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Posts tagged “rape

Can We Talk About Rape?

 

476860-rape-representational-rna

 

 

No matter what you become, shit like this will always be a shadow over you.

 

Nate Parker, actor and director of one of the movies that shook the Sundance Film Festival last year, got an unprecedented $17 million deal and is already getting Oscar nods is not enjoying the acclaim as much as he should.

 

Why?

 

Well, in 1999 Nate Parker and his co-writer for Birth of a Nation, Jean Celestin who was also Nate’s and wrestling teammate back in college had a small ‘party’ in their dorm room, a party involving a girl. Their testimony during the trial varies, but the bottom line is, Nate invited a drunken girl to the room and he and his friend had sex with her – and she accused him of rape.

 

Read the story here.

 

Of course, they (Nate & friend) argued that it was consensual. The girl said different – but they were acquitted in court. Unfortunately, thirteen years after that, the girl committed suicide.

 

I have my opinions and theories about that, I have my arguments but – and this is what I want you to take away from this: when it comes to sex with anyone, do not assume. NEVER. If they are drunk, you can always wait. Be sure to have consent. If you have to get it in writing, get it.

 

 

I’m not even playing.
I just keep thinking; what if Nate had not taken her back to his room and did what he did? Would it come up now? Would he be inadvertently blamed for her suicide?

 

That is one shadow he is not going to walk out from under for a long time. No matter where he goes, whenever or wherever the girl’s name comes out, he will always be blamed for her death – fairly or otherwise. It’s like that Clinton/Monica Lewinsky situation; their names are inexorably and forever linked.

 

One hour of ‘pleasure’ is now displaced for a lifetime of pain and regret.

 

Forget he/she led you on and then changed his/her mind – abeg, leave them alone. It’s too serious; the consequences are too dire to be taken lightly. The only label I know worse than rapist is child molester.

 

We have our whole lives ahead of us. Won’t we be retarded to trade that for sex with someone who doesn’t want to? It’s so fucking pointless it’s painful and frustrating.

 

I’m actually in tears now.

 

See, I’m afraid for Nate. I’m surprised the folks who bought the film have no reneged on the deal. I hope it doesn’t happen, but I won’t be surprised if it does. This is a cautionary tale if there ever was one.

 

We shouldn’t be so shortsighted that we don’t think we will become someone great tomorrow. We should arm ourselves with the knowledge that things have consequences – and while the consequences can take as long as seventeen years before they come creeping out of the woodwork – they will come out. Maybe Nate raped her, maybe he didn’t. Maybe she wanted to, maybe she didn’t.

 

We will never know for sure.

 

What we do know is; he took a girl to his dorm room, had sex with her and she accused him of rape. Years later, she committed suicide. The coroner’s report said she swallowed over 200 pills.

 

He will never live that down. Never.

 

Please, let us all be careful and responsible. Let us be aware of how we treat people – especially people who trust us or look up to us for something or even just for a night. We are all in positions of responsibility – let us not be careless with that power.

 

It’s just not the best – and not only because it might come back to haunt you, but because it’s just not the right thing to do.

 

Get consent. In all your getting, GET CONSENT.

 

Please.

 

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Skulls

 

SKULLS

 

The room was unnaturally still.

 

Of course, any room uninhabited would be that still except for the constant back and forth of rodents and wall crawlers, but this was different – hence the use of the qualifier ‘unnaturally’.

 

First of all it was dark; which is what made all the explanation necessary. But if it was illuminated and you could see inside for yourself, you would be as confused as I was at first.

 

The second first thing about it was the fact that it was not abandoned. No; neither was it one of those rooms that littered the town, those rooms that had their windows and doors left wide open most of the day, with a little handwritten sign propped by the door – a sign which more than likely read ‘Vacancy’. It was not.

 

Now, as to why I said if it was illuminated and you could see inside for yourself you would be confused, it was simply because the room was fully furnished. Yes; I mean fully – complete with tables, chairs, wardrobe, TV, DVD player, sound system – the works. To add to the ‘lived in’ feel sef, there were dirty plates in the kitchen sink; there were dirty clothes in one corner of the room. On the table were several magazines, a couple of cds and a gun.

 

guy dark gun 2

 

 

And to complete the picture, a still figure was seated at the table staring at the gun.

 

The figure was so still, you would probably remember that folk tale told when you were young; that one about the ‘Tortoise and the sigidi’.

