Archive for the ‘News’ Category

I’m better known for having opposing views to the general public on most political and controversial topics, this time however is slightly different. I’ve thought about this for a while but have been hesitant to post my thoughts because of just how controversial this topic actually is, but what kind of a writer would I be if I didn’t share my opinions with you?

I will start by saying that I definitely do not condone rape or sexual violence in any way, shape or form and by no means should any rapist (male OR female) be allowed to get away with their crime… In fact I am all for genitalia being removed and a lifetime of torture being imposed on the perpetrators, however there are a number of factors about the common ‘rape culture’ phrase being thrown around of late and the strange ideals accompanying the latest rape culture phenomena that have my knickers in a bit of a twist.

Let’s start with the basics. So many women have jumped up and down about rape and launched an onslaught on the male population, the rapists. I think that what many women do forget (and I’m advocating for the men here) is that there are just as many female rapists as there are male. I am not here to bore you with statistics and remember that this is still just my personal opinion but I feel like men are getting the wrong end of a crappy stick here. The problem with today’s society is that everything is ‘generalized’ and so the good men, and they do exist, get tarred with the same criminal brush and are assumed to be rapists like their perpetrating counterparts. So many more women are rapists than you realize, the problem is that men are too ashamed to come forward and admit rape because they think people won’t understand how a man was raped by a woman. It happens. It’s a shocking reality and it’s time that men got up there with women to protest rape against men, women and of course most importantly children.

Sexual crimes and rape all fall under the same horrible umbrella. It’s an experience a man, woman or child did not ask for and did not agree to and no one should ever have to experience, please know that I do not belittle this in any way. It is saying no and yet having to endure the experience anyway against your will. Whatever your definition of rape, the end result is clear. Broken souls, nothing fixes that. With all of that said, it is important that everyone understand the implication of accusing someone of rape. It is no menial accusation and once you have been tarnished a rapist, it is a state criminal case, criminal records are received and hopefully a terrible time in prison awaits… For the guilty. This is where it gets tricky, you have to know and be sure that someone truly is guilty. Too often, women (and some men) are very quick to make the rape accusation against someone they believe had the intention to rape, perhaps they were angry and an accusation served as revenge, or maybe they thought that a rape could have happened but they don’t know…. For whatever reason, if you truly believe you have been raped then do the necessary but if you haven’t, understand that a false accusation ruins lives and causes unnecessary heartbreak and heartache. It is a common problem that when mentioned gets quickly blown away in the shadow of the ‘rape culture’ phenomenon we are quick to feed. Recently, the twitter rape war that took place between a column writer and a rape survivor caused a social media outbreak of rape views and experiences and not once was the issue of false accusation taken seriously. Now I’m not saying he was correct or that she was lying, by no means, but what I am saying is that his implications are very real possibilities that happen to men and women every single day… I hope that we be mindful of that. Because I advocate for the innocent man or woman still does not mean I support the rapists, in fact, I abhor them.

An article on News 24 addresses 25 examples of rape culture in today’s day and age (Source). Reading through these examples I can’t help but feel like we are making mountains out of mole hills that didn’t exist to begin with (Some points are genuinely valid but I don’t believe that they all are). Point number 2 refers to the hit song ‘Blurred Lines’ and because we sing along, we are advocating rape? No. I sing along to Lady Gaga’s applause and it doesn’t mean I’m clapping. My point is that more often than not we are looking for things to read into, as if they aren’t blatantly staring at us from the news and statistics. ‘You know you want it’ clearly has sexual connotation but guess what, maybe she does want it (not rape – consensual sex)? The blurred lines may be referring to the lines between friendship and lovers, lovers and friends with benefits, nowhere do they openly sing about committing rape…why do we dig where we need not dig? Isn’t there enough in the real world?

Point 4 talks about mothers blaming girls for sexy selfies instead of talking to other mothers sons about how to behave and I do agree with his point to an extent but let’s be real, there are some sicko’s in the world. Why allow your daughter to post sexy selfie’s anyway? As an adult posting selfie’s you’re well aware of the consequences that may abound from having a slutty internet persona (not specifically rape but perhaps unwanted sexual attention) however as a parent to two daughters, I would hope that they have been raised wise in the ways of the dark side of the world. By all means, post a selfie but you have control over who sees it through various social media security settings (I use them all!) and for goodness sake, if your 12 year old daughter is taking photos of herself in a bikini and underwear and posting it on the internet, you have other problems that need addressing including a massive cry out for attention which will unfortunately attract the wrong attention as well as a very lax parenting approach which could be to your daughters detriment.

