I passionately denounce the deafening silence that has enveloped, stigmatised and traumatised half of our society. Just like the adage goes: one who educates a woman educates a community, he who rapes a woman rapes a nation, defiles our humanly constructs, and betrays the future we ardently anticipate.
Rape is a disgusting act that dehumanises a woman and also humiliates and undignifies our society. It is an affront to women’s self-esteem and a man’s tool to inscribe subordinate status on to women. In today’s unjust society, rape, an intimate form of violence, is being normalised. Seemingly a preoccupation for the sexually starving, pleasure-seeking lunatics — likely contesting in a female dehumanising relay race. Unfortunately, these are sometimes people we tend to trust: uncles, bosses and brothers or even the so called ‘besties’.
The stories from Uganda or South Africa of school boys overpowering their girlfriends, a Nigerian pastor who has overtly crowned himself a divine sexual being, and woefully taking advantage of a God-seeking soul, are just a few cases that make it to the media, worse are still secretly saved for fear of vulnerability.
Sadly, tales around the world are just glorifying rapists, popularising them as justice is only served on social media while the law hangs in suspense. Of late, Twitter has been awash with outcries of condemnation and other stories of anarchy, melodramatic narratives of brief thinkers justifying rape, and non - consensual sex.
Whereas the man on the verge of senility argues that he married the woman in exchange for cows and so he’s entitled to sex, whenever and in whatever manner he craves, the rubbish boyfriend claims she’s dating him, that she’s even sent him nude photos and he believes that possesses an impersonal password to her divinity without her consent. While the former sexual partner believes that seeing it before accords him indisputable rights to vehemently jump on her and immodestly feed his ego, the so called consent predictor, the self-acclaimed love consultant, assumes that silence is simply consent, so he forcefully wraps himself around her and satiates his famishing urge.
I can’t understand how certain countries like Algeria and Pakistan, still stipulate laws that encourage victims to ‘Marry- your rapists’. Such laws protect rapists. How archaic! Unbelievable! That communities of the elite, correct thinking humans can literally, inherently, grant rights to a man to demonise, to selfishly seek satisfaction for his lust against one’s will as long he packs and takes her home for formalised rampant rape. This is sorcery!
Historically, many women have felt forced into silence to preserve the respect for their families after being raped.
As much as we agitate and staunchly loathe the acts of rape by men against women, we equally despise women that are emerging as predators. To mention but the housemaids that are reported to harass and force young males into underage and non - consensual sex, in other words rape. They are criminals too. This can’t be justified either. Rape is Rape.
However, today’s society tends to qualify rape only when a male assaults a woman. One male remarked that men are always ready to ‘work’ and ‘serve’. That it is ridiculous to say a male is raped. On the contrary, some males claim it’s their duty to take over and act ruthlessly, as they consider it an ‘act of sharpness’- being able to read a girl’s expression and forcing chances. But it is always faulty.
The stereotypes have, for that matter, accorded them immoral authority to seek, to knock and forcefully enter when not permitted.
Broadly, the blame is often shifted to be seen as a woman’s, under the pretext of something they have done. The victims are squeezed to believe that it is their fault, but no! The victims need to understand that it is never their fault. Everyone needs to discern that being a female and endowment with beauty is not and should never be regarded as an instrument for self-destruction.
This calls for urgent collective efforts to revolutionise our society and safeguard everyone so that they live to have their inherent rights and dignity. A challenge faced by a community remains trivial when told by an individual. But we have power when we speak out in unison. We can overwhelm them that beseech our profoundness, them that harm young girls, and deny them a future. We can have them exposed, and the law will inevitably awaken to our occasion. Our silence is deadly, it grants the next criminal rights to rape, owing to the fact that the victim will be silent. We can break the chain, we can stop the cycle and liberate the women in our society. It’s about you, me and everyone.
The writer is a storyteller/ public speaking trainer, a Leadership coach and a student at the African Leadership University