Happy new year, 2018 is here.
I know, ok I believe I should be making a blog post about what I learnt about 2017 or something about ushering in the new year and so forth but nope not this one, maybe they will come later.
I was ridding in a bus day one into the new year from some trip and something happened. We made a stop, to buy some things. If you have experienced this, been in Uganda you know how it works. People get to push things through the window for one to buy, I am not complaining but this time round something caught my attention. There was this lady sited next to the window as things were being pushed in, she kindly asked the gentlemen we had bought from to step back and try different points so that we could access the other ones we needed to get things from. This guy looked at her, ignored her statement and started pushing the things further into the window onto her thigh vigorously giving her a ‘’what will you do’’ kind of look and whispering nasty things to his friends. She pushed the things back and shut the window. Like the hell!!
It took me back to a theme post that was worked on earlier but never published. It was in relation to 16 days of Activism against Gender Based Violence. I know most people will scream that there is no violence indicated above , but the fact that he went out of his way to her uncomfortable and uttered sexist words is violence and harassment even after telling him to back off.
Violence can be divided into different kinds of categories; sexual, emotional, psychological, physical, mental.
Can you catch the drift?
From 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December, Human Rights Day, the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign is a time to galvanize action to end violence against women and girls around the world. The international campaign originated from the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute coordinated by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership in 1991.
Last year a story of Russel Simmons allegedly being accused of sexual assault broke , I screamed no way in my mind but stopped myself half way. There I was dropping the victim blaming card, shaming and turning the side eye, oh a nice father, his brother is reverend he can’t do it. So, after I read the story I literally cried at the comments. People were tearing this girls story apart.
It got me thinking about Usher’s accuser (well he gave her herpes after all). And yes, she’s a victim, they might have agreed to have sex but the fact that he did not disclose that he had a disease, that was wrong. The comments that she is not even his type, don’t start me on that.
Earlier this year, one of the hospitals in Uganda if you didn’t catch the story, the lab technician assaulted a lady as he was supposed to be taking samples from her, he encroached on her privacy through in appropriate touching that led to bleeding. Alas the comments never seize to amuse you, ”she knew he was a lab technician what did she think?” Well if I went to the hospital to seek help, I would not be thinking that someone is there to assault me.
After the me too and church too hashtags we must realize there evil is around us and must be put to an end.
We as women have a right to feel safe always. Stop with the excuses and let’s deal with the problem, dress code does not have anything to do with lack of self-control and so forth.
Some people do this knowing or unknowingly, here are some stories/testimonies that I would like to share with you. Somethings you get to know about when you sit down with your girls and talk.
“As I was walking in town, this man walked up to me and just grabbed my boobs, for no reason, I couldn’t wait to get home and just cry.’’
‘’When I got my first job my supervisor kept keeping me late, hanging around me during lunch break, wanting to take pictures with me without my consent and so forth. He later told me it would be a god idea if we dated, I explained that I was not interested, that’s when he started handing in my assignments late, giving me low credits on my projects, he reported me for inappropriate conduct and having a bad attitude. I just left that job.’’
‘’In high school there was a director’s brother who doubled as a teacher as I stood at the staff room one time waiting for another teacher he grabbed my butt, I was shook. The next time, I was there he made some remark’ ’something about being fresh meet as he licked his tongue’’ he called me closer to him, I refused. The next day he came to punish me in front of the whole class for apparently being big headed. He kept on harassing me and wanting to beat me for no apparent reason. I got a pass out and changed schools, didn’t finish the school term there.’’
‘’I was in church and this guy kept brushing against me unnecessarily, so uncomfortable! During the time to offer each other peace he held out his hand and tickled my palms, (very weird) when I went for holy communion he dropped a paper with his number in my bible and kept tapping me the whole time during service to reply, I ran out and finished the service from outside’’
‘’I hate going downtown, it gives me headaches and body pains, the pulling and grabbing. What makes you think if you pull and grab me I will support you?’’
‘’During one taxi ride there was a man sited between a moslem lady and me. I heard her slap him and she stated he was trying to touch her inappropriately. (constantly brushing his hand along her thigh, like he literally put his hand in her skirt) Fellow passengers asked him to get out.’’ Ps she was in a modest attire.
‘’I was leaving the country hence bidding Farewell to most of my friends. I went to visit this guy (we had been friends since forever) and he left his seat to come seat with me, he started pinning me on the couch asking for a kiss, I said no and told him I wanted to leave, he reached for the door and took out the keys. We started a cat and mouse game, he pinned me on the couch. Thank God, his roommate came in and opened the door, I ran out immediately. He sent me text saying he was sorry.
One of my boyfriend’s friends used to stay in the same hall as I, he used to come around with my boyfriend to visit, one time he came alone I found it odd but thought he needed something, he walked onto my bed, started touching and feeling on me I told him no and asked him to leave, my roommate and I started chasing him out, he called me a whore. He later apologised a couple of days later blaming it on the alcohol.
‘’I was sited in a taxi next to the window but couldn’t get out until the passengers on my left moved out, this man refused to do so, I felt him touch the back of my thigh as brushed against him to move out.’’
‘’On Friday afternoon I was walking home, in baggy jeans and this man walked past me and grabbed my butt. I was in baggy jeans, nothing tight, nothing in appropriate’’
I went to visit my boyfriend, but we had agreed that no sex, he just pounced on me as we watched the movie. I tried telling him no, I wasn’t interested but he insisted we are dating and it’s his right. We broke up right after that incident’’
We all should note that women being most prone to sexual harassment. It doesn’t exclude the fact that men too can’t be victims.
All in all we live in a modern world today and it’s a brand new year, let’s not seat on other’s rights as well as hinder their opportunities because of their sex but rather help one another to excess in all aspects as it is not only the biblical thing to do according to our creator but also humane.