|Zimbabwean men are a proud lot, but they are slowly taking a bruising with increasing reports of women raping men, in a bizarre trend that appears driven more by superstition, and which social commentators say reflects a more serious underlying problem – total moral decay of the nation.
Admitting to rape by a woman is as embarrassing as it gets for a Zimbabwean man. But an increasing number have in recent weeks found themselves doing the unthinkable – going to the police to report being raped by a woman! Last week a Chinhoyi man was abducted at gunpoint by three women who forced him to have sex with them, the latest in a string of such incidents which started last year and which police are investigating countrywide.
“This shows you that society has completely broken down,” Gordon Chavunduka, a social commentator and former vice chancellor at the University of Zimbabwe said. Zimbabwe is a largely christian conservative society but also highly superstitious, which could explain the new rape phenomenon, analysts said. In most cases, unsuspecting men are offered a lift, only to find themselves being driven to secluded bushes where they are forced to have sex at gun point. But it can be in the form of abduction as happened to one man from the farming town of Chinhoyi, who was forced into a car by the three women after refusing to voluntarily accompany them.
The prowling women usually carry condoms, which they take away after intercourse, ostensibly to use the semen for ritual purposes. “We are a very superstitious country and I suspect people who do this (rape) may want to use the male semen for some rituals,” Claude Mararike, sociology lecturer at the UZ.
But for a patriarchal society like Zimbabwe, where men still dominate everyday life, a woman raping a man was just taboo. In fact men did not see it coming. “I still don’t believe these stories. I suspect that these are men just making up such stories when they stay out from home,” said Faith Chinomona, a vegetable vendor in Harare said. “There is no way you can force a man to have sex, its impossible. I don’t believe but this.”
In July a Mwenezi man was reportedly drugged and forced to have sex with two women who had offered him a lift along the Masvingo-Ngundu Road. In July police reported that four women forced themselves on a 25-year-old Masvingo man at gunpoint after forcing him to drink an unknown substance that afterwards made him pass out for eight hours. Some men believe the women force the men into having sex just for fun and dismissed that this was driven by superstition or desire to get rich quickly. “This is just publicity seeking. There are some people who get an adrenalin rush by doing very odd things and I believe this is the case here,” Stanley Jena, business studies student at a Harare college said.
(Main source Zimoline)