‘Sexual consent’ dominates conversation as allegation of sexual assault resurfaces on Twitter

Ah, consent! The one topic people on social media, particularly Twitter, that some can’t seem to get enough of.

It is a subject of astronomical proportions, and has led to some of the most heated and interesting arguments on the streets of Twitter. This issue is so sensitive that not only cause heated arguments, but threatens the reputation of many and on some occasions, led to lawsuits. The issue of consent runs deep in the heart of society and its definition has called for social justice and virtual lynching to be met to its defaulters.

Allegations pertaining to violation of consent evokes such strong responses that no one wants something as much their name, linked to it. Also, because of the potential harm it can cause to someone’s personal life, anyone making careless and baseless accusations of sexual assault is met with aggressive dismissal.

Late Wednesday, Twitter user Lola Ogun with handle; @Lola_0G created a thread of her rape ordeal, naming one Otis, as her alleged violator.

In her thread, she described how she was trying to be there for a friend who seemed down on his luck, but he ended up taking advantage of her. She had gone to his house on the day in question to help comfort him as a friend, seeing as at the time he was going through a lot. After a conversation, he requested that they both sleep on the same bed, to which she agreed, from there he made his move and coerced her into having sex with him. This was her side of the story.

The Otis in question proceeded to tell his side of the story, in an effort to clear his name before he gets the tag of a sexual predator. According to him, she had come to town and requested to come spend the day in his house. While they ate and talked it got late and she had to stay the night. They both got in the same bed and he admitted to making sexual advances, which he also admitted that she refused. He said that he took her refusal and gave up on the quest and they both slept without any sex whatsoever.

Since the topic surfaced on Twitter, Nigerians have been trying to find loopholes in the story, to debunk sketchy claims from both ends and see who is lying and who is telling the truth.

On the one hand, we have the people who believe that just because she said it, it must be true. This has become a popular trend synonymous with rape sympathizers; the notion that a woman simply cannot lie about rape. The idea is; if any lady comes out to describe her sexual assault ordeal, we should all label her brave, show some empathy and most importantly victimize the accused without question. After all; ‘No woman can lie about something as sensitive as rape!’

On the other hand are the people who for some reason refuse to believe anyone who publicly declares that they have been sexually violated, especially if the accuser is accusing someone of high societal standing. You hear convictions like; ‘Why is she coming out now?’ ‘She just wants to tarnish his image.’ ‘Why did she go to his house at night’ ‘She is just his bitter ex trying to get revenge’ and of course the classic ‘what was she wearing?’ Although I doubt if this one has been used for many years now.

And let’s not forget the reasonably minded ones, the ones that set aside their emotions and personal convictions to weigh in on the matter and produce the best possible conclusion there is.

All three parties were present in the Lola case, giving their opinion on what they believed to be true, and what they think of the matter in general. But what was truly interesting was what people had to say about consent, bringing the importance of consent in avoiding legal complications and defamation.

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