If I got raped…..
On November 20, a friend and I were chatting about my show and how I selected my topics.
We wandered into my topics for season two, and I mentioned that I wanted to talk about rape.
I wanted to talk about rape culture and the responses us as humans – and more as Africans – have towards it.
He expressed his interest and assured me that he would for sure be watching.
I moved on.
Today, November 27, I log on to my twitter and I am shocked and appalled by my timeline.
I’m reading about a blogger, who had come out ages ago with her personal story of being raped by someone she knew and trusted.
What I was not expecting was the backlash – the same backlash EVERY woman who has ever stepped out to talk about their rape experience receives.
“What did she wear? Why did she go there? She must have wanted it!”
I’m trying my hardest to write this without getting upset- but the truth is I am!
I am mad and incensed.
Even though this is inspired by what is happening on social media right now- I would rather like to address the issue – rape culture.
Rape as defined is unlawful sexual activity (usually sexual intercourse) carried out forcibly or under threat of injury against one’s. And females are most often the victims.
I would like to begin with rape culture in men.
When I was a child, my grandfather repeated a proverb to me over and over. Translated to English, it simply states: “It’s the person who is closest to you that can hurt you.”
Too many men, carry on their insides the truth that their first sexual encounter was either with their maids or with an older neighbour, who their parents trusted with their well-being.
Young men, going through puberty, whose bodies respond to touch in an intriguing and unfamiliar yet pleasurable way are lured into dark corners:
“I’ll tell your mum you’ve been naughty, if you don’t…”
“I’ll beat you if you don’t…”
As I write this I recall a memory of visiting one of my family friends and his maid chased him around the house – naked – because she was horny and wanted him.
Men get raped all the time.
Testosterone filled, bass voiced, big and tall – raped!
Men described as hunters, lions, go-getters – even they don’t come out to tell the story of their encounter with rape. Even men hide.
I asked myself what I would do if I got raped, would I tell anyone or would I take it to my grave.
I wouldn’t want to tell anyone because I would be ashamed. I would blame myself. Why didn’t I see it in his character, why didn’t my instincts kick in, how could I have been so stupid to let my guard down?
I know now that I wouldn’t get sympathy, empathy or help from my community – no investigation would be carried out, and I for sure would be blamed.
I wouldn’t speak out, because, when I tell the man that I love that when I decided to lay with another man, it wasn’t on rose petals, it was hands grabbing, clothes being torn and painful screams of me begging filling the air.
I would help him recreate that night in his head and walk him through my personal horror, until it became his.
I wouldn’t speak out because people on social media would dig into the dissatisfaction of their souls and switch tongues with the devil to insult, abuse and degrade me to nothing more than a slut, who – as they say ‘wanted it, knew what would happen if I wore a skirt’ etc.
I wouldn’t speak out because in trying to piece my life together and forgive myself and the people who hurt me, my name would be lost- people would refer to me as rape girl.
I wouldn’t speak because of fear – what if my rapists returned, what if they fulfilled their threats, what if they come after my family?
I wouldn’t speak because rather actually seeing the act that I was violated, that my will was forcibly taken from me, media would feed my body to the wolves – they would create a frenzy to receive more views, they would fan the flames of my shame and make even leaving my house impossible for me.
I wouldn’t speak because secretly you don’t want me to – you want us to all live in pretty little glass boxes where your sons and daughters aren’t rapists, aren’t the type of people who take things that don’t belong to them.
You don’t want me to expose your demons, you don’t want me to shine a light on the darkest secrets of our culture, you don’t want anyone to know that you’re a coward and you’d rather spread your legs open wide like you’ve spread your mouth open to condemn anyone who has been through this.
You don’t want anyone to know that you are a rapist, maybe not yet indeed, but in your heart, in your obtuse little mind when you refuse to see that rape is wrong -Even if the victim was gifted with all of heaven itself!
Fortunately, my name is Bola Rahman, and if I was raped, I’d talk about it. I’d let the world know their names their addresses and the smell of their breath.
To me there is no difference between a rapist, a murderer and a thief – best believe if a man were to steal any part of my life without my consent, I would fight for justice!
BeingBola discovery: Oh my God – what if I got raped and got pregnant or an STD?! We spend too much time dwelling on the’he -said; she-said’ we forget the actual incident.
I sincerely sympathize with this lady who’s story is making social media shut down, but honestly I’m more interested in what we can do so that this doesn’t become a story about my daughter, your sister, your wife!
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