When it comes to Gender issues, the female Gender is often hailed as the victim of diverse abuse by this Gender. Indeed, these accusations are not far from the truth because this Gender is often guilty of these allegations of abuse. Nevertheless, society’s focus on the victimization of the female Gender, sadly dulls their sight and too often leads us to forget. that this Gender is and can also be a victim of abuse and stereotype.
This may be because society has in the process of time accumulated ideas, worldviews and clichés about this Gender in regards to their habits, behaviour and genetic traits..
Over time, it has become universally believed that this Gender are natural cheats with expressions like, ‘this Gender cannot do without cheating.” “It’s who they are, it’s part of their genetic makeup.” Etc. These and many more have been the medium through which these stereotyped ideas and notions are formed. Thus, these points and ideas have become so ingrained in society today. To worsen the case against this Gender, they have often failed by being the key players in all kinds of abuse; be it sexual, physical, emotional or psychological abuse.
However, I must point out that society thanks to her stereotypical beliefs and cliches against this gender, have played the role of elevating this Gender to the level where he can in most cases get away with cheating or even sexually or physically abusing members of the female Gender.
For example, if this Gender cheats on his wife, she can’t send him out and she would be called a fool by her own Gender for leaving or reacting. When this Gender physically molests a member of the other gender, society is quick to excuse his actions as an out burst of anger and usually ends up blaming the other Gender for provoking him. Society is quick to say, ” that’s who they are.” When a member of the other Gender cheats, even if it’s only once, she is sent out of the house or publicly disgraced; even by her own Gender. On the other hand if this Gender cheats, he is hailed, while the other gender is shamed and sometimes told by her own gender, “you should thank God that though he cheats, he still comes home and takes care of the bills.”
Cheating is more or less a taboo for the other Gender yet it all but earns this Gender a gold medal. Even some religious institutions that seem to uphold family values and purity support these ideas through their actions.
Well, this is not my main focus on this write-up about this Gender.
The information I would like to send across is the fact that because of these prevailing ideas and notions about this Gender, we have in the process of time also forgotten some things about this Gender and the challenges they face.
So, I would like to take some time to remind us of some important facts about this Gender.
While it is true and beyond debate that the other gender is often the victim of abuse, inequality and discrimination, this Gender often is also a victim of abuse, inequality and discrimination by the other gender.
Though studies have shown, that, this Gender has a high percentage of sexual abusers; the fact still remains that the other gender is also capable of sexually, physically, emotionally and psychologically abusing this Gender.
Once we hear of a case of abuse, it is so natural for us to quickly conclude in our minds that this gender is the abuser, for example even without reading the details. Why is it like that?
I want to, with this write-up, bring to our notice the fact that this Gender can and is often a victim of sexual, emotional and even physical abuse just like the other gender. The argument is that we have formed too many opinions about this Gender and the other gender that we forget that the other gender also have the ability and capability to abuse this Gender, sexually and otherwise.
I will relate one out of the many experiences I have had with the other gender (this is the mildest I can recall).
It was a beautiful day, I sat quietly that early morning in a corner, enjoying some good music as I waited for others to board the bus that was to take us to the north. Soon, the public address system sounded and our bus number was announced as the next to move. I stood up and walked to the vehicle, then I gave my ticket to the man standing next to the door of the bus. He directed me to my seat by pointing at it. I was joyful because it was just what I wanted, a window seat. I settled in and prepared my mind for the journey after I said a little prayer. Though I could faintly hear some people complaining or saying one thing or the other, I was too engrossed in listening to the music buzzing from my ear buds. Soon, we were all in the bus and a lady sat by my side.
I didn’t really take note because I was just lost in my world of musical fiesta.
She tapped me and then smiled at me when I looked her way, no qualms, I smiled back at her and said, “hi.”
I turned my head, plugged back my ear bud and continued listening.
Just as we began our journey to the North, so my journey of sexual harassment and abuse began. First, I would want to point out that the bus was quite spacious and comfortable but almost throughout the journey this lady was all over me.
