Thursday, February 21, 2013

Can Men Claim Rape?

While other LAWMAKERS are thinking of how to make lives safer for their citizens through amendment of bills, rewording outdated legal dictums and encompassing new social ills, African governments including my dear Nigeria will rather prefer to label ‘innocents as criminal’ while the guilty walk free.
 
About 86years ago, Rape was legally defined as “the carnal knowledge of a female, forcibly and against her will,”

This wording meant that
Only vaginal penetration was termed rape
Anal/Oral penetration were not considered as rape then – rather assault by penetration.
Only men can rape – because penises are the only device for rape
Only females can claim rape
Did this make prosecution easy? Not necessarily because to convict a man of rape first of all, the prosecution had to convince the jury beyond reasonable doubt that the woman was not consenting. Whether he was guilty or not depended on whether or not he thought she was consenting – that is, what was going on in his head - not what was happening to her body. This was the "Morgan" rule which says that a man is not guilty of rape if he believed she was consenting NO MATTER HOW UNREASONABLE THAT BELIEF.
In 1st May 2004, this definition was however changed to incorporate the changing sexual/social landscape therefore a defendant A is guilty of rape if he intentionally penetrates the vagina, anus or mouth of B by his penis without the individual’s consent and/or continues to do so after B has withdrawn consent.

The bit about ‘if A continues to penetrate after B has withdrawn consent’ made me crow with joy. What does that mean Guys  you need to have your brake fluids up to scratch. Even if you don enter and she has an attack of conscience, or her eyes clear of your sweet words or alcohol and she says stop. Stop oo
But even this was still not satisfactory enough for American Sexual violence advocates so in January 2012, the Obama administration further amended the definition to rape.
The new definition, “The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex of another person, without the consent of the victim,” clearly encompasses a much wider range of actions, and more inclusivity for who can be both a perpetrator and a victim.
“These long overdue updates to the definition of rape will help ensure justice for those whose lives have been devastated by sexual violence and reflect the Department of Justice’s commitment to standing with rape victims,” said Attorney General Holder in a statement.
While Lynn Rosenthal, the White House adviser on violence against women says, “It’s a change of our understanding of rape and how seriously we take it as a country.”
I can see that!
So, by my understanding, any part covered by pants/gstring/thong/kpata/dross/napkin/pampers/boxers are legally off limits unless by consent. Imagine! this means that even Uncles who play touchy touchy with little girls even though no penile penetration occurs can now be accused of rape.
This also means that situations in which there is no physical force but the victim is unable to give consent will also fall under the definition – for instance, anyone under the influence of drugs or alcohol or having disabilities that prevent them from understanding what is going on and giving consent.
This new definition also mean that men/boys who have been sodomised or forced to give oral sex against their will can claim Rape. Yes, the greatest number of rapes still happen to women, agreed but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a rising number of male victims of rape who have remained silence cause of societal/gendered stigma (how can a man claim rape? Men love sex etc) and cause the law treated them as victims of assault at the worst leading to the perpetrator getting off on a lighter sentence and less disgrace.

You see why I love America?
But it is still a RIGHT STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION.
Now let’s come back home to Nigeria
The laws against attempted rape and real rape as enshrined in Criminal Code Act: Section 357.
Any person who has unlawful carnal knowledge of a woman or girl, without her consent, or with her consent, if the consent is obtained by force or by means of threats or intimidation of any kind, or by fear of harm, or by means of false and fraudulent representation as to the nature of the act, or, in the case of a married woman, by personating her husband, is guilty of an offence which is called rape.
Section  358. Any person who commits the offence of rape is liable to imprisonment for life, with or without caning.
Section  359. Any person who attempts to commit the offence of rape is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for 14 years , with or without caning.
Section 360. Any person who unlawfully and indecently assaults a woman or girl is guilty of a misdemeanour, and is liable to imprisonment for two years.
*That caning matter get as e be shaa.
If I want to think for only women. Then I would say these laws are okay. But we know it is not. Men are being raped. And they are not necessarily homosexuals. If we go back to lesson 101 about rape, it’s not about sex. It’s not about ‘conji’. It’s about power. It’s about debasing another human being. Men can be debased as much as women. And it is happening in our country. But what with anti-homosexual bills being passed, your guess is as good as mine if a male victim can report rape without first being jailed for 14yrs for being gay.
I lie?
Lastly, from this eye opening rape reportage in Nigeria (kudos to the journalists for a job well done), it seems three of the greatest challenges we have in rape reporting is

  1. The judges requesting corroborating evidence (from eye witness account), to torn kpata, blood, semen. How can that be resolved? We know how primitive our forensics are.

  2. This issue about protecting the identity of the victim. Can’t it be enforced by law, “that any media/social media/blogging outlet  that reveals a victim’s name shall be sued..something along those lines”?

