Today's Big Stories

Prof Pumla Dineo Gqola on rape culture, patriarchy and gender politics in SA

Although some have refuted the claims that South Africa is the rape capital of the world, the violence enacted of women's bodies has undeniably formed a sinister shadow on the country's timeline.

Professor Pumla Dineo Gqola argues that the national rhetoric on rape incidents in South Africa reflects the prevalent denialist attitudes held by the people of this country.

Gqola, activist and author of Rape: A South African nightmare, joined CapeTalk and 702 host Redi Tlhabi in studio to unpack the history of rape culture, colonial privilege and patriarchal entitlement.

Listen to the full conversation from The Redi Tlhabi Show:

In her book, she maps the culture of rape back to colonial slavery and uses prominent post-apartheid rape cases to contextualise the violence and lived experience of many women in the country.

She also breakdowns several rape myths and highlights problems that allow rape culture to continue.

Gqola says that the main concern with South Africans is that they perpetuate the same "helpless" conversation around rape, without attempting to seek introspective solutions.

She adds that rape does not happen in isolated incidents, but exists as a violent system that forces victims to 'prove' their lived trauma.

We ask the same questions, but we don't really answer them. The discourse is not moving forward. As long as we continue to see rape as isolated incidents, we will continue to be helpless.

Pumla Dineo Gqola, professor and activist

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