I have been trying to figure out for a while now why this Oscar story bugs me so much. There are the obvious things but it felt like there was more bothering me.
Before this incident, and even now, my feelings about him were neither here nor there. I read the Olympic stories but they never really touched me in any way. He didn’t endear himself to me like someone like Chad LeClos had. So for me he was just one of our celebrities. So I never felt deeply hurt like or let down like a lot of people have felt.
What bothered me most is the shame he has bought on our nation by highlighting what an aggressive nation we are and how terribly we treat our women.
NO I am not blaming him for the horrendous rapes and abuses that have happened to women he doesn’t know. I am saying this story has turned this massive bright spotlight on us and what that light is highlighting is not pretty at all. It is shameful.
Every news story has various stats on how many women are killed per month by their partner (I think it was 2000) and how many women will be abused by a partner – I think it was either 1 in 3 or 1 in 5 – so basically if I get 6 comments on this post that means 2 of you have been or will be abused!
CNN were running a story on abusive relationships and women while I was at gym – I didn’t listen to it but Oscar and Reeva’s face where in every shot.
What he has now done is show the world that we do not know how to treat our women, that our incidents of rape are high, domestic violence is rife and in general we like to deal with things aggressively.
Gareth Cliff said something the week before last during that terrible gang rape in the Cape that I totally agree with. We can not blame the government for this. Domestic abuse is not caused by the government and we should not expect them to control it either. I mean HOW could the government have stopped the rape? Or the murder? All the alleged perpetrators knew the consequences but did it anyway so the whole argument of tougher sentences falls a little flat. The police can’t be in our homes, they can’t be watching what men do, they can’t be telling women what behaviour to accept and what not to.
This is our problem as a nation. We need to fix it!
When a child is disrespectful to an adult, they need to be called on it and reprimanded. When a teenage boy swears at his girlfriend there needs to be consequences. When your best friend is being beaten black and blue and keeps telling you to not get involved, you need to risk the friendship and get involved until she is out of that situation.
Wearing black is great, educating is great but we need to all start doing something that will change the way the world now sees us.
I honestly am not interested in what happens with this trial – I hope for the Steenkamp family they get the closure they need and that Oscar is able to find peace with whatever happened that night.
Right now I am not very proudly South African.