  3. What is this about Judges enjoying great latitude to determine punishment for conviction leading to some rapists being sentenced to three months imprisonment? Rape pass rape abi? Even if so the lower limit should be higher than 3months haba!


I know this topic isn’t savoury but it is the reality of many of our sisters and brothers. I welcome comments. Opinions. Comparisons. Thanks.

p.s. Oh, and the answer to my post title, can men claim rape? Not if you live in Nigeria :(

Monday, February 18, 2013

Dame Patience is Resurrected!

To say I haven’t missed this woman is not an exaggeration. I didn’t wish her sickness but I was happy to have her out of the public arena for a while. Sigh

It seems that period is over. She is back. Bigger and badder!

It started with rumours/reports of midnight flight/s in an air ambulance to Germany, of uterine fibroids, exarcebated by Parkinson’s disease. Others said uterine cancer. Some tummy-tuck. 

What did The Presidential Ogene Reuben Abati say 'Liar, Liar! Detractors. Haters stop lying.

What did the First Lady say
“I don’t even know that hospital they are talking about…”.  “I do not have any terminal illness or cosmetic surgery.”  
Trying to understand why they are all gazing at this picture.

"My Husband loves me just the way I am" (I guess that's in answer to the tummy tuck rumours).

All literally true granted...her illness might not necessarily be a cosmetic one or terminal. My grouse then was...what was it? What is soo wrong in telling your citizens your ailment? Especially one which has been so controversial? Especially when it is costing the nation money flying you out in air ambulances etc. 
What is this unmentionable disease that you cant bear for your millions of fans and well wishers to know about?

Now here we are 5 months after, throwing a lavish party on your 'Soonest Recover' (as our dear Shina Peters wished a colleague some decades back).

I read the SR article about three times to glean the name of this medical condition which according to our dearest First Lady Patience Jonathan involved her undergoing 9  successive Surgeries In One Month!
  “I actually died,” Premium Times quoted her as testifying.  “I passed out for more than a     week. My intestine and tummy were opened.”
 “It was God himself in His infinite mercy that said I will return to Nigeria. God woke me up after seven days.”

Alleluia!!She is risen!!
 

According to SR, this 'Resurrection party' cost Aso Rock coffers some N500M to host 5000 guests. (I'll take that with a pinch of salt and maggi) but then again, we know our Presidency  doesnt joke with his food and drink. They must have eaten caviar and gold plated fufu balls.
(Now if only my dear 9ja Foodie had gotten the catering contract...I would have shut my mouth up small) Pray, I ask, was this party foreseen and included in that 1billion dollar food budget or is it an additional expense? You know, matters arising?

In addition, donations from friend and lovers of the presidency amounting to N500M will be presented to the 1st Lady as 'Easter Gift'. 

Words fail me.

Why doesnt it surprise me that the presidential gift organising committee is chaired by a Mr. John Kennedy Okpara (why do we always find my Igbo men in such 'funny' positions??)



Of the future, she said, “I will be doing things that will touch the lives of the less privileged. God gave me a second chance because I reached there. He knew I had not completed the assignments He gave me that was why I was sent back.”

Oh how my religiously zealous compatriots will lap this up. With a N500M gift awaiting me, I might ask God to send me back to earth too.





I am glad she is well and recovered. I'm glad we are celebrating not mourning. 
I m just angry at the way the presidency keeps rubbing our faces in the sh#t of their unbridled lavishness. Always saying untruths and doing things in a way that leaves more questions than answers at least for enquiring normal citizens.

And when I read comments like this one below..I want to give up. Atilola. I’m holding on to that your hope, but the rope wears thin.


 "There's nothing wrong in the first lady having a thanksgiving. She believes her being alive today was because God spared her life and think it's wise to thank Him. So whats the big deal? The resources we're talking about here came from her backyard. Naijas should be grateful for having the SE/SS region whose resources has been spoon feeding them for over 52years. They shouldn't take kindness for stupidity. What's 500m naira compared to a life spared after many surgeries. How much is N500m compared to the 16B USD the ota baboon stole or the 12B USD IBB embezzled while in office or is it the USD4.6B that was never accounted for when Mullah Buhari was the Boss at PTDF. Haba! Naijas should be happy for the 1st lady and join her in thanking God. When you talk of naija being a family, you also talk of the SS being the breadwinner. GEJ and the 1st lady are from the 'breadwinners' region of naija and should be treated as such. Hate them and hate their oil & gas too!"



I still need answers...What is the Nigerian First Lady recovering from? Why all the secrecy?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Pls Don't Judge Me - The Number Series Review

0, 3, 10, 20…. Naa, I really don’t want to know.

So have you seen that Youtube series The Number? I came across it a while bk. Then they were still on episode 2. I never went back to it till last night when I came across the link again.