Point 6 refers to supports of athletes charged with rape… I think the operative word there is charged because as far as I’m concerned, they’ve not yet been proven guilty. We have to be very careful about false accusations and if the athletes are in fact innocent, why is there not more pressure put onto the false victims for trying to ruin that athletes career let alone their life?

To be real, we live in South Africa and the statistics used in this article refer to a worldwide rape pandemic… Let’s talk South Africa for a minute. Sadly, we cannot really even take into account in our country the statistics on rape due to their inaccuracies. It is impossible to have accurate statistics when most men and women are too afraid to come forward and report their rape or identify their known rapist and children are to small or young to understand. One in 25 women who say they’ve been raped actually report their rape, that means the other 24 live with their experience and carry on as if nothing has happened, when we know that inside they are breaking. I am no feminist but I am a realist, this rape epidemic affects everyone from men to women to children to animals, it is sick and it is horrific and again I say the guilty deserve the worst possible punishment but not death, that’s too easy, something far worse. The scary part? I don’t find many statistics on men and their reporting of rape. Six women are raped every hour in South Africa, how many men and children?

All I’m saying here is that the utmost care and fairness must be taken into consideration when looking at the subject of rape and the supposed ‘rape culture’ that we as a society are supposedly fueling. I know women that have falsely accused men of rape and have had to live with the consequences thereof. I know of cases of men that have been falsely accused. I sadly also know women that have been raped or sexually mistreated and not reported it because they didn’t ‘think’ it was rape… And in my lifetime, I have known of men who may or may not have been raped but they were uncertain. To say that we are living in a rape cultured society is saying that we fake the news… At the end of the day, the numbers are real and the cases are real and we see the facts daily thrown at us in news and media. There is no ‘rape culture’, there is rape and there is reality and giving something like this a name allows those that want to live in the darkness of rape a permission to make it real.

@lifeissavage posted in Twitter yesterday an article against rape which I thought was so fitting and gets to the crux of the problem. (As did others with it’s over 100 favorites and over 300 retweets). Two pages were stuck together in a magazine and when you tried to pull the pages apart it reads “If you have to use force, it’s rape”. This ad applies to everyone… If you use force, it’s rape and if force is being used upon you, it’s rape. It doesn’t matter if you’re man, woman or child. It’s rape. Read more on the article here – Source

It’s sad that so much talking has to happen on the subject and not enough acting. Not enough acting on the part of the human race, the government and the judicial system. I’m all for a community outcry and social media barrage but remember, there is more to rape than a vagina or a statistic… It is about real people, real lives and real consequence.

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He couldn’t go to work that day
He couldn’t take the bus or make a call
He left home knowing he’d not be paid today
Not knowing by days end he’d fall

He stood within the masses
Not a pass book in hand or sight
All he expected was incarceration
Not a one sided machine gun fight

He threw a stone in frustration
A few hundred others did as well
As the officers started firing
69 murdered fell

The slain scattered in front of officers
Who to start with didn’t have a clue
They shot and killed him for no reason
Injuring hundreds more too

Today we look back at history
The stories the pictures tell
We fight back against discrimination
And living in man made hell

The massacre tells the story
Of a crowd willing to verbally fight
To stand against ignorance
For the world to hear their plight

Human rights were violated
Men, women and children slain
Let’s continue learning from this day
Let their deaths not be in vain

I stand against racial discrimination
As a white female I choose to befriend
Any color or creed of person
For you to do the same, I recommend

I teach my children harmony
To love all, despite their race
In the innocence of a child
Acceptance shows on her face

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I am not a lawyer. I’m not a policeman. I’m not a judge.
I am a white, female, British born, South African bred woman in my 20’s (almost 30’s) who has been greatly affected by crime in my lifetime and has little to no faith in the justice system of this country.

Up until now, I’ve remained fairly ‘mum’ on the Oscar Pistorius case and upcoming trial. So why now? Why do I choose to voice my opinion the day before the trial is set to begin? Because I sit here, watching a televised documentary, seething at the sensationalistic approach the media is taking on broadcasting the murder trial that begins tomorrow.

The ONLY person who knows the truth is Oscar. I’m not here to convince you of his guilt or innocence, but there are many facets of this media debauchery that I have firm issues with.

