HomeOpinion & AnalysisTraditional rape: Adultery gone wrong

Traditional rape: Adultery gone wrong

There are some lecherous old men in Zimbabwe who are preying on their daughters-in-law and hiding behind some obscure tradition.

Inside Track with Grace Mutandwa

I can never understand why some women put themselves in impossible positions. What I do know is that if you are not comfortable with something no matter how desperate you are to get married, you must just get the hell out of any place or relationship that makes you feel insecure or at risk.

Apparently it is an acceptable tradition among some people for men to have unprotected sex with their newly married or wed daughters-in-law. The sons can only consummate their marriages once the dirty fathers clear the way for them!

If this is really true, it is not only disgusting but a very risky affair for those from who end up in such sickening situations. You can argue all you want in favour of this aberration but this is not a real thing — it is no real tradition.

The argument advanced by some people whom I spoke to is that this is done so that the fathers-in-law are certain that their sons have married virgins. In what universe does that even make sense or sound right? So a father can have his son’s virgin but the son will have to bear a son to also deflower his son’s bride!
This is not a simple obsession with virgins. It is adultery gone wrong.

Why do young women keep on insisting on getting married to people whose customs they know nothing of? If you are going to tie yourself to a stranger for the rest of your life, then please do yourself a favour and find out everything about their beliefs, traditions or expectations.

Yes, ask him if they are into cannibalism or if you are going to be expected to have sex with other people or animals in his family as well.

Know everything before you agree to marry a dude. No matter how sweet and gorgeous your guy is, please do not allow how you feel about him to cloud your judgement or stand in the way of a proper interrogation. If you are going to end up participating in weird rituals then find out as much as you can so you can make informed choices.

If you are going to be having sex with other people apart from him then by all means let that be your choice and certainly not one made by his family.

I have listened to some women complain on state radio that they were forced to have sex with their fathers-in-law on their first night in the marital home. All callers said the old men who foisted themselves on the unsuspecting young women were from Masvingo province.

I do not understand why the young women even went through with it.

They allowed themselves to be raped because that is what it was. Instead of going on radio to complain and ask for advice, they should have reported the dirty old men to the police.

These old men should be protecting their daughters-in-law, not abusing them. It is quite possible that some of these young women might even have fallen pregnant on that first night.

So, some of you men who stand by while your adulterous fathers lay into your new brides, before you beat your arrogant weak chests celebrating the birth of your first child, get a reality check — that child might actually have been sired by your own father!

Your new wife might even find the sex with your father more satisfying than whatever you might end up doing with her.

Any man who allows other men, his father included, to have their way with you should not only have his head examined, but should be locked up together with his father. Men like that should not be allowed to walk freely or mingle with civilised society.

Such silly people pretend traditions are the reason why we will continue battling new HIV and Aids infections.

No one should be enabling the perpetuation of such retrogressive traditions.

Love yourself enough to place value on your safety

I know many women are desperate for one reason or another to get married, but that is no reason to willingly suffer blatant abuse. Learn to say no to anything you know deep down in your own heart is wrong.

It is better to scream for help, kick that old man in the balls and run as fast as your legs can carry you from harm. Protect your reproductive health by all means possible.

Love yourself enough to place a value on your own happiness and safety. Do not enable your new husband to act as his father’s pimp.

As a woman, you are your own first line of defence. Do not allow anyone to abuse you in the name of tradition or religion. If it looks like rape and feels like rape, then know that it is rape.

l Grace Mutandwa is a Media Consultant, Media Trainer, and published Author. She can be reached at:

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