Imagine your teenage daughter walking down the streets, only to be pulled by a young man who verbally abuses her and rapes her. Blood flows, she’s hurt, probably fighting for her life, she has to live with the stigma of that incident and his excuse is “she always seduces me, so I raped her.” What would you do?
I think Africa is one major continent where ‘culture’ still binds so much in backwardness and stagnancy. We’re so full of superstitions and certain stereotypes that in a normal setting should be seen as absurd.
Allow me focus on the African woman.
In Africa, the woman or the girl is the major subject of domestic violence, rape, assault, educational deprivation, child marriage and many other societal ills. The woman figure is merely ever alluded or given proper regard.
She is bound with so many rules and expectations. She is told to dress not to seduce the man, right from an early age, society makes her understand that her place is in the kitchen and that part of the criteria for being a woman is her ability to do certain domestic works like cooking, washing, cleaning, sweeping and pleasing her husband which I completely disagree with.
We train our women to honour their husbands and speak to them with respect, swallowing and keeping in most of the vile acts shown towards them but we forget to tell our men that threatening to hit or actually hitting their wives is such a heinous and cowardly behaviour that shouldn’t be exhibited by any man.
You see I like to tell young adults that if you would not have another man treat your precious daughter the way you treat your wife, then something is wrong with your marital ideologies and you need to fix that.
But, much more than all of these, is the rampant issue of rape. A basic and backward African mentality is that the cause of rape for women is the types of clothes they put on and so, an unenlightened African will tell you that a woman possibly got raped because her outfit was seducing the opposite sex.
“Why should she wear those type of clothes sef?” thus giving the male counterpart the notion that it is okay for him to rape a woman, after all, her clothes seduced him.
I heard an adult speak to an audience one day and she said “when you will be wearing short clothes why wouldn’t men want to rape you?” I stared at her with mixed feelings of disbelief and disgust.
Allow me to say at this point that a woman’s body is a place you are not invited to without her permission irrespective of what she’s wearing and irrespective of how seductive her outfit or body is to you. You know how you cannot enter an ‘invitation-only party’ without your invitation? Irrespective of how desperate you are to go to the party, or how attractive the party is to you? It is the same when it comes to the female body. Respect the ‘no invitation policy’ no matter what she wears or how she acts.
It is typical rubbish to blame a woman’s rape on what she was wearing at the time of the rape or how she acts or how ‘loose’ you think she is, or on how she was walking alone in a certain place because then, you justify the man’s criminal act of rape.
Let me also point here that a female cannot give permission for any form of sexual intercourse until she has reached the constitutional age of 18 so a 17-year-old giving you the go-ahead is not regarded as legal permission. Also, an intoxicated girl, (just like any other person who is befuddled with clouded judgement) does not have the capacity to make a sound decision about permitting you to have intercourse – Her no is her no, and her silence does not constitute acceptance.
There is no justification for rape or sexual assault. If we can preach to our girls, our women not to be loose with men then, let’s teach our men, our boys, that control is critical, very important and that a woman’s body is to – without question of her character – be respected!
So imagine your teenage daughter walking down the streets, only to be pulled by a young man who verbally abuses her and rapes her. Blood flows, she’s hurt, probably fighting for her life, she has to live with the stigma of that incident for the rest of her life and his excuse is “she always seduces me, so I raped her.” What would you do?
Have an amazing day.
Written by: Ayomide Olukoyede (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org).