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#Not Too Young To Assault

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Iguess in some part, this is a good time for a woman to be alive. While closets were being emptied last week as a result of the rape allegation levied by Busola Dakolo against Biodun Fatoyibo, apparently there was another monster lurking.

The two biggest issues that affect women came to a dramatic head with the release of a video of a senator physically assaulting a woman and having her arrested for daring to address him albeit politely. But for that video, we would have gotten questions and remarks like:

“What did she say to provoke him?”

“She must have been rude.”

“Why was she even in a sex shop?”

“With the way she was dressed, she was asking for it.”

“Is he a madman that he will just start slapping her?”

“Why didn’t she shout when he started slapping her?”

“And she just stood there and took the slaps and blows?”

I could go on. Though the incident took place a couple of months back, thankfully, it was finally leaked. Even in this case, the assaulted woman would have rather kept quiet about it and nursed her wounds in peace far from the eyes of society.

The truth is we still have a long way to go. The ‘distinguished’ senator is out on bail. This should have been an open and shut case, tried summarily. He confessed and apologised for the whole world to see, went to court and then pled not guilty.  It was clear that his confession wasn’t from as remorseful a place as his plea. The good thing is that at least, the social media hysteria over the incident had him ‘arrested’ and now charged to court. He almost got away with it; not that he might not eventually given the abracadabra that we regularly see in our lives as Nigerians. I am wondering; with the overwhelming evidence that abounds, what exactly will be his defense? Crime of passion? Momentary insanity? His medication?

A video has gone viral of the exchange between him and Senator Oluremi Tinubu and the issue of his age and youthfulness came up but pray, is 41-year-old young, given the youth bulge and the United Nations definition of who a youth is? He isn’t young biko. He’s just an old man with anger issues, undisciplined with a sense of entitlement and with a Neanderthal image of women. Let’s say the Senate finds him ‘guilty’ but the court lefts him off on a technicality, then what? Especially since he has warned the committee not to threaten him with suspension.

Anyway, with his new-found notoriety and taking selfies inside the court room, we still have a long way in educating our men that it is not alright to assault a woman. Neither is it okay for a woman to batter a man.

To digress a bit, I heard the story of a woman who would beat her husband including flogging him but would be the one screaming as if she was in pain. Concerned neighbours soon found out the truth. Talk about being smart. Yes, the neighbours snitched on him, that’s how I (we) heard. He seems unperturbed though because the story has it that he replaced the 50-inch television she smashed in her rage. How I know this? He asked the same neighbour who relayed this story where he bought the television.

Back to our legislator; I wonder what would have happened if the woman was a black belt. Which brings me to my last point. Our daughters need more lessons in self-defense techniques. While ballet and gymnastics might have their place in a young girl’s life, it is becoming increasingly clear that these activities should take a back seat until such a time that a girl/lady/woman can physically defend herself. As the century progresses, it seems that rather than the world becoming a safe place for a female, it is becoming increasingly dangerous.

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