Wednesday, March 10, 2004

How Urban Legends Stay Alive

Next to the old "albino alligators in the sewers" myth, one of the hoariest urban legends to make the rounds has to be the "AIDS Mary" story, in which a man sleeps with a woman and then wakes up to find his partner gone, and a message saying "welcome to the world of AIDS" lying next to him. As it so happens, this South African report happens to perpetuate just that very legend.

Johannesburg - 39-year-old man claims to have been sexually assaulted by three women who then told him, "welcome to the world of Aids", East Rand police said on Monday.

The incident's circumstances echo those of one which took place in December last year in which an 18-year-old man was allegedly forced to have sex with three women on the East Rand.

Police spokesperson Superintendent Andy Pieke said the man claimed that three women, all armed, confronted him in Duduza last Thursday and forced him to have sex with them. He was walking home from a tavern around 23:00 when he was accosted.

The man told police that he reported the incident late because he had been waiting for results of a medical test from a clinic. He was apparently told to lay a charge.

Pieke said police were investigating the possibility that the case may linked to the other, similar, incident which occurred between Tsakane and Duduza on December 20, 2003.

A 18-year-old boy was attacked by three women who were armed with firearms. He was also ordered to have sex with them. Afterwards, they said: "Welcome to the world of Aids."

The women are described as being middle-aged and one as being large. It was alleged that the women were wearing jeans, jerseys and jackets.

Let's just say that I find this all slightly ... implausible. How exactly does a woman, or a group of women, go about "raping" a man? It isn't as if one can be forced to have an erection, after all, and as far as I know, the sort of fear that accompanies having a gun pointed at oneself is hardly conducive to sexual arousal. Chalk this one up under the "too good to check" column of story writing.