 

You remember, don’t you? The story about how the tortoise was a constant thief at a neighboring farm and how the farmer, tired after a while arranged for a ‘sigidi’ that looked like a human being be placed in a strategic location in the farm. And the tortoise, not knowing the sigidi was not human; nor that it was covered in gum challenged it. And then, receiving no response punched the sigidi only to be stuck. He did the same with his second hand and both feet – till he was quite stuck.

 

You remember now. Good – that’s how still this figure was. So still, you would be about to start betting that it was a sigidi – and then you notice the perspiration running down the figure’s bearded face in rivulets; rivulets that ran into the black t-shirt staining it into an even darker black. And then you notice the eyes as they dart left, right and then back to the gun; lips as they mutter a silent prayer. You notice the nicotine-stained fingers of the left hand (still assuming the room is illuminated) as they drum a soundless pattern on the jean-clad thigh of said figure.

 

Having watched enough Hollywood movies, you draw a parallel. This character brings to mind several others in several action movies – the drug dealer who runs away with his boss’s money and then is hunted down. The girl who knows too much about a hidden clan of ninja assassins and is being hunted down to be silenced. The man who worked his way into a high up position in the mafia – and then reveals himself as a FBI agent.

 

This character reminds you of all these other characters because they all share one major thing in common.

 

The waiting.

 

Your mouth opens to laugh at the analogy – and then you freeze as, at the same time the character you’re watching opens his mouth to laugh too. His face assumes a confused look, and the sudden loud pounding in his chest is echoed by the pounding in yours. You lift your left hand and stare in sudden shock at nicotine-stained fingers…and everything comes crashing in.

 

The character is you.

 

You/he accepts this reality as he has accepted everything that has occurred in the last 48hours – even though none of it makes any kind of sense. He had gone on a mission with the capo…something really simple; teaching a girl how unwise it was to turn down advances from the ‘number one’ of the most feared cult on the campus – The Black Cats.

 

Somehow, they had gotten carried away and the whole thing had turned bad.

 

Really bad.

 

The capo had lost his cool and brutally raped the girl, and then commanded the soldiers to do same. As consigliore; or second in command, he had been next, and because he did not relish eating the boss’ vomit he had simply raped her in the butt. Honestly, he had liked it at first…but then he remember his kid sister; and all the alcohol and weed he had consumed earlier had come surging up and he had thrown up all over the poor girl.

 

Feeling ashamed, he had ordered the other guys to hasten, execute and then bury her properly. The boss waited calmly till they were all done before handing the newest member of the cult his handgun, with an order to kill her. They had all watched him put two bullets in her head, scattering brain matter in all directions. The boss had left then and he followed suit; going home to take a hot shower and then sleep like a corpse, a sleep completely devoid of dreams.

 

He had woken up the following afternoon to the loud shrieking of his iPhone 4 – and the nightmare had begun. It was the capo calling to tell him two of the boys they had left with the girl the previous day had not shown up – they had simply disappeared. He had calmed the boss down and promised to track them down, and then hung up to take a shower. He was in the bath when his phone started shrieking again.

 

Hurriedly, he had jumped out of the bathroom without a stitch of clothing on and picked the call. It was the boss again, but there was something in his voice – something cold and frightening.

 

It was simple; the boys had been found and the boss wanted him immediately.

 

Packing his arsenal (which were just a .45 Desert Eagle and two throwing knives actually); he left for the capo’s place without finishing his bath. As he left the house he ran into his neighbor’s daughter Nma; an eight year old girl he called his area sweetheart. He usually stopped to play with her but this time he just kissed her sweaty forehead as she giggled up at him and hurried away.

 

If looks could kill…

 

He arrived the boss’ house to meet him and two other guys seated at a table laden with guns and weed. The fumes in the house were enough to choke a horse on, and the sweaty, nervous faces did nothing to lighten the mood. As he seated himself, the capo had told him in terse sentences that the two guys left behind to bury the girl had turned up dead.

 

But it was not that they were just dead; the capo continued, and proceeded to share the gruesome details with him – details that had him gagging. If not for the fact that he had not had anything to eat since that day began he would have thrown up.

 

It seemed as though the guys had been stabbed over and over; wounds deep enough to bleed like water faucets but shallow enough to keep them alive. Then their privates had been cut off and shoved deeply in their mouths. They had asphyxiated on their own balls.

