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MUTTERERS CLUB

A Lady and her Cloth Choice; The Society and it’s Stones

Writer- Ruth Idawor
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5 min read

If you are an earpiece lover you would know how many dramas having an earpiece on can save you from. But sometimes, even with it on, some scenarios are unavoidable, you find yourself gawking and trying to catch up with your gaze on what went down before you became alert.

As I rolled my eyes to the side of my window on the bus, I saw a group of men closing in on a lady like lions who were elated at the sight of prey. She was fair, pretty, and had a smallish body. She wore a mini gown that truthfully revealed a lot and might even reveal a lot more if she is not careful of how she moves.

Read: How Do I Get Better With Phone Calls?
indecent dressing
You find yourself gawking and trying to catch up with your gaze on what went down before you became alert.

Why is she surrounded by these lions anyway? I wondered. Overwhelmed with curiosity, I turned down the volume of my music immediately and then looked closely so I wouldn’t miss anything. As though about to begin a macabre dance, these lions (men) started trying to raise her gown. “Ashewo! Ashewo! Shior!!”, they chanted intermittently. All her attempts to challenge them and break free from their grip proved abortive. I presume luck went on vacation because no one was willing to help her either. Typical Nigerian lifestyle, we stare and make commentary.

Read: Shocked! Angry! Yet I couldn’t do Anything

I was irritated and became uncomfortable. The thought of fighting for the lady crossed my mind but then I realized that getting involved wouldn’t make much of a difference, considering the arrogant nature of the men. Watching the scene, it made me recall the time I tried to speak up for a little boy who was not given a fair space to sit even though he paid the same amount as everyone else on the bus but my tiny voice was so invisible amid the loud voices of the passengers that I almost cried.

indecent dressing
As though about to begin a macabre dance, these lions (men) started trying to raise her gown.

Case One (A Lady And Her Cloth Choice)

The men finally let her go as they broke into an outburst of laughter coupled with abusive names and phrases. I shook my head in pity as I watched the lady pick up her phone (it had fallen during the squabble) and walk away in anger.

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After the show of shame, it seemed as though someone rang the bell for commentary time on the bus as the passengers started rolling out their reservations. The majority said she deserved what she got. Before then, I have heard of how a lady can be harassed in public, especially in market places when she is indecently dressed, and here’s me, witnessing a scene… wow!

Lady Indecent Dressing
It seemed as though someone rang the bell for commentary time on the bus as the passengers started rolling out their reservations.

In all honesty, I don’t think any lady deserves to be harassed in that way despite the fact that her dress sense at that moment was wrong. Wait a minute! Wrong? What even makes it wrong? If the wearer is comfortable in it then why throw stones?

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Just recently too, there’s been a viral video of a lady who’s ass was groped by a man in a market place because of what she was wearing. While a group feels it was right to have her feel frustrated so that next time she knows better it makes me even sadder because as a lady, dressing even decently cannot save you. There are several times I go to the market and male sellers either grab me by my arm or shoulder just to get my attention on what they are selling. If my response is not friendly, they insult me. “Monkey!!! You no even fine self”… ah! Just because…!?

 

From what I could gather, it’s a fight between ‘ignorance’ and ‘choice’. Is it too difficult to look away if you don’t like what you see? Is it a crime to wear a clothing of choice? To the ladies, I’ll like to ask, have you been in such a situation before? How did you handle it? And the men, are you the type that castigates a lady for wearing revealing clothes or you look away?

Case Two (The Loud Voice Wins)

Have you ever been hurt because you couldn’t fight a good fight? You leave the scene feeling hopeless and for every day, months or years after its past, you still beat yourself up whenever you remember how much of a coward you were? She didn’t deserve to be treated that way and the fact that I couldn’t do anything, made my blood boil.

lady indecent dressing
You still beat yourself up whenever you remember

Situations like this have a way of denting my self-esteem. Do you ever wish you had a loud voice that could cover for you even though you are wrong? Most times, the loudest voice wins whether right or wrong. It makes the world a scary place for introverts like me. I thought of many things I could do to help the lady but I remained mute on my sit. And then again, I thought, perhaps there is someone else who is also irritated by the scene but helpless too. It also reminded me of the case of jungle justice, where the loudest voice wins because the ones who frown against the act are smaller in number. They are scared, they will rather not speak up to avoid being up for the slaughter too.

