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Social Musings: Rape, GBV, HIV and homosexuality

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I must say, I amazed with the energy we are able to invest into something when we believe in it or when we stand against it.

It is incredible to imagine all the things that would have been achieved if this energy was invested in all development issues in the country.

A majority of the Malawian folk has recently invested so much admirable energy standing strong against homosexuality.

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I desperately wish we could mount such enthusiasm against the many negative and retrogressive habits and tendencies that are tolerated in our society.

I wish the energy put into fighting homosexuality was also placed into the fight against other conflicted and evidently detrimental issues relating to human sexuality like rape, gender based violence (GBV) and the spread of HIV/Aids.

Why is this particular act that takes place between two consenting adults — and does not involve violence — warrant such contempt and judgement when a rapist can be let free and even defended for violating a child or a non-consenting adult.

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Why is it that when men are sleeping around, the tendency is glorified by their fellow men and actually the wife is pegged against the other women and subjected to a comparison contest? Utter nonsense!

But, it is tolerated and allowed by people who then turn around and threaten to kill homosexuals for going against ‘morals’ or the so called ‘order of nature’.

Do we believe that violence and rape are in line with the order of nature and can be allowed and tolerated? Do you mean to tell me that sexual recklessness and adultery are in line with ‘high moral standards’ that we uphold as a country?

I have never heard any man vow to kill a rapist when these stories come out in the news all the time. I have never seen or heard of an uproar against a man who has violated the body of a few months old baby and infected her with STDs. But these are all issues of ‘abnormal’ sexualities, issues of morality, issues of what is right or wrong and issues of what is acceptable.

Of course people have been arrested for rape and gender based violence and these are by law illegal.

However, just as all illegal things, people still break the law. Not all rapists have been arrested and not all that have been violent to others have been arrested. Nor have they been persecuted by the society at large.

But legal issues aside, this is from a social perspective. This is from the premise that homosexuality is immoral and against the Malawian culture and should therefore not be legalised, further any known homosexual faces death threats.

Homosexuality has risen above all evils in our society and it is being used as a shield for others who refuse to question their own ‘disgusting’ activities.

There are actually men who are known to batter their wives and are considered ‘no nonsense’ men.

Imagine that. No one threatens to kill them for the violence they exercise upon another person. Instead, they continue with life with no consequence of their actions and move about freely when they are evidently infringing on another person’s rights and wellbeing ‘without their consent’. We as a society, tolerate this.

Think about HIV/Aids; if we put as much energy into condemning the various habits and behaviours that lead to the continued spread of the virus wouldn’t it make a difference?

What about all the women who choose to break other people’s homes for some extra cash? What about all the males we choose to brand katswiri for breaking their marriages and relationships while sleeping with three girls every week? Apparently a ‘man should not have one woman’ is the new mantra around town. Is this what we call our very morally upright culture?

Such despicable human recklessness is apparently better that homosexuality; tell me which order of nature declared sleeping around as the way to go?

Maybe convince me as to which order of nature declared violence acceptable? Astound me with facts on the order of nature that excuses rape? But do we see our society standing strong against this acts, and who fights for the nonconsenting

victims that live in trauma?

As to whether homosexuality should be legalised or not, my stand is neutral. However my argument remains that if as a country we should choose to fight ‘moral’, ‘order of nature’ and ‘God-fearing’ battles, we should do so holistically not with biased righteousness and correctness.
I rest my case.

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