Kaya FM host Unathi Nkayi recently weighed in after seeing footage of two young women being sexually harassed an assaulted at a taxi rank in Mpumalanga.
“My question is where do you feel unsafe and when? For example, there was that lady who was trending. She was walking through a taxi rank wearing jeans and a crop top, and people saying she deserved to be treated that way… Sexually molested basically, verbally and physically because of what she was wearing.”
“Some women even saying she is disrespecting the elders by dressing that way. I was shocked by the fact that people think that because she’s ‘disrespecting the elders’ she deserves to be sexually molested.”
Nkayi then referenced another video of a sermon in which a preacher was admonishing his congregation for the videos he has seen of women dancing to ‘John Vuli Gate’, shaking the bums that God gave them.
“He then said in his sermon to his entire congregation who is then going to go home and say to their friends and family, ‘you know, the way you shake your bums to that song that you like so much, don’t be shocked when you become victims of gender based violence.'”
Nkayi then asked if the preacher was insinuating that she deserves to be raped because she likes the song?
“I wouldn’t feel safe in church if I heard that.”
The radio host went on to share how she feels unsafe in most spaces because of how South African men feel entitled to South African women’s bodies and treat them as a result of this entitlement.
She shared two different experiences illustrating how this feeling affects her life and her choices of clothing in order to avoid the male gaze, adding that this is not something she feels the need to do in other countries.
The video has since been viewed over 700,000 times and currently has close to 3000 comments.
Comments such as:
“Quite frankly I just don’t feel safe in South Africa. I went to buy lunch from the office, looking very corporate and professional, yet still these men rounded each other up to come view the piece of meat that deserved to be howled at. We are not respected, regardless of how we are dressed. There’s a huge difference between appreciation and harassment. Yet everywhere you turn, women are constantly being given instructions of how to behave and be respectful to men, why is that? How have we been disrespectful? What are they being taught?” – @charmza010
“I don’t feel safe anywhere. Even when I’m home with all doors locked, I still don’t feel safe,” – @andiswa_patience
“The part ye “not wearing certain clothes in South Africa but being free in other countries” is soo true,” – @na_mabena
“Around men. While driving at night. While Running. Walking to the parking lot at night,” – @her_mentality
“I feel unsafe everywhere in this country. EVERYWHERE! I like doing things by myself, but I have not been able to do that as much as I want to this past year because i will either be harassed, or I might disappear and end up raped, killed and dumped somewhere. I never drive alone at night. I am super cautious even during the day. I am doing fieldwork for my research and I do not make those trips without a male person because I was so close to being assaulted by a male person while doing fieldwork for my Master’s some years ago. I wear a ring during fieldwork because males give me a bit of space when they think there is a male person in my life, as opposed to leaving me alone when I simply just tell them to. When I wear shorts here, I have to mentally prepare myself to deal with how males will treat me on that day. Something I never have to deal with in a lot of the places I have been to outside the continent. When I get into an Uber, I make sure that my Namola app is active so that if anything happens, I can press the panic button, and if I’m not able to, they can at least track my last location. There’s just so much! I feel unsafe any and everywhere and it’s exhausting,” – birdieworldwide
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