‘Die kind sy’s graad 8 maar die koekie is klaar met skool.’ I recently came across this post on my WhatsApp, where one of the guys in my contacts posted it with laughing emojis. Wanting to address the issue, I asked him why slut-shaming women is something they do freely, and never hold the man accountable. He responded that I am being defensive and blowing it out of proportion because to him, it is just a joke. Excuse me sir, where in the world of someone who is a paedophile is this scenario funny? What exactly is funny about someone who is underage being in sexual relations with someone who knows very well that they’re committing a crime? This conversation went back and forth between the two of us, and I thought this is the time to address the issue of older men having sexual relations with underage girls who are in school under the disguise of ‘okadilona nako ombelela.’ Sir, you are a rapist.
What we need to understand and grasp is the fact that an adult man who is having sexual relations with someone who is in school means that this person is deliberate about their actions, because they have power over a minor, and minors can’t be expected to rationalise like adults. We do not even entrust these minors to run regular household duties or trust them to do grocery shopping alone, but want to argue that they know what they are doing with older men who lure them into bed with money and expensive lifestyles? The problem is that men will laugh with each other about the fact that they’re sleeping with a young child who is underage and in school because she’s fresh meat, but will get upset if that same girl in grade 8 is their sibling. When it benefits them, then rape and paedophilia are foreign concepts. But when it hits home, suddenly they understand the severity of the case, and would go as far as wanting to fight these men? Why are there double standards when it comes to other women who are subjected to the same sexual trauma? Why must there be a sudden understanding because you know this girl? So, the other young girls do not matter because you do not know them?
A girl who is in grade 8 is someone that does not have the same reasoning capacity as the person who is having sexual relations with her. But because men do not want to address this, as their power will be taken away from them, they will not engage in this conversation. They would rather take part in conversations where they talk about the aftermath of how this grade 8 child later fell pregnant, while laughing, because she is a slut and started early. Meanwhile, you as a man who preys on these young girls is the sole reason why she is like that. You have no shame, because society labelling her as a hoe boosts your ego, and makes you as a man feel better about yourself.
If you are a man who dates school girls, shame on you. You are a rapist, and should not co-exist with women in society. You are a danger, and if you do not understand the dynamics in age and how wrong the man is in this case, then I’m done having this conversation with you because clearly, you’re priding yourself of the fact that young people being lured into sexual relations by older men is funny. And I don’t do that here.
Have a great week.
• Frieda Mukufa’s lifestyle section concentrates on women-related issues and parenting every Friday in the New Era newspaper. She also specialises in editing research proposals, proofreading as well as content creation. firstname.lastname@example.org