 

The boss was wondering if it was some rival cult suddenly trying to wrest power from the Cats – power they had surrendered when they had experienced the brutality of the capo. He did not think so.

 

Suddenly, he had made a joke about the movie I Spit On Your Grave; in which a woman who had been raped had exacted bloody revenge on all her attackers. He thought that was hilarious, and was actually laughing when the capo had struck him on the left cheek. He registered the shock on the faces of the other guys before he looked at his boss and saw something that made him forget his indignation.

 

On his boss’ face was a look of rage – sick, trembling rage. But beneath that, deep in his boss’ eyes…he could see fear. His unwitting mention of that movie had reminded them of the girl’s last words before a bullet had put an end to her life –

 

You are all dead; she had said, the venom in her voice chilling the blood of even the coldest of them; you’ll wish you had never been born.

 

The capo had gathered himself together with a visible shudder. She’s dead; he had said. This is Nigeria – real life; not some 1979 movie. They had been ordered to lay low for a while and await further word from him.

 

That was yesterday.

 

Nine hours ago, he had received a couple more calls from the capo; calls that informed him that he and the capo were the only surviving members of the Black Cats as far as that campus was concerned…the other two had been killed in way more gruesome fashion. One had been fed with wet cement and the other one had had a live wire passed into his butt.

 

Both their privates were missing…

 

He is jerked from his reverie by a frantic knocking at his door. He grabs the Desert Eagle off the table and stands up, trying to control his shaking limbs. He darts to the window behind him, gently raises a corner of the curtain and looks out, taking the gun’s safety off. The compound behind his apartment is still; as illuminated in the 11 o’clock moonlight. The knocking continues and then he asks, trying to control the quaver in his voice; “Who – who is it?”

 

A little girl’s voice answers, “It’s me uncle. Nma.”

 

He nearly gasps in relief – and then it occurs to him. What is she doing at his door at this hour? Could she be…a hostage?

 

He carefully creeps to the front of the house and raises a corner of the twin of the curtain he raised earlier. The yard out in front is as abandoned as the one behind – there isn’t a car in sight. He allows his gaze wander over to the front of his door – and nearly gives a cry of horror. It is the little girl Nma indeed, but her dress is torn and covered in blood. As though she can feel his eyes on her, she begins crying, loud sobs that shake her tiny frame. He quickly puts the gun in his waistband after putting the safety back on and opens the door, looking over the little girl’s head into the yard as he beckons to her. She comes walking slowly, and as she moves past him into the house he quickly locks the door again.

 

“What happened, Nma?” he asks her as he slides the door’s upper and lower bolts back in place. “Who did this to you?”

 

A voice completely unlike the one that spoke moments earlier; an all too familiar voice – the voice of an adult answers him.

 

“You did. You and your friends. But don’t worry; I’m here to fix it.”

 

He turns around and finds that ‘Nma’ has disappeared, and standing in her place is the girl they had brutalized and killed two days before, smiling at him like some long lost relative. She is wearing the exact same torn and bloodied gown ‘Nma’ was wearing, blood all over her face, arms torso and running down her exquisite thighs in sluggish rivulets.

 

He/you begin to scream.


Midweek Fix: The Curse of the Nigerian Male

The Curse of the Nigerian Male

 

I’m coming from the Island; Ikoyi to be exact (anywhere from Marina to Epe is the Island; deal), from the Waterside where I’d just had fish peppersoup and Smirnoff Ice with a friend. It’s a few minutes after eleven; I’m racing on the Third Mainland Bridge eager to get home. There’s usually power at this time of the day; I’m thinking. And if there isn’t, I still have some fuel in the gen.

 

I want to get some writing done before I sleep.

 

A few meters past the Ebutte Metta exit I spot a motionless vehicle. Beside it is a woman who’s equally just as still. I should stop; I think. I should stop and ask if she needs help. Besides, she isn’t safe where she is. That’s the humane thing to do.

 

Thinking back, I wonder if I was gunning for the Nobel Price for Stupid because anyone who’s familiar with that stretch of road knows it’s usually bad karma to be caught there at that time of the day with motor trouble. All sorts of sordid tales have been told over the years; from robbery and assaults to rape and molestation. I really don’t know what I was thinking; I doubt I was even thinking. I stop the car and exit it, feeling like some superhero.

 

Some superhero.

