Why does everything feel wrong? I feel like I’m going to have a panic attack if I step out of my house due to the virus which we have absolutely no proof of existence in our country, Nigeria. I tried stepping out with a mask on about two weeks ago and I could not just take it. I was scared, scared I was going to run out of breath and will be on the floor with my hands clutching my chest for air. It reminded me of 25th march, the midnight I will never forget in a hurry. Why should breathing be so hard, I pondered. And then I realised, the things we think are normal just aren’t for some people and that humbled me immediately.
In the confines of my home, the internet is a solace for me. But why does everything on there feel so wrong too?
I tried so much to ignore the subject because I knew just how much it was going to get to me. I wanted to be strong for myself by pushing everything aside but it didn’t work. Every social medium I went to, the subject was there waiting to be consumed. And then it got to me.
I started checking and checking. I went through status updates, I went through the trend on Twitter, it was on instagram too, it just couldn’t be helped. I was already messed up with a lot of flashbacks running through my head. And as if on cue, I saw a video on whatsapp of a very young girl child writhing and screaming in pain. Her privates were torn in pieces with no care in the world. She was raped and I felt an overwhelming feeling of powerlessness immediately. I could do nothing about it. I tried to fight off the tears just as I’m doing right now and made a rash decision of deleting my social media apps. I didn’t want to see no more cos I knew I would feel restless for as long as possible, because I knew I might have nightmares and the images and knowledge of what is happening right now will haunt me!
But this piece is not about me. It’s about the many speculations and what-would-have-been because I really have been thinking through it all.
Firstly, I thought of the Father who designed intercourse to be within the confines of marriage. Did He know that things like rape was going to exist if His will wasn’t done? Was He trying to prevent and protect us from mishaps like this one? If so, what about the rape between fathers and their daughters?
Incest. This happened in the bible too, didn’t it?
This is not to disway you from God, believe me, these are just questions running through my mind right now.
If everyone “kept” themselves till marriage, will rape even be a word? If everyone valued the watered down word “virginity”, perhaps there won’t be rape, pornography and the likes. I might be wrong but oh what if.
You know the annoying part about virginity? It’s the fact that only girls are specifically taught to keep theirs. What about the boys? It saddens me so much that even some parents go ahead to tell their sons that he will one day become a “man” so he needs to garner enough experience. The girls may be without experience till they get married and that’s ok. Did the Father who designed intercourse within the confines of marriage not know about this? Oh, you think your knowledge is greater than the one who created you and the knowledge itself? Ok. And what of those parents who are not oblivious of the trend right now but who are failing to call out their children and educate them no matter how “small” they think they are to understand these things? Oh well…
Growing up, my mom never let my ears rest on the subject of rape. It was rampant then and every woman sought to protect their female child but hardly did they warn their sons. As a female child, I couldn’t walk on the streets to run errands past 5pm. I always had to go with my brother who in my mom’s eyes will “protect” me from likelihood danger. As grown as I might be now, my mother still fears for me being out past 8pm. And even though she knows how much of a night crawler I am and can’t really control my movement, she doesn’t hesitate to warn me fervently. This is only normal for a girl child. The fear is being planted in our hearts. I must say that the boys need this fear too and yes, some mothers enlighten their sons but how many? I’m pretty sure we can count if we have to.
Blame can be proportioned to so many people, the parents, the society, social media, government and even the individual. Look, some parents do their job by enlightening both genders of their children but some teenagers or youths also act on self will.
Evil is embedded in the hearts of ALL. It takes a trigger to bring out the devil in us. May be we should ask the rapists why they do what they do. Do they find joy in the cries, struggle, fear and pain of their victims? Do they get so excited with the adrenaline that coarse through their veins due to their insane act? What is the motive behind the thought of the act? How do they feel after they do what they do? Do they think of the next victim? I’m tired of even having these thoughts!
When I think of rape, I ponder on BDSM too. While the former seeks no consent, the latter does. But I get confused because BDSM also has to do with power and pain. How do you feel powerful and happy while causing someone else pain? There are certainly, a lot of differences between rape and BDSM. It might seem like I’m talking rubbish but isn’t the adrenaline the same? Power, submission, pain and pleasure, I wonder…
You want to have cheap sex? There are sex workers for that purpose. You want to have free sex? Ask a friend who you think feels the same. Consent! This brings me down to this thought. Youths tend to have raging hormones, I understand that. Before you kiss someone, don’t you get consent? Why then should you feel consent is not needed if you need to smooch the person? A lot of guys will disagree with me on this cos I’ve had this conversation with a lot of them.
If I give you the green light to kiss me, what makes you think I’ve given you the green light to touch me as well? Isn’t it the same as you telling me to come over to chill? If I end up coming to your house to chill, does that mean I’ve given you consent to have an intercourse with me? Absolutely NOT! so how is it different, please enlighten me.
