Self-Mastery Series IV- Self-Management “Work in Progress” “This is work in Progress” Will be
“Your body belongs to you and you alone, and no one has any right to touch you without your consent. Consent is momentary, temporary, and only valid for the specific activity to which it is given. ” Deji Sowunmi
I want to say a big thanks to all who read and shared my first post on Rape. Because of you, this has been the most read and shared post I have written. Thanks for making it all about the message.
This is the second part of the ongoing conversations on Rape = Hate.
In the first part, we tackled what rape is, the types of rape, a perception of rape, the statistics, and the after-effects of rape.
In this post, we will look at the part our society plays in this epidemic, how rape subtly destroys our society, accounts from victim/survivors, victim-blaming, and control issues.
RAPE – DESTROYING OURSELVES
VERA OMOZUWA felt comfortable and safe, or she would not go to the church to read. If she didn’t feel safe, this horrible calamity would not have befallen her.
Are we at that stage that our women have to hire bodyguards just to leave their homes and go about their daily activities? Can some men not control their evil urges?
Sex is about as available as anything in this world, why must some men torture women for their pleasure? Even the Almighty, despite knowing what is good for us, still gave us free will, why then, must some men take the will of others and enforce theirs? What inadequacies are they masking? Any pain they are enduring can be understood and solved by appropriate mental health personnel. It is not right to violate others because you are in pain.
VERA OMOZUWA HAD VALID RIGHTS
VERA OMOZUWA had a right to free will, comfort in her being, a right to education, safety and a right to being alive! Even with the malicious but unconfirmed story making rounds about being pregnant for the pastor of that church, does that detract from the fact that she was gang-raped, assaulted heavily and killed?
What kind of society will try to justify her violation by an act (supposed blackmail) they consider despicable?
If you were in her shoes, what would you do? Not hold your lover responsible? Would violent rape and death be the solution? Was that not adultery and accessory to assault and murder by the pastor?
Our way of life and society may be at very serious risk. I will give an instance below…
My colleagues and I visited a recently completed construction site to discuss progress with a client, then all eyes panned to a wonderful sight, a woman, fair to behold, amid stones, debris, and concrete, but what I captured was troubling.
In a smooth flow, I saw slight pride and appreciation, quickly replaced with fear and I guess an unconscious search for an emergency exit.
Luckily, the woman and I were introduced and got to talk a few months later. We got on socially and I summoned the courage to ask her about when four of my colleagues and I first met her. I complimented her looks and noted that it must feel great to turn heads, but that I also noticed something close to fear on her face.
She told me her reflex was to feel good for being noticed, but it was an empty construction site and five men. Rapists don’t carry tags! From appreciation, she went to fear in three seconds, she wished she had a taser or pepper spray, and looked around for an exit to safety.
We thought one thing, she thought another. Many women must now go through this.
Rapists, monsters, you may have ruined the society, future friendships, social interaction, and relationships forever!
Let that sink in.
RAPE ACCOUNTS – we probably all know and aid rapists
I would like to share a few accounts of rape with you, just so we know the kind of society we are morphing into. We need to love and care for one another.
This is from a loving girlfriend, an exchange with a therapist, after conflicting feelings and hurt.
Q: Was it rape if he forced himself on me after I had clearly said no. Since he did stop after a few minutes, was it rape? (He was my boyfriend at the time.)
A: I am sorry that this happened to you, and yes. It was absolutely rape.
What are the important keywords embedded in your question?
• He forced himself on me
• I had clearly said no
• He was my boyfriend at the time
Although it is sexual, rape is mostly motivated by the need to control someone by force. In that way, the rapist tries to hide/manage his insecurities.
He did stop after a few minutes. Yes? There is no time limit on rape. He rapes you in three minutes or he takes his time and stretches it out for a whole hour. Does the fact that he stopped after a few minutes make it less traumatic? He hurt you.
He raped you and should have been reported to the authorities immediately.
He did not have your consent. Simple.
It does not matter if you have had sex with your assailant in the past if you are in an established relationship, or even if you are married. It does not matter that he stopped because a man doesn’t have to ejaculate to rape you. It doesn’t even matter how clearly you said no.
No is no!
Your body belongs to you and you alone, and no one has any right to touch you without your consent. Consent is momentary, temporary, and only valid for the specific activity to which it is given. When you consent to sex, you are agreeing to a certain action at a certain time, and that consent can be withdrawn at any time.
It makes no difference if you have had sex with him a hundred times before (unless you have the agreement of implied consent) because you always have the right to decide for yourself. Rape, in relationships, starts small and gets worse over time.
It is no less of rape if he eventually complies, as your rapist did. He had sex with you without your consent, and against your clear objections; that is rape no matter how you define it.
It isn’t up to me to explain to someone that I don’t want to get stabbed, and it isn’t up to you to clarify that you do not want to be raped. Victims are often too afraid to object, or they are physically unable to speak due to the shock and terror, and men do know perfectly well that a woman who appears paralyzed and terrified does not desire sex — they just don’t want to admit it.
I am very sorry that you were raped by someone who ought to have loved and protected you, and I hope that you have some kind of support structure in place. Please don’t minimize or excuse what was done to you. Your feelings are valid.
Below is another account, from the diary of a victim/survivor. This is just to show you what victims/survivors deal with. They deal with lots of the effects discussed in the first part of this post.Click here to read
I’d seen him around quite a bit on campus. He was good-looking and smart. People talked about him like he was a celebrity.
We both attended the same party. It was good to see him again. We said hi, and went our ways to enjoy the party. I enjoyed too much liquor and must have passed out.
