One woman bashing and dehumanisation too many
I viewed with total consternation a video clip that has been trending online within the last couple of days, wherein a young lady, evidently of Igbo extraction from the eastern part of Nigeria (since she and her assailants spoke Igbo), was seen forcefully held still on the ground and viciously beaten by a group of men said to be her father and brothers. I do not know the lady, but estimate her age to be between 21 and 30 years.
She had been stripped completely naked, and the crime weapon was strong gas hose which left countless distinct welts all over her body, especially her buttocks. I refrain from attaching the clip here for obvious reasons. Her alleged offence? She posted an erotic video of herself virtually nude online.
It is absolutely wrong, unjustified, inhumane and condemnable the way that lady was grossly maltreated. Pure physical and emotional abuse. Her father and brothers are neither the law nor courts of justice, and have no lawful authority to do what they did to her. Even the loftiest traditional and cultural prescriptions and standards of “discipline and correction” are no excuse for such wickedness.
They cannot assume to exercise any forceful authority over her now that she is an adult with full rights to live as she pleases within the ambits of the law. Their only lawful recourse should have been moral cum religious persuasion. Pray, which of those males can sincerely claim to have never done any (possibly worse) unholy or immoral thing? If she were a guy and not a girl, would they feel at liberty to bully and manhandle her?
Some things are just not right. Here are the very same persons who should protect the lady (their daughter/sister) from the rest of the world, but chose rather to be her tormentors-in-chief. With their likes who needs a father or brother? A truly callous bunch, it is obvious that they derived great pleasure from their action. How else does one explain the fact that they filmed the incident (showing the lady nude and being brutalised) and published the video? Is that the way to correct a loved one or anyone for that matter? What sane person does that to his daughter or sister?
One even gets the impression that brutalising her was a self-righteous ego trip. Like it made them feel less guilty for their own respective immoralities and sins, e.g. (perhaps) spurring and encouraging other people’s daughters/sisters to be loose (like their daughter/sister portrayed herself to be) and taking advantage of them. Feeling like they have now somewhat recompensed and done God a good one at least for their own failings.
The victim in this macabre dance would do well to ruthlessly and uncompromisingly sue all her assailants for everything they’ve got, including their darned boxers. The fact that they are her relations and family should count for nothing in this instance, in view of their gross insensitivity. (Their contrived deafness to her cries and desperate pleas for mercy is particularly instructive). She would be doing society a much needed favour making them pay the price, and deserves the support of all conscientious persons in that wise.
It would be hugely disappointing if human and gender rights advocacy groups don’t promptly identify and reach the lady, diligently take up and champion her cause, and aid her to attain comprehensive justice. Neglect or failure to do so would essentially belie all their claims to seriousness. The police too should demonstrate utmost sense of duty and responsibility by, on their own, arresting those hypocrites who subjected the lady to such pain and torture, and make them face the full wrath of the law for assault and battery, etc.
The culprits must be brought to book immediately lest persons of like mind take inglorious cue from their dastardly acts and make it common practice to kick, brutalise and dehumanise every girl/woman at the slightest of excuses. No society can afford the dire, unhealthy consequences of such ill wind. The case in point is already one woman bashing and dehumanisation too many.
Amachree is a former acting secretary general of Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), and managing director of Datawise Consult. He wrote from Port Harcourt. (firstname.lastname@example.org)