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Have you ever been in such a tight fix too?  How do you handle the pang of guilt? Let’s discuss this, kindly leave me a comment on your opinion. 

lady indecent dressing
It makes the world a scary place for introverts like me.
Translations:

Ashewo– A Yoruba word that means ‘Prostitute’. Yoruba is a language spoken in West Africa and most prominently Southwestern Nigeria.

Shior– A Yoruba word that means ‘Rubbish’.

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Bubu
Bubu
3 months ago

Men bring out their penis in public all in the name of relieving themselves, but you don’t see ladies calling them all sorts of names or groping them for doing so? So why should a lady be harassed and groped all because she’s curvy or putting on a short dress? The most humiliating thing from being groped in public is the cheer and excitement from onlookers and the keypad warriors who will always justify the act and blame the woman for her clothing choice. Our voices are loud enough, and we have continuously passed the message across that we do… Read more »

Idawor Ruth
Idawor Ruth
3 months ago
Reply to  Bubu

The attack on the female folks is what I don’t really understand despite all our cries. It is indeed up to us to defend ourselves.

muttering minds
Admin
3 months ago
Reply to  Bubu

The penis part got me rolling 😂😂😂… Jokes apart, like the writer asked, is it too hard to look away? Since the attacker has refused to help himself by looking away, maybe some pepper spray in the eyes will help. Or what do you think? 🤔

Jules Jeremiah
Jules Jeremiah
3 months ago

It got me rolling too no doubts😂😂😂 Reading Bubu’s comment reminded me of countless times I’ve bumped into unknown erectile creatures relieving themselves in public areas, such that we ladies have to consciously ignore the sick sight. One time I barely realized a guy was peeing in a corner I daily go by (short cut). And like always, I had my ears blocked and was joyfully enjoying the good music streaming to my soul, not until one bozo pulled me back and was chanting godknowswhat to his ancestors (supposedly me). Just to be sure why he placed his filthy hands… Read more »

Bubu
Bubu
3 months ago
Reply to  Jules Jeremiah

Just imagine? I’m irritated on your behalf! What gave him the audacity to pull you back in the first place and still has the guts to call you names? 🤦🏽‍♀️🤦🏽‍♀️ Now I feel like fighting 😒

Jules Jeremiah
Jules Jeremiah
3 months ago
Reply to  Bubu

Some people are just trouble seekers. It irritates me badly. Next time I’m faced with issues like this, I know who to call😉

muttering minds
Admin
3 months ago
Reply to  Jules Jeremiah

I cringe at strangers touching me too 🤨🤨. You can say whatever without touching me! Touching me does not increase the profundity of your speech, does it?!

When I was younger, I used to look away whenever I find a man relieving himself by the corner of the road. But now, I make it a conscious effort to leave my eyes where they are. If I see, I see! I wont be caught stressing my eyes👩‍🦯👩‍🦯

Jules Jeremiah
Jules Jeremiah
3 months ago

😂😂😂😂😂

After that incident, I stopped bothering looking away too, especially if I’m walking towards the Adam. If I see, I see o! 😂😂😂😂😂😂
No stress abeg

Jules Jeremiah
Jules Jeremiah
3 months ago
Reply to  Bubu

Spot on Bubu. You deserve a lunch date for this 😋

Bubu
Bubu
3 months ago
Reply to  Jules Jeremiah

I’m looking forward to that date! 😁

Jules Jeremiah
Jules Jeremiah
3 months ago
Reply to  Bubu

In time dear 😉

Solchibuzor
Solchibuzor
3 months ago
Reply to  Bubu

Gopping is rape! The problem is that we live in a society that has made certain unwritten provisions for the wild attitudes of mobs. Someone shouts thief, we bring tire and kill him. And no one charges us for killing..we are actually cheered on. Someone’s child misbehaves, we gather and flog him. And we expect that the parent will come and cheer us on, because we are Africans and raised by multiple stranger parents. Someone is dressed in a sexually provoking wear, and rather than hide our quick erections and embarrassment, we turn around and jeer. We throw waters on… Read more »

Bubu
Bubu
3 months ago
Reply to  Solchibuzor

Your last paragraph has said it all! Until there’s a penalty for such acts, these acts will keep reoccurring and it’s very pathetic. All these acts don’t happen around me 😭 I want to test my pepper spray and know if it’s working 🤣

Jules Jeremiah
Jules Jeremiah
3 months ago
Reply to  Bubu

😂😂😂😂

The pepper spray part got me rolling

Solchibuzor
Solchibuzor
3 months ago
Reply to  Bubu

Bubu don’t go and pepper spray the wrong person o. Please safety first.
Pepper spray is a defense mechanism, so first..
Check if you have a running shoe on. Because once the attacker is incapacitated, you’ll need to run off.
Secondly, check how long you’d need to run before help comes.

