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We Are the Wretched of the Earth

5 June 2013 3 Comments

We are the Wretched of the Earth

South African singer Tina Schouw holds a poster of murdered rape victim Anene Booysen in Cape Town. Photograph: Sue Kramer/Demotix/Corbis

By Malini Mohana, South Africa

Anene Booysen is raped, mutilated, dead.

Let’s tweet, let’s share, let’s “like.”

Ambivalence.

Let’s advertise our poorly veiled apathy through media mindstorms - click click click revolution?

Some people have stood up, they have said “No. No. This is not ok.”

They have written articles in good faith and of good value, that have expressed the right things from a place of intelligence and of empathy.

Here is one and another, and another, and some more.

It has all been said. What is left to say?

What do we do now?

I suppose I could write another one. In my anger I could write a hell of a piece that describes, reviles, antagonizes.

You could do it too.

And then what? What is left to say?

What do we do now?

We can dance, we can march, we can wear black and whisper condolences, and it will be sincere and it will be in good faith and of good value.

And then we will go back home and summon new forgetfulness, and Anene is still raped and mutilated and dead, and another will join her every four minutes.

Again?

Vicarious overdose.

Change the channel.

Too much.

Let’s watch Syria.

No not Syria again.

Change the channel.

What is this unravelling?

We know of the Holocaust, we know of Apartheid.

But here, no specific person can be condemned; no specific race, no specific country.

Billions of women under siege, everywhere, over eras, and still no specifics.

Just men.

Men in power, men at school, men on the street, men you know, men you don’t know, men you loved.

And that is what is too much to accept.

What? We are not barbarians!

We have a bill of rights now, we care about human lives.

Gang-rape? That sucks. Is she pregnant? Let’s debate abortion.

Hypocrisy in the self-proclaimed intellectual, ignorance in the well educated.

We will not acknowledge our repulsive patriarchy, our hateful ennui, and there will be no change.

These men are raised among us and they are accepted, elevated into power, into influence, or simply allowed to walk the streets as we condemn our girls for having vaginas.

Whatwereyouwearing wherewereyouwalking.

Rape happens. C’est la vie.

Oh, there was no mutilation this time? Lucky her.

Now change the channel.

We are still raped, mutilated, dead.

Tell me. What is left to say?

What do I do now?

***

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3 Comments to “We Are the Wretched of the Earth”
  1. jackyl says:

    What an incredibly emotive and moving piece of work – thank you for writing this.

  2. Onni Milne says:

    Like you, I mourn the relentless stream of women who have been objects of men’s violence. Why does it happen? Because it can. Why does it continue? Because it can. When will it change? When we decide we have had enough and men stand with women to create the new paradigm.

  3. Rahmah says:

    Can I just say what a reduction to find soomnee who truly is aware of what theyre speaking about on the internet. You undoubtedly know find out how to carry a problem to mild and make it important. Extra individuals have to read this and understand this aspect of the story. I cant consider youre not more widespread because you positively have the gift.

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