I bet almost every girl has been through the same shit, maybe even more than once! You are trapped in a house, slightly intoxicated and you have no means of transportation. Let alone that you cannot even tell East from North where you are. You look around and count the people in your company. There are four guys, you are with your three girlfriends and this is a Four bedroom house. That very moment, the one guy grabs your friend (they are a couple, and she’s the reason you agreed to come chill here) by the hand, stretching and yawning, and says “Umuntu no muntu wakhe. Siyolala thina manje!” His boys then look at the rest of you in anticipation. You sober up instantly. Oh Shit! This was planned! – Organised crime I tell you!
This is worse when done by the guys we label ‘decent people’. The kind that roll up in German machines and dress well. They smell good, talk shit and have their own old jokes that make them laugh out loud amongst themselves! It is never a challenge to get comfortable around them. You sit and talk throughout the night. These are educated and successful guys with good social standing. You feel safer knowing that your girl at least knows one of them. Then you let your guard down and pour some more wine, and laugh louder, even sharing some personal details here and there. You do not realise that all the soft touches during conversations, the eye contact and the alcohol are mere basting! You are a well planned and prepared meal!
- Too drunk to drive anywhere, I will take you home in the morning
- Cannot find the car keys
- Friend’s phone is off, he left with the car
- The car won’t start
Whatever tactics are employed, you never see it coming! You find yourself sitting there, shocked at just how gullible you are. Worse you are too ashamed to call your Boyfriend for help, lest he blames you. In fact, you are bound to be judged and blamed for the ordeal. Society refuses to understand why a young lady allows herself to be caught in that situation to begin with! They question your morals and your intentions alike.
“What were you doing there?” this question kills me! It is pregnant with ill suggestions of your culpability. The more you explain, the more defensive you sound…and guilty you are. It is obviously your own doing that you ended up there. You were not kidnapped. You were not forced. You even specified your drink of choice. You wanted to be there!
We all find different solutions when confronted with such situations. Some ladies eventually give in, some find an escape and some just break all your shit until you open the door! I once had to sleep over at a stranger’s place, with a strange man against my will. A heap of sweat and a misconducted orchestra of snores. I was disgusted. I could not fall asleep, actually I still believe I did not even blink for three hours. I cried till the sun came out. Yet, through the horror of this night, I could not help but blame myself! Yes, I was able to excuse this man’s sexual exploitation and predation, and find fault with myself. I had allowed myself to be in that situation. I was unable to come up with anything that could exonerate me from that.
Coercion? What coercion!
See, when it all unfolds, there is a point when you are no longer a willing participant. Where you just want to go home. Then it gets tricky, because nobody is forcing you to stay but all they are saying is that they are not in a position to assist your departure. So, well, you have that option to “remain here and stop stressing. At least until a solution is found” they say. And a solution is always found the next day, of course! The strange thing about such settings is, no matter how heated the party was, it is never a “Koze Kuse!” deal. In the midst of all the noise and boozing, someone always wants to go to sleep!
Writer: Kwanele Ndlovu