– Joy Isi Bewaji
The news hit social media last week. Boys from Ireti Grammar School, after final exams, decided the best parting gift for female students of Falomo Senior High School, was to sexually abuse them. It’s tricky because they have no money to lure the girls to hotel rooms or arrange for a “private” occasion to perpetuate evil, so they dared the world and chose to have their way right under the sun, in broad daylight.
They came prepared. They had scissors, they gathered their guts, glossed their depravity and headed out in their numbers to cower, humiliate, and rape these ones of a different gender whom they believe are beneath them, whom they have decided should not graduate without pain and shame – an experience that is meant to suck the colour out of the future of these young girls.
It’s shocking to witness how vile we have become as a people – that teenagers, barely able to lead their own lives, have turned to monsters, making concrete plans on how to destroy the lives of others. How are we grooming the Nigerian boy child? Aren’t we supposed to be a religious society? Always wrapped in scarves, Bible/Quran clinging to our chests, crammed verses of religious books leaping from our tongues to “bless” the next person? Do we not spend all our time listening to pastors order our steps? Do we not pay tithes? Don’t we know all the hit songs from the choir? Aren’t our cars decorated with religious stickers? Where then did we miss it? How did we end up with teenage sons and brothers and cousins and nephews who would willingly tear out a girl’s uniform and her underwear, lay her down near a gutter to the cheering support of friends and attempt to rape her? With all our religion, how come we are grooming beasts? What about our so-called African values? Where could it be hiding when you need it the most?
I know we need to blame Hip hop, Nollywood, Hollywood, The Kardashians, and Donald Trump’s bald for the decrepit values in our society. Sorry, not this time.
Our major problem is: nobody talks to boys. There are no special programmes for boys. Boys are largely ignored. We have left them to their wiles. Girls, on the other hand, have the attention of the entire world. United Nations can’t seem to fit in all their projects for the girl child into one year. There are days dedicated to celebrating the girl child. Tons of seminars in organized institutions devoted to the girl child. We have “women affairs” as a special part of government activities. We are interested in poor women; and when we are done patronizing that group, we turn to girls and chide them on their sexual desires. Anything to ensure we nurture pristine women.
We have fed the girl child with so much information –how to fry plantain with one hand and prepare egusi soup with the other, how to restrain your genius so the men in your life (which includes random men you bump into) do not feel threatened, how not to buy a car before finding a husband; how not to build a house before saying “I do”… and so many other incredibly annoying crap that we sell to women quite successfully.
What about your sons? What are we teaching boys? After training the girl child to be in her best behaviour, she would have to share a world with “un-trained” boys, beastly in thought and action.
We are reaping our shocking rewards in a society that gives too many privileges to the boy child; unrehearsed and dangerous prerogative. See what some of them have become – daylight molesters!
Parents, this is your shame. How can a teenager under your watch turn out so depraved?
Talk to a boy child today. Tell him he holds no entitlements above a girl. Tell him to respect the body and mind of others. Selah.
This post was first published on Daily Independent