Turning up the heat

Exams are almost upon us. Revision practise classes, last minute assignments, last minute lessons and an impending sense of panic. Last term the students went hyper at revision time — I have my own opinions about that and its relation to an education system that promotes factual exam answers writen by students in a language which is probably their third — but that’s not the point.

Meanwhile in the staff room the newspaper provides a rich source of raised voices at lunchtime. Today it was a story about a priest who’se genitals were severed by an irate wife for witholding his sexual services. The story is a little more complex than that, but the conversation, that I couldn’t even begin to represent here, reveals a lot about how my colleagues view the world. Here are a few opinions I have heard from individuals (though not intended to be representative of the staff as a whole):

  • Homosexuality == sodomy and is, accordingly, a sin. (While homosexuality for women still elicits incredulous disbelief, this all seems to stem from a strong association of the sexual orientation with the physical act, itself)
  • Asking a partner to establish mutual HIV status == an accusation of infidelity and connotes mistrust.
  • The high contamination and death rates for HIV/AIDS in Africa might have been exagerated in a money-grabbing conspiracy by greedy governments and NGOs.

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