Wow! Big thanks to the BBC for the heads up about Mmabatho Montsho. She’s a South African filmmaker and actor who wants to smash sexual stereotypes about women living in countries in Africa. I think it’s easy to get caught up in this idea that sexual stereotypes are more liberal and sexual behaviors less risky in the U.S. than in other countries—especially in Africa. It’s more complex than that.
Take HIV/AIDS for example. In the U.S., of all the new HIV infections in a given year, approximately 1 out of 4 occurs in teens, college-age students, and other young people in that 13 to 24 years old range. One in four. That’s high, and we should be embarrassed. You know who else contracts HIV a lot here? Older people. For adults 50+, the statistic is 1 in 5. Quinquagenarians grew up with the social expectation that you’d marry one person for life, and they’re not accustomed to slipping gloves on their meat as often as Gen Xers are who grew up in the early days of hysteria.
We’re certainly not an AIDS-free country. Heading toward it; we’re just not there yet.
In any event, Mmabatho sounds like a fascinating woman, and I’ve enjoyed watching her show on YouTube. “I’m interested in provocative content that agitates,” she says. Want to check out a few insiders’ views of “everything from virginity testing to sex education” in Africa? Check out Women On Sex on YouTube.