institution of marriage together?
 
The inclusion of the GLBTI community into the institution of marriage will corrupt its sanctity. It is a threat to marriage as a whole.
This is an argument based on religious principles, which would be justifiable if marriage were to be exclusively based upon religion. However with the excruciatingly slow separation of Church and state that has occurred over the development of politics, marriage has lost its link to religion. But if one were to delve into the depths of history it is evident that marriage was not created through the Judeo-Christian faith – Nor through any facet of Hinduism, Buddhism, or any other prominent world religion. The fact of the matter is that the union of two peoples existed thousands of years before ancient philosophers and prophets began making sense of the universe through the context of religion. Marriage began as a diverse and separate institution from religious belief. This would thereby render any link to religion or its right to deny couples to marry (in a non-religious ceremony) illogical. Religious groups would be under no obligation to perform religious ceremonies for same-sex couples, if it did indeed contravene the particular denomination’s beliefs. Single-sex relationships do not call for the right to marry as a manner in which to push their beliefs into a chosen faith, surely the homosexual community understand the importance of respect in regard to the beliefs systems of humanity.
Regarding the notion as a threat to marriage as a whole it could be stated that divorce would be a greater threat to this legally binding partnership. With 50% of marriages ending in divorce why would the Government willingly turn away couples that have the solemn desire to express their love, and receive subsequent protection under the law?

 

Definition of Marriage

November 29, 2009 Leave a comment
The Government should not redefine the institution of marriage a small minority of the population.
 This statement would be one of the more sound arguments in this debate had it statistical evidence to support the particular notion of minority. Regardless of sexual orientation a Galaxy Poll, which was performed in June 2009 found that 60% of Australian’s support the idea of homosexual marriage (see: http://www.australianmarriageequality.com/news/20090616.htm). Therefore it would simply illogical to state that only a minority desire the expansion of marriage to include diverse sexualities.

 If that were too much for the Government to handle, then it would be wise to provide the same protection with a different name. However this was tried in the introduction of civil unions, and these partnerships did not achieve what they were theoretically designed to do. In this sense, the only manner through which equality may be achieved is through the expansion of marriage. Surely a homosexual couple that ties the knot in Tasmania has no detrimental impact upon a heterosexual couple residing in Western Australia. In much the same way as relationships between people in Queensland have no adverse effect upon myself, who is evidently single.

But without bringing into question the accuracy of these polls, would it matter if less than 60% of the populace support single-sex unions? In this instance, people are being denied the right to express their love in a manner which lawfully protects them. These same people are law abiding tax payers, that provide revenue for the country. One might argue that heterosexual singles also pay tax, but the fact is there is a choice. True, not all couples apt for marriage, yet the choice is still evident. Regarding the GLBTI community, the choice has been made for them and the same people that claim the right to marry, also deny this same right to other human beings – it sounds rather hypocritical. 

 As for this redefinition of marriage it would stimulate the economy, in that homosexual couples would purchase and use all manner of services for their ceremonies. This means more money being placed back into retail, and indeed public function venues and catering services. This ‘minority,’ provides a positive impact upon the economy as whole and the Government has spent enormous amounts in preparation for Global Financial Crisis – Why not allow for this redefinition for a positive impact on the economy? – Not to mention the joy and happiness it brings to couples and communities across the nation.

The Status Quo

November 29, 2009 Leave a comment
The Government must keep the status-quo in order to retain key seats in Parliament. 
 
This is one of the underlying factors in the heads of Government, regarding its stance on the debate. Again I evidence the idea that 60% of the population in support of gay marriage, with figures even higher in the youth of the nation. This continued stance is an insult to the ideals of democracy as the Australian public. The country is not ruled through communism, nor through any aspect of fascism, yet it would appear that elements are applicable in this case. The fact is, that this Australian Government is deaf to the pleas of the majority of the population, which directly contravenes the right of the tax paying population to be heard by their leaders. We do not live in a fascist country, but in regards to this issue, it appears that there is a sense of democratic dictatorship in the air. This merely evidences the idea that the Government must keep a somewhat conservative stance in order to retain funding from sponsors and large business. Yet whilst the country is based on the notions of capitalism, let it not rule in the political spectrum.
 Those arguments aside, returning to the notion of discrimination and homophobia, the destruction of the model of the nuclear family is essential in the stamping out of discrimination. Society should not cater to the idea of a mother, father and 2.3 children as the set model for family. Through this incremental desensitisation to homosexuals in society, can there finally a deeper level of humanity evident within our society. The first step is basic human rights, the second civil unions, the third, marriage, the fourth, adoption (an issue I will delve into later). But the Australian Government must realise that it is ignoring the ideals evident within the majority of society. As the people of the nation where a “fair go,” is core to our collective psyche, will not stand to be ignored.

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