“Are All Men Rapists?”

“Are All Men Rapists?”

By Emenike Vincent Onyembi

The “all men are rapists” trend on twitter is so disgusting and condemnable. See, you do not have to accuse an entire gender because one of them did something wrong.

Those hashtags makes it sound like it is a failure on the male gender. Rapists should be regarded or considered as separate individuals, and whatever crime they have committed, it is on them as individuals. It is not the duty of the male gender in general to make sure that a pocket of individuals desist from rape.

I am not even going to get into the argument that women are capable of indulging in rape too. I have a friend who told me of a story about how three of his female cousins often took turns in molesting him. So whatever criminal activity any individual decides to indulge in, male or female, is totally on them as individuals.

But how can an argument between good and bad be about men and women?

I have been trying to understand the rationale behind this narrative. And it beats me, really.

I think there is no need to start arguing and saying “all men are rapists”. Now is not the time. Besides, what would be gained from winning that argument?

However, I am not also discarding the possibility that making it a blanket statement gives every man some sort or responsibility to get rid of the one’s tarnishing the male image.

Perhaps, my point is that we are collectively responsible for the male child. We can not absolve women of responsibility. Women raise men just as much as men do. So why is it the man’s responsibility to get rid of the one’s tarnishing the male image?

In addition, I always tell people, do not just show rage, also act. The rage is good. Social media rage is okay. But most importantly, take action.

I can not get why someone would make up their minds that they want to campaign against men. Some people are trying to make it a gender issue. It matters not, the only problem is that when we start to make individual crimes become a matter of collective responsibility, it gives the individual responsible a chance to get away with it.

The people that raped and killed Uwa, let them be arrested and charged. The policemen that killed Tina have been arrested, let them be charged. The 11 men that were raping a 12 year old have all been arrested, let them be charged. On that one, I have put a call to a friend who is following up on the matter.

If we do not follow up, before you know it, the thing will go cold. Social media rage is mostly for clout and it does not cut it. More needs to be done in terms of being vigilant.

So if we do not treat these criminals as criminals and punish them accordingly, we will just keep creating excuses for them like “upbringing”; “training”;  “men”.

I do not care if you were given manuals on how to rape, go to prison. Simple!

And more importantly, protect your children. UNICEF reported in 2015 that one in four girls and one in ten boys in Nigeria had experienced sexual violence before the age of 18. That is 25% of girls and 10% of boys. That is how rampant it is.

In February, 2018, in an editorial titled “Pedophiles on the Prowl”, the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR) revealed that in February 2017, a Kano-based businessman, aided by his wife, raped a six-month-old baby girl named Khadija until she lost consciousness. Upon his arrest, the businessman hired 10 lawyers to defend himself in court.

The same editorial contained a report of a 27-year-old man who was caught red handed in Ogun State, raping his 11-month-old niece. The baby’s screams were said to have attracted some neighbours who rushed to the scene only to find the heartless man raping the toddler while she bled profusely.

Early in December, 2017, a three-year-old girl was raped in Masaka, a community on the outskirts of Abuja, by her unmarried 42-year-old relative. The toddler, who was said to be playing at home with her siblings when the relative, who all the kids knew as Uncle Austin, carried out the nefarious act, was eventually found crying in a pool of blood in a bush in the neighbourhood late at night.

Most of these things happen because parents often think “it could never happen to us”. It could. It is probably happening to you without your knowledge. Trust no one and teach your children sex education at a young age and how to detect and raise alarm when someone is touching them. It cannot be overemphasized.

Again, that thing that people will tell you that rapists do not get convicted in Nigeria is a lie. At some point people were even saying that in the history of this country only two or three people have even been co convicted of rape, it is a lie. Report these people, expose them. It will help. Now there is even a register for sexual offenders.

I would not oppose the death sentence for rapists and child molesters. In fact, I would campaign for it. When people see that one or two people have been hanged for it. Maybe they will get back to their senses.

But please, all men are not rapists! Regards!

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