Hi! 🤩I’m Fatima and I’m going to share my experience of what it means to be a Nigerian Millennial. This is the time I feel others would add the word 'lol' like it’s a punctuation mark but as the true Nigerian I am, I’ll just leave it that way.
I’m 25. I was born and raised in Ajegunle, Lagos Nigeria though I no longer live there. Life was kind enough to smile on me earlier than my counterparts that still toil day and night in search of a job.
I’m the second of three children, less than a year younger than my brother but also eight years older than my younger brother. Long story short, I’m a Christian because my parents converted after I was born. It’s not yet time to talk about the Nigerian Perception of Religion though.
Nigerian Perception of Consent.
As a child, I grew up hearing and reading different stories of how people who wore clothes that went well above the knee were raped. It was the daily anthem; you’re calling for rape if your dress is short. I grew up with regular talks on how short clothes warranted rape and once you heard that the girl down the street got pregnant after being raped, we concluded that it was because she wore short clothes.
I was surrounded by regular talks from my parents; "Don’t wear this, it’s too short! Don’t wear that, it’s too transparent!! Ahan, can’t you wear a skirt under that gown!!!"
As a respectful child and one that didn’t want to be raped, I’d obey. In my mind, I would ask questions like; I wore these a week before, why do you have a problem with it now. But my brothers are allowed to wear clothes without fear.
Now that I’m older, I see the main fear of my parents was that I would be taken advantage of sexually. I’d be raped! So, what is rape? Rape is any sexual activity without consent. Consent is permission. Now, if you see a regular individual going out, simply minding their business, is the individual saying "I’m open to Sexual Activity" or "If you’re cute enough, you can make advances at me"!!! It’s probably written above their heads in invisible ink because I can’t see it.
To give consent means to authorize; to ask. It cannot be inferred. We’ve gone so long under the deception of movies that consent should be inferred. But in all honesty, it can’t. My conclusion on this matter is: THE LENGTH OF MY SKIRT DOESN’T DETERMINE MY CONSENT!!! Does that mean that I should put myself in a compromising position? Certainly not! However, I do know that the way I dress shouldn’t be a license for indiscriminate touching. And I use indiscriminate touching because some people touch my hair without asking about how I feel. This should warrant a psychiatric evaluation.
I once heard a story about how a chicken was raped by a human male. If I may ask, did the chicken dress provocatively? It probably did because the chicken forgot to put on its dress that was specifically designed for chickens to wear. Since such doesn’t exist, was there provocation? Definitely not! This perfectly brings an end to my opinion. Certainly, if you plan to live in Nigeria, don’t forget to get a lot of overalls to cover up because it is our land. Welcome to the land where your consent is inferred from your dressing.
This is a part of something I’m working on called “Seeing through Nigerian Eyes” and I couldn’t wait to share it.
Happy New Month Guys. I might go off for a while and I’ll share the reasons next time I post.
Much love from me to you 💜❤️. Do send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow my book updates on Instagram @life_of__deola and stories on Twitter @life_of__deola