When a discussion on womxn’s safety on campuses is interrupted by the statement: “There is no culture in South Africa that condones or promotes rape”.

What made Pippa Hudson say “take that!”

Credit: Maciej Korsan

Our own Rochelle Jacobs, co-founder of Unashamed, spoke with Pippa Hudson on the inspiration and goal behind Unashamed, answering some pivotal questions — and even one very shocking email received during the show.

Here are some of the key moments…

Unashamed was begun over a class of wine and a conversation. And the idea of Unashamed began as a way to “combat [the issues surrounding shame and sexual assault and rape] by talking about it”.

Rochelle also offered a formal definition of rape culture.

formal definition: “the normalization of sexual violence against womxn”

But how do you spot it, where is it happening, how does it manifest?

Rape culture is seen as “distinct from rape itself”. It is noted in music,moments of blurred lines of consent, movies, and advertising. Rape culture is anything that says ‘violence against womxn is okay’ and involves victim blaming (issues of how womxn dress, for example).

Pippa Hudson received a shocking email during the show, which she read outloud. It said:

“There is no culture in South Africa that condones or promotes rape. Please do not spread fake news. If you really care about rape, consider the many vulnerable citizens in jail who are regularly and brutally raped.”

So what was Rochelle’s response?

She firstly stated that this was “very, very affirmatively . . . not true”.

“Simple example: if I run workshop with the heads of the women’s residences who of you have been followed home from a club by a [strange] man . . . probably six out of the twenty will put up their hands and say that they have”. And for those who have been raped or assaulted on Stellenbosch Campus? Unashamed found that “the actual system that is in place to protect [people who have been raped of assaulted on Stellenbosch Campus] doesn’t. It embarrasses them further”.

So the zinger — what did Rochelle say that made Pippa say “take that, is my response to the person who sent that email”?

Another example would be: there is a repeat offender at SU . . . [who has been] accused or rape twice. His bail set for the first accusation was R500, the second accusation was R1000. That’s in comparison to things like student protesters who get bails of R3000. That bail is set based on a number of things — but one of the those is how dangerous [is this person] to society and how severe is [the] crime. If our legal system thinks that rape, as a crime, is so much less severe than protest, which is a democratic right, I think it’s safe to say that embedded in our legal system itself there is a rape culture.

And like Pippa Hudson, we say “thank you for that very eloquent response”.

To hear the rest of the interview, check the link: https://omny.fm/shows/afternoons-with-pippa-hudson/combating-rape-culture-in-stellenbosch

Hudon, Pippa & Jacobs, Rochelle. Feb 21, 2017 1:49 PM. “Student-led Stellies group educating about gender, rape culture, sexual identity”. Afternoons with Pippa Hudson.

Disclaimer: Unashamed does not condone nor ignore the severity of rape crimes in jail. We acknowledge the problem in society. However, the focus of the interview was rape culture and the safety of womxn on campuses. The example given by the person who sent the email, derails the current conversation and dismisses the legitimate concerns raised in the interview.

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