There is no difference between being raped
and going head first through a windshield
except that afterward you are afraid
not of cars
but half the human race.
Watching the afternoon dwindle away from my bedroom window the other day, Cousin Flighty and I spoke about, politics (the kind generated from a girls high school), plans for the future (the December holiday), how I should be getting married soon so that she can get a new wardrobe and then back to the less significant parts of school, studying for exams. She left me aghast with this, ‘My timetable’s going to rape me.’
In my other life, y’know the much neglected non-blogging one, I’m meant to be putting a microscope to the way my carefully selected pocket of society manipulates language to serve its own nefarious ends since there exists a close relationship between the historically and socially determined circumstances in which a community lives and the language it uses. Basically, the society we live in is reflected in the language we use. So rape, it would seem then, is so much a part of this society, so much a norm, so passively accepted, that the word has now taken on another shade of meaning. Cousin Flighty insists everybody is using it, ‘We don’t mean rape like rape but like we mean it’s really bad.’ Zapiro’s infamous cartoon showed Jacob Zuma about to rape the justice system. Surely there’s something insidiously amiss in a society where rape is so passively accepted in public discourse and used with such indiscriminate aplomb. Is it bound to raise awareness of rape as a crime, as an injustice, as oppression?