Ask, Don’t Assume

Most Nigerians are currently either entranced with Big Brother or totally appalled by the show, as the recent petitions to shut down the show revealed. I fall somewhere between, I’m not glued to my TV or actively searching the highlights and I’m not sickened by the show either. However, when significant things happen on the show, like evictions or anything concerning Bisola (I would like for her to win, just because of Skinny Girl in Transit) I pay attention to that.

On Sunday, I came across the news that Kemen was disqualified and I was curious as to what triggered that. I stumbled on the video of the incident on social media, but to be honest I still wasn’t sure what really went down till I got more details, as I said I don’t actually follow everything about the show. Anyway, after getting the full gist, I realized the significance of his actions which the 15 seconds video clip I watched couldn’t tell me.

Kemen is one of tens of millions of Nigerian men and women who believe men can take and do as they please with women as they will. We clearly live in an extremely patriarchal society and certain teachings and cultures have been deliberately passed down from generation to generation to the detriment of women. There is a new awareness and conscious effort to challenge and ultimately rebuke these teachings among the youth; a paradigm shift is creeping upon our society and culture.

There are different schools of thoughts when it comes to sexual consent and people need to start speaking up and speaking against non-consensual sexual acts. The most fundamental thing here is communication not the mood or setting. Just because it looks and smells like a love making session is about to happen doesn’t mean it must happen. It is paramount to make sure both parties are on the same page, don’t assume it will whether it’s your first time or the 132nd you’ve been in the same situation with the person, never assume they want it too.

A person who is intoxicated is not in the right frame of mind to consent to sex, just because the person is silent doesn’t mean they are aware of what is about to happen and they are down for the act. A lot of women have woken up only to realize they have been taken advantage of just because they were inebriated by a friend, stranger or even their significant other.

I’m just trying to highlight the need to always have consent before going forward with the sexual act. I believe that the rate of non-consensual sexual acts will reduce if more people were aware of the importance of consent and the possible implications; be it legal or emotionally.

In this situation, ignorance is not bliss, it is RAPE.


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