Oscar Pistorius shot Reeva Steenkamp, it happened and it was an extremely unfortunate, sad situation. A young woman lost her life, unnecessarily. A young woman with the world at her feet had her future cruelly stolen from her in a terrible way. Let me not take anything away from her death and her loss is felt countrywide, especially when her tweets from a year ago are being tastelessly retweeted. The trial that begins tomorrow is going to investigate the evidence, the motive, the predetermination and everything that’s been broadcasted by the media, the so called facts of the trial.

Already I have little faith in the initial crime scene investigation, a multitude of flaws have been pointed out to the detriment of the detectives and officers on scene. Last week, the news of three special investigators (a mere week before trial) traveling to the US to investigate the phone at Apple, something that apparently can’t be done in South Africa. Now I find this extremely difficult to believe… I understand it’s extremely important evidence but I don’t see why it was necessary to send 3 investigators? I also don’t understand how no one was capable of investigating this phone right here in South Africa? Sounds like a free holiday to me (I cannot shake that thought).

Apparently, the fact that his internet browser history showed porn searches and looking for a second hand vehicle is indicative of what happened that night. I’m sorry but it was Valentine’s day, I’m certain he was not the only one looking at porn on Valentine’s Day. Just a thought? As for the second hand vehicle… No connection.

‘If he was in such fear why did he only shoot 4 rounds?’ Come on, really? That’s like saying why did you buy a six pack and only drink 4 beers? No one can possibly say why, adrenaline, first reaction? We live in South Africa, a country where 5 armed men come into the house of a single mother of a 2 year old child and hold them at gunpoint, a country where a woman on a scooter is nearly hijacked on the way home from work, a country where a group of friends get home from a party and are frisked and hijacked at gunpoint by men with silencers on their guns. To be fair, if I had a gun in any of these situations, perhaps I’d be on trial as well. These American ‘writers’ and forensic experts are discussing a South African crime with absolutely no South African experience. It is pure conjecture that causes the experts to ask such questions without knowing what it’s like to live in this country.

Oscar Pistorius, the double amputee with a gun. He had everything and now his murder accusation is being labelled as a fall from grace, pun intended? Why when you have everything would you risk ending up with nothing, it doesn’t make sense to me. His high profile status leads me to believe that it’s all the more reason to find (or make) a way to prosecute him. As a country it’s as if we have something to prove to the world, that we won’t let a local celebrity get away with murder, whether he did it or not.

The evidence doesn’t lie. People lie. Very true and I can only hope that evidence is allowed to speak for itself without human biased of those who couldn’t properly investigate the evidence to start with. If he truly did shoot at her with the intent to kill, by all means send the man to prison to rot, he’d deserve it. If the evidence proves, without a shadow of a doubt, that he is a murderer then hang him. Did anyone ever stop to think that here is an innocent man already under media prosecution, a man already ‘guilty’ according to some, a man that could be found guilty in error, all because of a need to put this to bed the way the media would like.

So now, we get to watch this man sit and suffer on television daily for the next 3 weeks which I think is disgusting. The media is about to go against this man’s right to privacy, the privacy of all witnesses involved and the privacy of the justice system as well. Now, the public can take pleasure in watching him suffer day in and day out. What sick society do we live in? What I don’t think has been thought through properly is the door it opens up for Oscar’s defense to make the state look like blundering idiots when it comes down to verifying fact and raising the issue of the crime scene blunder. How will the state manage to hold the publics faith and respect when they will be tested and contradicted at every turn? And if he does get acquitted, what will the country think of the system we are made to believe is competent and prepared for a trial such as this?

I don’t ask you to believe what I do or think as I have but I implore you to at least have your own thoughts and ideas instead of being led by the media’s propaganda.

Another documentary on Reeva’s life comes on tv. As if she is the only murdered woman in the country in a year… Where is the justice for other victims and families in that?

I will not be writing about the Oscar trial again, I only hope that truthful and honest justice is served.

Shevy

I did it. I was #neknominated and I nekked, judge me if you will.

For those that don’t know what #neknomination is, it now has it’s own Wikipedia page – Source

I have trolled the internet and found numerous drinking videos showing people drinking strange concoctions of alcohol in the most extreme manner, right down to drinking out of the toilet. This is the perfect example of worldwide exaggeration because the drinking game, originating from down under, was never intended to be an extreme down-down. The original idea of #neknomination was to down a beer or alcoholic beverage and then nominate 2 (or 3 in my case) of your friends to do the same… Being the human race we are, we couldn’t leave that be and instead people started downing drinks under extreme conditions, right down to downing a half jack of vodka on a skateboard or a beer naked in the snow. Let’s be honest, I’ve been playing drinking games forever and so in comparison, the idea almost seems tame. What we have done here however, is put a face to stupidity and then allowed people to gain a reputation of being the best #neknominator.

