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Opinions of Thursday, 7 April 2011

Columnist: Appiah, Gifty Andoh

Hunger For Sex Or Private Part Obsession?

My Lay Point Of View: Hunger For Sex Or Private Part Obsession?

Once again, another moral misadventure. A dastardly act against woman dignity and an absolute disgrace to womanhood is what I call it. This time, originating from a place expected to be one of the brain powerhouses for the past, present and future of the nation, a University. Watching the video was an embarrassing and disheartening experience and I thought no right-thinking man will wish that for any woman. It was like a crowd hungry for sex or obsessed with a woman’s private parts.Four issues crossed my mind; the horrendous act itself, the footage and the issue of mob instant justice, and the rationale behind it. If a mob decides to “discipline” a thief, they are beaten up so badly, sometimes to the point of death and the reason is to teach them lessons; they do not seem to learn anyway.

One of the things I battled with in my mind was why in the world the first thought that came to a group of university students’ upon laying hands on a thief has to be sexual. Why it has to be stripping her naked and abusing her private parts. Why they had to go as far as inserting anything into her womanhood. She was too overwhelmed to cry but anguish and wish for death could be seen all over her face and in her distressed and painful moaning. Perhaps she would have been better off with a good beating rather than psychological and emotional lifetime wounds. No one beat her; they were more interested in her private parts.

I could only imagine what will happen to her. It was obvious she would never be herself again (hopefully never continue stealing) and the experience will traumatize her for the rest of her life. Men will become a nuisance to her and a touch from a man can warrant a mixture of violent and fearful response. Anytime she passes by or hears the name of that university, the memory will send chills down her spine and her sleep will never be peaceful as her dreams are most probably to be filled with scenes of what she went through. Perhaps it serves her right for resorting to stealing when there are far better options for a beautiful lady like her. In fact thieves of all kinds whether armed or not are complete nuisance in any society and in my own view should not be treated such that their “profession” will look as unattractive as it should. But the reason why a bunch of university strong boys will pounce on a “fragile” female thief is the point my lay mind fails to fathom. The fact that they did not give up even when the security man came to her rescue is another point that complicates it further. Perhaps they were “victims” of social loafing. I cannot comprehend. Another thing that baffles my imagination is the fact that someone decides to film it – a phenomenon which has become typical, as more and more people have become self-styled pornographic producers, filming almost every single sexual act they either come across or decide to engage in. Unfortunately the university has become originators of these home-made pornography and rather ironically on this occasion, they did not hide their faces but circulated the video. Fortunately but unfortunately for them, they have been identified and hopefully their punishment will make this incident the first and last on our campuses and elsewhere.

SYMBOLISM

If you ask me, the incident is symbolic of the moral decadence we discuss everyday and which unfortunately has come to stay. It symbolizes the kinds of ideas students have about problem solution,(like their action as a solution to the problem of stealing), the un-understandable “obsession” with private parts which is characterized in their ability to creatively and professionally convert spirit-filled gospel songs into complete” praise and worship” of the human private parts. For me, it is a representation of how people are robbed of their dignity and possessions by unassuming people (like Amina) and those expected to know better (like the university students) as represented in our politics and even religions. A representation of the lost of absolute trust in the administration of justice (which sometimes leads to mob action), a representation of the sexually oriented system we find ourselves in; such as demand for sex in exchange for employment among others. It shows a total disregard for law as well as what womanhood stands for. But who is to blame?

Stealing, whether armed or unarmed like any other crime is abhorred; so is sexual abuse of any form to anyone. It is as equal as stealing. What if she was wrongfully caught? It could have been a student who just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time? What if they found out later the abused w wrong person? The situation could have been handled better. A little regard for the dignity of womanhood would have helped. To my fellow women, let us make ourselves icons of respect, dignity and integrity.

GIFTY ANDOH APPIAH (giftdot@yahoo.com)