Date rape & disclosure of HIV status.

Photo credit: humoredin.com
Photo credit: humoredin.com

I have finally found my tongue on the famous ‘Mollis’ audio that went viral over a month ago. I deliberately stayed mum about it while listening to conversations around it. Some condemning the act as rape while others- get me, even learned women- saying that the lady wanted to what she was getting. “She opened her legs, why are Kenyans creating such a fuss around the issue?” Everyone is entitled to an opinion, and I respect that. Which is why I will not knuckle anyone who commented in any way.

Think of a HIV positive lady who has a male friend. They met about two years ago on social media. They have been talking for sometime and have met in public once. The guy is a Christian- a good quality for a prospective boyfriend for Missy. You, see Missy has been in church for sometime now and she’s all too familiar with the phrase, ‘Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers’. HIV positive does not mean you can’t date, does it?

The second time, the guy invites her to his house. From her judgment, she thinks she can trust this new found friend- Missy accepts, after all, there’s no hurry into anything serious (They are still getting to know each other). They agree to meet at a landmark in Eastleigh, where the gentleman- now having added several kilos meets her. She jokes about his weight, “Have you been eating with a blind man?” He laughs as they walk into an alley in the busy estate.

She enters the neat single room with a red velvet carpet and a 21 inch TV tuned to National Geographic. They talk about the future, their likes, their ideal partner, just enough revelations for a ‘first date’. Nothing too deep. The date goes on well until she decides it is time to go. It is dark outside and it’s raining. The nice guy suggests that Missy should wait a little for the rain to subside. “I promise to escort you”, Mr. Nice reassures Missy.

The heavens have decided to conspire against Missy, the born again sister who made the stupid decision to go unaccompanied to this brother’s house. It won’t stop raining. Missy’s thoughts are now unsettled.’How are church folk going to perceive me?” she thinks. Her phone rings. The caller ID is Pastor. She picks the phone to speak to her pastor, while Mr. Nice also receives a call and naturally, he has to speak freely because he is in his house. Missy panics as the male voice is heard in the background. Pastor asks, “Is that the TV in the background?” “Yes dad”, Missy lets out a lie that even she finds hard to believe.

After the phone conversation with her pastor, Mr. Nice starts bad-mouthing ‘pastors of today’. “They are just out there to extort people of their money”. The sudden double speak confuses her.

“I really have to go, the rain has subsided, please escort me to the stage”, she tells him. “I am not going anywhere in this rain”, he tells her. “Aren’t you in a house? Make yourself comfortable, spend the night, you will go tomorrow”, he adds with finality. It’s already 10.30 pm, and it looks like Missy is not going anywhere. She makes calculations in her mind, “I will just sleep on the couch”. She asks for something to cover herself. “Come get this one”, Mr. Nice tells her.

As soon as she goes past the curtain separating the sitting area and the bed, things change. Mr. Nice gets all over her with kisses and caresses. Oh it’s been long since she had someone plant a kiss on her lips. She promised God that she was done with making stupid decisions, so she pulls herself off. He overpowers her as he pins her down with his weight. “Oh God, I should have just left the instance I thought of going. No one melted from being rained on”, she thinks as she frantically tries to free herself from his grip. “Let me go!” she cries.

“This is not a winning battle”, she thinks. “At least use a condom”, she pleads with him severally. He pulls a condom from his wallet, still pinning her down with his body and hurriedly wears it, before continuing with his business. After doing his thing, he rolls over and drifts off to a snort-filled sleep. Missy stays awake all night thinking of what she should do. “Do I get mad at myself or at him?” she thinks.

***************************************************************************

Two months later, Mr. Nice finds out that Missy is HIV positive. He calls Missy, “Do you know how young my children are?” “Why didn’t you tell me such a thing about yourself?”

“You didn’t let me, that’s why I told you to use a condom”, she answers after a listening to the torrential accusations thrown at her. She chooses not to explain the details of “protecting him”, she just wants this phone call to end so that she forgets it as quickly as possible.

*****************************************************************************

Does it mean date rape is OK? Because judging from “Mollis” clip, and the conversations around it, there is no rape there. What does it mean when a woman says no? Does it mean something different?

My friend Renee Murrey wrote a letter to Mollis’ girlfriend to tell her that it was rape. Renee was also part of a panel on a local TV station talking about the rape culture.

Missy could have been daft, naive, and gullible, but she, like the girl in the audio, told the guy to stop. Mr.  Nice decided, “Here’s my chance and I am not letting it go”. She was over-powered by his weight, so pushing him would not have worked. At least she protected him by insisting on a condom.

So the only thing that can get you out of a date rape situation is disclosing your HIV status. That is if the assailant believes you. This must have been the thinking behind South African president, Jacob Zuma when he signed a bill earlier this year to have HIV positive people tattoo their status near their genitals. Something I might write on in a separate post- might!

“The mark is to protect those who can’t say no to sex. I mean if you can’t read between the lines you should read between the legs because that’s where the status would be tatted. The choice to be HIV positive is now in your hands or your genitals for that matter…. We also encourage those who had been living with the virus to go to the nearest public hospitals to get their status tatted in”

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