This popular social media craze has now resulted in what looks like 2 worldwide deaths and this morning an article about a Durban man succumbing to alcohol poisoning after his outrageous #neknomination attempt. I must be honest, while I agree that this social craze does not promote the most responsible of behaviors, there are no #neknomination police making sure that you down the most stupid alcoholic concoction in the most outrageous way possible. In fact, if people are consuming enough alcohol to give themselves alcohol poisoning, they’re just stupidly getting the attention they seek. There are no rules that say ‘Make every attempt to put yourself in hospital’, surely people are smarter than this? Sadly no, so while some people are able to nek responsibly, the craze is getting out of hand elsewhere. The strangest one I’ve heard of yet,

David Ford pours a pint of gin and puts a live goldfish into it before downing the lot. He then decapitates a bird and eats its insides

I think it’s safe to say, it’s getting out of hand.

Enter Brent Lindeque who’s #neknomination video went viral when he chose to put a positive spin on this and instead of downing a drink, he fed a homeless man. Brent received his #neknomination from a friend in Oz and chose to put South Africa on the map, recording a video about positive change #changeonething #donomination. You can read the article on a Brent here and view his video – http://citizen.co.za/121210/neknomination-craze-gets-feel-good-sa-twist/

Since Brent’s nomination, a new social media craze is hitting the interwebz and that’s the idea of #donomination, #raknomination and #changeonething. The idea that if everyone involved in #nekonomination rather #donominate, perform random acts of kindness and make someone else’s life just a little bit better, then this is a good cause. A Facebook page has now started up, allowing donominators to upload their videos and show off their attempt at changing the world, little bit at a time.

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Since #donominate has come about I’ve seen videos of people handing out food to the homeless, a man handing out soccer balls to children in a township and companies handing out meals and money to those less fortunate. FNB jumped on it and now, true to form, Nando’s is next and I cannot wait to see what they do.

So yesterday, I received my nomination from my sister in law and to ensure I got my #neknomination in on time, I recorded myself after midnight shift last night at 5:30am this morning with a beer and a donation. The thought that you can’t have one without the other doesn’t make sense to me and so I downed (barely) a beer and then donated a bag of clothes, toys, toiletries and blankets to the Lighthouse baby shelter in Sundowner (Just waiting to deliver). Perhaps I am a sell out, buying into this nomination business and putting myself out there but I’d like to think I downed a beer for a good cause and challenge others to do the same.

Social media is more powerful than we could possibly imagine and whatever you put on the internet will be there longer than you breathe, make sure what you’re putting out is something you can smile at instead of cringe over.

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Rarely does a news story grab my attention and prompt a blog post about it but this one I couldn’t leave alone. A parliamentary attendant from the public, asked to remove himself from parliament for his casual clothing and you guessed it… Visible tattoos. (a beautiful geisha and day of the dead girl might I add).

This display of discrimination for whatever reason, choice of clothing to choice of ink, has prompted this ink owner to visit the equality court and lay his case. He has been discriminated against and not because of the color of his skin or sexuality that we expect.

I’m not ENCA or CNN or any other news acronym you can think of and I’m not here to give my version of this gentleman’s story.
What I do want to comment on is the discrimination against tattooed people, every single day.

I know hundreds of people with tattoos, from one tattoo to ‘you have an addiction’ (That would be me). My husband is tattooed as well, in his corporate client visiting environment, all tattoos must be covered at all times. In my own corporate environment, my own tattoos must always be covered. In church, tattoos should not be visible. Even at weddings and funerals. Many situations call for the ink to be hidden, it’s just the way of a stagnant society in an ever changing world.

Now I have no problem covering up at work, I understand my dress code and adhere to that willingly. Do I continue to tattoo? Yes. Do I cover? Yes.
What I have a problem with is a family and friend visit to the zoo with our children where you’d swear that we were the zoo animals, the elephants got no love that day. Thought to be the worst parents in the world for inking our skin.
Trips to shopping centers where stares are countless.
Let’s not forget my wedding pictures where myself and bridesmaids were well tattooed, they’ve been guffawed at many a time.

I ask the question, when will tattoos truly be acceptable? When will people finally get that our choice of decoration is exactly that, a choice? Will it take the generation of our children to encourage the world that our tattoos do not make us misfits as your high heels don’t make you a hooker?

I don’t mind being stared at… Each new piece giving someone something to talk about… I only hope that the stares one day become admiration instead of anxiety.

Miss Understood
Shevy