Categories
Blog CSA

Silence is Consent! Do you Consent?

“Silence is consent! Why didn’t you say anything? You wanted it, just admit it”. Those were the words that kept swirling around in Made’s head as she clutched her purse and her shoes in one hand, while squeezing together parts of her clothes as if they would cover the imaginary nakedness she felt.

Although most people barely noticed her, she felt like all eyes were watching her with judgement. She felt shame, guilt, condemned and an overwhelming sense of aloneness. A trip to her friend’s house had ended up as one of the worst days of her life.

“Why didn’t I say anything truly?” She wondered. Her friend Jamie had said he needed help with the new assignment just delivered to them at school. Made was in his neighbourhood and figured she may as well stop by his place to get that out of the way. It won’t be the first time she would go to Jamie’s house, or be alone with him in the house. They have been friends since high school and now in the same university. She trusted him (or so she thought).

Once the assignment was done, Jamie had offered her food, she ate and slept off on the couch. Not the first time she would collapse in sleep over there. But this time, she awoke to the feel of the hands on her thighs. Her eyes flew open when she realized what the hand was trying to do, as she opened her eyes, she was shocked to see realize this was a case of rape and not a question of if she was interested.

Before she had a chance to scream, he covered her mouth with his hands. With his other hands, he signaled for her to hush, before showing her the knife he had placed on the table.

Could she ever forgive Jamie for asking her “why didn’t you scream, if you did not want it. Haven’t you heard silence is consent”? That was a question she was not ready to answer yet. The bigger question was why was he more disappointed at her who was the victim than he was at his own father who raped he under their roof?

Were you also thinking, well, if it was Jamie’s father, why didn’t she scream for help? Do you also agree silence is consent? By your logic, if silence is consent, why then do you remain silent on the topic of ending sexual violence in our society. Is your silence meaning you want this menace to continue? If no, then here is how you can help. If yes, then keep keeping mute. For God’s sake, it better be the former!

PS: At the point of doing this write-up there was yet another story of a child who was being sexually abused for the last seven years of her life by a popular member of society. We cannot afford to stay silent any longer.

Categories
Blog

“Woman, Thou Art Loosed”

“Woman, Thou Art Loosed”! It is a book title authored by Bishop T. D. Jakes. There is a movie on the title as well. I have read the book and seen the movie. You should see it or read it. Thank me later. *wink*

DISCLAIMER- many men will see ‘WOMAN’ and be like this is not for me. Don’t you dare close this. Read on and be on the right side of history. Plus a woman birthed you! (Imagine me saying that in my nicest voice). Moving on.

No, I am not about to do a review on the book or the title, I am trying to make a point here. Stay with me? Thank you. But first…

…Did you know that in this month of March (by the way, Happy New Month). Where was I? Right! In this month of March, we celebrate women all over the world. Precisely, March 8th has been designated to celebrate women and create awareness on the challenges women face.

You know what the theme of this year is? #choosetochallenge. Basically we are to challenge an idea, culture, bias, etc. against women. And I will be challenging an idea, trust me, but before I do that, let me challenge you first- WOMAN.

This is the part where I go back to “Woman, thou art loosed”. You still with me? Great. You are the best, you know that? *chuckle*. Okay, focus! “Woman thou art loosed” is basically a story of letting go, forgiveness and finding freedom for a woman who was raped by her mother’s boyfriend.

The catch in that story for me is that this woman was challenged by Bishop Jakes to forgive, because for as long as she held on to the unforgiveness, it was eating her (not her rapist) up. As such, she was challenged to make a CHOICE- heal and be made whole (to which forgiveness is a KEY component) or remain hurting and not be able to move forward.

Why am I talking about this with you? Phew, I was wondering when you were going to ask. Hey, no need to feel ‘heavy’ now. Relax, okay? But seriously, historically women have been through a lot. Personally, ‘woman thou art loosed’ was a reflection of ME, and I understand the challenge Bishop made to that woman. God placed same demand on me.

Your case may not be rape or abuse, maybe it is a mindset that has held you back from moving forward in life. But dare I say to you that the world can hold challenges all they want ‘fighting your cause’, but if you WOMAN are bound, you will never be able to walk in the fullness of your God-given purpose and freedom.

Many of us have imbibed the wrong mindset, attitude and identity. Let me ask YOU, how many times have you said to yourself (or heard someone say)- “I cannot do this”, “I don’t think they are looking for someone like me”, “I doubt they will allow a black woman” or one we join society to say “women are not supposed to….”

Dear woman, as I join the #choosetochallenge, let me challenge you first- deal with the things holding you back! Challenge the mindset and perspectives that have held you bound. God is counting on YOU to accept the identity He has given you.

Dear MAN (now you see why it was a bad idea to run off?), I want you to challenge your belief and mindset about how you view woman. With the right perspective, you will know that many things societal values have used to ‘bound’ women were not so IN THE BEGINNING. So you have a part to play. Would you like to raise your daughters in that same perspective you currently hold?

In the next write-up, I will share tips on how to challenge your mindset (or maybe it will be on my YouTube channel). Either way, you can expect that from me.

WOMAN, before I leave you go, let me rephrase Bishop’s book and video title for you- WOMAN, ARE THOU LOOSED?! Think on that as you anticipate the tips I will be sharing with you.

PS: I want to invite you to join the #choosetochallenge campaign. Click to learn and join. Meanwhile, how do you like my picture for the challenge? I took several (such a pain taking pictures) before landing this one. Through LoudSilences, I choose to challenge the culture of silence impacting issues women face.

#choosetochallenge international women day 2021
I #choosetochallenge the culture of silence

Empowering a girl child or a woman is not a privilege, it is her right, for which she has equal right to access- Anita Adefuye

Special shout out to Karibs Foundation for choosing me as the face of Karibs for this challenge. It is an honour and I do not take it lightly.