>It is another 25th of November. It is another international day for the elimination of violence against women. It is another reminder of the role you can play to put an end to gender based violence.
Leave no one behind: End violence against women and girls . That is the theme for this year’s celebration and it advocates for the total elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls irrespective of their location or colour.
Gender violence and discrimination occur in developed nations as well as developing nations. The only difference would probably be in the magnitude and penalty.
An experience I had recently taught me that Violence against Women (VAW) does not necessarily mean physical violence. It cuts across emotional and psychological violence.
I dated and loved someone I thought was the best guy there was. Turned out he was not just a chronic womaniser, but he had very little respect for most of these women. I was blind to that part of him because he gave me 100% respect and what I thought was love. But when the chips were down, he made me realise he held little respect for the other women by the way he picked, used and tossed them aside. They were only there to satisfy his sexual desires. Their opinions, rights and feelings di not amount to anything. After all, they are ‘mere women’. As far as I am concerned, he exposed me as well as those other ladies to emotional and psychological violence and it was uncalled for.
I believe every woman, irrespective of job, color or location, has experienced one form of violence or the other. I recently listened to the Nigerian novelist, Chimamanda Adichie speaking on feminism and I realised that even the celebrities are not left out of this inequality mindset. Personally, I am getting used to having waiters and waitresses greet and fuss over the man beside me while acting like I am not even there.
Image courtesy of http://www.chimamanda.com
But when the famous Chimamanda explained how it also happens to her, I could only laugh at our society.
Funny enough, some men believe VAW is a thing of the past while many more others believe the female victims asked for it. They ask, what was she doing in a room alone with a guy? She asked to be raped. Like seriously?
But for me, it is more painful when women themselves think through their anus by joining the men to ask such questions. Or when they spearhead the maltreatment of widows or fail to teach their sons to respect and care for their sisters. Who would blame a guy whose mother taught from childhood, that he is more important than his sister? That he can rough-handle the neighbour’s daughter if she refuses to dance to his tunes?
And what about those women that fold their hands and watch their husbands and sons and brothers, rape their daughters and nieces and cousins? They sacrifice the happiness and future of these young girls on the alter of ‘family name’. They stand and watch mutely lest they bring the family name to shame. Is that one even a family?
There are more female excisors than males, women who still believe that a woman must be genitally mutilated to please a man and keep the ladies loyal and pure – for the man. Excuse me!
No one deserves to be treated like an animal. No girl, no woman deserves to be violated, for any reason at all. There is absolutely no justification for violenece against women. I mean, how can you justify punching a woman senseless by saying she talks too much or rudely? Who punches you when you misbehave? Is she justified to rape the guy because he visited her?
Today, all of us, male and female, young and old, white or black, we are being called upon to make a difference, to help end violence against women and girls.
Will you stand up to be counted?
He married her, paid her bride price, probably with his own money or not. That makes her his personal property, that gives him all the right, to use her as he pleases, whenever he pleases.
Believe it or not, that is the mindset of some Nigerian male folk, even in this present day and age. It is a very simple logic that requires no argument. I have come across many of them with that point of view. He went to the human market, searched for this particular woman who interested him on some level, then he ‘purchased’ her with a bride price and legalised it with the wedding ceremonies. Then from the market he brought the ‘lucky’ woman to his home. He considers her lucky because there are too many women looking for a man to save them. I am sure you know what happens when supply exceeds demand. He saved her from that horrible situation.
In his home, a little above a purchased slave, she is to provide all his needs whenever they come up and this includes giving her body to him whenever the urge to plough her arises in him. She CANNOT say no, she dare not deny him of his conjugal rights, even when she is not able to perform that duty. If she is stupid or stubborn enough to refuse her dear husband, then she must be forced to submit to her husband’s needs. Why else did he marry her if not to satisfy his needs at all times?
The Nigerian constitution, unlike that of most developed nations, does not regard marital rape as an offence on its own. Section 357 of the Nigerian Criminal Code Act, CAP 77, LFN 1990 definition of rape:
“Any person who has unlawful carnal knowledge of a woman or girl, without her consent, or with her consent, if the consent is obtained by force or by means of false threats or intimidation of any kind, or by fear of harm, or by means of false or fraudulent representation as to the nature of the act, or in case of a married woman, by personating her husband is guilty of an offence called rape”.
The Nigerian Penal Code defines rapes thus:
“A man can be held guilty of rape if he has sexual intercourse with a woman without her consent, or with her consent, if consent was unlawfully obtained”.
The criminal code further describes ‘unlawful carnal knowledge’ as
“carnal connection which takes place otherwise than between husband and wife.”
This lends a different twist to the whole definition. It gives the husband the right to have sexual intercourse with his wife, with or without her consent. The Penal Code on the it’s part further states that
Sexual intercourse by a man with his own wife is not rape, if she has attained to puberty.
