Written by: Anthony Stuurman
Early one evening, my cousin was walking home with his girlfriend. He was fifteen and she was fourteen. Along the way they were stopped by a group of six men. It insulted their manhood that a boy of fifteen would have a girlfriend and not them. They insisted that she be “shared”. The pair of them were dragged off the road at knifepoint. They were stripped naked. The men proceeded to repeatedly rape the girl while my cousin was sexually assaulted. At one point two of the older men got into a fight over who be “next in line”. A knife fight ensued that spilled onto the road. A police van was driving past at just that time, leading to the arrest of these deviants. The girl had to spend nearly a week in hospital due to her injuries. My cousin, although not as physically injured, went on to suffer flashbacks and nightmares for almost thirty years. Their ordeal left an indelible mark on my family as a whole. We were never quite the same again.
I was too young to attend the trial of my cousin’s attackers; however, my father did. I would pretend to be asleep and then listen in on my mother and father talking about the events of the trial in the evenings. In their testimony, the older men made it clear it that they believed that they had a right to the girl; the fact that my cousin was her boyfriend meant that she deserved to be raped. The younger ones (one of whom was only seventeen) argued that they were simply following their elders’ example. They had a culture of entitlement to women’s bodies.
When the debacle over Judge Mabel Jansen’s Facebook comments exploded in the media, I followed it very closely. Of course, the predictable knee-jerk analysis was rendered: cries of ‘racism’ were pretty commonplace. Leading the pack, as per usual, was South Africa’s SJW CiC, Eusebius McKaiser. When revelations about Jansen’s adopted black daughters came out, Eusebius was forced to go through the most tortuous mental gymnastics to explain this away. It didn’t work, however, and was exposed for the irrational argument that it was.
A question worth asking is: why did Eusebius react the way he did?
Keep in mind that the bulk of research into rape in the last few years has pretty much supported Mabel Jansen’s concerns over the high incidence and cultural causes of rape. There is really nothing new in this. Even traditional culture isn’t immune: an investigation by the South African government and the UN found that ukuthwala was being used as an explanation for the rape of young girls by elder men in Lusikisiki. As a consequence, the Eastern Cape government has been pouring money into the region to specifically target this problem. Measures by the national government include investing in special courts that deal with rape; these have been created across the country, demonstrating that this isn’t just an Eastern Cape issue. Now, Eusebius is quite obviously an intelligent and well read man. I find it difficult to believe he isn’t aware of any of this. He must realise that Jansen isn’t lying or making facts up.
To compound matters further, McKaiser has in fact made comments that echo Judge Jansen’s. In an unguarded moment during an interview on an unBranded podcast, he clearly explained his belief in a problem of rape culture in townships. He illustrated this with the plight of black lesbians who he claimed are “turned on, preyed on and killed and raped by black men”. Now, quite plainly, Eusebius can’t really be that offended by Jansen if he himself is making similar remarks. Privately, he agrees with the substance of her claim.
If he wasn’t that offended by her claims, why did he react the way he did?
The answer is to look further afield, to examine what other ‘causes’ Eusebius has been championing recently. One ‘cause’ that pops up is Eusebius’ bromance with Ntokozo Qwabe . Readers will probably be aware of Qwabe’s views on white waitresses and statue-crushing hashtagism (never tip, and statues must fall!). Eusebius has routinely defended him, only recently calling upon a Twitter mob to “shame” some guy because he had unpleasant thoughts about Mr Qwabe. Now, I get that they are both Rhodes scholars, but this is the same Qwabe who refused to condemn the atrocities of ISIS because of obscure ideological reasons – the very same ISIS that would happily use women as sex slaves and throw him off a building because of his sexual persuasion. Can you see the contradiction here?
However, there is a common thread through all of this: Eusebius McKaiser, Ntokozo Qwabe, and Gillian Schutte, the woman who made public Jansen’s messages, are all Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) supporters. And who was presiding over the leader of the EFF, Julius Malema’s recent court case? Judge Mabel Jansen.
On another level this whole thing was a surprising action on Eusebius’ part. You see, Eusebius is an intersectionalist. It is important to understand exactly what this means: intersectionalists believe in distinct classes in society. Oppression and privilege overlap in various ways leading to a hierarchy (or, more accurately, they would refer to this as a kyriarchy). For instance, black lesbians living in a township: they have a much greater chance of being raped and killed by black men. Their sexuality, gender and race converge to make them a highly oppressed class. The second consideration is the cause of intersection: culture. Culture, for intersectionalists, is the essential go-to explanation for rape. In other words, black men are raping black lesbians because of culture.
Now, my reader at this point might be thinking that I am being devious and making up a straw man argument. Eusebius, even as an intersectionalist, would never make such a claim!
Well, actually, he did make this very claim. The example I have used is in fact from Eusebius himself. During his interview on unBranded, Eusebius used the situation of black lesbians to illustrate intersectionality. He claims, as noted above, that black lesbians in townships are “turned on, preyed on and killed and raped by black men”.
The position that he takes on rape is uncannily similar to that of Mabel Jansen. Both of them believe culture to be the driving force behind this crime. I believe there is more than a ring of truth to it. The problem is that this isn’t unique; various studies have demonstrated that even today, culture propels the crime of rape. As before, even traditional African cultural practices are not immune.
Now, a caveat must be noted. Just because this rape culture exists, does not mean that all men ascribe to it or commit rape. Far from it: the vast majority of black men are horrified by the act. However, once again, we find a positive comparison between Judge Jansen’s claims and Eusebius’ intersectionality. Neither argue that all black men rape. Jansen is very clear on this in her tweets, and her daughter’s testimony supports this notion.
However, there is a way in which intersectionalists go further than Jansen. They would argue that ALL black men benefit from this rape culture, as they themselves don’t experience violence in the same way as women. In simple terms, black men benefit from rape even if they themselves aren’t rapists. Now, obviously, this is a pretty far-fetched argument. How would a rape victim’s father, son, uncle, brother, etc. benefit from rape culture if they are not rapists themselves? The problem is that this is the very reasoning that McKaiser puts forward in Run Racist Run. Just as black men benefit from the actions of rapists, so, white people benefit from the actions of racists. Both examples suffer the same ill-conceived leap in logic, which renders them hollow conclusions.
Eusebius’ attempt to silence Jansen was a bad idea, especially when he essentially believes pretty much the same thing. We only have to look at the UK to understand the danger of this position. A government report found that law enforcement was prevented from investigating and dealing with an epidemic in sex abuse gangs because the perpetrators were the wrong colour.
As a consequence, thousands of young girls were abused. In other words, political correctness got in the way of justice. We don’t have to go this way in South Africa, and I don’t think we will. South Africans, thankfully, aren’t too afraid to speak their minds. Throwing the race card around clearly has diminishing returns.
Author: Anthony Stuurman (a pen-name) is an educator in the Eastern Cape with an interest in neuroscience, ethnobotany and a passion for free speech.