“If your boyfriend or husband pounds you really hard when having sex, best believe that human with three legs is a rapist. There is no such thing as hard or angry sex. Is he a hammer? Maybe he is but girl, your vagina is not a drilling site. If he claims he hasn’t raped anyone before then watch out, the day you say no to his sexual advances, you might just be his first victim. SEX NOT VIOLENCE. ONLY A RAPIST OR A POTENTIAL ONE APPLIES FORCE DURING INTERCOURSE. This is my candid take on rape and the definition of a rapist”– Christine Okon.
Hmmmmmmm… Rape is like old wine. The more we get older; the odious act gets stronger at serving severe deafening blows to the society that living becomes a frightening experience. The death of 22-year-old Uwavera Omozuwa, a Nigerian and Microbiology student at the University of Benin who was raped and savagely beaten to death while reading at a local parish of the Redeemed Christain Church of God in Edo State last week not only became a foreground for a reawakening on the sexual menace but also opened a can of worms.
Uwavera’s experience has up until now served as a backdrop for rape victims to open up about their long endured hurt while supporting the #SAYNOTORAPE movement. The victims each day, find a comforting way to relay their truth and call out their abusers. Let’s not forget the gender war too. Almost half of the male folk feel it is a lopsided attack and an unfair generalization to tag them as the sex who rapes. “MEN GET RAPED TOO”, they clamor! But you see, who screams the loudest is usually gifted the most comfortable sit by the audience, that’s one of the underrated rules of life. Men should learn to speak up more.
Ranging from the blue blood to the privileged class and even the ones, who live down in the mouth, comprised the CALL OUT list. And asides the common male-on-female rape, some of the rape victims narrated their experiences on female-on-male rape, male-on-male rape, and female-on-female rape. Does this settle the gender war? Maybe, but that’s a far cry away from the bone of contention here. One thing that remains unsettled is that rape cases will continue to stir too much dust in the society and this is because while it looks like we are fighting together against it, the sexual menace (rape) and the perpetrators (the rapists) are perceived differently by all and sundry.
You’re probably wondering how I arrived at this conclusion right? Well if you read stories frequently here, you’ll know that I am always more interested in what people are not saying or projecting more; the minority opinions that carry so much weight when looked at introspectively.
Unpopular Opinion About Rape
As at last week, virtually everyone had something to say about rape. Stemming from the objective angles to the pity parties and then the loose minds who say it just as it hits their head, all lent their voices to the best of their knowledge. Among several opinions I read through, the straw that broke the camels back for me was this;
“Well, this might not make sense but I feel it’s the simple truth. When a case of rape is about to start, instead of dragging with them, can the girls just allow him or them instead of sustaining injuries that can even lead to death? Just saying o. Some will even be scared she is offering them willingly. Cause I don’t see the point of fighting back when your strength can’t last you for a minute. Just accept it instead of accepting forcefully with slaps, punch, bite, weapon, and all. Okay, imagine a house that got robbed. Nobody will try to fight back once they see a gun. Isn’t that like rape too?”
You see, no matter how sensitive an issue is, there will always be warped opinions, some, you’ll wonder what planet the individual hails from. But do we shove them away because they are culture shocks compared to our own opinions? No. All through my life, I’ve never heard someone think this way about rape. But if he can then they’ll definitely be more on his side who hold out of the ordinary opinions too. At this point, my curiosity began to age so I decided to put it up for a debate on my WhatsApp status.
So I posted the picture and captioned “Seeing this, I realized a lot of us hold uncanny opinions about sensitive issues. It takes a level of courage to speak up”. Then in my next slide, I asked “Who is a rapist? Kindly define in your own understanding”. Then the comments came rolling, this explains the quoted text in the first paragraph.
Like I predicted he wasn’t the only one who would hold the opinion, a friend responded- “I second this opinion. Honestly, rape is fucked up, It’s an awful thing to happen to anybody but if anybody is at that point, I don’t think it’s wise to fight back. From personal experience, fighting back just increases provocation and the likelihood of you being seriously injured. If someone’s pinning you down, especially someone who is physically stronger than you, there’s barely any form of fighting back that will save you tbh. Instead, it will just aggravate the situation and might give the rapist justification to inflict more physical pain on you. Just saying”
While these two stuck to their guns, counter-attacking opinions began flooding in;
Tunde Onakoya said: “You know I really do think this might just be the opinion of a guy because it’s really silly. What people should be advocating for is to let rapists not rape people, not that you should negotiate with them. It’s like saying you want to negotiate with terrorists on how to destroy and you say “don’t bomb everywhere, just shoot few people”. It doesn’t make any sense.”
