Friday 23 April 2021
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Our sons are no safer than our daughters

I recently read a thread on Twitter about a young man who was continuously manipulated and molested as a young boy.

Sorry, I know it’s a little bit of a dark way to start a piece but its needed.

Stumbling across this thread, the tweep explains how as a boy he was manipulated into sex by his elder cousin, a male cousin. He shared how his cousin would threaten him to keep it a secret. He kept him quiet by threatening   he would tell the family that he was a homosexual.  This lead to many accounts.

Reading the thread in shock and heartache, although the tweep is South African, I realized Namibia has been neglecting our men for way too long. We never talk about the abuse of men and we don’t talk about the immense pressure society has placed on them.

It’s sad to see that little boys go through such vile incidents and are afraid to report these things not only because of manipulation and fear, but because of what society may do to them. I am fully aware that rape happens, but what we mostly advocate when it comes to rape is as if that is limited exclusively to women and little girls of the community. We fail to acknowledge that men have to deal with this too.
I can’t but try to imagine myself in such an incident and I can’t even begin to comprehend the emotions I would have gone through.

“What if it was my fault?” “What if my father hates me because I’m not a man anymore?” “…the police men would laugh at me and the school kids will make fun of me.”

I am so sure there are so many cases that have not been made because of this fear.

Society is so flawed in everything that it represents and sadly it gets worse over the years. Imagine the gay man that is “closeted”’ that cant come out and talk about his rape encounter because, firstly he will be outed, secondly because of his sexual orientation being gay and all, “he probably asked for it.” “I don’t understand why you are reporting this… aren’t you into men? You probably enjoyed it.”

My mind goes in all tangents just trying to wrap myself in the possibility of such a situation and how I’d actually handle it.

Our masculinity is so fragile that it would literally mean death if we have to handle a situation like this. I am almost certain that there are men who have gone through this situation or something similar and because of the man in him he refuses to deal with it, he refuses to be labeled as something so disgusting.

What’s worse about this whole scenario from twitter is that it’s a family member that violated this little boy, now young man. My heart breaks to know that in the confinement of such a trust based environment, our own brothers, uncles and fathers cant be laced with the responsibility of taking care of their children.

I know women go through this on a daily basis and as infuriating as that is, don’t get me wrong I mourn in the tragedies with you, we have left our little boys to die, die to themselves, die to their identity and die to society.

A child that goes through such trauma, will have their life altered for the rest of their being and if not dealt with early could cause a community to be reduced to a hash tag in attempts to alleviate. Our governments will wonder what is happening and say that women are the cause of their rape because of how they dress or how they present themselves.

But I want to ask the community this! Were the clothes your son wore too provocative? Did he sit with his legs too wide opened? Did he say no but the offender thought he was playing hard to get?

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