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Sorry, but not Sorry

2013-07-18 15:11
Well as the story goes of media personalities who get caught with their pants down, FHM writers Max Barashenkov and Montle Moroosi have now issued a public apology to the nation.

I call insincere damage control, and here’s why:

It’s all good and well that they have addressed how wrong it was of them to make such hurtful jokes during the height of a highly publicised, corrective rape case.

As I continued reading however, I noticed their tone shift from remorse to blame-shifting. Instead of owning up to the severity of their ill-mannered jests, they attacked us, the crazies, for invading their privacy and calling them out on their poor representation of a brand which I think many of us can agree is inherently sexist:

"The media madness that was unleashed over the posting of our private – and do keep in mind that it was private, with all Facebook privacy settings set to ‘friends only’ – conversation was surreal in the sense that it received a lot more attention, social media reach and established media buzz than actual cases of rape. We struggle to recall quite as much of a public outcry over the Zozo case itself – Twitter didn’t rage and Gareth Cliff hardly made wisecracks about it. And that is an issue we cannot help but raise."

Firstly, if a person posts a status or comment on a social network, their views are no longer private. One, two, or fifty members of the public will always see it. Even if those people are close friends or relatives, they are still members of the public, who are capable of feeling and expressing outrage.

Secondly, these writers have failed to own up to the source of the problem: themselves and their calloused attitudes toward sexual violence in this country. It doesn’t matter how privately a flawed view-point sits with a person, it will still be flawed. Even more so if the person in question takes humour from it!

The only hint of remorse I saw was in the first paragraph, the rest of the statement destroyed whatever impact the apology may have had. This leads me to believe that they are not sorry for what they have done, they are only sorry that they got caught.

All I see are two toddlers, crying loudly in an attempt to intimidate activists. They fail to acknowledge the underlying attitudes which they and many men who I have met in this country have in common: attitudes of disrespect toward women.

They accuse us of being opportunists, out on a witch hunt to raise unnecessary outrage rather than address the real horror of these issues:

"It becomes very evident to us that in our perverted country, where a woman is raped every couple of seconds and the President stood trial on a rape case, no one is actually prepared to face the real horror. The country reacts to misguided and private jest with a public witch hunt, with name-calling and demonizing, because the country will sleep better that night knowing that it did something about the rape crisis. And in the morning, the rape will go on, the rapists will walk free, the media will remain indifferent, but the country will feel better because the real dirt is now under the carpet."

Yes, the rape may go on, but forgive me for not viewing your jokes as “attacking an issue head-on”, as you have so fiercely claimed.

As a woman I face and tackle these horrors on a regular basis, to the point where I have been the target of threats and attempted, physical violence. It happens everywhere, whether I’m at a nightclub or in the work-place. I may not be able to personally attack each case of sexual violence unless it is brought to my attention by the media, however I can put up resistance against the root of the problem.

These gentlemen and their belief system fit the profile.

One must never under-estimate a person’s ability to acknowledge the horror of a crime, unless they are publically flippant about it, as these two men have been. 

Just the same, a person’s efforts to fight crime should not be disregarded just because they are not publicized by the media.

 If I see a drunken woman at a club being harassed by the incredible Hulk, I will assist her in any way I can. If a man gropes me without my consent (yes this has happened) then by thunder I will fight back with all I’ve got, even if it’s just a cooler bottle.

I do not need to explain myself or prove my empathy to these two buffoons; I do what I can for my fellow man or woman. It is they who are inflicting toxic attitudes upon the public:

"If we can’t make light of the horror, how are we supposed to deal with it?"

I’ll tell you how can deal with it in two easy steps:

Acknowledge the fact that this country has the problem of associating male masculinity with unjustified exertion of power over a woman.

Set an example of how men should NOT rape! Ever!

Disclaimer: This is an article written by a Channel24 user. The views of users published on Channel24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Channel24. Channel24 reserves the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.
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