The other day, I was going to see my friend ; she’s female by the way (because somehow in matters like this, we have to explain the who, what, where, so they can see if what we’re saying has substance, but I’m coming to that).
Anyway, I had on, a really big blouse, leggings, bathroom slippers and no make up, plus I use glasses, so imagine what I looked like. Lol, I wouldn’t even talk to me, if I saw me on the road, right?
So, I’m well on my way and a tout legit rubs against my face with his black stained fingers, grinning rusty teeth. I am rooted to the spot in shock because I DO NOT UNDERSTAND! I CANNOT EVEN BELIEVE THAT HAPPENED!! I can’t react either, because they will beat me and nothing will happen, lol.
I take it to my status and go all,
Guys, y’all won’t believe what just happened…
I was not even done with my story when another tout came out of a taxi he was loading and grabbed me, I don’t know if to get me to enter the taxi which I didn’t even know where it was going but I was definitely headed the opposite direction, but I was stunned. It was like I was tongue tied as I made away.
Harassment is often what I read online, it doesn’t make sense and it didn’t make any sense that it would happen to me, I mean, I was not attractive looking, no make up, baggy clothes, like boy, what’s the deal?
Surprisingly, a lot of ladies replied my status with their own tales of woe. You see, at first I didn’t want to put it up for fear of looking dramatic or overreacting but when I heard what these ladies had to say, I was stunned. How come nobody talks about this? Like, it just happens and somehow you move on. How?
One said she had her boobs grabbed by an Aboki in Abuja and when she started screaming at him, his bandwagon creeped on her and she had to, well, behave, because you know…
Another laughed and said it happens a lot in yaba. She said it in an off-handed manner of forced acceptance, you know when something is so rampant, you can’t even kill yourself about it again…
One that amazed me was the one whose ass was tapped, and hard, because she wore yoga pants to the market.
I had an earful and it felt like I’ve been living under a rock all the while. I used to think there was a “type” when it comes to all this and I was always safe, but no, there’s no type, anything that looks female is good to go ; just like rape, it’s not about what you wear or look like, it’s about the rapist or in this case, the harasser.
Going home from my friend’s house, another one tried to grab me and I dodged it, you learn defence when it’s much, right?
Someone sent me a whatsapp message, like,
“Oya it’s okay, leave us guys and our wahala… “
Believe me, I read it twice because I didn’t want to believe someone said that, but he did, he referred to them as “guys”, like how you would talk about friends or males you’re acquainted to and not a greasy stranger who probably had too much of weed before the sun was high, and he went on to say he wasn’t defending them but trying to see reasons for their actions.
Like, girl, just byee.
I didn’t have the strength to school him, it didn’t look worth it to me, I just left the message on read.
This reminds of when there was some sort of walk in yaba market targeted at the traders there, educating them about how its not okay to grope, grab, touch or molest someone because you’re trying to get them to buy from you or you find them attractive or your color, whatever.
If you saw the videos and comments, the ladies were mocked and told if they didn’t like it, they shouldn’t come to the market, that it’s the traders being traders, that’s how they work their trade. Some even said guys get groped too, in a bid to make it sound okay.
It’s not okay, it’s never okay, forget social conditioning, it’s not okay to touch anyone inappropriately and especially without their permission, for any reason whatsoever.
Just a few touts touching my skin and grabbing me made me feel dirty for half the day, then imagine those getting their asses slapped, boobs grabbed and all what nots. I told someone this was violation and she all but laughed in my face, like I was using the word out of context.
Is it that we don’t know or is the system that broken?