Don’t you just hate it when your Economics lecturer forces his unwelcome frigid lips onto your neck, seizes your breast with one hand, and shoves his fingers up your article of clothing? No? What about your father? Your aunt? Uncle? Housekeeper? Gardener? Your boss? Your pastor? Your co-worker?
Looking back at that afternoon in my lecturer’s “camera-less”, secluded office, I can vividly recall the entitlement in his eyes, the insensitive demeanor and his chilling voice as he declared, “I better not hear about this during class.” Following that gut-wrenching incident, I all but sprinted to the house and scrubbed my body with such fervour because it felt like he had embedded himself inside me. I made the conscious decision not to report him as he was a renowned professor who had recently attained his doctorate. In contrast, I had more to lose being an international student without proof or an eyewitness.
I’ve inserted a video below that sheds light on how most women are discredited for speaking out because they are supposedly “emotional,” “attention-seeking,” and simply enjoy being damsels in distress. If you are easily triggered, definitely do not watch 6:21 of the clip.
Unfortunately, this is how people who have been sexually abused and violated are viewed by society; it makes sense to lie about getting molested or sodomized because sexual violation is so appealing, right? Society has ridiculed women and men for so long that people have learnt to conceal the wounds emanating from the crevices of their bleeding hearts.
What I want my daughter and my son to draw from my experience is that #MenAreNotTrash, humans are. Predators exist, and I intend to raise a warrior princess and a conqueror who wear their battle scars and bruises like armour. What happened to me and keeps happening to countless men and women every single day is appalling; nonetheless, I refuse to be labelled a “victim.” He made me feel like there was something wrong with me. Me? The crème de la crème? I am not prey to be devoured and discarded for the vultures to have at me, I resurrect. I do not claim to know everything about rape or sexual harassment as every situation is different; however, I vehemently refuse to let a badly raised man determine how I live the rest of my life. I refuse to become a watered-down version of myself. I refuse to let him win.
I encourage all of us to normalize having conversations about sexual abuse, no matter how uncomfortable and taboo it feels. Our parents taught us to shy away from such topics, but it is our job to alter such problematic views. Dear African Queens hear me when I say, you are not weak, you are as formidable as the goddess Aphrodite herself, as revolutionary as Cleopatra, do not let anyone strip you of your worth. Gather around Generation Z, as current and future parents lets teach our children how to love, so they don’t go around inflicting pain on others. Let’s teach our children to ask for permission, so they never grab what is not theirs. Finally, let’s teach our children to read, so they comprehend the meaning of “NO.”