Just in case you thought Nigeria had left behind its restrictive, misogynistic traditions, think again. In Amauzu Mkpoghoro village, in Afikpo North Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, a 60 plus-year-old woman was ‘caught’ having sex with her ‘younger’ lover in the bush. I say ‘caught’ because the ‘younger’ lover was at least in his late 20’s to early 30’s and well above the age of consent, and as such having consensual sexual activity with any woman above the age of consent is perfectly legal under the law.
But the villagers thought otherwise. They took the woman and her lover, paraded them around their village half naked, then ‘banished’ them from the village, citing that their act of consensual ‘sex’ was an abomination against the gods and would bring them ‘bad luck’. Where do we even start to unpack this from?
First of all, you would be very surprised to find that in that same village, there are dozens, maybe even hundreds of underage girls being sexually molested by much older men, most of the men even marrying these teenagers with the consent and approval of the village. In those cases, their ‘gods’ do not mind that vulnerable teenage girls are being molested and exploited. If someone raises alarm, these same villagers will bend over backwards to defend these paedophiles and blame the teenage girls for being ‘too sexual’. Older women have just as much libido as older men. Maybe even more. And in civilised countries where the fact that a woman has married once and raised children doesn’t mean her vagina is thus forever condemned to retirement, older women routinely take lovers their age or younger.
If this woman was rich, or well to do, the villagers would have overlooked her sexual activity, maybe even taken money from her. But as a poor older woman, having a younger lover is ‘taking’ him away from young girls looking for husbands and as such, she needs to be punished.
Older women are still women and still have very physical needs. In countries like ours, we force them to ignore these needs and enter a sort of physical death before they die just so we can enjoy our image of them as nurturers and not vibrant sexual beings.
We cannot be ‘banishing’ people in 2017 for consensual sex. This is why we have laws.