 

I intend to ask if she needs help; if she’s okay. I get as far as opening my mouth when she screams and reaches for something in the backseat of her car.

 

Gun; my hyperactive imagination shrieks in letters of fire. For a second I think I’m in New York again; pulse pounding as I am pushed against the wall by a policeman who probably thinks every black man with a hand in his jacket pocket is packing. Whatever the case, I am not waiting to see what she has on her backseat. I do a 180, run – run – back to my car, jump in and go from zero to ninety in five seconds.

 

I can still smell rubber burning.

 

I am at Ogudu before I realize my car is screaming; I am at Ogudu before I’m aware of anything again. My heart is doing hoops and spins; my teeth are chattering, I am scared. I have to verbally tell myself to take my foot off the accelerator before I can slow down the vehicle. By now I am approaching Alapere Estate, so I just ease into the filling station just past the estate exit, turn off the engine and get out of the car.

 

My legs are trembling so much I have to sit on the tarmac. Sweat pops from all over me like a pure water sachet just pulled out of a really cold freezer; I look at my hands and to my absolute horror, burst into tears.

 

I am crying.

 

After living in predominantly-white countries for a bit, you get used to people crossing the street to avoid you, people changing seats on a bus when they see you approaching or women clutching their purses and walking faster because a young black male is approaching. The thing is in Lagos, the crime is not being black.

 

The crime is being male.

 

At a time when just one of my friends had a car and we wanted to go out, we would dump ourselves into the vehicle but be on the lockout for police checkpoints. Once we spotted one up ahead, the car would stop out of sight, about one or two of us would get out, walk past the checkpoint and wait for the vehicle to catch up.

 

Three or more males in a car? Potential suspect things. Even if you weren’t caught with any illegal goods, the time wasting alone was insane.

 

Maybe those are too-serious issues. Maybe I should talk about how you’re looking at a woman and she’s looking down to see if she’s showing too much flesh. Or how you want to ask someone for directions and they just look straight ahead or hurry past you, assuming you want to beg for transport money. Or maybe I should talk about how I hesitate to invite a woman over to the crib these days; not because I’m afraid of her refusing, more like I’m afraid of her reasons for refusing.

 

I’m not a rapist; I want to scream.

 

But should that be her problem?

 

What is the problem – or maybe we should begin like this; is there really a problem? If so, what is it and how can it be solved?

 

I can’t lie; one phrase that makes me clench my teeth and want to hit something is the all men are dogs something. I mean, ‘statistics’ seem to support the ridiculous notion that men think about sex every nine seconds. Just think about the implications of such a bogus statement. So; I’m paying a woman a compliment, she thinks I want to get between her legs. I’m smiling politely at a female receptionist she’s thinking I caught a glimpse of her breasts. I offer to help a stranded woman; she wonders at what point during the journey I’m going to make my move.

 

How about the unfortunate reality that quite a number of guys actually lost their virginity to an aunt, the house girl, ‘mummy’s friend’ and so on? How about the most unfortunate reality that Nigerian law does not acknowledge that a man can be raped? ‘Unlawful penetration’, that’s what the law calls it – and since it’s the man doing the penetrating…

 

How about the service girl at the bar, the fast food outlet, the store – who keeps flirting and making suggestive remarks just because I’m a guy therefore I am susceptible to her charms and feminine wiles? How about the bank cashier who cannot seem to get enough of my charm?

 

Or am I paranoid? Am I guilty of the same crime that ‘politeness is so rare these days people confuse it for flirting’ meme seeks to address?

 

The truth is, most people – most guys are moving so fast through the day they barely notice any of these things. Unfortunately, I’m a writer. All I do is notice. I cannot bury my head in the sand and act like well; sexism is a global phenomenon and it’s our turn here too, so I should just man up and deal with it. Unfortunately; sometimes it’s as intense as hearing voices in my head. I cannot turn it off.

 

Finally; I am done crying. My chest is still heaving; I’m still sweaty and shaky but the leaky faucet in eyes is exhausted for the moment. I stand up and brush my hands off, and briefly wonder what exactly made me cry; that I had run from a screaming woman or that I had been scared by a screaming woman.

 

Or maybe I’m just tired of humanity’s collective bullshit; how we can hardly resist treating one person a certain kind of way just because they are.

 

Black. White. Brown. Straight. Gay. Religious. Atheist. Fat. Thin. Male. Female. And all other categories we put ourselves in.

