Posts Tagged ‘Dorothy Njemanze’

Right.

I’m a little upset tonight, and I’ll tell you why in just a minute. First off, apologies I’ve been inconsistent. I know I owe chronicles from my Hamburg and Abuja trips, and I will get to them in good time. This piece however couldn’t wait.

It is inspired by a post I saw on Joy Bewaji’s page on Facebook this evening, and because I want this piece to have the right context, I’ve got a screenshot for you.

Screenshot 2014-03-10 22.24.47

My comment was along the lines of I’d make sure I gave the person a permanent injury, and even if my breast was hanging out of my top or if I put it on my forehead (because it is my body part), it doesn’t give anyone the right to touch it.

Then I saw a comment from a guy who said “You see — I have two daughters, one much younger and I tell them always to dress up and cover up — so that they don’t have crazies stirring at them in an unwelcome manner”.

And that got me really ticked off. For some reason it just really annoyed me. My comment (in response to that man) is italicised below.

https://fairygodsister.wordpress.com/…/this-has-got-to…/ 

Did the 4-year-old in my blog from 2010 dress ‘indecently’? How does a 4-year-old entice a 45-year-old man?

I am not a parent John* (I see you’re throwing that around a little bit now) but I have this thing that my folks (who are parents) taught me, and that is self-respect. They taught me boundaries and God bless them, I have a brother who they taught him the exact things too.

Some men are animals. Not all, but a good number of men are animals. Animals because they lack self-respect, and self-control. Tis’ the absence of those two that make animals in the forest eat one another, do numbers one and two ‘anywhere belle face’, and all the things that generally separate man from beast.

In my first comment I said even if her breast was hanging out, heck even if it was on her forehead, he had absolutely NO right to touch it. That is what separates man from beast. It’s spring now, and the teens here are preempting summer and wearing the tiniest bits in their wardrobe. Are you saying because they are dressed that way they are ‘not being cautious’? Are you saying they are asking to be molested?

When I have children (and therefore become a parent), I will teach my children to dress decently only because it is the decent thing to do, not as a shield against molestation. 

It is these excuses we give for depravity that tire me. Absolutely grate.

Following on from that, here’s an experience that’s barely two weeks old.

I was in Nigeria in the last week of February, and among a number of meetings was one with a Senator. Venue? National Assembly. Now I’d never been there (accompanied or on my own), so I was already a little apprehensive. And it was HOT.

Got there dressed in a knee-length, small-sleeved, black corporate-type dress, and brown heels. I got to the gate and was told I couldn’t go in because they had a policy against sleeveless dresses so we wouldn’t “entice the Assemblymen”.

I swear I pinched myself to be sure I was neither being pranked, nor starring in my own horror movie. I got them to let me in (involved calling the Senator’s office and protesting), but at the door of the complex, I was again told by military men at the door there was a policy against ‘seductive dressing’, including sleeveless dresses. Remember my dress had a small sleeve? All of my attempts at explaining the difference between ‘small sleeves’ and ‘sleeveless’ were akin to trying to catch the wind.

After all said and argued, ladies and gentlemen, I had to go home to change.

Got home, changed into black trousers and a blue long-sleeved top, same heels and the taxi drove me back there (think about how much I had incurred with this Israelite journey). Went in, met the children of God who are the ‘special assistants’ to the Senator, and when my business was done, I started the long walk under the sun outside to where my taxi was waiting.

Next thing a car passes me, reverses a bit, and stops. The right back window goes down and a man tells me “fine girl, leave the sun, come into my car”. I looked at him, gave him the dirtiest look I had, and continued walking. Brethren, the car followed me till I rounded the corner, catcalling, begging me to enter the car and tell him why I was frowning, etc. He didn’t stop till I turned the corner, then the car drove off. It had NASS plates. I know the guy (I went online and searched all their faces till I found him).

Wasn’t it for an animal like this I incurred bills on my taxi, and suffered more exposure to the sun than necessary? Isn’t it for these ones I was sent home because a sleeveless dress (never mind that it wasn’t sleeveless) would entice them? Who on earth are we kidding?

