A couple days back, as I walked down the road, I happened upon a man staring intently in one direction. Naturally, I was curious and looked to find out what had interested him so much to warrant such a stare. I turned and saw the focus of his attention: A very voluptuous woman was walking down the road and his eyes moved with the rhythm of her swaying waist. I didn’t understand it. They were literally fixed on her swinging buttocks, with no shame or self consciousness whatsoever. Amazing, I thought. I passed by him and shook my head. After I walked a few metres, I felt the urge to turn around and see where his attention would be this time. Lo and behold, his eyes were trained on my backside!!! I was astonished! Now, know this: by African standards, I have a flat backside. FLAT. What could he be looking at?
I had initially thought his gaze was fixed on the other woman because of her enormous backside, but I realized that there was something more to it: No matter whose backside it was, he would give it the same treatment! Brethren, he literally undressed me with his eyes and I am sure many other female passers by would be on the receiving end of that stare. It made me think, really, about this rampant phenomenon called rape, and what leads to it. When I was younger and didn’t fully understand what rape meant, each time I heard of rape, I would usually think that it was probably because the female put herself in a provocative position and that made her get such a treatment.
I came to understand some things more clearly. A rapist will rape no matter what. There is something that makes a man cheat on his wife, no matter how loyal and physically attractive she is. That same thing makes a man rape a woman, regardless of age. This is the same thing that makes a brother defile his sister: Lack of self control. Only animals should have to be qualified under this group. No doubt, looking isn’t the same as actually doing, but a lot of the time, it leads to it.
There is a wrong notion down here that inappropriate dressing qualifies one for rape. A very stupid misconception. How indecent is a woman covered with clothes from head to toe with a hijab on her head? How indecent is a 6 year old child? How indecent is a 92 year old woman? These and many more similar cases have been recorded, and very few actually speak out for fear of stigmatization. The problem is very fundamental. We are a society that raise women with the mindset that they are something inferior, and on the other hand, raise boys to be kings of their worlds. You would be surprised at the huge number of girls/boys who have been molested by trusted family members or friends.The reality of it all will shock you.
Let me rant a bit. From birth, girls are told to conform to certain standards or else they become unmarriageable. Sit and close your legs! Don’t you know you’re a girl?/ Don’t study political science or law! Don’t you know you’re a girl?/ Don’t argue too knowledgeably! Don’t you know you’re a girl? Just smile and agree with him! You shouldn’t try to prove too smart.(Y’all gon have to kill me dead on this one) /Don’t buy that car! Its too expensive! Don’t you know you’re a girl? No man wants to marry a girl who is too successful!/ Your husband cheated on you? Serially? Ahn ahn! What did you do? (Imagine that!) Were you not giving it to him regularly? You were? What about his food? hmmm, well you just have to endure and pray to God to change his heart (Yeah, God doesn’t fight our battles for us. Wait a bit more till said husband awards you an STD for your prayerful efforts). The list goes on and on. Being a woman becomes a thing of shame. A thing that only has honour when you are able to answer Mrs Somebody(And don’t even think it ends there, Mrs Somebody. Have you had a son yet?). On the other hand, the boys are trained to possess the world. To rule. To govern. To take. Well, somebody shoot me! This is where the problem lies! They keep taking and taking! I know I’m kinda all over the place in this article but this is a rant and I’m pretty much typing as the spirit leads. While we train our girls to fit into the “good wives” category, why don’t we also teach our boys that their job is to protect and not harm the female species? Why do we not teach our sons to be good husbands too? To be good and decent men basically?
The long and short of what I am rambling on and on about, is that, one:we have a duty to protect the next generation from this high spate of sexual abuse cases by teaching them right. Two: in any true case of rape, the victim should never be blamed. Three: even a prostitute does not deserve to be raped. There is no justification whatsoever, for the act of rape. The fact is, rape is about power, not necessarily sex. A rapist is a criminal, period. The act is usually well thought out and planned before it is done. It is hardly ever on a whim. The mere thought of anyone having to force me into doing the do is enough to make me contemplate suicide. Honestly, what are your thoughts about this?
While you ponder on whether this post is about rape or gender equality, let me leave you with these:
A woman is human. She is not better, wiser, stronger, more intelligent, more creative, or more responsible than a man. Likewise, she is never less. Equality is a given. A woman is human. – Vera Nazarian
Rape is one of the most terrible crimes on earth and it happens every few minutes. The problem with groups who deal with rape is that they try to educate women about how to defend themselves. What really needs to be done is teaching men not to rape. Go to the source and start there. – Kurt Cobain
Bear with me. I have been recently pelted left, right and centre with tear inducing stories of rape that I have come here to let off some steam. Do your bit, people. Let’s kick against rape.