The Hunt For “Abia 5”-Please Help Identify The Abia State University Rapists by Sugabelly

If ever Nigeria needed a Human Flesh Search, now is the time and I am calling for one. A Human Flesh Search is an Internet based practice that originated in China where unknown individuals who are captured doing something terrible on video or in a photo are identified and exposed with all their personal details (including Full names, addresses, work places, telephone numbers, email addresses, etc) posted on the Internet for all to see. I am calling one, so please listen, and tell everyone you know, because we need a Human Flesh Search right now. Yesterday I saw one of the most horrible things I have ever seen in my life. A young lady was gang raped and brutalised by five men from Abia State University for the “crime” of insulting one of them. Never mind that freedom of speech is supposed to be a basic right, never mind that. If a man thinks that in an argument or in a fight, RAPE is one of the weapons available to him in his arsenal then something is VERY VERY WRONG. My heart absolutely broke for her. It broke because I know exactly how she feels, because nobody should invade another human being’s body that way. Rape is one of the worst things a person can experience, and all the while I saw it my heart was in my mouth and I felt ill and shaky because I have been there and I know what it’s like to say to a man “No!” and then have him slap you and pin you down. I know what it feels like to struggle and fight with all your might until all the energy you have leaves you at the moment when you need it the most and know inside that there is nothing you can do. I know exactly what she went through because I also have seen their smiling hungry faces, waiting to take turns as if the person lying there broken is not human like them. I also know the shame and the fear and the complete helplessness that comes from knowing that the police will do nothing, or might even accuse you of being a prostitute, that the people around you will tell you to forget all about it and pretend it didn’t happen. That others that find out will cluck their tongues and speculate about all the ways you could have “invited” the rape. That the mountain of shame your people heap on you will still be less than the glory they will allow the rapists enjoy. I have been there and so I hurt for her. At least my rapists wore condoms at my insistence, I don’t think hers did. These men not only raped her, they filmed it and then spread it. That should tell you that they believed with a reasonable degree of certainty that they would not be punished for what they did. And I am not surprised that they hold this belief. We live in a country where men are raised to believe they are princes and that somehow women belong to them. Many Nigerian men believe that the sexuality of any woman on the street belongs to them and that they have the right to inquire and demand of our sexuality by shaming any woman who is not a virgin or forcefully using her body against her will. This is because many Nigerian men have been told from day one that they have power and that they have power not only over themselves but over Nigerian women and that respect does not have to be earned but is their right. And so, when this young woman insulted one of those men for whatever reason, he felt he could exercise his power and put her in her place by raping her. I am not going to lie. For a long time I hated Nigerian men. I know that not all of them are like that, but more than enough are. A few weeks ago, while watching a long run of historical Korean dramas, Suliph and I concluded that wherever there was a man grossly abusing power, there were always two stupid women laughing and giggling with him. You know those two stupid women? Nigeria is full of them. Every time a woman is raped or violated or abused by a man in Nigeria, there are always at least two stupid women that find a way no matter how depraved to blame it on the victim. And not surprisingly, a lot of them have shown themselves ever since news of this broke. So maybe not surprisingly, I hate some Nigerian women too. Is being in the good graces of a man more important than defending your fellow women? Is it? How do you feel?


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