The body swap is an old Hollywood trope: Boy meets girl, boy swaps bodies with girl, boy has an epiphany about love, life and patriarchy. Too bad that in 2019, this kind of empathy is still just the stuff of movies
The brutal rape and murder of 19-year-old Uyinene Mrwetyana by Luyanda Botha, a post office clerk, in August this year left us all shaken, battling to make sense of our excruciatingly violent world.
Mrwetyana went to collect a parcel from her local post office on Saturday morning and never made it out alive. The sheer banality of the circumstances sent shockwaves through social media.
She was wearing brown corduroy pants and a white t-shirt. She was not drunk. She was not walking home late at night. She hadn’t been at a shebeen or a club. There was nothing about the circumstances that could be used to “victim shame” her.
Nevertheless, on social media, many commentators suggested what women could do to “avoid” being raped, for instance — taking self-defence classes, carrying pepper spray, sending live locations to friends when they leave a venue.
A tweet, posted on the official Government of South Africa account, read: “Violence and abuse against women have no place in our society. Govt is calling on women to speak out, and not allow themselves to become victims by keeping quiet. Women who speak out are able to act, effect change and help others.”
It received widespread backlash on social media. Black Twitter acted fast to offer a correction to the tweet, much like a schoolteacher would take a red pen to a student’s exam paper.
Read more at: