The severe molestation of sex doll at an electronics festival overseas shows how rape culture has been normalised in society, says gender and social activist Lebo Ramafoko.
The sex robot, named Samantha, was badly damaged last week and reportedly required repairs after a group of men had their way with her.
Ramafoko explains that the manufacturing of sex robots, which resemble a woman’s body, is an example of how male aggression and the objectification of women is perpetuated.
She says the rape stimulation feature which is programmed into some sex dolls disturbingly equates rape to sex.
Rape and violence are an end product of a society with social norms that objectify women.— Lebo Ramafoko, CEO of Soul City Institute
When you are dealing with abuse, you need to deal with the representation of women as objects across the board.— Lebo Ramafoko, CEO of Soul City Institute
Daily misogyny is not going to abate and it is aided by industry.— Lebo Ramafoko, CEO of Soul City Institute
They are equating rape with sex. That is exactly the problem.— Lebo Ramafoko, CEO of Soul City Institute
Meanwhile, author and UCT lecturer Jacques Rousseau says there no harm in the existence of the sex dolls, but in how they are used.
The harm might be that it perpetuates a certain attitude towards women. I don't think that that's true. In this case, there isn't a harm.— Jacques Rousseau, UCT critical thinking and ethics lecturer
Rousseau problematises the rape stimulation feature and emphasised the importance of context when understanding the use of the life-like technology.
I think it promotes harassment and opens other possible cases or harassment, that's my opinion— Steve Stifla (@StiflerRams) October 3, 2017
Entrench. You can’t obtain, or perhaps don’t need consent from the robot. The fact that it now needs repair shows our toxic rape culture.— Melanie van Wyk (@melvanwykct) October 3, 2017
Take a listen to the complex and fascinating discussion:
This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Yes. Sex robots normalise the objectification of women, Lebo Ramafoko explains