It’s about this newly engaged couple Melissa and Jason, who delved into their past in the light of honesty and sharing only for the guy to find out that his fiancée has had lots of partners in the past (the number was never mentioned but I am guessing it was lots more than his, and we know what guys are like right?) White flag white flag….no male bashing intended. Just acknowledging your societal-accepted right to be dogs while the female folk keep it virginal.

At the end of watching the rest of the series - it takes about 72mins to watch the 12 episodes - I came to some interesting thoughts/conclusions:
 
What number makes a girl a whore/slut really? Some girls end up with “lots of partners” in that elusive search for The One. Maybe they can be blamed for not having enough control over their pants or sense. Maybe love makes them more gullible than others. Maybe they were less discerning.
Do we judge them on same whore scale as the girl who may have had the same number of partners but was actually having sex for the fun of it? Or on the other hand, how do you compare 7 partners in the life of a 30yr old to 5, in the lifetime of a 20yr old. Is it less acceptable in the later cause she is younger? What is the measuring stick?

Apart from the whorish connotations of having many sex partners, I came across an interesting debate on thenakedconvos site about this same topic, and I noticed guys claiming that the number question is important cause the wear and tear is manifest physically in the vagina. Really? Does a girl who has had say... 20 partners and on average slept with each 7 times due to opportunity/distance whatever, have same vaginal mileage as the girl who has been in 2 consecutive steady relationships and has had sex very regularly in these relationships? I thought it was only childbirth that had any real effect on the vaginal widening.
I’m not a gyno so I don’t know much about these things…I hope I am not sounding ignorant. I would sure like to know. Facts not heresay..

Moving on…the part that made my jaw hang agape was the penultimate episode..the STD test. Not the show but the comments left by viewers.
Summary: Melissa and fiancé went for an STD test as part of their journey in commitment and while Melissa was in the clear, Ray tested positive to an STD.

Now many commenters were convinced Melissa had had the std – Chlamydia by the way, gotten herself treated, then took Ray along for testing to shame him????
I have never seen such whacked/warped thinking in my life. All because they were resolute in slut shaming Melissa. Afterall She is the one who has had lots of partners. She is the one who should have an std.
Naa, people. It doesn’t work that way. Smart is smart. Careless is careless. Naïve is naïve. From what Melissa said in a later video, they had been using condoms all the while, so going for the Test was to put them in the clear of STDs so that condomless action can begin (oh the bliss of commitment). Very smart Melissa. Very smart. I would have thought Testing at the beginning of the relationship even if they were going to use condoms was best…but at least they did it.

Lack of smarts is why the naive ones get pregnant at their first sexual encounter (they are the ones who think coitus interruptus aka withdrawal method works), the naives who think cause a guy has promised to be committed to them they should not insist he gets tested and worse they do it without condoms (THINK, If Mr Committed tells you he doesn’t like condoms, ‘how many other girls has he slept with without using condoms’? That guy is a danger unto himself and others period). The naïve ones are the virgin-before-marriage wives who their husbands end up infecting them with HIV cause they think marriage makes them AIDS proof. I’m not saying don’t trust your man. But I think periodic std check even within marriage might be important cough cough.
For the married folk, it might be too late to begin such a habit, but for dating couples, it might be worthwhile discussing it early on. Pls don’t be that man/woman.

What was their second reason for believing Melissa was guilty? That She did not react like a mad fish seller when the doctor told Ray he had Chlamydia. But then again..why should she? It takes a sinner to truly love and be forgiving. I would like to think  she was calm and supportive cause she was thinking, “ There go I but for His grace”. 
I would also like to think that she was knowledgeable enough to know Chlamydia was the most ubiquitous std, can remain asymptomatic for years and is thankfully very easily curable. Why then should she be mad?

As for Ray’s sister who was waging war on Melissa cause she thought her brother deserved somebody with a less chequered sexual past….pls don’t be that judgmental Sister. Enough said.

Summary, would you really like to know how many partners your boyfriend/fiancé/spouse has had? I remember judging a boyfriend who told me he had slept with more than 10 partners…that was a long time ago. I thought he was a slut and that friendship did not pass go nor did he collect $200 lol.
In the present times, I really don’t want to know. If I meet you and we come to love each other and we are committed to each other that’s all that matters. Let the past stay past. But again, if you have a real slutty past (back to the question…what number makes a guy/girl a slut lol - maybe your conscience should guide you?) especially if some of your partners are people we know (shudder) maybe its best you hint at it so some helpful gossip won’t let me in on the secret and I end up looking a fool. What do you think?
Of course the best course is to keep it locked down until marriage isn’t it. To avoid these STD/trust issues and what not right?

To the true-blue Virgins in the house say Yay..lol
To the Born-again virgins Unu so kwa.
To the girls who are loving and smart about it chop knuckles.
To the technical virgins (everything but the vagina) - hmmmm stds can be passed orally o. Go and get throat swabbed o.

