Editorial staff
2 minute read
7 Dec 2021
4:45 am

Consent is key and no means no

Editorial staff

Men – who are the overwhelming majority of rapists – need to understand that no means exactly that.

Picture: iStock

Conquest is defined as “the subjugation and assumption of control of a place or people by military force”.

That makes it easier to understand why a man’s success in securing sexual relations from a woman is known as
a conquest.

In many cases, that is exactly what it is … the subjugation of an unwilling human being.

Force, we know, is the way rapists gain their way with women in brutal attacks. And that, as we know, is the way many South African men take what they believe they are entitled to.

Yet force can also be exerted in much more subtle ways – in relationships where men hold the power, for example, whether that be financial, psychological or emotional.

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But now, gender activists are pointing to what they call the “second pandemic” – where men continue to rape because they do not understand and, often, don’t care about the principle of consent.

A recent court case in the Eastern Cape generated much anger after a man was acquitted of rape when the
court found he genuinely believed he had permission to continue with sex, even though the woman testified
that she had made it plain she did not want to.

It has arisen again with the allegations against rapper Molemo “Jub Jub” Maarhanye by his former live-in lover Amanda du Pont that he had raped her on a number of occasions.

Many reacted incredulously to her claims, because the two were in a relationship for two years. The length of that relationship, her critics contend, was proof of ongoing consent.

That is completely wrong. It is possible for rape to occur within a relationship and even within a marriage.

By co-habiting with a man, a woman does not waive her basic human rights.

Men – who are the overwhelming majority of rapists – need to understand that no means exactly that.