Wednesday, 20 March 2019

SEXUAL HARASSMENT ACCOMPLICES

(Very) Angry Woman
Image: iStock Photos

On the morning of March 19, 2019, I shared one of my older posts asking why men so easily harass women. Between 5:03pm and 5:30pm of the very same day, I would get sexually harassed by a stink-breathed, uncultured excuse of a human being.

But let me get back to 5:03pm.

I was standing at my junction waiting for a taxi for my trip home from work. I had just looked at the time when a bus slid to a stop close to me and said it was going in my direction. It was one of these clean coaster buses that is usually used as official buses or by transport companies for interstate travels. I got into the bus and saw that it was almost full; I and the woman who entered right after me took up the remaining seats. I moved to the rear of the bus where there were three men and the only space available for me. I sat in between them, with two men on my right and one on my left.

As soon as I sat down, the clod on my left said, ‘Fine girl, how are you?’

I responded with a ‘well done’, took out my ear piece, wore it and started listening to radio…but not before the idiot said, ‘I have been greeting you and you cannot answer.’ I repeated my ‘well done’ and again, he goes, ‘why can’t you answer when I am talking to you?’ Seeing that he was moving mad, I decided to ignore him and listen to my music. Thankfully, by this time, I already had my headphones affixed and Sage was regaling me with urban hits on the Urban 96 show.

The man kept talking to me, but I ignored him. I started preparing a video for my social media platforms and when I was done, I realized that it was around 5:12pm and…the bus driver was asking for our fares. I took mine out and gave to the guy next to me on my right. I got back to my phone to check my Twitter timeline. Obviously, the stupid idiot on my left said something to me, which I didn’t hear. He then went on to tap me on my upper thigh to get my attention. I take out my earpiece.

Have you paid?’ he asked.

‘Yes.’ After which I wore my earpiece again.

Then he started to rub my upper thigh and I moved away from him. He did again, and I moved even more. Now, normal me would have asked why he was touching me but I gave him the benefit of doubt because he seemed to be reaching for wallet. When he paid his fare and tried to touch me one more time, I give him a stink look and moved even further away from him; in the small space that was afforded me. Seeing my reaction, he started tapping my upper thigh, asking why he was talking to me and I wasn’t responding. At this point, he was becoming obscene and people were looking back to see what the ruckus was about.

I took out my earpiece and said, ‘Can you let me be, please?!’, making sure to let the edge into my voice so he knew I wasn’t joking.

The bloody fool then raised his voice and said, ‘What is the meaning of the fact that I am talking to you and you aren’t responding? Why aren’t you responding to me?’ To which I replied, ‘Must I talk to you?’ and the disgusting excuse of a person lost his damn mind.  

‘Who do you think you are that they cannot talk to you?! I am talking to you and you are busy pressing phone. Is it this phone that you are pressing that makes you think they cannot talk to you?! Is your phone bigger than mine?’ To which he proceeded to bring out his phone and show everyone who was looking. Let me not forget to mention that as he asked each of these questions, he punctuated them by poking me with his finger; again, on my upper thigh.

By this point, I had already put my earpiece back on to shut him and his putrid breath from assaulting my senses but I had also reduced the volume of the radio. I was getting angrier by the second and I was about to bust. Even though I was tethering on the edge of going ham on him, I remained quiet, feigning an interest in my phone when my instinct was begging me to slap him and damn the consequences.

‘Even ajebo girls that grew up in VGC I dey talk to talk more of this one.’

This elicited laughter from some of the men who were on the bus.  I raised my head from my phone and darted burning sulfur at them. The others looked away in what may have been unconcern or maybe, embarrassment.

Oh! Did I forget to tell you that there were 9 men and 3 women (including me) in the back of the bus? This brings me to the reason that nearly tipped me over the edge!

While I was mad at my harasser, I had already figured out that he was a classless, disgusting, uncultured, uncouth, and vile piece of shit. What had me swelling up were the well-dressed men on the bus who laughed instead of checking the blatant nincompoop for his stupidity; the ones who looked away instead of speaking up against his nasty behavior; the one who said, ‘You can tell she is a small girl. She just has body’ to my hearing because he assumed that I would not do (or say) anything to him; and the women who looked at me and turned away.

They were, in my opinion, accomplices to my harassment; all of them!

I realized that they repulsed me almost as much as the fool who had harassed me. And because this is the second time I have been so harassed in the space of two days, with the first happening almost 24 hours earlier when an okada rider, for no reason, acted a fool towards me, my anger was about to spill over.

Thankfully, the shameless cretin got to his stop and got off the bus. I was then left with his accomplices.

I am not even going to link different stories to try to make sense of where this post is going. I am mad and I am writing it as I am feeling it! Maybe tomorrow, I will feel the need to be more politically correct but today, I was touched inappropriately by a halfwit dolt (I know that is tautology but I don’t care) who thought he had a right to my time and conversation and not getting it, proceeded to lash out at me, tried to embarrass me, poked me repeatedly and sprayed me with the putrefying bacteria that he housed in his mouth. Even if his breath smelled of freshly plucked mint, I would still be so mad!

And I am equally mad at the tacit support of the people in the bus. Yes; they do not owe me anything. But God damn! Where was their basic sense of decency?! Why did they think my being harassed was funny? Why did the others look away like a woman being harassed is OKAY?!

Well…I have a message for those accomplices of harassment; sexual or otherwise.

1.      If a person being harassed is funny to you, you are vile piece of shit!
2.      If you don’t speak up in the face of abuse or harassment, you are a vile piece of shit!
3.      If you suddenly remember to ‘mind your business’ when a person is being abused or harassed, you are a vile piece of shit!

Simple. And short!

And though I have said I will use curse words less and less, to every man who harasses women because of their idiotic sense of entitlement to women’s bodies, agencies and entire existence, FUCK YOU!

GIF: Flourish Africa

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