by Sagay Agbalaya
Any such argument about “provoked rape” is like an armed robber saying he attacks rich people because they “flaunt” their wealth by driving big cars. It is like the victim of robbery being blamed for driving his big car at night.
Foluke Daramola, the popular Yoruba actress, was 18 when her parent’s tenant raped her. You know what? The guy never went to jail for it. From the interview granted to the Punch Newspapers as published on 19th January 2013, the hurt in Foluke’s mind is still there. Her parents were persuaded to “keep quiet about it”.
The comments that trailed the interview almost moved me to tears. This may be because I have close friends who are victims of rape. Someone wrote that she was looking for cheap publicity for coming out to tell her story while another wrote that she had been at a wrong place at a wrong time. One idiot (please permit me to use that word, I have not used it in a long time) even wrote this: “There is nothing wrong in raping. Afterall the girls do enjoy it”.
Another fellow wrote this:
“Any lady walking in the street naked, is inviting smart & ready guys to rape her. Foluke should go to a good hospital to check her HIV status.”
And there are comments I can’t even put here!
I later read Kenechi Uzochukwu’s “Men can do nothing against rape” on YNaija (for which he has apologised and taken down the article) two days ago and the assertion that a girl who is raped has some blames for getting herself raped. In the event that we cannot blame her for getting herself raped, then the fault must be that of some other girl somewhere who failed to cover the “coverables” thereby tempting the rapist to get a girl laid by all means.
While I wouldn’t call anyone clamouring for a check on indecent dressing a rapist, I strongly believe it is wrong for such a statement to be made. Such a statement is insensitive, irresponsible and unfair.
There has never been and there will never be a justification for rape. It was wrong yesterday, it is wrong today and it will forever be. While I totally condemn indecent dressing, it shouldn’t even be brought up in the discussion about rape. It can never be a justification.
Discussions about indecent dressing and other ways girls can protect themselves should only be for girls. Dressing decently, avoiding being alone with a man you don’t know, not allowing a man to get ideas if you are not ready to have anything with him are some of the steps a girl can take to protect herself.
However, it is not a man’s place to say he was tempted because of what he saw; or that he might be tempted to rape a woman who isn’t “properly” dressed.
Saying “all men alive have one time or the other been tempted and have attempted to have such sexual relations with an unwilling partner” is not only a lie but an insult to all men. My position on this will only be wrong only if every other man in the universe has been so tempted because I am so sure I have never thought about having sex with an unwilling partner since achieving that would require the use of force, threat or substances to knock her out. Please remember that she will only become an “unwilling partner” after I must have made sexual advances.
The statement that men have never been able to exercise self-control is quite erroneous too. Self-control not to be aroused when a man sees a girl dressed indecently? Self-control not to think about getting the girl laid? Self-control to restrain yourself from pouncing on such girl and having sex with her?
Maybe most men are guilty of the first two. Some ladies too. But definitely not the last, because most men can still exercise self-control to resist the urge to get sex by all means when the lady refuses. Any such argument about “provoked rape” is like an armed robber saying he attacks rich people because they “flaunt” their wealth by driving big cars. It is like the victim of robbery being blamed for driving his big car at night.
It is like a corrupt Minister saying the billions of naira he handles in the Ministry tempts him into stealing. Perhaps John Yakubu Yusufu, who perpetrated the Police Pension scam alongside some others, should have told the court he was tempted by the N23 billion alleged to have been stolen. Even Ibori wasn’t bold enough to come up with such justification before the UK court that convicted him unless anyone intends to blame the victims of his stealing, the residents of Delta State, for being so dumb to allow a crook to defraud them.
It is important to note that most rape victims can’t even be said to be guilty of the “offence of improper dressing” when they were raped. What crime of indecent dressing would a 9 year-old have committed? Assuming we are even able to convince all ladies to dress decently, are we saying pornography would be banned and completely checked too? If not, a man who could be tempted by the sight of a girl’s lap or even her cleavage, would get more than his instrument can handle from porn. Since the animal won’t be able to punish the girls on the screen, he would still find his victim nearby even if she’s covered from the head to toes.
How many naked mad women have been raped? If the rapists are scared that madness could be transferred through sex, maybe they should be assured that madness is not as “wicked” as HIV after all. It is sad when people blame victims of crimes rather than punish the culprits. It reminds me of a funny saying about Ibadan people. When your item is stolen and you complain, they will tell you “iwo na se wa fi sibeun?”
“Why did you put it there?”
Let me address the man who feels girls that dress indecently should be taught a lesson.
Bros, I understand that it is not your fault but for that thing in-between your legs. Let’s call it ‘John Thomas’ from here. If the girls won’t stop their indecent dressing – it’s not certain you’ll win this war against them – can we do something about your John Thomas? The way it is, you go rape tire o.
These girls are everywhere. You will rape in your office; they are there. You will rape on the street; too many of them are always on the road. You will rape your female cousins too; assuming your John Thomas will be shy to strike your own sisters.
In case you don’t know, most of us also have John Thomases that come to action when we see these girls so you are not alone. It’s just that we take it upon ourselves to be in control. If we think we must get under, we talk to them. At times it works, at times it doesn’t. After all, we win some, we lose some or even draw some.
Instead of making your John Thomas go through all this stress, why don’t we put John Thomas to rest? A simple surgical procedure will do this.
Then aren’t you scared that the indecently dressed lady could report you to the Police and you could end up spending up to 14 years in jail? Don’t be deceived by the poor conviction rate here, things could improve. There are a lot of mad women out there who will be too busy to report to the Police anyway. How will someone who is too busy to comb her hair have time for the Police?
It appears you also don’t know that sex is not as expensive as it is always portrayed. Allen Avenue, Bodija, Wuse Zone 4, Cedi Plaza and Law School bus stop could be a bit expensive but there are far cheaper places.
There’s Koto at Ile-Ife, Asas brothel at Molete in Ibadan and several other joints at Ekotedo in Ibadan. Ile-Eru is there in Lagos, there’s One Church close to Agege, Love Garden at Abule-Egba. You know what? For as low as N500.00, you could have satisfying (?) sex.
If you can’t afford that, bros wank the shit off!
Sagay Agbalaya is @sagaysagay on twitter and blogs at www.SagaySagay.com
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.