I’m a firm believer that how we pass information across is more important than the information we’re passing across. The former, I believe, is partly responsible for the brick walls that debates on social issues keep hitting.
Whenever the issue is rape, sexual assault, Kemen, feminism or even Biafra, people understandably get angry. The anger comes from a place that says these are very important conversations that need to be had so we can move forward as a society. However, in anger, a lot of the message is either being sent out wrong or received wrong.
I agree, there are times when people who know better just choose to be as intellectually stimulating as a log of wood. For reasons I cannot understand choose to bend over backwards and defend till they snap in two. It’s easy and maybe justifiable in some sense to be enraged by such people.
There is another set of people, a people who genuinely have a pre-programmed way of thinking and just require a conducive mental space to break down the codes of culture and religion. Sometimes we end up further shutting their minds to the truth we want to expose them too. Those who know how a civilised and progressive society should work, need to remind themselves that not everyone knows that to the degree that they do.
A lot of people grew up in homes where women were second class citizens and while some realised this was wrong, some people genuinely did not. It is the normal they know and grew up with. Yet, somehow we think that by venting and ranting, it will make them see the ‘light’? Will it somehow not make them more defensive of their beliefs? They will close up when you really need them to open up.
We have to get to the point where we recognise people who genuinely want to have these conversations and we need to create an environment where they can bring out all their questions even if some of them are offensive. We also have to be prepared to answer those questions.
If we’re being honest, we had these conversations, either with people, books or putting together the puzzle using a multiplicity of Twitter threads. It’s time to take deep breaths, pause the rants, remain calm and start talking.
Op–ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija