International Women’s Day, The Kemen Fiasco, and the Ideal Nigerian Response

Some guy was angry on the radio this morning that the United Nations only declared one day (yesterday) as the day to celebrate women all over the world. He claims women should be celebrated everyday, and in my mind I was wondering if the United Nations should declare every day as the International Womeen’s Day.

If that were to happen, would it stop the maltreatment of women in the nooks and crannies of the uncivilised society? Even in civilised places, women are raped and battered every day. In fact the next caller after my guy above, was just plain silly, stating that women ought to stay at home, obey and respect the men, and educate the children. Gbam! Just like that?

Celebrating women is not a function of Mothers’ Day or International Women’s Day or any other day chosen to remember the women folk. It is about society doing everything possible to make sure women are treated with respect and dignity in every sphere of life. It is about husbands treating their wives with respect and honour, dignifying them in every way possible. It is about men seeing women, not as sex objects that should be used whenever. And women are not punching bags either.

And what is this that women should just automatically fall into respect, obedience, and submission mode to every man? These days, almost every Tom, Dick and Harry claims that they respect women, but in reality very few men lend more than lip service to that claim.

Take the Kemen issue, for instance. Now, I don’t watch reality TV shows. I believe they are a fundamental waste of my time, and they are extremely baseless. Please, this is my opinion. It just seems stupid to me that I would casually sit around and watch other people pretend like there are no cameras, and they do just whatever.

I hear a lot of things happen in the BBNaija house. I just don’t pay much attention. After all, they are all adults and they have decided to do whatever they want to do. So when Kemen’s issue came up, I was at first surprised that there was some outrage over a guy trying to get laid. I honestly don’t know why I investigated further, but I am glad I did.

And though it might no longer be news, Kemen was ousted from the BBNaija House for fondling some Boss lady in her sleep. Being a norm in the house, sexual acts and all that, maybe the organisers would have done nothing had people not slammed the act as extremely depraved. Really so. Few years ago, it was a thing of practical jokes, if not rape, to attemp to overpower your friend, but it is just sick to try to take advantage of a woman in her sleep.

I am glad that a few people still believe that the man deserved to be kicked out. Maybe he should even face sexual harassment charges.

But I noticed in the midst of the outcry that some had many reasons to defend Kemen’s actions. He was drunk. He was lost. Konji caught him. Bla bla bla. Worse, some people tried to blame the lady! She had made passes. She is flirty. She is dirty. She dresses provocatively. She enticed him (in her sleep?). She planned it. She is too pretty, why blame a guy for trying?

I was just speechless I could not even believe any one could fabricate any defense for the act. Please don’t get me wrong. I’m not here saying Mr. Kemen is a sinner, and Miss Boss is a saint. Far from it. We all do stupid stuff once in a while, or more. My point is, will we allow our perception of circumstances blind us to the real issues in the circumstances?

Is it right or wrong for a woman to be fondled in her sleep, WITHOUT her consent?

Simple question. 

Not for Nigerians. We automatically just become sentimental. And it is our issue with every area of our politics and society.

We are sentimental along political parties, supporters and leaders, ethnicity, religion and whatever. A man is caught with billions of naira, for instance, and the only thing that pervades one person’s mind is that a ruling party is witch-hunting the opposition. Well, me, I’m not bothered by that in the first instance. I must first know why a man has stolen our money! And as much as his being witch-hunted will remain an issue for me, I will not let it be his defense. Lailai!

In all these, it is clear that we Nigerians miss many opportunities to be united, and to speak out with one voice in addressing wrong in our society. Because we will be judged by our consciences, and/or because we are just blind to the issues and hugely sentimental, we neglect the real issues and pore over the unimportant things.

A woman has been raped. How was she dressed? A woman was beaten by her husband/boyfriend. What did she do?

Seriously? I mean, maybe later we can begin to try to rationalise the actions of the oppressor, but it must never ever be the first thing we address. No circumstance can warrant that such heinous acts become less heinous. Will we wait till women start seeing boxing gloves as regular attire before we learn?

Copyright of Team USA

I can go on and on really.

But let me just say this:

All those who went all out yesterday to “celebrate” women, do us a favour and quit the social media theatrics if you cannot carry it into your every day life. How you treat each woman every day with utmost regard for the lofty ideals of decency, honour, respect, and dignity. Look at women no longer as objects. Men, let your honour and respectability be in your discipline, and self-control. Never give in to the darker thoughts that want to push your demons loose. Cage ’em all, if you can’t let them go.

I have vowed to treat women extremely well. I have not neglected age old chivalry at all. And I am doing this by the help of God, whether or not women treat me nicely. It is my duty to control myself, and I am ultimately responsible for my actions.

And women ought to carry themselves, continuously, with the dignity and respect they claim, and deserve. Your lifestyle should as well lend credence to the qualities you claim for yourself.

We can all celebrate women everyday, in the way we treat them in every circumstance, whether the United Nations cares or not.

Copyright of 1000 Art Ideas for black women on Pinterest

Women are powerful, strong, dignified, and respectable. They are our gems, as men, and as such are they to be treated. Every single day.

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2 thoughts on “International Women’s Day, The Kemen Fiasco, and the Ideal Nigerian Response

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