 

I remember a while ago I resided in some area ago; I was coming home one evening and as I walked towards my apartment, wondering if NEPA had been gracious enough during the day and I would get cold water to drink, my landlord’s last born tells me his father summons.

 

Sighing, I ignore my apartment and instead climb the stairs to his, open the door –

 

And find the Oputa panel waiting.

 

I am shown to a seat and before I am addressed I ask for a cup of cold water. The panel looks offended; but I couldn’t care less. I didn’t owe rent; so they were the ones interrupting. They could wait.

 

I drank my fill of water before looking at the panel members. “Yes?” I asked.

 

The landlord was equally blunt. “Young man, are you the one that impregnated my daughter?”

 

It was so unexpected I could only ask, “Ehn?” with my mouth hanging open after the question.

 

Then I realized; he had asked a question, not made a statement as he would have if he knew the answer. I adjusted on my seat and asked, “Have you asked your daughter?”

 

The man eyed his fellow panelists, looked back at me and nodded.

 

“What did she say?”

 

He folded his arms against his chest and grumbled. I knew then his daughter had refused to answer him so I said, “As soon as your daughter answers, I will.”

 

And I stood from my seat, intending to leave.

 

“Who else can it be?” He complained. “You’re the only irresponsible man in this area. A man your age – why are you not married?”

 

Irresponsible being the same or equal to being unmarried.

 

I stopped and turned to face him. “Baba, shebi you are married?”

 

“Ehen?” he answered aggressively.

 

“That must mean you cannot impregnate a woman again, shebi?”

 

“Who said – “ he shot forward in his seat, starting to evoke all sorts of gods and incantations. And then he realized what I had said. He sat back in his seat, eying me like a well-fed lion would eye a fat buffalo.

 

“Goodnight sir,” I said, bowing from the waist before exiting the building. It wasn’t long after that before I was evicted; but not before they discovered who had impregnated the landlord’s daughter.

 

Yinka, the manager of the bakery next door. Married with children. How many? I lost count (and interest) after attending the naming ceremony of the sixth.

 

 

Is it my fault I am male?

 

I get home at something past twelve and put on my laptop. Life goes on. I think about the woman I meant to help and try not to blame her; who knows what she’s been through? Yorubas say ‘if you close your eyes for a bad person to walk past, that’s where you’ll be when a good person goes by’. I think about the policemen who are occasionally extra-rough with me just because I’m male; I think about the cab I stop that drives past me to stop for the woman up ahead.

 

I think; and wonder what life would be like as a woman. It can’t be that hard to wear a skirt; I think.

 

But then, I remember the bra. And smile.

 

Maybe life as male in Nigeria is not so bad after all.

 

 


The TEDex Rape Talk

I had the privilege of speaking at the first TEDx Unilag event earlier this year – and I spoke on an issue that matters to me; an issue that affects all of us – whether we know it or not.

Rape and Rape Culture In Nigeria.

You can watch the video here – and share your thoughts, opinions and so on.

Also share with your friends, so they can share with theirs.

Thank you!


On Rape – A Letter To The Men

 

Dear men,

 

 

And by ‘men’ I’m referring to the male species exclusively.

 

 

You know, the third-leg-carrying specie, the one for who it is most acceptable for to have hair on his face – the usually beer-guzzling viewing-centre-arguing video-game-thumping…

 

 

You get the point.

 

 

Yes; man. This one is for us by us. And it gives me the utmost shame to inform you that we have failed.

 

 

We. Have. Failed.

 

 

I was online several weeks ago – and I saw some hashtag thing all over the place. It didn’t take too long to find out what was behind it. Turns out that a group of people came together to raise funds to give women self-defense classes to protect them from rape.

 

 

Okay. Hold up.

 

 

For a man born, raised and bred in Africa, I have the understanding that the male is the protector of the female – at least physically. Maybe today we have independent women who don’t need men or whatever (more on that later), the basic understanding I have is the man is the head of the home. That doesn’t make him superior to the woman, it just gives him the responsibility of direction. Of stability. And protection.

 

 

At least, that’s what I understand and believe.

 

 

And a lot of us secretly harbor resentment for a woman who thinks she is our equal. The only reason we have ‘accepted’ this gender equality thing is because it’s popular – but how many of us are actually comfortable marrying a woman who isn’t ready to ‘bow and scrape’ before us? How many of us can marry a woman who will not stay at home to care for the kids – a woman who probably earns more than we do – a woman who will not be ‘controlled’?

