How long will I keep looking over my Shoulder?

Photo by Bruce Mars from StockSnap

Hello everyone, I hope this article meets you well. How have you been? The events for the past couple of days has made me sad & angry. The blatant disregard for human lives around the world can make one bitter. While we are still processing the horrific events in the United States, two ladies here in Nigeria were gruesomely raped(the ones reported).

Whenever I hear of rape, it breaks my heart. Honestly, one can’t just conceive why in God’s name, in 2020 we’re still fighting for the right over our bodies.

Why do some men feel an entitlement to the bodies of women? Why in God’s name do men feel like any woman they see, they must sleep with.

I’m so angry, and honestly, I’m mad as hell.

Uwa Omozuwa a 22-year-old ungraduated of the University of Benin was brutally beaten & raped in an RCCG Church premises where she went to read.

A 12year old girl was raped by 11 men in Jigawa state.

I even feel disgusted as I’m typing.

This entitlement to women’s bodies is a big issue. You visit a man, and they automatically assume your coming includes a sexual transaction. You hear all over social media, you visited him, what were you expecting? Or if you come to my house, we must have sex oh.

What is wrong with you?

It’s heartbreaking when you realize that the first thing, a man sees when he looks at a woman is how she’ll taste in bed. It’s degrading when a man only sees a woman as an object of sexual satisfaction.

It is this entitlement that fuels a culture of rape and victim-blaming.

It’s appalling that victims of sexual violence are blamed for the event. No one blames the monster who decided to disgrace himself by forcefully having carnal knowledge of a woman. No one blames the man who decided to become a monster by rape and assault.

Victims are blamed by what they wore, why they were there in the first place, why they went. When we blame victims, you are saying, we as a society have resigned ourselves to fate, “A horny man cannot be controlled”, so we fuel this stupid mentality by blaming the victim.

When we blame the victim, we are justifying the act of rape, we are justifying the notion that A man’s needs must be satisfied, we are justifying that age-old folktale, all men cheat. Like they are beasts whose sexual urges can never be satisfied.

In this part of the world, a man can do no wrong. A man commits a crime, and somehow the responsibility for the crime is on someone else, a husband cheats, and the wife is blamed, she’s somehow responsible for his action. It is this underlying notion that makes society blame the victim.

This morning, I was reading the responses of some men, one said, why is she reading? Why shouldn’t she read? My youngest brother who’s still an undergrad is still studying. Before school was closed, they were about writing their exams, and as a serious student, dude is studying.

Another said, why did she go to church? Why shouldn’t she? This one was even in the church, if this rape was committed in a club, people will hail it and say what was she looking for there. Before now, the church has been seen as the safest place to be/hide. We’re a very “religious” set of human beings, so its assumed that people do not commit crimes in the church for the “Fear of God”.

One doesn’t even need to respond to all these nonsense talks, of why. There is no reason whatsoever on God’s green earth, that justifies the act of rape. Not what she wears, not whether you both have had a prior sexual interaction or not, where she was, absolutely nothing.

If you want to argue about what the woman was wearing, what about children who are raped? Or fully clothed women who were raped?

Some people said the second victim in Jigawa is just 12, a child. But guys, no one is old enough to be raped. I don’t care about the age of the victim, do not rape anyone.

Please let’s stop blaming the victim and justifying the act. What should be done? Culprits must be persecuted and face the law. They must pay for their crimes.

Society should stop making excuses for men. If a man does a wrong, he alone should bear the responsibility for his actions. Criminals & wrongdoers must not be left off the hook.

As I was thinking critically about this issue, I became angry at companies who cannot advertise a product without using a woman, worse still a half -naked woman.

I’m angry at artists who cannot shoot a music video without using naked women, artists whose videos will compete well with porn.

I’m angry at Pastors who keep feeding fat on single women, feeding on their desperation for a husband. Pastors who tell married women to do all they can to satisfy their husbands and keep randy men at home.

I’m angry at a society that focused on training the girl child and left the male child to himself. I’m angry at parents who were so focused on training their daughters, so they can get husbands. Parents who made sure to drum in the ears of their daughters, that their biggest achievements is to enter husband house.

I’m angry at the culture of silence in a rape tolerating society like Nigeria, where rapists are enabled because we blame the victim and make them bear the burden alone.

I’m angry at families who beat silence into victims and shame them such that they are coerced to keep shut.

I’m angry at the Police & law enforcement who are reluctant to prosecute cases but efficient in exhorting from both rapists and the victim thereby killing cases.

I’m angry at Law enforcement who tell a victim, but he has told you sorry, what more do you want? (this is after collecting money) I’m angry at our faulty judicial system. With a conviction rate of less than 10%, one just has to be angry.

We hear it all the time, Sex Sells. So, whether or not it sells, we feed into it. Mini-Me chinchin cannot advertise their snack without using a beautiful girl. Sex will continue to sell until we stop revolving everything, we do around it.

These events and the subsequent reaction to it, has made me scared. What type of society will our kids live in? What legacy are we leaving for them?

We are so religious as a nation, but what is the proof of our religion? What is the proof of our faith? We honestly need to do better.

I can’t keep looking over my shoulder. How long are we going to do that? How long will I tell my sister not to visit men, because no one can be trusted?

I once visited a friend of mine, who warned me severely not to visit guys, irrespective of whether I believe they’re Christians or not. He told me, I don’t know what men are capable of doing, I shouldn’t use the eye of Christ to look at them. I said nothing, but it left me wondering.

Even men in the church cannot be trusted? Where’s our faith? Why have we sworn to live by and satisfy our flesh at the detriment of our soul? Why have we made sex a god that we can do any and everything just to have it? But my friend is right, research says that, 90% of rape is committed by people who are known to the victims. That means only 10% of rape is committed by strangers.

Honestly, we all can do better. I can’t keep looking over my shoulder. One day as I was coming from the gym, a man kept walking right behind me, once I noticed that, I increased my pace. I kept looking behind and increasing my pace when the guy noticed I wasn’t comfortable, he moved swiftly to the other side of the road. That was the only time, I became at peace.

But that’s what the world has turned to.

Paul said in 1 Timothy 5:2 treat older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, with all purity.

This is how men should treat women, as mothers and sisters, please we are not objects of your sexual satisfaction.

We like you are made in the image & likeness of God, not to be defiled or objectified.

My prayer is that Uwa doesn’t become a hashtag that trends for a couple of days, but that her killers be caught and face the law.

Whoever you are reading this, please be a light in the darkness. Be different. I’m sorry my article may sound like a man-bashing one, but that is not the intention.

If every one of us just dares to be different, a change will happen. Cos you may not be a rapist, but an apologist or an enabler or one who blames the victim and covers up for a rapist.

We can all do better, Selah!

 

 

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