I had fun writing this jare. LMAO.

Please don’t judge me. let your comments be beautiful ….

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Vasectomy 1: Baby Mama 0

I love reading personal stories on Craigslist. Some are just SMH-funny.


I got a vasectomy.

I met a girl soon afterwards. She was nice and attractive but with a selfish streak that raised a big red flag. She was 32 at the time and I could practically HEAR her biological clock ticking. Regardless, she was a good lay, easy on the eyes, and reasonably good company. (this guy deserves a slap for this patronizing description. chai!)

I did NOT tell her about my vasectomy and I always used a condom with her to protect against STDs. She assumed, obviously, that the condom was only used for birth control. Silly girl. (Gotta agree with him here!)

We date for a few months. I never made any move towards commitment but she brought it up ocasionally. For me, this was a casual but pleasant relationship. For her - as I was to find out - it was part of life-changing series of events that she was planning very carefully. (Mrs Someborri anyone??)

Four months into dating, I get the "I'm pregnant" talk. She's going on and on about how the condom must have broke and now we really need to think about getting married "for the baby". She's positively giddy. She has a baby in her and she thinks she's gonna have a good meal ticket (me) to go along with her new 7lb annuity.

At this point, I'm just as giddy. I get to pull the reverse "oops" on her. I figured that she slept with some bad boy and got knocked up. Good thing I was using condoms! Better still that I have a serious mistrust of women who can't think beyond their own uteri.

So I wait a couple of days to "think about all this." I meet her again. I say I don't want kids and that she should have an abortion. I know where this is going and sure enough it goes there. She goes completely batshit insane on me. There were the usual insults about my manhood. There were threats of legal action. It was all very ugly and I was loving every minute of it.

Well, I let her stew for a few days. She leaves me nasty messages on my phone. She sends awful emails. I'm laughing hysterically.

It was time to drop the hammer. While she was stewing I was busy. First I get a notarized copy from the urologist who performed the vasectomy. Next I get a notarized copy of the TWO test results indicating a "negative test result for sperm" to show I'm sterile and shooting blanks. Finally, I get a letter from a shark attorney stating he has seen the other documents and is prepared to litigate against this woman if she continues to communicate with me in such an unpleasant manner. Also, the letter states that we will insist on DNA testing to show that the baby is not mine. I'm ready.

I meet with this woman at her place. I bring flowers and a small bit of jewelry to show I am willing to reconcile and assume my responsibilities as a new father. I also have stuck in my pocket the documents I have prepared.

She's all giddy again. Her plan is going perfectly - or so she thinks. We talk about our future. We have some pretty good sex.(This guy is mean sha!!) Then, as I am about to walk out the door, I ask her the $64,000 question. "Are you sure this baby is mine?"

Well, she goes batsh#t insane again. She ought to. Her plan could completely unravel if there is ANY question about my paternity. Oh, she's really screaming now. How dare I question her morals. Do I think she's a slut. I'm just trying to weasel out of my responsibilities... blah, blah, blah, yadda, yadda, yadda.

I'm not really mad. I'm kind of embarrassed for her. But since she won't shut up and the neighbors can hear all of this, I ask her to step back inside and sit down. She sits on the sofa and calms down a bit. She is glaring at me with all the moral self-righteousness that only a woman can muster up. She thinks she has me trapped. She is 100% convinced her plan has worked.

I reach into my pocket slowly. I extract the three pieces of paper and unfold them slowly and deliberately.

I tell her simply, "You're a liar".

Her look doesn't change.

I continue. "I am sterile"

Her look changes just a bit. Something is beginning to sink in. Naturally, she reverts to women's logic. "You're full of shit. You're trapped and you know it."

I hold up the letter and the test results. "Three months before we met, I had a vasectomy. Here is a notarized letter from my lawyer stating what I had done. Here are two test results showing that I tested negative for the presence of sperm. Blanks. I am shooting blanks. That baby inside you is simply not mine."

This woman is not to be swayed by logic and clear documentation. "Bull, those are fakes."

I was ready for that. "No, they are real. This last piece of paper is from my attorney. It's a simple letter to you that states if you pursue any kind of legal action against me for child support that I will insist on a DNA test to prove paternity, that is, to prove that your baby is not mine."

I give the woman all the documents. She reads them slowly. Very slowly. With each passing second she can feel in her soul that she has made a very bad mistake. With denial swept away, she started to cry. It's a small cry at first. Then it becomes deeper and more painful. By the time she gets to the letter from the lawyer she is sobbing.

I had no sympathy for her. I turned and walked out the door. Even after I closed the door I could still hear her sobbing.

The Moral of My Story - Get a vasectomy but keep it a secret.

LOL. I don't agree Mister. 
Who has got any more morals to add?

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