I felt uncomfortable. There was someone on top of me, he was trying to force himself inside me, but my body had frozen. I realized that it was not a dream. I saw who it was. The shock hit me – how could it be him? I knew him, everyone knew him. People you know don’t do this, do they? Had I somehow made him think this was OK?
“I’m going to count you as a notch on my bedpost no matter what,” he said in a low, gruff voice. When I’d heard him speak before, his voice was soft. Now he sounded angry and frustrated.
I couldn’t find my voice. Like the bass from the party, it was faint, muffled, and just out of reach. When I tried to tell him to stop, the words wouldn’t come out, they stuck in my throat.
This is a narration, a side of a conversation between a broken but loving wife and her confidant.
Growing up, I was told that part of my job is to keep my husband happy. Yet, most of my bedroom encounters with my husband ended with a tinge of detestation towards him.
However, there are occasions, that I enjoyed intimacy with my husband. But they are few because many times he is the one who wants sex and I don’t.
I have never stood up to him and refused to yield. Being a housewife has suppressed my voice.
My feeling is that my husband and I should both enjoy sex. But I feel like many times he is the one deriving pleasure while my job is to aide him.
In those moments, I would stay still while he went about his business. It hurt because I would be dry and he would be forcing himself through.
I resorted to stocking enough lubricant in the bedroom so that whenever he demanded his ‘right’ I quickly assumed the position and applied it for a less painful experience.
MY OPINION ON ACCOUNT 3
It is painful reading that. I cannot begin to feel what she has been through.
I know. This has happened in a marriage, how can this be rape? Well, people, dear husbands, if we in any sense, seek to dominate other people’s life, due to our egotism or insecurities, we are not expressing love; we are immature monsters forcing our will.
In reality (if we go by proper definition of rape) you realize that severally, rape does occur within relationships and marriages.
There exists an element of inferiority, thus, her reluctance to forcefully refuse her husband’s overtures.
She probably feels that her husband is justified to demand sex. The bride price issue. The legal bounds. She may fear, like it happens often, that the man will have a reason to stray outside their marriage. Who says he is not already straying? That’s another topic though.
UNDERSTANDING RAPE IN A CRUEL SOCIETY – VICTIM-BLAMING
Women are more than likely to be considered defenseless and vulnerable. For a man, it is easier to take advantage of women because of that reason.
Although to the layperson this may seem shocking, the literature on female rape has shown that in most instances a female victim of rape is held somewhat responsible for her victimization.
For example, a female rape victim is held more responsible when she is physically attractive or dressed in a particular way.
Accordingly, traditional sex roles beliefs imply that women are not supposed to be sexually aggressive with men nor have the same sexual freedom as men. The male notion that women often say “no” when they mean “yes” suggests that women offer what has been termed a “societal no” or “token resistance” to be coaxed into having sex in an attempt to earn the respect of their suitor.
The belief that women say “no” when the sometimes mean “yes” may foster behavior which is likely to lead to the occurrence of acquaintance rape or date rape.
Research has shown that many people do not consider date rape to be “real” rape.
The possibility of misunderstanding dating behaviors is evidenced further by research demonstrating that a woman who goes back to a man’s apartment is believed to be implying a willingness to engage in sex.
This belief best describes the term “reckless rape,” which occurs when the man fully believes the woman agreed to sexual intercourse, but in actuality, she did not.
CONTROL (JUST WORLD THEORY) – WHY PEOPLE WILL BLAME AN INNOCENT VICTIM/SURVIVOR OF RAPE
People need to feel that the world is somehow controllable. When a person has encountered what could be considered a “small” loss, it is easy for observers to attribute that loss to a chance occurrence.
As the loss increases and becomes more severe, it becomes harder for an observer to admit that such a thing could happen to them. By telling ourselves that we would behave differently in a similar situation or that we are a different type of person than the victim, we indirectly feel protected and secure.
This is hindsight bias, whereby, observers will blame the victim only because they know the outcome of the event. The victim acted or reacted without knowing the outcome. Once observers know the outcome of an event, it then becomes harder to believe that anything else could have resulted from such occurrences.
“Just World” theory states that people assume others get what they deserve and deserve what they get. Thus, if a person is judged to be “kind” or “generous” then that person is seen as warranting certain desirable fates, however, a person judged to be “cruel” or “stupid” is viewed as being deserving of undesirable outcomes.
Accordingly, people will blame the victim to keep their world just.
Observers witness or read about violent attacks such as rape, they protect themselves by blaming the victim and thinking “she shouldn’t have been dressed that way” or “she knew what she was doing.”
As long as public decency rules are observed, anyone can wear whatever they like, look how they want, walk alone, go to parties without fear. We should all feel safe, as is our right.
For example, having an exotic car is not a reason for it to be stolen, nor can having great skin be the reason to be stabbed. Stealing or stabbing is a crime. So is rape.
Rape is only caused by;
1. The Rapist
2. The Rapist
3. The Rapist
4. The Rapist
5. The Rapist
52. The Rapist
627. The Rapist
3998. The Rapist
8999432. The Rapist…….
This is the end of part two. In the third part, we will continue how society affects and is affected by rape, debunking the stereotypes attached to justify rape and how we may prevent rape.
Thank you for reading and I await your thoughts on this topic. We all have knowledge to share. Documenting our thoughts may be the manual for a better society tomorrow. Documentation of our thoughts can be our legacy.
About the Writer
Deji Sowunmi a proud owner of glistening, glowing, beautiful dark caramel skin, sometimes a good husband, not so shabby a dad.
An architect, interior designer & decorator by day, and a lover and seeker of greatness for all mankind by night.
He is a long-suffering, unapologetic arsenal fan who uses his club’s antics for high BP resistance training, a lover of the arts, and a general student of life.
Deji Sowunmi may not take himself so seriously but takes rape extremely seriously.
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