I am a multiple rapes survivor who has since overcome the pain and trauma that comes with that. Thanks to immense therapy, reading my way through it and practicing self-awareness. The whole process has taken over eight years and counting. Headlines of women being killed by men have brought up fragments of the darkness that comes with fear, anxiety, and trauma of being hurt by someone you trust.
The debate that is happening around the legitimacy of woman’s life is shattering to me. A woman’s life has been in danger for a long time. Social media has only amplified the cases on two fronts; the absurd sense of heroism by perpetrators of femicide. Serial killers and terrorists get a high from headlines and temporary attention by the masses. From the victim’s end, sharing has triggered conversations and hopefully, that will gradually evolve to action.
The woman was for a long time protected by society. Any interaction with a man was almost monitored by the men in the family, at least in my culture. Those decisions were made for you and that had bits there were problematic, but that is a whole other conversation. The boundaries created by family and culture meant that any man who pursued a woman did so within certain protocols and eternal accountability to elders of the village.
In comes independence and urban migration. The latter meant that the community was no longer the custodian of the woman. Any perverts who were irked by the social norms of protecting women got a get out of jail free card. Independence gave the woman the gift of choice. The freedom to decide who she interacts which was supposed to be a step forward into a whole new world. Instead, that has brought along the responsibility to be in charge of your security. The man who was commanded by God and society has become the potential predator with customized requirements for each one of them.
For some, your mere presence to a planned date is assumed consent to sex. Others will expect that any money spent on you is the price to hurt you. That alone is exhausting. Dates are good but they are a lot of work. The emotional planning, prepping, dressing up and holding a date needs a lot of energy that saps out quickly the older you get. Add to that list protection. A woman now needs to carry her own money to date that way when you are on the verge to lose your right to choice over drinks and food, you can quickly pay and consider that bad time investment and block the person.
Users will milk another dry to achieve an aspirational life. However to the person who is involved, surely you must be getting something in return for you to stay there. Be it sexual or egotistical favors, you choose to stay. That dismisses ‘being used’ to two adults in a transactional relationship. So when things go south, why does an annulment of said agreement come with a death certificate for the woman? I’ll tell you why, because the easy access to a woman has somehow made it hard for a man to hear and take the word NO.
Honestly, if we were forthright from the word go we would save our wallets and time. That takes a lot of maturity and discipline that immature and selfish men will forego for a quick lay. Forming healthy relationships takes a lot of intention and maturity. It is a decision to be made. It means walking away from a pretty ass, fat wallet, good skin, and bomb sex if any of that comes with a threat to your peace, at worst your life. You think you are only in it for the superficial but being the red-blooded mammal you are, when you lay down at night you crave human genuine connection.
You will then begin to require more from the flimsy interaction and bad situation you have gotten yourself into. That mess will not fulfill what you want because the foundation was wrong, to begin with. The child in you will be hurt and that is when madness checks in. That is how you stab a man 25 times and think you are too pretty for prison. Or drive four hours to commit a crime. The power of the mind works for success and psychopathy. Your mind will convince you that this is what you need to do to feel better ignoring the consequences. There is also the place of spirituality here but I promised myself to focus.
Some Twitter users floated the place of economic strife directly linked to increased cases of domestic and gender-based violence. Nobody talks about how scarcity breaks your mind. It tampers with your humanity and the decision made in the pit will change the course of your life. The partner whose hands are tied due to financial constraint is vulnerable to violence and power games by someone who should be your cover and protection. On the flip side even if the better off partner treated you like royalty, insecurity brought about by a lack of self-awareness will lead them to self-destructive behavior that will bleed onto the person they are with, assuming that there is consent. Lack of consent is a crime.
The discussion around a life lost with the immediate ‘crimes of passion’ tag is misplaced. Every life matters period.