[I wrote this piece a while ago, but have since then, seen the same sort of denial of male agency. Apparently kids are found in pumpkin patches. Yeah. Or the stork brings them. What are you, six?]
[Quite apart from the point about AIDS.]
What has been glaringly absent in news stories about children with AIDS in Africa is comment about why there are so many children with AIDS. “We are going down,” a woman says, “Theft will go up, rape all over will be high. People – ” Wait a minute. Back up. “Rape all over will be high”? And that’s just one more unfortunate circumstance beyond their control, is it? What, as in ‘boys will be boys’?
Excuse me, but when someone knowingly infects another person with a fatal disease, he’s killing her. And if someone takes away someone else’s right to life, I say he forfeits his own. And not only is the HIV-infected rapist guilty of murdering the woman he rapes, he’s guilty of murdering in advance the child he creates (whether he himself is HIV-infected or whether he rapes an HIV-infected woman). There’s something incredibly sick about knowingly creating a human being that will die, slowly and painfully, because you have created it.
So, the solution? Drugs, yes. But the kind vets use when they put an animal down. (Or, if mere prevention rather than justice is the goal, castration. At the very least, vasectomy.) I mean, let’s have some accountability here! Those 20,000 kids with AIDS didn’t just appear in a pumpkin patch one morning. Someone made them. With a conscious, chosen, deliberate act.