Friday, December 10, 2010

Different Faces of Abuse.

It's being a month or so that I am back home. ' Home sweet home- Nigeria I hail thee'. It was as if I was not away for a year but a millisecond. Getting back into the scheme of things didn't take time. It is already in the blood but can I stand the traffic jam in Lagos again? I just can't but I have to. There are still darling friends to see but I am stalling and looking for appriopriate time to go and avoid plenty traffic but work cannot wait . I am doing a research consulting at the moment and it is very interesting. It means also that I have to be in a lot of places to do a lot of things and taking buses a lot of times. I have being challenged by friends to buy a car not that I have the money or that I really want to but it is looking like I have to. Well, I think too that running from buses 'palava' cannot make the problem go away as there are many bad road users on Lagos roads but there will be lesser hassles if I am in my car I guess.

For one, I won't have to listen to so many things I will rather not listen to. It is really amazing how people can complicate issues when they think the first thing that come out of their mouth will resolve whatever it is on the ground. How at times we subjugate women further in our attempt to be peacemakers without fore sight. There have being many cases I have witnessed or that have being victims of. So, I can say this is not a one off issue. Imagine a woman for instance that is asking politely for people to create more space in her seat and the jerk next to her find that offensive and the peacemaker can only say "madam, at least you have a husband at home, you know how men are, we just have to manage them". First if we think about this properly, it means women don't have a choice but to cope with any situation they find themselves and men are what now, idiots? But no one will analyse the latter...

I was on one of my research trips today and after a long day, I was coming back home. I took a bus, sat in the front and dreaming of getting home to rest and spent time with my partner. I didn't enjoy the solitude for long when one fella asked me rudely to move to the middle seat in the front. I ask him to seat in the middle seat if he wanted to but he was upset and he started talking down at me with his friend at the back chorusing. The driver found it his duty to interfere and what he can come up with is "You know women only have mouth and not power" before he went ahead to indicate to the fella that he is older than me. All I asked him - I mean the rude fella was to please take the other seat and now women have mouth? Statements like this only broaden gender inequality and instigate violence. The assumption that this fella was older than me was ridiculous and rest of the statement was appalling. The Drama went on for a while but I just ignored the misbehaved fella after I corrected the driver. I just wonder how many more of these incidents would have led to abuses- both verbally and physically if not contained?

That reminds me, a colleague of my friend was beaten up by her husband and did not come to work for 2 days, when she did, it was with bruises and swollen face. She refused to take the case to women organisations for mediation. What do you think of this decision? My neighbour's pregnant daughter was beaten up by her carpenter who is also their family friend because she got angry that he did not do the job she paid for. Today is the last day of 16 days of activism against violence against women and the journey seems longer...

11 comments:

Vanity said...

When I move back to Nigeria, my plan is to join one of this women against abuse thing. It's ridiculous in Nigeria

In America physical abuse is usually from the husband or boy friend and that is bad enough but in Nigeria every man thinks it's their place to hit any woman.

LG said...

babes did u change ur numbers???

LusciousRon said...

I am with Vanity. It is ridiculous. Its such a shame.

Dee! said...

I can feel you on this. When I do have to take a bus ride, I brace myself for such mis-yarning... That is the level of their thinking, and the ride is too short to tutor them!

Any man who lifts a finger to hit a woman IS NOT A MAN!

bArOquE said...

Standtall, by Jesu Christi, i hope you didnt move seats for tht fella...older or younger than you, i dont bloody care.

No vex oh, what was the women organisations meant to do for that colleague's friend in the name of mediation???

As for that carpenter beating that pregnant girl, i dont believe that story...double check that story biko...na im wey them no arrange the carpenter some solid brushing, comot like him 2 front teeth???

StandTall-The Activist said...

@ Baroque: no I did not move. And the pregnant story was true. It happened in my compound before I came back from work. Project Alert for example provides shelter and mediation for victims of violence. And there are a lot of Women's NGO that will try and resolve the problems btw the couples in distress as a first step solution thru mediation and counselling.This is important to help the woman make an informed choice without suggesting to her what she should do...

@ Vanity: it is sad but we can't give up. Thanks for stopping by.

@ LG: No my MTN is still intact but my touch screen with your numbers on it is faulty hence.

@ LusciousRon: very.

@ Dee: In fact serious misyarning and wrong attitude!

NoLimit said...

see the worst part of it all is sometimes these women don't see it for what it is...ABUSE
This made me furious!

m1ke said...

It is true that we, MEN, think we are superior in not only Nigeria but all around the world. It is a patriarchal hell on earth but who would change it? Women must come out to advice other women about the dangers of been complacent about the issues of this inequality. It is high time it changed but lets begin to walk the talk and not vice versa. Nice post

StandTall-The Activist said...

@ No Limit: Abi o. It is not funny. How are you doing?

@ M1ke: great point. And you are right, it is important to walk the talk and educate others.

Parakeet said...

I just hate reading or hearing about these things. It breaks my heart and annoys me the most that I'm not doing anything abt it.

poeticallytinted said...

Half the battle will be won if Nigerian women recognised abuse and stopped acting like being a woman is a disability. The moment mothers/schools/friends stopped telling their young women that being a woman practically means not having any rights then things will change. The moment women learned to stop accepting abuse like it was their due and all of us say 'enough is enough' then it will be. The power is ours. We just have to reach out and grab it. Support an abused sister if you are a woman because you are also protecting yourself and your daughter(s) from future abuse. If abusive men knew there would be consequences they would think twice before laying their animalistic hands on a woman.

I also think NGOs and organisations that work in this area should make themselves more visible. If we keep pushing maybe our country will get to a point where the law effectively protects women and children from domestic violence and the likes of it.

My Passion, my focus, the change that I want to see in the world - is my propellent factor.

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