She kept touching me on my thighs and brushing her breast on my shoulders and arm; I tried to adjust, trying to be a gentleman man but to no avail. It even got to the point where she just dropped her head on me as pillow. It was so obvious that others started looking at us but no body said anything; even when they noticed I wasn’t comfortable. I would not what to describe everything in details due to space and time but I can asure you I felt sexually violated and harassed.
I shared this particular experience because of what I gathered from the response in the bus both from this Gender and the other gender.
Firstly, I was shocked and pained when I realize that nobody said anything, even when they noticed I wasn’t comfortable. Imagine if it was this Gender that was touching or throwing himself on the other gender. Someone would have said something because society has painted this Gender as the only one that can abuse or harass and the other gender is always the victim.
Secondly, the comments from a passenger from the other gender gave further proof to the wrongness of the stereotypical ideas society has spread about this Gender. Notice I said the harassment went on almost throughout the journey. That’s because, when we stopped for a break; I approached a friendly woman who had also complained about her seating position. I went to her and asked if she would trade seats with me. She asked why I wanted to trade such a fine position. So, I told her I wasn’t comfortable where I was seating. That’s when she pointed out that she noticed the lady by my side really liked me and she asked if we were dating. I told her we weren’t dating and I had infact never met her before. I also told her that the lady’s albeit unsolicited attention was the very reason why I wanted to trade seat, that the lady’s sexual advances were making me uncomfortable. That’s when she replied with a shocking exclamation, “Ha! You no dey enjoy am, you think say e easy for woman to put e body for ground? I didn’t say anything more, it gave me a clue as to what society had come to understand about this Gender.
Now, if you would bear with me, imagine I was the one touching that lady’s thighs and using my shoulder to caress her breast? Won’t someone have said something (even a person of this Gender)? Even if the lady didn’t say a thing, someone would have spoken up on her behalf.
They would have quickly tagged this Gender as weirdos and a perverts but because it was the other gender orchestrating this act, “I was supposed to shut up and enjoy it.”
My view is this, our perceptions of what constitutes sexual abuse, should not be influenced by gender bias. It should rather be judged by individual differences.
I want to argue that if the other gender is saddled with the same bias and presuppositions that this Gender has been saddled with, that is, if society were to let them off the hook when they cheat or carry out some other form of abuse, many of the other gender will do just as this Gender.
If society were to lift the social stigma and tabooism that is often associated with any misdemeanor from the other gender, they will equally cheat as this Gender. After all, when this Gender cheats they cheat with the other gender.
The ligaments of abuse is not just gender based. In fact, if not for the way society has come to treat and educate the other gender they will carry out abuse just like this Gender.
For example, the other gender has learnt over the years to hide or exercise much self control because if she cheats, she leaves the home. Whereas if this Gender cheats, he is hailed as just being a man and this encouraged cheat the more. If the other gender complains she is rebuked by her own gender, you hear things like, “if he is cheating on you and still comes home and pay the bills you should be grateful.”
Truth be told, if all these social clichés are removed, the other gender is capable of doing the same.
Here is my main point as I conclude, we need to re-educate our minds, such that this idea of cheating or abuse would no longer be judged based on gender but individual characteristics. We should also try and change our ways by implementing social norms to guide family values. If this Gender cheats and the other gender complains, let this Gender be rebuked and if possible also face the same humiliation and social stigma undergone by the other gender, in fact let them also lose their home.
Please let’s re-educate our minds such that the next time we want to make a stereotypical statement or judge this Gender or the other gender, we would remember that this Gender can also be abused sexually, emotionally, physically and psychologically.
This Gender can cry, they can be frustrated and depressed.
Remember, this Gender is also a victim of discrimination and social stigma; coupled with all the emotions that society has trained them to bottle in, charged with the responsibility to always provide even in difficult times.
Remember, that this Gender though tough is also soft, tender and often in need of emotional support.
Above all, remember, that this Gender is human.
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