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Yesterday, I cried

I made a simple plan for last night; to fast forward my long day and find myself comfortable ensconced in my bed. The thing is this when I made this myself and my bed plan, I didn’t consider one thing: that men exist.

Holdup! I don’t hate men. In fact, some of the best humans I’ve dealt with, are men. Something occurred to me today, a sad realization-that I have a bad habit of juxtaposing occurrences
against random people that know, usually in a
“would A do this?” “Is Y capable of this kind of
evil?”

“I wonder what – thinks of his kind of way.”

I agree that this isn’t fair and that I have made poor choices based on this: overall nothing extreme like I flee from any one with a T name because a Titus broke my heart at 19.

Last night, a man (read idiot) grabbed my bum as I was getting into a bus: I honestly wanted to pretend that nothing happened (because messy situations) but I remembered that I want to teach my children to speak up when they are uncomfortable, and so I spoke up (too politely, if you ask me.

Mr bum-grabber retorts, ” your bumbum na gold?”: No surprise there, but something else happened, that had my emotions losing their bearings – all (read all male) co-passengers burst into laughter. Then the spat began almost like the kind of rain that gives no sign. “why e no go touch you? “so, you no like as man touch you?”. “why man no go touch woman and my personal favourite in that sad situation, “aunty, calm down! na so person dey take find husband o.”

Such and such went the discourse until I realized, tears had come. Yesterday. I cried. Not because I didn’t know what to say or because i had been assaulted and bullied: those too, are tear-worthy, but I simply wept because I was weary: weary of negotiating my safety, of being a comic relief to these men who found sick humour in making me uncomfortable, of watching these men bully the four women who lept to my defence demanding an apology from Mr bum-grabber tired of wondering if I want to raise daughters in this world, of sitting by, as a grown man commodities me with absolute glee: conductor. as dem don touch madam bumbum. you no suppose collect am money. and tired of these people thinking that I must aspire to marriage and must accept everything because, marriage.

I did my thing I juxtaposed – if I shared this experience, would the menfolk jump at me with the not all men line? Would they think I deserved this? Would they be indifferent? So yesterday, I cried because I had to even think up these questions; because it’s 2019 and you would think that enough work has been done, the talk has been had but I am sad that we haven’t begun; that my daughters. friends sisters, mothers, and others yet unknown are still unsafe.

Not because there is an act of God against women, but because, simply because they share space with men. Now, that’s an act of God.

by Uduak Estelle

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