Rape is any kind of sexual activity, either on a man or a woman that is done without their consent or despite their resistance. There’s the popular belief of how when a person dresses in a certain way or stays in a place with a particular posture, she/he is “asking for it” , the belief is a wrong one. While women and even men should be encouraged to guard and protect themselves at every time, so far she or he doesn’t want it, no matter what she or he wears or acts like, sexual relations are illegitimate.
I believe the idea of modesty should be encouraged in both genders, provocative wears should be totally discouraged, but to argue that a person indulges in sexual abuse because the other person suggests it, is something I find outrageous. It is said as if men are beasts that lack every inch of self-control and are always in the lookout for a poorly dressed girl to take advantage of, as a matter of fact, I feel this is unfair to the reputation of men in our society.
Any form of sexual harassment and abuse should be properly dealt with, for God’s sake, it is traumatic enough to have to go through it. There is the natural guilt that your conscience brings on you, there is you asking yourself the question of if you, in any way are responsible for bringing it upon yourself. People coming around to ask you why you didn’t fight it, or why you didn’t scream enough doesn’t in any way help the victim. And on the masculine side, it’s unbelievable that there are people who think a man cannot be abused and that even when it happens, he must have enjoyed it.
All of these are ways by which people avoid treating the main issue, they misplace priorities and serve blame in desert dishes. I would avoid the use of ‘society’ because it is made of you and I, there is no other society unless we deal with things ourselves.
Another thing I would like to emphasize is the need for parents to focus on training a child to stand against abuse right from when he/she can talk and listen, and this isn’t only about the girl child, it should be done to male and female alike, enough of the emphasis on females only while the men deal with their share of the deal too. Things as little as tickling the breast of a small child, even as a parent should be frowned upon, a child isn’t too young to know not to go into Uncle Jide or Aunt Ladi’s room alone, to know that caressing or tickling any part of his/her body at all unnecessarily is forbidden. Children should be trained to speak up too, nobody can kill them or stop giving them sweets if they tell their mum or dad about what an uncle or aunt did to them.
Males and females alike should be properly sensitized on what sexual abuse entails, without special preference to another. Those males that we leave out of the discussion are the ones that grown up thinking they have the right to misbehave with their female counterparts, those girls that we feel are too young are the ones that get too scared to speak up when faced with a situation of abuse. The society contains you and I, only with our help can the stereotypes be gotten rid of.

Sofiyat Oyesanya