 

 

Would our ‘African’ male ego accept that?

 

 

So – is it not a slap in the face when the women have to take self-defense classes, not because they want to, but because they need protection from US? The ‘men’ who are supposed to be their champion/defender/protector/knight (even if said armor is rusty in too many places)?

 

 

And maybe that’s not exactly a solution – I’m referring to the self-defense classes thing – because not only does it still make it look like it’s the women’s fault they get raped, what if after self-defense classes they meet a rapist who is stronger and better trained than they are?

 

 

What happens?

 

 

Guys, let’s take a moment to reflect on that.

 

 

Statistics according to RAINN show that 2/3 rapes are perpetrated by someone known to the victim. To quote;

 

 

Approximately 2/3 of rapes were committed by someone known to the victim.1
73% of sexual assaults were perpetrated by a non-stranger.1
38% of rapists are a friend or acquaintance.1
28% are an intimate.1
7% are a relative.1

  • S. Department of Justice. 2005 National Crime Victimization Study. 2005.

 

 

Even though this data was not gathered in Nigeria, it isn’t too far from the truth.

 

 

Men, when did we become like this?

 

 

Shebi you’ve seen October 1? The most recent of Kunle Afolayan’s movies?

 

 

Good.

 

 

Remember the near-climactic scene – in which the villain has pinned down the leading lady and is ripping her clothes off – and she says “You would forcefully take that which I would willingly give you?”

 

 

Bros.

 

 

Forcefully?

 

 

And even if she doesn’t want to give you – should she not have the right to decide who or what gets access to her body?

 

 

After all, it’s her body isn’t it?

 

 

I know some parts of this letter would be me repeating myself – after all it was only six months ago in April I wrote something on this issue – but the truth of the matter is; we’re not talking enough. We’re not doing enough.

 

 

I was at the police station (Area F to be specific) about two years ago, to sort out a friend who had gotten into a spot of trouble. While waiting for his CO, I noticed two policemen; one male the other female, bantering with a pretty young girl. I really wasn’t listening – but after a while I couldn’t help but hear what they were saying and it made my head hurt.

 

 

Apparently, girl had gone to her friend’s house and met the friend’s boyfriend at home. One thing led to another (as they usually do) and friend’s boyfriend had forced her to sleep with him.

 

 

I don’t remember the story blow for blow but that was the gist.

 

 

But that wasn’t what I found bothersome. That wasn’t what gave me the headache.

 

 

What got to me were the responses of the policemen – especially the female officer.

 

 

“How e take rape u? No be ya leg u carry waka go dere? E tie your hand? Abegi! Na so una dey do – maybe de guy do finish e no settle u na im u vex!”

 

 

I couldn’t believe my ears. This was another woman talking.

 

 

After a while though – they finally took a statement from her and agreed to follow her to the guy…

 

 

After a while.

 

 

Why this apathy when it comes to rape? Why are people so indifferent to this heinous crime?

 

Men – why do we rape?

 

 

Why do we rape?

 

 

Is that how your – how our fathers did our mothers; so we’ve come to think it’s normal? Do we have sisters who come home weeping, talking about how their boyfriend/husband/boss (the various roles we play in other women’s lives) forced himself on them – and we laugh and pat her on the back and say ‘that’s normal na! Why are you crying? Kini big deal?’

 

 

Kini big deal – about rape – really?!

 

 

Guys, how is it a woman’s fault that she got raped?

 

 

If we’re talking indecent dressing, why aren’t the Allen Avenue evening ladies getting raped regularly? How about the rag-wearing mad woman?

 

 

If we’re talking ‘because she came to our house’, since when did trust become a crime?

 

 

If we’re talking because we spent money on her, then we should also rape our mums, we shouldn’t have any female friends – and that woman who brings her kids to our car window to beg should be the next victim.

 

 

We should be ashamed of ourselves o – we really should be.

 

 

I mean, if we say we’re superior to women, then we should be their protectors and champions – not the ones they need protecting from. We should protect their rights to choose – the exact same way we would protect children and animals.

 

 

And if we say we are equal and the same with them – they should be able to decide what they want and don’t want, and we should be able to respect that.

 

 

So what is the problem? Guys, can we have a conversation?