Ladies and gentlemen, you are either an animal or a human being. This excuse we give about women inviting molestation or rape on themselves because of the way they are dressed is sickening.

What did this girl on the way back from her grandfather’s funeral do to invite rape, by 6 men who threw her in a ditch and left her for dead afterwards?

It is also hypocritical because, like I said to the creature of God who asked what a young lady was wearing when she was molested by thugs posing as officials of the Abuja Environmental Protection Bureau, the easiest way to show that your argument is a lie is to let your sister or mom be the victim, be the person raped or molested.

Let’s have this argument if your first question is about what they wore to ‘invite it’. Otherwise can we please train our children up in the way they should go already?

P:S – I did a blog (can’t find it) once where I said I’d set on fire anyone who ever touched my kids inappropriately.

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So I had a bit of a rant on Twitter on the 2nd of October. Nine days later and the matter hasn’t left my mind, so I knew I had to write about it. And what better day than today, the International Day of the Girl?

Why the vexation? I saw a retweet by a friend where a lady (@dorymanze) said Sad right? It gets worse. One of the people who saw her tweet, a certain @darmmie3264i, said this in response to it. 

To start with, I personally think the Abuja Environmental Protection Agency (AEPB) should be scrapped, and fast. There are too many stories of how its officials have molested innocent people (especially females) in the name of ‘carrying out their duties’. The prostitutes they were mandated to get off the streets are worse off because not only is there no rehabilitation, they are manhandled, beaten, and fondled (the least of what a good number of them endure). Like most other government agencies, I think (no I know) that AEPB should be scrapped, especially since there’s a Ministry of Environment! This duplicity of office/function in Nigeria gives me major grief!

*breathe FGS, breathe* Ok, so if it was @dammie3264i’s sister, wife (partner or girlfriend), or even his mother who got molested by anyone, would he ask what they were wearing? My thinking is he would round up a bunch of his friends in a fit of rage and go defend their honor. And he would rant and rave, and start a Twitter campaign to get one million signatures to seek ‘justice’ for his own. It’s someone else now though, so it’s OK to run his mouth and ask her what she was wearing. He particularly said, “check yourself”. I can’t even deal!

Ladies and gentlemen, this IS the problem with Nigeria and I’ll tell you why. My dad in many of his sermons admonishes people to be ‘hoe’ rather than ‘shovel’ Christians. He says, “ when you hear a commandment from God, for instance, ‘thou shall not kill’, and you immediately think to yourself that the commandment is not for you but for criminals on the street, you err, and you’re a ‘shovel’ Christian. The better reaction to hearing that commandment would be to internalize the words and search yourself, see if by your words or actions you have caused death (literally or not), and then make amends, and work towards it not happening again. In other words, be a ‘hoe’ Christian”.

How does that apply to us? It’s not till things hit close to home that we see them as life or death issues. When people are getting bombed in Adamawa or Gombe and we’re in the comfort of our homes in Lagos or Abuja, it seems so ‘far away’, and all we do is pray for the repose of the souls of the dead on Twitter.

Our politicians, the people entrusted with ratifying our laws flout them with impunity, and because we are not related to them we call for their heads on a platter. Inside we’re praying to get elected or appointed to their position so we too can feed fat, and of course when it’s our parents or relations robbing the nation blind, our tongues are buried. We fall silent. We have different rules for different people. This ‘Animal Farm‘ scenario is the bane of our society, and we are all guilty.

Back to the AEPB. Is there a dress code that like a red cloth to a bull, justifies molestation? Even if this lady was dressed in fabric that had ‘molest me’ on every square inch, is that reason enough? OK, let’s even say she was dressed ‘indecently’ (and I think the AEPB, before they are scrapped should publish an ‘acceptable or not’ dress code for Abuja residents), do you handcuff her hands or her breasts? What were they touching those for?

I intentionally did not interview @dorymanze for this chronicle because I saw she’s told her story severally and I wanted to spare her the horror of reliving the horrible incident. I’m proud of her for speaking up because it is not the easiest thing to do, especially in our society. I hope (pray) she’s able to put this incident behind her, and move on with her life.

I won’t even bother with hoping she gets justice, that would be the height of naiveté.