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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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?
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.
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.
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.
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’.