 

 

Can we realize it’s in no way a woman’s fault a man decides to act beastly? Do we understand that because we are not taking up the mantle to speak and defend our women is why they are taking it upon themselves to protect themselves? Shall we agree that no excuse is good enough – and that the only person whose fault it is in a rape situation is the rapist?

 

 

I mean, we should consider the fact that there are yet several of us who see women dressing in some very provocative manner – and the fact that not all men are rapists puts paid to the generalization that the victim did something to provoke that reaction.

 

 

Men, let us be responsible. Let us do the needful – and be responsible men, fathers, brothers, cousins, nephews, friends – magas; even!

 

 

Let us protect the woman. The girl-child.

 

 

From ourselves, if need be.

 

 

I hope this letter makes some sort of sense to us – and even more than that – I hope it provokes a certain kind of response. I hope it makes us speak. I hope it makes us think.

 

 

More importantly, I hope it makes us do something positive concerning this rape thing.

 

 

With respect,

 

A man.

 

Thanks.


Rape Is “Okay” When…?!

 

 

Ever been robbed?

 

 

Ever been asked to surrender all your worldly goods at gunpoint by people you know if it came down to it; if it wasn’t for the gun(s) they were carrying, you could and would do them some serious harm?

 

 

Ever been stripped naked and tied with your own shoelaces, and then dumped on the Third Mainland Bridge, where you spent hours of peeing and crapping on yourself alternately till you were rescued by one mad woman who chewed through the wires binding your wrists and ankles – while you prayed she would think that thing that dangled a few inches from your wrist was a sausage?

 

 

And as if all that wasn’t enough, you still have to contend with how to get to your six-flat house?

 

 

Now multiply that – multiply EVERY single emotion/trauma you felt by twenty. That would begin to give the layman some sort of idea of what rape victims go through.

 

 

Just an idea. It’s not even close.

 

 

BE CLEAR: At NO POINT is RAPE OKAY. NONE.  Let’s just get that out of the way.

 

 

Somehow, the perception of rape being the victim’s fault has pervaded our society – to the point where victims get insulted and harassed at Police Stations – the very same place where they’re are supposed to feel the safest.

 

 

I cringe in shame. And horror.

 

 

Consider for a moment statistics from a survey carried out in a school…

 

 

 

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While the response from the males is horrifying enough; what I find most frightening is the reaction of the females! I do not understand why someone…ANYONE would think it’s okay to rape someone.

 

 

And if you look at the stats above – you will understand that it’s starting to look as though rape has become a way of life – something to be accepted; condoned and explained away. And even though that is supposed to have been recorded in a ‘first-world country’…isn’t the same true for us here?

 

 

I mean, we all remember the infamous Basketmouth joke, right?

 

 

No Way. Violating anyone at ANY POINT; drunk or sober, dressed or undressed – as long as there is NO consent; is a crime against humanity.

 

What bothers me most, however is that according to a research carried out a while ago somewhere, most of the victims of rape know the person who raped them and have a relationship with the person.

 

 

It’s just somehow. How it’s the person you love the most is the one who hurts you the most – or something close.

 

 

Some guys have an entitlement mentality. Because they spent money, taken her out to wherever she wants – she has to sleep with them; whether she wants to or not?

 

 

And because she trusted him, she’s so ashamed…she’d rather keep it to herself.

 

 

People talk about how the way a lady dresses might be inspiration for rape. Really?

 

 

So a madwoman walking on the streets in rags; showing more than she’s covering should be raped too?

 

 

It’s a shame that the same people who are supposed to protect women are the same ones responsible for the pain and hurt. There’s no rationalizing rape anyhow. There’s no explaining it; there’s no defending it. Rape is completely and totally WRONG.

 

 

If a guy feels spending money on a woman and not sleeping with her makes him look stupid; I suggest he goes looking for prostitutes. After all, that’s why such a trade exists; spend money to get sex!

 

 

Non-consensual sex is a crime. NO means NO.

 

 

Point blank period.

 

 

For the sake of repetition and clarity – at NO POINT is it okay to rape someone – anyone.

 

 

Even a dog has rights. How much more, fellow humans?

 

 

Let Us all come together and fight this scourge of society.

 

If you; or anyone you know is hurting, please call 01-8209387 or 08052004698 or 08037178963.

 

There are people ready to speak with you on those lines – people offering help and care. Your anonymity is guaranteed.

 

God bless us all.