By Uthman Zaynab
Today, I was telling my colleague about the ongoing #16DaysOfActivism and he didn’t look too interested. I continued with the conversation but I suspected he wasn’t interested. To my greatest surprise, he asked me ‘When will all these feminist let us hear word. Every time discrimination, every time abuse.’ I was shocked but instead of getting offensive, I decided to educate. When he wasn’t willing to learn, I decided to write.
This is 2017 and times have change. The cars we drive are different, the way we communicate is different and the way we treat women too is and should be different. I hear how people say “all these e-feminists won’t keep quiet”. The fact that “we” keep going on and on about this issue doesn’t mean we like to talk. It just simply means that there is a bigger issue which isn’t changing significantly. When women were allowed to start driving in Saudi Arabia, the Women Community celebrated and praised the government. However, this doesn’t mean that the Women Community would stay silent against other gender related crimes committed against women. Believe me when I say this, we are not bitter people. We do not enjoy having to talk about the same issue year in year out, but if this is what it takes to get audience, then so be it.
Rape isn’t a new act of violence. Rape isn’t a lack of sexual control, neither is it a consequence of a bad action. Rape is brought about by different factors; sense of entitlement being a major one. Women and men are beginning to realize that sex encounters they’ve had that they didn’t entirely give consent to could translate as rape. Coming to terms with this is difficult for a lot of people, talking about it is even worse.
People always fail to see that societal and gender roles are major reasons why rape is so concurrent in our societies. The fact that a boy child grows up with the idea that he is in a way superior to the girl child and consequently has a right over her body. Rape is simply projecting, projecting the power the male has been brought to believe they have over the female.
A woman tied down, a child that knows no better, a wife who isn’t willing, young girls in war-torn countries-looking at it from a realistic and basic angle, these aren’t people you enjoy sex with, sex should be between two (2) consenting adults. Canceling out pleasure in these scenarios, the only thing left is power, the sense of control and probably some crazy high they get off being in charge of a situation and the other person is left vulnerable and helpless. This is what rape is, not crazy hormones zinging off in a man’s head because of a mini skirt or the smooth skin of a baby’s butt.
So to everyone who is uncomfortable when “we” talk about rape, to everyone who thinks we are overdoing it, to everyone who doesn’t understand what it means to be violated only because you are considered to be lesser than your male counterparts and weaker, to everyone angry that we pick 16 days in a year to educate and talk to people about the challenges women face on a daily basis; I hope that you allow change to take place, I hope you help in the fight against gender based violence. The sooner we can fix these problems, the sooner we would stop talking about them.