But I know you de joke sha..

muttering minds
Admin
3 months ago
Reply to  Solchibuzor

Very well said. I hope we dont have to wait until his coming 🤕

Solchibuzor
Solchibuzor
3 months ago

I hope so too.

Jules Jeremiah
Jules Jeremiah
3 months ago
Reply to  Solchibuzor

I always look forward to reading your comments.
You’re such a wise person.

Solchibuzor
Solchibuzor
3 months ago
Reply to  Jules Jeremiah

Julesssssssss🤗

Samzy
Samzy
3 months ago
Reply to  Bubu

Exactly! The issue here isn’t with the clothing, the issue is with the already corrupted mindset. These same people have sisters and cousins who dress like the “so called indecently dress ladies” but do they rape them at home? Their sisters also walk through crowded places. I think people’s decisions on what to wear isn’t the problem. Imagine those groping at ladies in crowded places, you get to see their inner intentions in their actions. They grope because at that point they can’t carry out their callous acts.

muttering minds
Admin
3 months ago
Reply to  Samzy

Thank you Samzy!! You just brought a statement to mind. ‘BEFORE YOU PERSECUTE A WOMAN, THINK OF YOUR SISTERS AT HOME! AND IF YOU DONT HAVE ONE, THINK OF YOUR MOTHER’🗣🗣

Aaron
Aaron
3 months ago

It’s indeed a pity how ladies have to put up with such harassment. The worst part is it doesn’t even depend on how decently dressed they are. The male gender, especially the Nigerian male, truly needs to be more responsible and disciplined in this aspect.

This was a great read ❣️

Idawor Ruth
Idawor Ruth
3 months ago
Reply to  Aaron

Honestly, such harassment isn’t called for no matter what. Thank you for reading. I’m glad you enjoyed it

muttering minds
Admin
3 months ago
Reply to  Aaron

I actually like the emphasis on ‘Nigerian men’ there’s a lot of learning and forgoing we need to attain in this part of the world. Glad you enjoyed the read. 💫💫

Victoria
Victoria
3 months ago

The unruly attention towards women should not be overlooked at all. Thanks for this piece.

muttering minds
Admin
3 months ago
Reply to  Victoria

Thanks for reading 💫

Idawor Ruth
Idawor Ruth
3 months ago
Reply to  Victoria

Exactly! I wish the society would buckle up on this aspect.

Kendra
Kendra
3 months ago

Hmm…There are a lot of things left unsaid. But the writer really hit her point very well. The issues of dressing and reactions in Nigeria is just something else. Then that part of the loud voice always wins, it is so true. Nice work!

muttering minds
Admin
3 months ago
Reply to  Kendra

You are welcome 💫💫

Idawor Ruth
Idawor Ruth
3 months ago
Reply to  Kendra

Yeah, the thing about loud voice surely wins but then the female gender still suffer from harassment every day. Does that mean our voices aren’t loud enough?

Goodness
Goodness
3 months ago

Well anyways whatever a lady wears doesn’t give any man the right to mishandle but quite unfortunately we find ourselves in an environment where the lady is on a spotlight because of the kind of dresses she wear, and it is believed that whatever the opp sex does to her she deserves it, so how well are we enlightening our male gender on issues like this to correct this kimd of ill in the society

Idawor Ruth
Idawor Ruth
3 months ago
Reply to  Goodness

The ladies have cried out on several occasion on harassment but then it has fallen on deaf ears and as for the “enlightening aspect” the society has really failed to focus on ways to instil discipline on the male folks. All attention is being drawn on the female gender.

