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Babcock Lady: A Victim Of Revenge Porn Or Decadence?

Nigerian law has been reworked and updated; however, some parts meant to curtail some sexual offences have been left untouched.

Under Section 233 D (1) of the Criminal Code Act,” any person who, whether for gain  or not, distributes or projects any article deemed to be obscene for the purposes of this Chapter, commits an offence punishable on conviction by a fine not exceeding four hundred naira or by imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or by both.”

Revenge porn also known as non-consensual pornography, is the distribution of one or more sexually explicit photos of someone else, without the subject’s permission. Women usually make up the overwhelming majority of the victims of this crime.

These are vital issues that should have been addressed in the Babcock issue that trended this morning on social media, however, the part that most Nigerians have decided to focus on is the fact that a lady had sex and was recorded while at it. The lady has been slut-shamed and the question that arises is why?

Two adults decided to have sex and the public who might also be sexually active decided it is a bad thing. Take note, what is bad is not that they had consensual sex, what seems to be the issue is that the video was leaked.

The person that leaked it has not been affected. However, the lady who woke up this morning with her face plastered on all media pages because of someone else’s crime is the one being dragged.

For any sexual act to be considered “sex”, two people must be involved. That only the lady is being slut-shamed for an act carried out by two consenting adults shows how ludicrous we are as a society? It is a ridiculous ‘celebration’ of scapegoating of the woman and blatant hypocrisy.

Slut-shaming in the words of Jaclyn Friedman; “A slut is someone, usually a woman, who’s stepped outside of the very narrow lane that good girls are supposed to stay within. Sluts are loud. We’re messy. We don’t behave. In fact, the original definition of “slut” meant “untidy woman.” But since we live in a world that relies on women to be tidy in all ways, to be quiet and obedient and agreeable and available (but never aggressive), those of us who colour outside of the lines get called sluts. And that word is meant to keep us in line.”

In a conservative culture like ours, the lady is being attacked because she is seen to be out of line. A woman in our cultural view should not subject herself to the ridicule of having sex in a public space or privately outside her matrimonial home, talk more about recording it. Let us not forget, most people on the social media space are not strangers to this act.

Speaking of hypocrisy, James K. Polk said, “I cannot adequately express the horror I feel for a man who can be so base as to veil his hypocrisy under the cloak of religion, and state the base falsehood he has done. “

If two people commit a crime, should one person be subjected to public ridicule while the other party walks freely with no iota of correction? The lady in the leaked video has reportedly been suspended by Babcock University.

If the school is meant to reform and guide, why then are students who need reformation and guidance being suspended and expelled especially when they need this guidance most?

“Our sense of justice is punishment, not reformation,” Japhet Omojuwa wrote on Twitter. “If the school is meant to build character, why do they expel those whose character they find short? Nothing in that video warrants anyone losing 3 years!”

Scapegoating and punishing the lady in the video can only go so far. In fact, it does not stop another Babcock University student to record another sex tape. However, the leaking of such videos can have unimaginable consequences on the lady. Now and in the future. This is why Nigeria needs to come hard on the purveyors of revenge porn.

When it comes to sexual freedom for women, Nigeria might someday be better, however, with what has happened today, it is obvious the change is yet to come.

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