I woke up at 6:00am on Saturday without a care in the world. I had taken what I dare call a long awaited ‘mini-vacation’, well needed I must add, and after sleeping for eight hours straight I was ready to tackle anything in the world, even Zeus. I said my prayers and immediately reached for my blackberry, after checking and replying messages I went on twitter, facebook and some of my favorite blogs. Five minutes later I was wishing I hadn’t, the social media world was awash with the story of the young woman who was gang-raped and video-taped by five men in Abia State. I was horrified. My mind instantly went to the article I wrote a few weeks ago on “rape and beg relationships“, though not as traumatizing and as harrowing as the gang-rape incident, it still shared a solid similarity __ the lack of consent.
Rape is one of the most odious crimes imaginable, the mental trauma usually remains with a victim for a lifetime. The fact that it is a common crime makes it worse, the fact that most times this crime goes unpunished makes it appalling. All over the world there are numerous cases of women who have been raped but are too afraid and ashamed to speak out.
Wives are not exempt from this category; there have been cases where a husband rapes his wife whenever he wants to. How can this be? Some people ask, can a man really rape his own wife? Isn’t it his husbandly right to copulate with her when the need arises? Some people even justify it by saying, she asked for it. I usually shake my head at the foolishness in their tongues when I hear utterances like this, let me make it plain and simple; if the answer is “No” then no means no.
This conclusion seems easy right? Well I’m afraid you are wrong. The word “no” might seem easy enough to understand but for some people who I like to say are suffering from a rare, undiscovered mutation of dyslexia, hearing that word spurs them on, it means “yes” to them.
I am a great advocator of the “vehement NO” and also a firm believer in the importance of “avoidance”, by all means avoid situations where you will be sexually assaulted, let your no be no and if unfortunately it happens, then discard your shame and fear, report it to the appropriate authorities so justice will be served.
Now, a word to all men who cannot ignore a stiff cock and a reminder to those who know better than to force themselves on a woman, I speak for every woman; I will not mince words. Read this slowly and carefully:
When she struggles and thrashes beneath you,
When she screams till she is hoarse,
When she weeps like a motherless child abandoned at dusk,
When her eyes silently beg you for mercy,
When her lips form the words “NO”
She means No.
As a budding intellectual, I constantly seek answers. It is not enough that we beat our breasts, tear out our hair and cry out against rape, complaining never solved any problem. The key is finding a solution to end this, after all it is commonly said that there is no problem without a solution.
The questions I keep asking myself are these:
“How can the occurrence of this harrowing crime be reduced”?
“Should the courts dole out harsher sentences to offenders”?
“With more rape offenders persecuted, will victims be more encouraged to speak out”?
“Do women need to be better educated on how to protect themselves or have we exhausted all our knowledge on prevention”?
Today, the world has alarmingly become more saturated with all kinds of crimes; murder, terrorism, genocide, fraud… the list is endless, and under the weight of these crimes rape might seem inconsequential. But yet I press on, I appeal to you all to give it a thought, evaluate my questions, ask yourselves more if you may and let us all think up a way to alleviate this disease.
I chose the tone of this piece with indifference to the risk that I might come off sounding like a bleeding-heart, man-hating feminist; rape is a serious issue that should not be treated with kid gloves. But I must remind you that women are not the only victims of rape, although this topic brings up heated debates and disagreement on its accuracy, it is said that men can also be raped. Silly as this may sound there have been reported incidences of men who were raped by women. As much as I would like to dwell more on this controversial topic, I must save it for another day.
As you form your opinions remember this; “when a woman says ‘no’, she means ‘no‘.