Debbiee
Debbiee
3 months ago

This is an amazing piece. The fact that society should stop pointing at women’s clothing as reasons for their harassment can never be overemphasized. This was a good read.

muttering minds
Admin
3 months ago
Reply to  Debbiee

Thank you for taking time out to read Debbiee 💫💫

Tarina
Tarina
3 months ago

This is a very nice piece…
Well I see no reason why someone can’t have her own choice of clothes.. people who blame ladies for being raped because of what they wear have no sense of reasoning…
The thing is that no matter how u dress, anything that wants to happen will still happen… Men or young guys needs to learn decency and self control.

muttering minds
Admin
3 months ago
Reply to  Tarina

Very well said Tarina.👏👏

Chigozie Victor
Chigozie Victor
3 months ago
Reply to  Tarina

Yes, you have your choice of clothing but what ever will happen that you don’t like may be avoidably withhold because you have taking precaution. Indecent dressing adds to rape we see in our time ok.

Indulging in SIN is a choice that has its consequences and it is not RIGHT.
So the consequences in being half-naked may be what you see as rape, etc.

Success
Success
3 months ago

This is such an amazing piece reflecting the daily happenings in our society. Amazing 👏🏽 👏🏽

muttering minds
Admin
3 months ago
Reply to  Success

Thank you for your time Success 😃

Jules Jeremiah
Jules Jeremiah
3 months ago

It’s a crazy world we live in, particularly this part of the world where we can’t publicly express ourselves as ladies and not get tagged “rude”, or some would say “I pity the man wey go marry this one.” A guy wears a tank top (womanbeater) in public and is hailed by other guys, “Gee!!! see as you gallant”, “o boy!!! see person muscle “, “guy tear my shirt na, see as you grab”. But then a woman wears something revealing “just her curves” and the world becomes a lion waiting to devour her with demeaning words. It’s worse when… Read more »

muttering minds
Admin
3 months ago
Reply to  Jules Jeremiah

You are welcome Jules😄😄… the way you described the eulogies showered to guys on tank top is hilarious 😂😂😂

UNPOPULAR OPINION: BUY AN EARPIECE TODAY! NEVER FORGET TO LEAVE YOUR HOUSE WITH IT!🗣🗣

Jules Jeremiah
Jules Jeremiah
3 months ago

It is what it is 😂😂😂

Chigozie Victor
Chigozie Victor
3 months ago

Hi, I found it needful to talk here. Let me called the indecent dressing as “dressing guilt” not code and the word “guilt” means wrongdoing,so any person that engages in wrongdoing always take charge of the responsibilities. Here, as this addressing to the dressing guilt, dressing to a normal responsible person should not be made personal comfort alone but also in a public view, state and understand to some extent. Now ask your self, why is it that other ladies or guyz are not harrassed or called names as case may be? This is because you have failed to meet… Read more »

muttering minds
Admin
3 months ago

Hmmmmmm… while I get your point to an extent Chigozie, I’ll like to ask, should groping and harassment be the ultimate solution? I’ll be glad if you can throw more light on this.🙏

Jules Jeremiah
Jules Jeremiah
3 months ago

Please beg me not to reply😩

Chigozie Victor
Chigozie Victor
3 months ago

It ok.I want to say that it is the ultimate solution. You don’t expect me to be comfortable with you when you dress half naked in public. Come to think of using ur siblings as a case study.Infact, I won’t walk with you at all. You will always be harassed unless the person is understandably mad. Wise people will always talk sense to the person indirectly but the others will always take their way. Dear, most of the time, lets call a spade a spade and forget any excuses and arguement… If your sister wears pant or tight in the… Read more »

Idawor Ruth
Idawor Ruth
3 months ago

You make a salient point but the truth is that, ladies still get harassed irrespective of their dressing…I can tell of a situation where a girl was well dressed but because she was well endowed, one of those male sellers just grabbed her butt!…The girl almost ran mad…The issue of harassment can happen to any lady irrespective of their dress choice.