“Really? Consensual rape? It’s crazy! What’s the guarantee that after the consensual rape, you won’t be killed. The psychopath will gladly kill u without any guilt because in his words “she enjoyed it”- Queen Ede opined.
Similar to Queen’s stand, Oreoluwa Osinuga said “the thing is that they are thinking of the physical effect rather than the mental. Rape messes up with ladies mentally and you might think you are smart and act that way, letting them have their way but what if they kill you after? The point of this whole thing is not the act itself”
Ajibola concluded this round by saying “Rape is a terrible act and under no circumstance should the victim willingly give in. Fight even if it means you’re gonna get battered. On the other hand, shouldn’t living be the most important thing under any circumstance? I condemn rape and the punishment under the law should be heavier than it’s ever been anywhere around the world. Some people never get over it even after passing through the horrible experience.”
Unpopular Opinion from The Victims Eyes.
While that round of debate fizzled, someone who chooses to be Anonymous sent me this;
“I could never report it to anyone because I was afraid it was my fault. I never wanted to be harmed and that’s why I never tried to fight back, or why I pretended to be asleep the day my uncle snuck into my room at night and had his hands all over my body, I did not want to embarrass him and myself. I did not want to be that child. The child with the stigma. The bad egg. The one who’s story got retold time and time again. So I kept quiet about it. I did not want to be the reason my uncle got sent out of the house. I did not want to be pitied and treated differently from the rest of my siblings. I blamed myself for everything. It was easier than speaking up and causing a fuss. If I didn’t speak up, it would only be in my head and it would make it less real, that’s what I thought, so I kept quiet. I mean how else could I tell my parents about my cousin and the painful things he did to me without upsetting everyone? Or the fact that my uncle kept on dipping his fingers into me every time no one else was around. Who would believe me? I blamed myself for not speaking up, but never ever found the strength to speak up even if I wanted to.”
This is my first time of coming in contact with a victim who pities her abuser and chooses family peace over hers, I’m convinced there are many others like her. What do you make of this?
Who Is A Rapist?
Remember I asked that they define who a rapist is in their own understanding. The weirdest response I got was that of Christine Okon which I used as a preamble for this post.
Going forward, Rhemakana Gilbert defined a rapist as “a man who is unable to understand the concept of consent. He is driven by a sense of entitlement over the bodies of women and holds the view that he is ruled by his urges. He believes that women should adjust their theology to make up for his lack of self-control and understand when he needs a release and cannot control himself.”
With an emphasis on the word ‘conscious’, Ifeanyichukwu Ogbuoji said: “A rapist is one who forces his way into the thighs or anals of another without the person’s CONSCIOUS consent.”
“If you take advantage of my body without my consent, You are a Rapist! If I agree to have sex with you and along the line, I asked you to stop but you refused and continued forcing yourself on me, You are a Rapist! 🤷🏽♀🤷🏽♀🤷🏽♀” Delight Loveday said.
“A rapist is someone whose libido is higher than his thoughts,” Cupid said.
“A rapist is someone who sees another human that is fully clothed and decides to imagine them naked. A rapist is someone who is capable of murder.”- Amaka Enyinnaya
The Bane of Disparity
The disparity in our perception about rape, in my opinion, is what kills the fight even before it is fought. I choose to feature these responses because they strike different. The majority in a good way and a select few leaves the rooftop leaking.
While you cannot beat a person for having a different opinion from yours, we must bear in mind that some battles cannot be fought without a unison of opinion; the fight against rape is one of such.
If at this stage some of us still hold that the rape victim is to blame rather than the rapist… if at this stage some of us prefer to weigh which gender feels the brunt more… if at this stage some of us believe indecent dressing is the primary trigger for rape… if at this stage the rape victim chooses to remain silent, then we cannot win this fight against rape.
What does this tell you about rape? What does this tell you about a rapist? What does this tell you about the victim? And most importantly, what does this tell you about YOU?