[The Sexuality Blog] Just a reminder that even victims of sexual assault can also uphold the attacker

Sexual assault

Big Brother Nigeria is the gift that keeps on giving.

Last weekend, during the launch of the new season of the Big Brother Nigeria franchise, a viewing party was held in Nigeria that had all the former contestants in attendance (after a whole week of reunion specials). And as expected, the former contestants were asked a number of questions about their time the Big Brother Nigeria house and the issues that had defined their time there. When the Net Nigeria’s reporter asked socialite and influencer Tboss about her time at the house and the sexual assault she’d suffered at the hands of fellow house mate Kemen and his subsequent expulsion from the house, this is what she had to say.

So yeah, no.

Last year, Nigerian women rallied around TBoss, all the way in South Africa, and demanded, rightfully, that Kemen be disqualified from the competition after he sexually assaulted TBoss while she was asleep. It is understandable that as a way to rationalize the unprovoked assault, TBoss would try to attribute his actions to her beauty. This is afterall, a common excuse used to justify assault, that physical appearance, a trait that is primarily genetic and in no way influenced by the woman herself can somehow force a man to act in violent, manipulative ways. This sexist trope is called the ‘Jezebel’ and women who are assertive about their appearance and or sexualities are referred to in this manner.

This argument might even fly if TBoss was the only person Kemen had either assaulted or tried to sleep with. But Kemen routinely tried to sexually assault a handful of women in 2017’s house, and even gave the other men in the house on how to use alcohol to lower women’s inhibitions as way to coerce them in non-consensual sexual activity.

Kemen sexually assaulted TBoss because he wanted to. Not because of her looks or the way she was dressed. She was after all, asleep and covered up when he assaulted her. Can we leave excuses for sexual assault that blame the victim in 2017, because this is getting very, very old.

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