my dear, you missed my test, pick a day for a make-up test but before then, you have to rub my back”
These were the exact words of a lecturer to a female final year Student who missed a test due to ill-health.
Sexual harassment can be defined as an uninvited and unwelcome verbal or physical behavior of a sexual nature especially by a person in authority towards a subordinate. Ladies appear to be the most vulnerable population to this subject though a few guys may have tales to tell.
This issue brings up questions when I think of it like; do men think ladies are mere pleasure objects? Could it be that in their cognitions, women can’t do anything on their own or women have to go through them to succeed? Most of these men are married with their kids as old as or even older than their victims but they are blinded by their selfish desires. They are there in our schools,workplaces, they are authorities, sometimes they have our earned rewards but they want us to pay the price they place on it “sex”.
We go for job interviews with wonderful Curriculum vitae, they tell us to use what we have to get what we want, we are intelligent, we are hardworking, we’ve got brains but these don’t tickle them, what tickles them is what we have under our clothes. They are our bosses in the office, they try touching us and when we frown at it, our promotion is delayed, we are queried unnecessarily . They are our lecturers, they look us in the eyes and tell us if we must pass their courses, we must rub their backs, if we refuse, we are victimized.
It’s disturbing that the average lady has to be victimized for refusing to succumb to sexual harassment to get her deserved reward. A friend once attended a movie audition, she did well and was called back. The director tried touching her and when she refused, her job ended. Then it occurred to me that he must have tried it with someone else and had his way.
This brings me to a point where I have to state that, sometimes we are the causes of this subject. Some ladies go in search of jobs, some female students visit their lecturers with mindsets of using what they have to get what they want because some have come to accept that being harassed sexually is normal. In the field of psychology, there is a behavioral theory called classical conditioning, this theory explains how the appearance of a stimulus object gives an idea of the stimulus to expect and hence, the response. In simple terms, when a lady visits a lecturer to seduce him in a bid to pass his course and the lecturer sleeps with her, after a time, the lecturer becomes conditioned to the fact that every lady that has issues in his course and visits his office is ready to give their bodies to pass his course so he tries harassing them. And then, if any student refuses him, he victimises her because he thinks it is his right.
The very first step to dealing with this issue is speaking out, victims of sexual harassment find it difficult speaking out for the fear of reporting to the wrong persons that also want the same. I have noticed that these men are powerful people with connections everywhere. Also we are ladies and we don’t have to lessen our self esteem for anyone no matter the position, under no circumstance should we accept sexual harassment as a normal phenomenon, we have the rights to be who we want to be without succumbing to their selfish desires. We are not mere pleasure objects. It is time we started erasing that African belief system that women belong to the bedroom, that’s why we are seen in that light, they think that’s what we know how to do, we should make them realize that the bedroom belongs to us, we are intellectuals,we are nationbuilders.
Fakeye Kehinde

Shortlisted for Stage 3 (2016) ">


Janet Fakeye
janet fakeye

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