“If we view everything from a gender lens we will remain in bondage. We are human before our gender comes to play and that should supersede the rest.”
Coming from a weekend where twitter (#KOT) has been super active, I am left wondering whether all this discourse is a sign of redemption or is it our way to recoil, defend our stances and move on unscathed at all. It’s a worry that for everything that happens in our midst must be perceived from a gendered lens and when this happens often than not we group into factions defending or accusing another for/on not subscribing to our ideal. Unfortunately, when in the heat of the moment we rarely stop, sit back and ask ourselves if there was an alternative way to viewing the prevailing situation.
Considering this comes on the backdrop of hurtful comments by radio presenters considered to fuel rape and sexual assault on women. For start, I do not condone any form of abuse or harm on women or any person in whichever form or substance. On this account, I am against the assault on the lady and wouldn’t wish it on anyone. Away from the incident; a society is considered as a group of people living together in an ordered community who subscribe to a certain code of conduct or behavior whether explicit or implied. On this account, it therefore means that for any perceptions, beliefs or conduct that’s subscribed to by a particular set of individuals is as a result of their socialization within that context. To uproot such when they are considered vices then calls for a root cause analysis. Reflecting on the comments made in the morning show and those who have come up to their defense on Twitter you’d acknowledge that this is a trend/norm in the circles. It therefore means that any gendered approach that instead of resolving the underlying challenges conflates the existing concern from an abuse to a gender-war which has been witnessed.
There have been cases of sexual assault, rape and physical violence reported in our midst with women being the most affected from incidences reported. Accompanying this there have always been concerns on dependence, sponsor-relationships and the like which are attributed to some of these. Considering these are perspectives and norms individuals take up from how they are socialized in their communities it then means that coming out in arms doesn’t solve the problem. What we need instead is a chance to reflect and restructure our socialization from a point of fostering coherence, coexistence and mutual respect from a point where perceived norms are not entertained but instead communicated for clarity. If we live in a society where when a man spends on a lady that’s construed to mean consent to have sex then failure to meet the expectations would amount to breach of contract. However, if we all acknowledge this is a prevailing notion and come out to speak openly and seek clarity on all accounts we are in a better place to putting an end to such vices by being as explicit as possible.
This is not to downplay the fact that there are rapists, abusers and perpetrators of sexual offences in our society who whether such measures are in place or not are still bound to be abusers. For this set of individuals, there’s need for punitive measures driven by the very society in which they live to discourage and where not possible put them to account for their crimes.
We have to go above and beyond viewing every wrong in our society from a gendered lens but rather as a societal rot that needs to be remedied for which the responsibility lies with all members of the society. In such a way we are at a better position to address the ills of our society. The cost of such gendered approach to situations is too high including job losses as have been witnessed in the current situation with no remedy in the horizon as nobody is being accountable for the societal rot that we are in.