Forgive me. Today’s entry is going to be a bit of a rant.

Why is it that women have to restrict their potential, their freedom of expression, even what should be their God-given right to refuse being physically violated, all so that men won’t feel compelled to have sex with them?

Seriously, guys. Are you not capable of simply keeping your pants/dishdash/lungis on, no matter if there is a woman present?

There have been a number of situations during the past couple of months that have prompted me to write this entry. In April, an Emirati girl in Al Ain went to police saying she was raped. That’s pretty much all we know for sure. A story in The National stated:

“During the trial, prosecutors claimed that LH had gone for a drive on May 2 with her male Emirati friend, HA, in Baniyas, where they had intercourse. Prosecutors said the fact she agreed to go with him alone in the car partly showed her consent to sex. They said that, HA, 19, then called five of his friends – four Emiratis and one Iraqi – and invited them to join him in raping her in the backseat of his Nissan Altima. Charges against one defendant were later dropped.”

Hold on. Did you get that? Prosecutors said the fact that she agreed to go with him alone in the car partly showed her consent to sex.

When she filed the rape report, she was immediately jailed. (Unmarried sex is illegal here.) But the defendants, the group of boys, were not. She was in jail without counsel and none of her family came to visit her. Not shocking that she retracted her accusation of rape. She’s serving a year’s sentence for unlawful sex, as is, I believe, the boyfriend. Two of the friends got three months for being alone with a woman.

It’s hard to know exactly what happened here but the belief that women agree, even partially, to have sex with men simply because they allowed themselves to be alone with them is absurd at the least. Where in this convoluted logic is the part where men have to do the right thing, actually respect women, and not act on every sexual urge that they have?

I know there’s a lot of discussion about tradition and culture, but humanity evolves. We’ve learned that beliefs once considered acceptable are no longer tolerated. My father was reared in very conservative, traditional Indian household. Yet no man has been more supportive of my efforts to carve out my own place in the world, personally and professionally. I was never told that my ambitions and dreams were the realm of men only. We live; we learn; we grow.

It’s time for the people in Cameroon will do this, too – and soon. (Story from Current.)

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