Finding Her Voice; Finding happiness.

Tag Archives: violence against women

Naturally, women are mothers with all the in-built traits of motherhood. They can easily share love, care for others selflessly and nurture human lives, especially of their children.

There have been many people strongly voicing the opinion that women are their own worst enemies. They opine that women possess this pull her down syndrome towards other women. Their theory is that women pull each other down.
I have always fought this school of thought. I did not want to believe that women are petty, that women are some fickle beings that allow their jealousy to blind them.

It seems I have not been completely true to myself. I came across a post on Facebook on International Women’s Day 2019 and I began to rethink. Let me share my thoughts with you.

The perpetrators and excisors of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) are mostly women.

Harmful widowhood rites like forceful shaving of hair, drinking of water used in washing the deceased husband’s corpse, are performed by women in most places.

Women who shield their randy rapist sons and husbands while the victims asked for it.

It is women who employ house-helps and treat them like animals while their own children are treated as queens and kings.

Some women will see another woman successfully climbing the ladder of her career or business and will bad-mouth her, telling anyone who cares to listen that Ms H. slept her way to the top or had her path greased.

A supposed rich or successful dude is interested in marrying her friend’s daughter; Madam goes behind to tell dude how the girl is a prostitute and a thief.

What about that chief bridesmaid, that Bestie that has the hots for her friend’s husband, not because she loves him, but because she thinks she deserves the guy more than her friend.

Sometimes the jealousy is so mundane and meaningless, this lady walks into the room and other ladies check her out, most finding faults with her dressing, her figure or just her confidence.

Then those mothers that force their under-aged girls to marry men older than their grandfathers because of their selfish interests. Or those mothers that ridicule their 30-40 year old daughters and taunt them about marriage till they succumb into the hands of a nonentity and then the mother turns around to abuse the daughter for not being a good wife.

The mother-in-law that treats her son’s wife like rag, nothing she does is ever right because she is not good enough for her perfect son.

She is berated by other women for thinking about leaving her abusive marriage or relationship. Why? You enjoy her suffering? You wish her dead? Or you just feel good with yourself believing your marriage is better than hers?

I could rant all day, I am sure you have some to add to that list.
Why do women pull each other down?
There are a number of reasons for this despicable attitude that I could think of.
Jealousy/envy. We see others succeeding and we wish them bad. Sometimes I feel bad that I seem to be the only one not succeeding when other women are. I shouldn’t and wouldn’t allow that to plant evil thoughts within me. It would only make things worse.

Some women pull others down because it makes them feel good about themselves. They build their self-worth on the pain or failure of other women.

Some would not follow their dreams; they would rather prefer everyone to remain on the ground with them. They’d mudsling, backbite, and gossip, whatever it takes, they’d do it to see others fail.

Society teaches us that women should not be heard, that women belong to the kitchen and ‘the other room’, that she has no voice of her own, her husband is her crown. It permeates our being fuelling that jealousy at those who have unlearned these rules and forged ahead in life.

Maybe those mean traits are follow-come, maybe we learned them, whatever the case, we can unlearn them
Begin by appreciating the next woman you see, it could be she has an attractive smile, well poised, oozing self-confidence, well dressed, well mannered, there are millions of stuffs you can admire in another sister.

Assist her to achieve success, there is enough space at the top for all of us, we can share if there isn’t. Adopt a child, treat your maid like a human, help a sister get that job, or establish that business, share your knowledge. Encourage her to dare to dream, encourage her to spread her wings and soar. It won’t kill you, it will make you greater and better.

Instead of feeling jealous and becoming mean at a successful woman, get close to her if you can and learn what she did right that you are doing wrong. Rather than blame her success on prostitution or bribery, strive to be like her, let her be your mentor.

Stop the violence against fellow women. They didn’t ask for it, it could happen to the most righteous of us.
#TogetherWeRise
#DividedWeFail

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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

My friend told me how she has been teaching her daughters to boldly attack and shame anyone that tries to touch any part of their body intentionally without their consent. This was in response to a post on Facebook where a lady was teaching women what to teach their girls. You know, how to attack, where and how to hit effectively to draw blood, the vulnerable spots and the works.

I have been in circumstances where I wished I knew a bit of taekwondo or martial arts. This, coming from an extremely non-violent person speaks volumes. Yes, I believe every woman should be able to defend herself against all forms of #ViolenceAgainstWomen. It is a matter of necessity actually. If we cannot all hit our oppressors, then we should have pepper sprays and stilettoes.

