Recently, on Twitter NG #JusticeForJennifer was trending on twitter NG. Why? A girl named Jennifer who is 18 years old was gang raped by five boys in Kaduna state. Luckily this story has gotten the state government attention, hopefully something good comes out of this. What I want to challenge the notion that “Real men don’t rape (or abuse or anything terrible), those men are dogs”.
Every time a man does an incredibly bad thing, the statement “real men don’t rape, those men are animals”. Look at these examples’ below.
As we can see, this is quite popular concept. Now the problem is that statement seeks to create dichotomy. The dichotomy downplays the severity of the problem.
General absolutes way of thinking has one vital flaw. That is when it’s good take for example “Nigerians are very hardworking” where we draw closer and want to associated with it but if it’s bad we rush to “distinguish ourselves”. That is exactly what is being done in these case. This statement seeks to remove yourself from the said group.
Several studies have shown that a lot of rape and cases of sexual violence against women are done by men they know. Most cases of rape in Nigeria are done by “familiar foes” meaning father, relatives, neighbors and third-party guardianship. Domestic violence is widespread and shows no signs of lessening in Nigeria. All these actions are being perpetuated by real men, not dogs, real men. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domestic_violence_in_Nigeria
Statements like this makes it “their problem “not “our problem”. Unfortunately this is our problem, all of us. I know this may be uncomfortable for you to hear those bad men are real men. They are fathers, brothers, uncles, friends and neighbors.
These men are not people that have a “stay away from me because I am dangerous” stickers on their heads. These are men that act just like you, they are way harder to distinguish than you would like to think.
Instead of trying desperately breaking free from those “bad men” , listen and let’s collectively find a solution. Let us do better because it’s pretty clear those men are real men not goats or spirits.
SIDE NOTE: In this Coronavirus period don’t forget to
1 wash your hands,
2 practice social distancing in essence don’t go out if you do not need to,
3 Avoid touching your face, wear face mask and
4 If you show any symptoms , reach out to the NCDC and other relevant authorities.