So, Big Brother Nigeria is finally over (Thank God). Even though I don’t live in Nigeria, the madness of BBN got to me through social media. I’ve never been into any Big Brother franchise; something about Big Brother makes me uncomfortable. I think it’s like putting mice in a maze and watching them trying to figure their way around just for entertainment (overanalyzing much?? Probably). I’ve never been into the show and always thought it was garbage but this season of BBN really took the garbage to a whole another level.
I can’t believe someone thought it was okay to broadcast the rape of TBoss across the continent (What part of your brain has to be missing to make a decision like that?). What is even more disappointing is that the rapist only got evicted from the house and no charges were filed against him. The showrunners even had the gall to bring him to the viewing centre to watch the finale. The whole situation shows that many Nigerians are very ill informed on consent and rape; many people only consider the act to be rape only when the woman/girl is crying and screaming. Even in cases of obvious physical coercion, the victims are still blamed for their rape. The victims are accused of seducing/tempting the rapist by dressing provocatively, being out after dark, going to a male friend’s house and being drunk. The sad and dangerous part is that the police, lawmakers and elites (Hello, Mr Abati) hold such misogynistic beliefs; which means more often than not, the rapist will get away with the crime and continue on with their rampage.
Just to clarify, It is rape when you penetrate a drunk girl, It is rape when the girl says “No” or “Stop” during the act because you decided to try some porno shit with her without showing or accurately describing the act. It is rape if she said yes to the porno act and halfway in she decides she doesn’t like it and says “Stop”, It is rape even though she is your wife and the holy book says her body belongs to you. It becomes rape when a girl/woman indicates she is no longer interested in a sexual act and you still go forward with the act. It is not quantum physics, it shouldn’t be that hard to understand.
It is also rape when a person is emotionally coerced by a partner into having sex. This type of rape is very common in committed relationships. This is the “If you love me you will have sex with me” situation / silent treatment until we have sex and the guilt tripping into having sex. In Nigeria, one common method of guilt tripping wives into having sex is to tell them that they aren’t performing their wifely duties. Unfortunately, female socialization in Nigeria primes/grooms us to be victims of guilt-tripping; due to our upbringing, we feel very worthless when we are told we aren’t wife material or that we are failing at being a good wife, so we do everything to rectify our “flaws” even when it involves having sex when one is not in the mood.
Rape is a very serious crime that results in serious damage to the emotional wellbeing of the victim. The emotional scars stay with the victim for the rest of their lives. The society should focus on putting away the rapist rather than kicking someone who is already battered. Just like with any other crime, the blame/judgement should be reserved solely for the perpetrator and not the victim.
[PS: I know there is probably an MRA typing “Men are victims of rape too” and I acknowledge that but however, I’m a feminist which means that I focus primarily on women’s issues. Also, statistics show that 91% of rape victims are female so rape is more of a problem for women than it is for men]
National Sexual Violence Resource Center. (2015). Statistics about sexual violence. Retrieved from http://www.nsvrc.org/sites/default/files/publications_nsvrc_factsheet_media-packet_statistics-about-sexual-violence_0.pdf