Sexual Assault on Reality TV

Coming to you from Big Brother in South Africa...

... viewers of the incident, which took place on Saturday afternoon after an extended drinking bout which ended in copious vomiting and apparent blackout for Molokwu, remain adamant about what they saw: Bezuidenhout lay down next to the comatose young woman and penetrated her vagina with his fingers. He carried on despite the pleas of another female housemate for him stop.

The TV station asserts that the incident was consensual:

if a "non-consensual physical relationship" began there, the producers - Endemol SA - would have intervened. "There is no indication that she was unconscious at the time," said Joseph Hundah, an executive at M-Net.

No indication? Really? Yeah, I know the media distorts things, but I'm having a hard time understanding this. How could a woman have clearly given consent while viewers perceive her as comatose and another housemate pleas for him to stop?

Bezuindehout, defending his sexual behaviour in a show that has featured copious nudity, recently told his housemates, "Well, this is Africa."

Yes, indeed. It is Africa....

In addition to being a fairly wealthy country, South Africa boasts the title of Rape Capitol of the World:

  • 1.7 Million rapes per year, in a country of 23 million women. 7.3% of women are raped annually (assuming an even distribution of rape - which is probably not quite correct, but the alternative isn't any less scary).
  • A girl is more likely to be raped than to learn how to read (more)
  • 25% of girls are raped before they turn 16 (more)
  • Of South African men who know someone who was raped (doesn't that have to almost everyone?), 16% believe that the survivor enjoyed their experience and had asked to be raped. (more)
  • 50% of women will be raped in their lifetimes (more)
  • About 30% of adolescents report that their first sexual experience was forced (more)