THE NAKED PICTURE
South Africa has one of the highest rates of Violence Against women. We seem to have a problem with the way our men engage women. Our men seem to be lacking a fundamental respect for women. Where they should be seeing something Godly…..they see something they want to destroy
I am 33yrs old now, when I was 27 I was part of a campaign where, I stripped naked and took a picture to take a stand against rape.
The picture was shocking, it was provocative and it was brave. It was the kind of image that was vulnerable but said ‘fuck you, even if I’m naked, it does not mean I am asking to be raped.’
Women are often blamed for how they dress.
Responsibility and blame has shifted from the rapist to women.
It’s women’s fault that they get raped.
That image where I am naked and looking fierce –
Am I asking to be raped?’
That purpose of that image was to raise the issue of rape and crimes against women. It was to get society talking about rape. When we raise an issue then we create an opportunity to address that issue. That image was meant to challenge the status quo where women’s bodies have been sexualised.
The vagina is one of the organs of the body…perhaps we need to remove this veil and get our boys used to its existence so they can grow up to be men who respect it.
Owing to the fact that we have a problem with irresponsible journalism in this country- the intention of that image was not properly explained in a mature manner. Journalists from the Sowetan positioned the picture in an undignified, crass and immature manner. For the sake of pushing sales, they compromised ALL of society.
Sowetan did not use its platform to empower black men and women about Rape and women’s bodies. Instead it started a journey of confusion for our youth that continues to this day. Our youth don’t know what that picture stood for or what it was saying.
As a result, every time they engage negatively with that picture, they don’t even realise the impact it’s having on rape survivors.
Does how our youth is engaging with the picture, suggest that our youth doesn’t take rape seriously? Ultimately that picture is a picture of a naked women…..and so what? Your mothers, sisters, aunts, grandmothers, lovers and daughters ALL have a vagina. What is so amazing about my vagina that it’s still causing you grief 5yr after the campaign?
I am not ashamed of my body, it’s just the vehicle that houses my spirit, so please understand that your issues with my naked body….are YOUR issues.
I never have and never will have sleepless nights about doing the Rape Campaign, so when you tweet me that image out of malice and spite, 1stly I acknowledge your supreme ignorance and 2ndly I’m reminded that I’m ‘that girl that stripped naked for the rights of other women.’…..
NOW THAT’S BOSS.
This picture is going to walk most of my life with me….It is the journey my spirit has chosen for me in this lifetime. Using my voice and my body to affect change for women is an honour for me.
I challenge you….every time that picture comes up……I challenge you to talk about rape and how we can find solutions for our women and girls to feel safer among our OWN men.