THE BLOG

The Horrible Act Of Rape Isn't Just For The Sake Of Sex

How does a man, after such a horrible act of raping a woman, lead a normal life - totally insensitive to the outcomes of his actions? Who are these men?

28/03/2017 06:52 SAST
Brian Snyder / Reuters

For many years, our country has been seized with the scourge of rape – and strangely today more than ever. It's a frightening experience just to think about it. This past week a mother was gang raped for four hours by three taxi drivers at the backseat of a taxi in the presence of her 10-year old son. She told of how they instructed her son, wielding guns, to lie face down on the taxi floor as they took turns raping her multiple times over.

Her terrifying testimonial of the ordeal, its lifelong impact on her son, her perception of our justice system and especially law enforcement, her view of men in general as well as how sick our society is, brings shame to us, as a couple. We couldn't but think of the psychology of the kind of man who would engage in this type of activity in broad daylight, and later go socialise in taverns for instance, as though it was just a normal day.

How does a man, after such a horrible act of raping a woman, lead a normal life that is totally insensitive to the outcomes of his actions? Who are these men? Why are their wives, girlfriends, mothers, sisters and aunts silent about these atrocious actions especially if they're aware? What drives these men to do this? Why are their communities protecting them? It has since come to light, during the unfolding of the story of the woman gang raped by taxi drivers, that this is not an uncommon occurrence and that these taxi drivers are known for their brutal actions. Furthermore, the police not only turn a blind eye on these rapes, but refuse to assist with opening cases.

We believe that one of the main reasons we sometimes fail to understand human behaviour is that we tend to analyse a single behaviour at face-value, without considering the psychological makeup of the rapist. In many cases, a rapist is just a person trying to reach a completely different unconscious goal while believing that he is just satisfying a sexual desire. In other words, sex can be an objective but it can also be a vehicle that leads to the achievement of the real objective. At the root of it, some men rape in order to feel desired, deal with rejection, express power and superiority over women and others do it for mere revenge.

These are men who, by lacking control over their own lives, try to exert control over whoever they view as less powerful in their radar.

However, others do it to compensate for the fact that they don't have a good social life and therefore aren't lucky on the dating front. They would then crumble under the pressure by their peers, and as a result they start to experience shame. Some of those men would then rape in order to compensate for the lack of intimacy in their social lives. And others rape in order to simply regain control. These are men who, by lacking control over their own lives, try to exert control over whoever they view as less powerful in their radar. Generally, when these men feel out of control of their lives and aren't brave enough to regain that control in a socially acceptable way. They then might opt for rape just to overpower a helpless victim and so feel in control.

All of the above reasons demonstrate one thing, that generally rape isn't just for the sake of sex necessarily. Each rape event is a different case. But in all cases its motive is to satisfy a certain psychological need. When the subconscious mind wants to force another person to satisfy a certain need, it sometimes makes him believe that he is satisfying another need. In other words, men who rape women might believe they are doing it just to satisfy their sexual desire without realising his deeper needs behind the act. Much as that is the case, rapists must be held legally accountable for their actions and face the full might of all the consequences.

What we also seek to highlight is whatever the reason for rape, it all has to do with a level of dysfunction at home whether present or in the rapist's upbringing. A society characterised by the unsympathetic rape culture is one of the consequences of a mother and father not taking full responsibility of raising their sons appropriately. Lack of maturity, self-government, unselfishness and self-respect as well as respect for others and their property are all virtues that ought to be taught at home. Not by the day care centre, not by the "auntie" who works as the child-minder at home, and certainly not be the school or the church. It's a partnership of a man and a woman, ideally in marriage, who set a standard of living for their children by first loving each other faithfully and providing the necessary security for their children.

It'll have to take a man that is present in the lives of their sons in order to truly curb the rape culture. Law enforcement and the justice system can never be able to do the job. Paying maintenance every month won't do it either. The consequences of irresponsible men that not only aren't present in the lives of their sons but live irresponsibly before their sons are much more telling than we may be prepared to admit. Absentee fatherhood must fall.