What is it exactly that breeds hate in a human being? And why does that hate drive some to commit unspeakable crimes? While hate crimes take place in every country on every continent, Africa recently seems to be at the forefront of the news. A hate crime referred to as corrective rape is quickly becoming a favorite pastime among the local men. Corrective rape is defined as “ the criminal phenomenon where LGBT people, especially lesbians, are raped by a member of the opposite sex as a means of trying to “correct” their sexual orientation.” The African culture has propagated the delusion in their men that all a lesbian needs is one good man to “set her straight.” What genius logic… If beating a woman senseless, raping her, and sometimes killing her doesn’t result in her adoration of men and subsequent change in sexual orientation, what will?
Corrective rape is dismissed in Africa as if the rape, itself, is well-deserved punishment. African men consider committing rape macho–in fact, leading a gang rape against a lesbian secures a man’s place as leader of his pack and is rewarded by his cohorts. Their mentality suggests that these women are somehow less human, less worthy, disgusting, and in need of their “manhood.” Delusion is a powerful puppeteer…no? What is most distressing is the willingness of the victims to believe these things to be true. As disheartening as it may be, a victim will often adopt the perceptions of her attacker as her own and come to believe herself to be as vile as she is accused of being. Physical and verbal abuse are amazingly convincing means of degradation. Hate tends to take this course–passing it down from hater to hated. The motivation of the rape: the perpetrator’s hate. The result of the rape: the victim’s self-hate…a heartbreaking reality.
The root of hate is usually ignorance with a side of fear. We fear that which is unknown to us and that which is different from us. Hate crimes are committed by those who feel the most threatened and afraid…because they are the ones least educated on the issue at hand. What is it about gay women that scares these African men enough to drive them to rape, beat, and murder them? Perhaps it threatens their own insecurities as men…”what does another woman give them that I can’t?” Perhaps it’s a way of exerting dominance on them as punishment for deviating…”You think you don’t want a man…I’ll show you what you want.” Perhaps their culture has placed such intolerance on being gay that they, themselves, would be considered a social outcast if they didn’t “jump on the bandwagon”–we’re all acquainted with social pressure. Could it be that the African culture has imposed this hate on adolescents, and–due to the lack of proper education–they honestly don’t know better? After all, without education and exposure, a mind cannot grow and accept that which is outside its world of “normalcy.”
Humanity is our one common thread. We differ in every other way imaginable: culture, race, religion, opinion, sexual preference, personality…and so on and so on. We are infinitely different…but ALL human. Isn’t that enough common ground? Must we force uniformity and resist individuality? What a boring existence that would be.