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Opinions of Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Columnist: Chris-Vincent Agyapong Febiri

The culture of sex for jobs in Ghana

Ghana is hard, I’ve heard this more than a dozen times this week - as if everywhere in the world is not equally hard when it comes to everything, including finding a job.

I have had several conversations in the last two weeks with many of my unemployed female graduate friends in Ghana who are desperately looking for jobs. And also, with those who are employed, but desperately want to change their jobs in search for better pay.

The complaints denominator almost each of them put up is how the men occupying the upper echelon of the corporate ladder want to have sex with them, in return for a job. This has been a century old rot and it does not shock me in any way that it lingers on and I do not think as long as desperation exists, anyone can totally annihilate this from the conversation.

I am not in any way supporting the culture of sex for job in Ghana but I am being honest and advocating for a different approach to solving or diminishing what mostly fuels this culture - desperation.

Desperation, is perhaps the true root of all evil. Even when there’s an equal bargaining power, the moment one end becomes desperate, it automatically shifts the odds in favour of the end that’s not Desperate - opening the desperate end to exploitation.

Human beings are inherently brutish and bandit, and would do whatever satisfies their selfish interest to the detriment of others, as Thomas Hobbes once argued in his moral and political philosophy of the State of Nature.

Therefore, expecting the relationship between a woman who’s desperate for a job and a man whose natural exigency for sex to be regulated by the loose conception of morals or the weak arms of the law in this department is just as leaving a meat on the floor near a cat, and expecting that it wouldn’t have a bite.

The keyword is Desperation; and that’s what I found to be the problem with a lot of my female friends. That’s also what the men who seem to hold the jobs in-between their sweaty balls are capitalizing on.

We can effectively water-down the power the men who are only ready to handout jobs after sex hold, by subduing the situational catalyst, Desperation.

People would take advantage of you whenever they sense that you are desperate and in this case, most of these young women seeking for jobs are exponentially desperate, which sometimes boils down to the fact that they’ve failed to effectively manage their life expectations, made no plans for unemployment—and are not living within their means.

One of my unemployed friends, the most desperate of them all, has two iPhones, wears expensive weaves, goes out almost every weekend and eats at some of the fine restaurants in Accra which she takes photos and dump on social media.

She has a natural right to do all these things and even more, therefore, there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with what she does—but the problem lies with her doing it at a time that she’s unemployed, which puts more pressure on her, resulting to desperation.

And because she is desperate, she seems to be the one getting the sex for jobs offer a lot. She once gave in to one but it did not even turn out as was offered. A certain CEO asked that they go to Ada for the weekend during one of her usual job hunt, and that after the trip, she can take up an available position. Because she was desperate as her rent was due, she agreed to arrangement which till date remains the longest weekend she has ever had.

After the weekend, the man stopped returning her calls or text messages.

It’s truly difficult for our young women looking for jobs in Ghana but I feel most of them did not even consider the possibility that they would finish their education and be unemployed for a period, hence are not ready to make no reasonable adjustments in their lives, capable of quenching the hovering fire of desperation.

Another friend who is unemployed runs a small buying and selling business. And even though she still job hunting, the fact that she has some little income from the little that she does coming in, she is not desperate for a job. Such a person is in a position to walk away from situations that would undermine her morals or integrity—as she wouldn’t go hungry, as long as she manages her lifestyle well within her current low paying self-employment.

If you are an unemployed young woman that seeks to “ball” like a five or six figure corporate boss on social media, a recipe for desperation, be assured that your desperation will put you in the hands of men who will take advantage of a problem you’ve heightened.

Young unemployed women or those looking for better paying jobs must not be desperate. While it’s difficult, perhaps even impossible at a point in life not to be desperate, the many of my unemployed friends seem to make their situations worse—therefore, really desperate.

When desperation is written all over your forehead, you would have to deal with a lot of horny men who can see right through your desperation and offer their dicks, in return for the job that you want.

This repulsive culture of men asking for sex for jobs, is as old as prostitution and I doubt it can ever be uprooted—especially when young beautiful women are increasingly becoming desperate for jobs that morally corrupt men lord over.

If a woman is able to manage her desperation, whether employed or not, she would be well placed to make reasonable decisions when thrown to the dogs. There’s a possibility that in the absence of desperation, the man would be cautious of the offers he put across.