I asked a couple of guy friends why it seems strange to say no to a guy who wants to touch you. They laughed and said how will I eat “bread without stew”. They then further went to explain that it is actually strange and no guy will want to kiss you without touching you. Was she raped? Why must a woman be raped before she says no to you touching her? I don’t get that either. All I want you to do is respect her wishes. No is no 😩 I don’t care what the situation looks like to you.
I remember a time in 2015, there was a guy who was a link to extras in a popular tv series at that time. We had finished shooting for the day and we were lodged in a hotel. I called this guy a devil cos he looked like one with his over grown beards and red eyes, he was even short. He told the other girls to go home but told me to stay, saying I had other scenes to shoot and all. I didn’t think much of it cos I loved what I was doing then. My friends from the same school left me and bid ourselves bye. I was still at the hotel when he came in and said I should wait for him. He went downstairs and came back upstairs within five minutes. He knocked and entered, even used the bathroom. While he was in the bathroom, it clicked there and then. This was someone who never made advances at me. We joked casually and that was it. I knew something was up when he came out of the bathroom. I was scared but at the same time maintained my cool. Not everyone is like that, I was able to portray the opposite of what I was feeling on the inside.
I really don’t want to talk about this because I have buried this and so much more in the deepest part of my soul but the trend online has triggered them back.
He started making advances at me and all. I laughed, smiled and told him no. He touched me on my arm. I looked at his ugly looking fingers and thought I should yank them off, give him the most insulting words he has ever heard in his life and storm out of the place since my bags were packed already. But then I thought, if he was a rapist, I would prefer to play mind games with him and cunningly get myself out of the situation. I chose the latter thinking of myself, my mom and then the society also. Thoughts like this ran like lightning.
No, I didn’t remove his hands, i endured it for as long as i could. He told me so many sweet things like how he could be a boost in my acting career, how he had helped other girls like me. I smiled through it all cos I not only had principles, I saw through all the bull shit and would never start my career like that. I smiled, smiled, laughed even though it was hurting me and I was scared inside.
I decided to use the reverse psychology on him. All the while, I think I was sitting on the bed. I sat on the bed, took his hands like I wanted to pray for him and started telling him oh nice things. I told him how handsome he was (oh please 😒), I said he was smart and intelligent. I told him a lot of girls would die for him and what he has. I told him he would meet a girl who would genuinely love and care for him. I said I wasn’t that girl and I wasn’t worth him. I told him, if he had his way now, what next? I told him it was a phase and it will pass, just hold on I said. I talked to him like he was a friend and a child at the same time. These are the things guys tell girls so why can’t I do the same?
I’m not trying to downplay rape. I’m not trying to say there are nice rapists. Heck, I’m not even saying I’m smart or anything. I’m just trying to share something that happened to me and how we ladies sometimes find ourselves in awkward situations.
He got tired of me going on and on about it and told me to leave. I guess the konji had left him with my incessant rants. He even escorted me to the bus stop and got me a cab to take me back to school. I told just one friend what happened and all she could say was thank God. A year later, a course mate I knew was on the same gig as I was on, we spoke of this same same guy and we both agreed he was bad news. I don’t know if he has ever raped anyone before, but he was clearly a scam, out to sleep with girls and even collect money from them, promising heaven and earth.
A lot goes on in the society that we don’t talk about. Even directors who sleep with talents. But don’t get me wrong, sometimes we ladies are at fault too. Some of us throw ourselves at these people in a bid to do our will and sometimes come out claiming oh, he slept with me cos of a role, oh, he raped me and yaddayadda. Sometimes, we tell lies!
When I said evil embeds in everyone, there was a purpose for that. Do you know that not only do some girls lie about being raped, some girls actually plan rape for their friends! I’m not even joking about it. My mom has even told me of how a close of friend of hers did such to her and only the Holy spirit prevented her from going “upstairs”. Why? Why must we women also be a problem to ourselves? It’s sickening and disturbing.
Men also get raped by women and even though men don’t come out to talk about it because society has made them think they always have to be strong as men. It’s sad to think that grown women will force young men into sleeping with them. For what exactly? No man willing to get laid? Wow, just wow!
And even when girls voice out, it’s either the parents don’t believe her or they tell her to shut up in order not to ruin the family reputation or name. What of scenarios where even mothers shut their daughters up and even maltreat them because they think their daughters want to snatch their husbands from them. I mean, we see it in the movies but it’s as real as day light. Who should you support? Your child who you painfully brought into this world or the man you married who is causing pain to the child you both conceived? There shouldn’t even be a question about it!
The trend on the internet makes me wonder. Is this going to be all there is to it? The tweets, placards and all. Is that all we can do to fight this menace eating us so deep and endangering our lives? What else can we do? Teach your sons and daughters. Ok. Sons and daughters try to have sense on your own too. Ok. Government jail rapists and sex offenders. Ok. Wait, jail? Is there no way to make them feel pain down there for the rest of their lives? Castrating definitely can’t be enough. And for the women, removing their wombs too can’t be enough 😒 (Just my own two cents though). And after the punishment, what else? Confining them to mental institutions?