Parktown Boys

If you cannot appreciate how the brutalisation and humiliation of boys in initiation ceremonies has excellent educational value then you must be a “girl”- like me. The benefits of these practices are clear to anyone who read the defences of what occurred at Parktown Boys High from the principal to the parents, past and present pupils. We need to understand that these people are preparing boys to become what they regard legitimate “real men”. Real men in their worldview understand that the world is a jungle where only the fittest survive, where you have to do unto others faster than they can inevitably do unto you. Life in this world view is a competition and a fight for survival. You either learn how to fight or get felled by the law of natural selection. People get hurt or damaged by these practices you may argue. Those who do get hurt are by definition however “girls” even if they are male. Being “girls” as defined the members of this boys club, their pain does not count. It does not matter who gets hurt as long as it aint you. In this world of “bros before hoes” women, girls and disqualified boys not only don’t count. Their expression of pain or terror therefore confers the unquestionable right on “real” boys and men to hurt them. It is for the reasons just mentioned that former victims will not only deny their own pain, but even bluff themselves that the experience was beneficial and “character building”. The type of character that gets built operates from the belief that if you hurt or exploit others, not only does it not matter, but even better it just serves to prove your manhood. You do not in this world act like a chicken and let fear or sympathy stand in the way of you getting what you want. You may have noticed these types of statements and attitudes used by some of our leaders to defend their own actions. This shows the deeper point. Why should authorities who permit, encourage or turn a blind eye to what us “girls” would regard as dehumanising abusive practices feel ashamed or apologize.  They are the “real men” who stand up for what they believe-they do not bow down to criticisms’ or apologise. As long as they survive, no matter the “collateral damage”, they can still hold their heads up high. They get what they can from this world, and if the odds are loaded against them they use any method available to make sure that the dice turns their way.  Maybe we should be thanking them for fulfilling their educational role of creating the next generation of South Africa’s leaders?

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