There are modern means of defense against rape, including the use of apps and networks being taught to women and girls. Parents should encourage their kids to fight back any way they can. We teach each other to be stronger, to fight back, to resist, to be more careful – all excellent but inadequate.

It is good to encourage women to avoid rape but better to teach or coerce the men not to rape. It is time to channel more energy towards educating men on the evils of rape. I mean, if there were no rapists, there would be no need for my daughter to learn boxing as a defense method, unless of course she willingly wants to box for the love of it. Imagine a world free of sexual predators!

Now, how do we teach men not to rape? How do we make the rapist to unlearn sexual molestation? – Cultural and attitudinal reorientation. This culture that teaches boys to hide their emotions, to be a ‘man’, to go for whatever they want at all costs, to feel superior to the girls need to be addressed.

Boys must be made to realize that consent is needed before you can have any form of sexual contact with her. It does not matter whether she is under the influence, unconscious or dressed like a whore. Teach young boys that ‘NO’ simply means ‘NO’.

Our society depicts women as sexual objects most of the times, their humanity as women forgotten. Boys and society at large see women as objects for the pleasure of men. You see men laughing about how their friend tied her to a post and raped her, you hear them discussing how she was wailing like a baby while they gang-raped a woman. The woman is nothing, has no emotions to be considered, no self-worth, no value. She is to be used for their pleasure and then discarded.

The disheartening aspect of reporting rape is unbelief, denial and victim-blaming. Oh she asked for it. Lolz, you want me to believe that Mr. H will stoop so low as to look at you in a sexual way, you? No, my husband would not do such a thing, he simply cannot. (Rolling my eyes). The fact that she was raped is shameful enough in itself, to be labeled a liar and dehumanized in addition is adding salt to injury. Why not investigate the matter first?

Intervention! Don’t stand by and say it is not your business. Hush your friends when they make lousy jokes about girls. Stop the perpetrator before he indulges in the act. It can save a woman from a lifetime of pain and trauma.

Stronger punitive measures against rape should be in place and enforced accordingly. There are no sacred cows where rape is concerned. Whoever is found guilty should be punished adequately. The loopholes in some legal systems that make it easy for rapists to thrive need to be plugged.
Parents and wards, let us raise gentlemen who would love and respect every woman they come in contact with. It is not too early to start.

In our conversations with ourselves, our peers, colleagues, neighbors, children, wards or students, emphasis should be on men learning not to rape women.

#SayNoToRape


I don’t know about anywhere else, but the rate at which men are sexually molesting minors in Nigeria is alarming. It makes me wonder…

Could it be that there’s something suddenly spectacular about the little children’s private parts? Is there a scarcity of prostitutes? Maybe all the matured and willing ladies are now lesbians? I don’t understand it.

It has been a year of child molestation, from one gory incident to the other till the climax with the #JusticeForOchanya incident.

Ochanya’s father and son rapists

After the death of the little Ochanya as a result of protracted and consistent rape by father and son, the floodgates of child molestation were flung wide open.

From Benue state to Bayelsa state, from Lagos to Abuja, various cases of children being raped by teachers, neighbours and fathers abound, paedophiles everywhere.

My Issue with Caregivers

In the face of this appalling situation, some adults choose to live in a fool’s paradise while some remain careless and carefree. You read comments like ‘oh I know that guy and he is very responsible and religious’. As if that means anything these days.

Since I began my personal sensitization of parents and caregivers, it has dawned on me that lots of adults are naive and blind. I was trying to enlighten a mother of a sweet 2 year old girl, highliting it with instances of recent rape cases of minors, some younger than her daughter. Her response was that God will not allow any rapist to touch her daughter. Well, maybe God is too idle that He’d come down toclean the child’s nose on behalf of the mum. Or the molested kids are God’s arch enemies. What is wrong with her being more vigilant, or more enlightening?

What we fail to understand is that rapists are everywhere and can come in different facades, colors, status and profession. A pastor can be a rapist. A married man can be a rapist. The recent case in Bayelsa state is of a man with two wives and what my friend termed a ‘battalion of concubines’. Yet he was not satisfied.

Rapists are not necessarily vulgar, ugly momsters. They can actually be handsome, sweet, quiet and ‘responsible’. They can reside within your home, inside the school or in your place of worship.

The key is getting yourself enlightened so you can enlighten and protect your younger ones. There’s nothing wrong in teaching them about sex and rape, nothing wrong with equipping them to fight and speak up.

This is a case where prevention is definitely better than cure.

#SayNoToRape


>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.

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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.

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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?

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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?

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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?



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