south african popular culture seems right in the middle of gender discourses these days. the case i want to quote here illuminates why they are at the core of the contemporary condition –
in this country i love, as itS been a wonderful, enriching host for so many times, there was a day an advocate asked a victim, after a journey she survived – gang-rape, trauma, shame, insult – ‘did you enjoy it?’
this is so disrespectful and brutal that i search for words to drive the point home. it also proves that one of the transnational legacies, fresh as spring, is a misogynist outlook that does not (even have to) think twice. “mitigating factors”… this world still celebrates the power of genitals constructed outward, not only on south africa’s east coast. this is how the story goes:
“An advocate who asked a rape victim in the Bhisho High Court if she had enjoyed her ordeal has sparked national outrage. The court had heard that three teenagers broke into the woman’s home, assaulted and tied up her husband, covered her two children with blankets and then took turns raping her.
Advocate Mzwakhe Miso put the question to the victim, a 43- year-old Dimbaza woman, last week during the trial of Khotso Matloporo, 18, Sivuyile July, 19, and Siyawandisa Mbovane, 18, who were subsequently convicted of raping her. Judge Andreas Dhlodhlo ordered Miso to halt his line of questioning …. Miso apologised yesterday for making the statement. “I know women are angry at me and I apologise to women for that,” he told the Dispatch. “It is unfortunate that I cannot withdraw what I said in court but the judge did ask me to drop the question.” The advocate said his intention was to counter the State’s submission that the woman was traumatised and to try to find mitigating factors for his clients.”