Diddy
Diddy
3 months ago

I strongly agree with this. A number of times, I’ve had this conversation with my siblings and at the end, we come to conclusion, it’s sad and really frustrating that this happens to a lot of people everyday and them getting blamed for it. It cannot be overemphasized that your choice of clothing never stops an assaulter from going after you. Standing up for ourselves is the best option for now as most people won’t. We can get defensive tools like pepper spray, tasers and the likes for defense if we find ourselves in such situations and also building the… Read more »

muttering minds
Admin
3 months ago
Reply to  Diddy

Wow Diddy! You hit the nail in the right spot😄😄. Thank you for also considering this article worthy for a global platform. I will visit the link ASAP. Please keep in touch with our stories🙏

Ayodeji
Ayodeji
3 months ago

So we have already established that men in this part of the world attack women that dress in a certain manner. As barbaric as that is, we also know that it is not going to change just yet. As a lady, I believe you can choose to have a nice day or not by simply choosing what to wear. There are lots of clothes that makes you feel free or sexy without attracting any form of harassment to you. Even as a guy I choose where to wear my ripped jeans, or camouflage patterned clothes cos I know I might… Read more »

muttering minds
Admin
3 months ago
Reply to  Ayodeji

Hi Ayodeji, thank you for this. But you know, we are different. Your definition of feeling sexy or looking good might not be the same when compared to five other people. People enjoy exploring their fashion sense, some too extreme, some mild. Should this be a societal shock? Well like you said, “This part of our world”… An individual can either adjust or develop a tough skin.

Thank you once again, please keep in touch 😃

Jay James
Jay James
3 months ago

Funny thing I witnessed something similar just yesterday, but thankfully, an armed officer was closeby and reacted to the trove of guys harassing her. I have heard stories about ladies getting harassed because of their dressing but yesterday was my first time of actually witnessing it happen, so I mulled over the incident after it was over, and I came to the conclusion that the only way for this to stop is to react, Nigerians only react to force and violence, when these vagabonds start hearing of their fellows being punished or chilling in prison for a week or two… Read more »

muttering minds
Admin
3 months ago
Reply to  Jay James

Yeah I totally agree with you James. This topic is long overdue, the Senate should pass a bill to this effect ASAP! I believe it will bring the change we seek.

Thank you💫💫

Damilola
Damilola
3 months ago

I am an introvert, but the last thing I’ll do is not raise my voice during an unjust situation on the streets of Lagos. Thankfully, I have a hot temper; it helps me easily put people in their place. My introverted self and hot temper mixes well, as a young woman living in Nigeria. You can be an introvert, but please, learn how to shout at silly people – learn how to shout at anyone in particular. Also, learn how not to “rate” people until they’ve proved themselves beyond all reasonable doubts.

muttering minds
Admin
3 months ago
Reply to  Damilola

I must say you are brave Damilola😄😄… I belong to the ‘sidon look’ group except on very rare occasions. It must really hit deep for me to react in public🤕. I should take a cue from you Damilola.

And again your last sentence is an eye-opener💥💥. Thank you.

Vinchenzo
Vinchenzo
3 months ago

There’s nothing to discuss order than reminding you that prevention is better than cure. A half naked dressed lady ia an ashewo. There’s no reasonable objection to that.

muttering minds
Admin
3 months ago
Reply to  Vinchenzo

Hmmmmmm…well like you said, there’s nothing to discuss.👩‍🦯👩‍🦯

Gee
Gee
3 months ago

Its a nice write up Ruth, one that expresses to some extent, my thoughts. I don’t believe it is right to harass a woman or anyone for that matter. It is an act that must be stopped by any means necessary because the physical and emotional pain is needless in a country where we are just trying to survive and excel.

Idawor Ruth
Idawor Ruth
3 months ago
Reply to  Gee

Very well said, if only people would understand how important this issue needs to be trashed because No woman deserves to be harrassed!

Lydiapurple
Lydiapurple
2 months ago

Nawa 4 men, they will never change🙄
Nice piece dear

muttering minds
Admin
2 months ago
Reply to  Lydiapurple

Thank you Lydia 🙌

Sally
Sally
2 months ago

A grown man I work with once told me that women are selfish for wearing clothes to seduce him. He went further to say that if such women are raped, they deserve it and God will ask the women why they wore the clothes in the first place. This coming from a very educated man. To say I was shocked and disgusted is an understatement. I almost prayed that same should be done to his daughter, but I refrained. Such men need to be castrated honestly.

muttering minds
Admin
2 months ago
Reply to  Sally

Whaaaatttt! Such poor thinking. I feel ashamed on his behalf 😭😭

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