In essence, both Laws inadvertently give the husband the right to rape or love his wife as he pleases so far as he is recognised as the husband.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) however describes rape as
“Physically forced or otherwise coerced penetration – even if slight – of the vulva or anus, using a penis, other body parts or an object.”
Due to the fact that the Nigerian Law does not yet recognise marital rape nor consider it a crime, most people, male and female alike, see nothing wrong in the act.
My submission is that RAPE IS RAPE irrespective of who is involved or how it is carried out so far as there is a form of coercion.
Sometimes the woman will not be in the mood, sometimes, she is too tired or ill. I believe that instead of forcibly taking what you consider yours, a little love and care might soften her up. A little understanding and patience would not be such a terrible idea.
It is also possible that the sexual life of the couple is not healthy. These are things that communication can address easily rather than forcibly claiming ownership. In my book, raping your spouse is not just sheer evil, it is cowardice. It can erode trust and love faster than infidelity, if you ask me. I doubt if there can be much pleasure in forcing your wife into sex.
It would do us a world of good if theNigerian Law will criminalise marital rape.
A posthumous Happy birthday to Michael Jackson who would have been 57 yesterday the 29th day of August. The heading of this post is borrowed from one of his numerous hit songs, Man in The Mirror.
We all want to see some changes in different aspects of our world but who are we really waiting for to cause those changes we desire?
Most guys you discuss rape and sexual assault with will most likely condemn the act, albeit in different tones. So I then wonder who those guys are that commit the rapes we witness and hear of.
A friend of mine on facebook sent me a message about this new girl friend he got. You know, the beautiful, nice, naive and religious type. He has, according to him, developed feelings for her which he wants to portray to her via sex. Okay. But the young lady has refused adamantly and my friend is getting frustrated. He told me that he would force her the next time she came around. I was like, ‘You mean you want to rape her?’ And he said ‘Maybe’. And he asked me what he was supposed to do when she is around, just sit and stare at her?
Guys, please, I’d like to know if this is what this is all about.
I asked about ten guys in my Whatsapp contacts their views on a guy forcing a female friend into having sex with him. I wish I can print all their responses here. The good news is that five of them emphatically agreed that it is wrong, however, three think it depends on a lot of factors and would not outrightly call it rape, probably sexual assault or something. Now two told me that some ladies do not know how to say ‘sex me up’. Or some that want it but like to form. These group of ladies should be forced into submission because some of them even prefer it that way. Hmmmmm…
Man in the mirror. Sometimes when we talk of rapists, we think they look like monsters but most times they are friends, neighbours, relations which makes it harder for the victims to speak up. Many women have been sexually assaulted, molested or outrightly raped at one time or the other by guys they took as good friends. So guys, why would this change we preach not begin with you personally?
If you can force someone who trusted you to have sex with you, how are you any different from the rapist that rapes strangers?
Happy Sunday dearies!
I often harp on this, maybe because I am a she, may be because I see it as senseless and incomprehensible. I am a she therefore cannot understand why a he would resort to forcefully gain access into a female’s most prized possession, why? As in, what is wrong in choosing from among the countless, willing females everywhere?. Maybe it is the feel of having that power over her, the more she cries and struggles, the more powerful and happy he feels. It is beyond my understanding really.
Is there ever a justifiable reason for sexually molesting the weaker sex? Love, hate, indecency, lust, passion, what can make it justifiable to permanently bruise her, not just physically but psychologically too.
Dear rapist, do you pause to think of the consequences of your act before you plunge head long into it? Do you consider the fact the scars won’t heal, at least not on the inside, that nothing can completely erase it? Does it ever occur to you that she might lose her life in the process as many usually do? And when she faces the death or trauma, do you look back and feel satisfied and happy with your achievement?
Just this morning, I read from the papers, two different cases of young girls raped to death!; “ABIA DIRECTOR FIRED FOR ALLEGEDLY RAPING 11-YR OLD MAID TO DEATH”. A Director, with his money, class and connections could have whatever kind of lady he so desires, but he chose his house maid, to maim, rape and thus murder, why? Kai!
On the opposite page was another shocking headline; “BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION: MAN, 24, ALLEGEDLY RAPES FRIEND TO DEATH”, the victim aged 18 was his guest among other people at the party.Last week, another case was reported of a lady who was raped by a policeman, a DPO at that and nothing was done about it after it was reported, in fact, according to the report, the DPO in question has been promoted since the incident. CRAZY!!!
To think that nowhere is safe is more worrisome or I would have urged parents and every female to be careful, but since even the husbands and uncles and ogas and teachers are culprits, I do not know…
This sadly is getting out of hand; this menace is becoming a norm. Asa sang that there is fire on the mountain and nobody seems to be on the run. Till the Minister’s daughter, the lawmaker’s niece, the governor’s sister, the IGP’s mother is raped, maybe then we can have some pragmatic approach to tackling this issue, may be then we will sit up and fight it squarely.