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Tag: haphazard thoughts of a parasomniac

Otiko Djaba, Rape is not an STD.

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Dear Otiko Djaba,

Rape is NOT an STD. We Cannot Prevent Rape by Covering our bodies!

It is not often that I take the time to write to persons in positions of authority, as for the most part, I believe that authorities know what they are doing and do not need my input. However, on the odd occasion, I have been known to speak up. Ms Zita Okaikoi heard from me regarding her inaction, during her tenure as Ambassador to the Czech Republic, when a Ghanaian male was treated like “garbage” in that country.

Your predecessor, the Honourable Oye Lithur also heard from me, though I did not share my strong words for her here but kept to facebook, when she chose to sign the petition for the release of the Montie 3. Today, my attention is on you, and only you.

When you spoke up for yourself during your vetting and stood your ground when compelled to apologise to former President Mahama, I applauded from my home. I posted on social media about how it was high time we had a headstrong woman in the role of gender minister, who would not kowtow to the whimsy of our patriarchal society.

Imagine my joy when you turned up for your swearing-in looking radiant in your traditional garb and with your “interesting hairstyle” and hit back at your detractors when they accused you of setting a poor example for girls. Your defense for your hairstyle warmed my heart. Surely you would defend human rights as you defended your hair, no? Soon after, however, the bombs began to drop.

When videos began to circulate, in which a suspected female thief was sexually abused by a group of traders, you took days to speak regarding the issue, and even then, only to say that the police must be allowed to follow due process, and that the lady in question did not want to be found. My jaw dropped. With actual evidence in hand, the State wanted the victim to press charges before locking up those men? Even if she was proven to be a thief, did she deserve to be treated in such a manner?

The whole thing reminded me of an incident in Legon Uni where another alleged thief was stripped naked and manhandled by the males in one of the Mensah Sarbah Hall Annexes. Video footage circulated from this incident as well and some rather vile minded persons implied that she got what she deserved. I wonder why it took so long for action to be taken in the February 2017 event, when there was video evidence clearly showing the faces of her attackers.

You disappointed me, Otiko. You disappointed me so much but I had hope. I, and other women I hold dear to my heart, hoped you would “show us levels” but alas, just as Maya Angelou said, when someone shows you their character, believe them the first time.

I have actually left my sick bed to write to you tonight. I am supposed to be on bed rest while my back heals up but noooo, I needed to sit upright and take the time to let you know how disappointed I am, that you, a Minister for Gender should stand before a group of adolescent girls and declare that they should avoid wearing short skirts in order to prevent rape.

Can we stop devaluing men and their ability to think? Their brains are not actually stored in their penises.

I must thank you for warning male teachers not to coerce and abuse their charges. Warning them to desist from impregnating the girls, was a step in the right direction considering the society we live in but sadly, even this one good deed of yours stood on rocky ground. It gives the impression that the only thing wrong with male teachers sleeping with students, is the possibility of pregnancy.

You were absolutely right, in that it is an abuse of their rights but I put to you that pregnancy should be the least of their worries, but rather the emotional and physical trauma they inflict on their victims. Focusing on the risk of pregnancy ignores the fact that STDs could be transmitted and that female teachers could also be taking advantage of their charges, be they male or female students.

You mentioned something else that caught my attention, “We want to initiate a mentoring program; a girls-girls leadership program in all the schools, from basic to tertiary and as well as within the communities to ensure that we know our rights and we understand what it is to be  a woman who is an equal partner in society, no longer women behind but side by side with our men as equal partners”.

Great initiative but I wonder, can we have a mentoring program for boys as well? One which teaches them that older women sleeping with them is a form of abuse and not something they should be “proud of”? One that teaches them that they do not deserve sex whenever and wherever they want it, and that they should not be afraid to speak up when they are being forced into situations they are uncomfortable with? Our society has taught men for far too long, that their “manhood” and brains lay in their penises, and that women exist solely to provide them with pleasure.

In the next breath, you are alleged to have stated, that the girls should “…be bold, be confident, be respectful. If you wear a short dress, it’s fashionable but know that it can attract somebody who would want to rape or defile you. You must be responsible for the choices you make”.

Here is where I screamed in fury before being reduced to a weeping mess. My dear woman, that was a terrible gaffe. You revealed in those words, the fact that you are as much embroiled in the patriarchal BS that we are fed daily, as women. As the defender of human rights, you managed, in one fell swoop, to lay the blame for rape at the feet of the victims (fine, fine, potential victims). Please be informed, if you have not read my header above, “Rape is not an STD and we cannot prevent it by covering up“.

Rape Condom! To deter lusty males from infecting your body with rape.

Your statement ignores the following:

  1. Rape is not about sex. People do not rape because they are horny and want to get off. No, rape is about control, about power, about abusing a vulnerability, be it mental or physical. It is this “power thirst” that has warriors raping while they pillage villages. You think they simply miss their wives? No no it is about humiliation of the enemy and proving their weakness. “Haha you call yourselves warriors? Watch us violate your women and children”. Sex has been used as a weapon for years and so I am appalled when I meet people who miss the purpose of rape.
  2. Rape involves more than a penis and a vagina. I do not believe in the Ghanaian legal definition for rape, as it assumes just as you have, that rape only involves a man placing his penis inside of a woman’s vagina. The term defilement annoys me also, as it implies a sullying of the victim. The victim is not dirty, in the case of “defilement” so why use such a disgusting term? Newsflash, Madam Minister, men can be raped too. They can be raped by men, and by women. Once upon a time, I thought it was impossible to rape a man but then I learned that rape is about consent, and consent can be denied, even in the presence of a physical response.Research has shown that in fight or flight situations, men can have erections. The same happens with women, who often are ashamed to report rape because their bodies responded during the struggle. Most often, their attackers even point out to them the fact that their bodies are prepped and ready.I ask you, as a woman who seems to think that short skirts are the reason for rape, what would you say to a woman who told you she said no to a man but he forced himself on her and that, to her shame, she had an orgasm or two? Would you as gender Minister then decide her orgasm was proof of consent? I think you need some gender sensitivity training.
  3. Rapists have self control. Yes they do! They have so much self control in fact, that they actively search for persons they can overpower physically and mentally. A rapist who is 5’4″ and weighs 50kg will not attempt to physically overpower a person who is 6’2″ and weighs 90kg, certainly not without a weapon, or with prior knowledge that the potential victim is not mentally sound and thus can be coerced into the act.All those house helps seducing their young charges, call it statutory rape or no, there is a clear indication that these persons have had their bodies and rights violated.The idea that showing a little bare skin is enough to drive men into a sexual frenzy is absurd and should not be perpetrated any further. If a woman should choose to walk through the streets naked, it is not an excuse for anyone, male or female to touch them inappropriately, let alone insert objects into any orifices.  You liken men to animals with no self control, when we have seen dogs back off from food because they were told “NO”. Are men honestly reduced below the level of dogs when they get turned on?
  4. Rapists do not always beat their victims into submission. Most children who are assaulted will tell you their attackers did not beat them. They may have threatened violence either on their person or that of a loved one in order to get them to keep quiet, but overall, child molesters (rapists) simply prey on innocence and naivete to get what they want. Drugging an adult victim is a sure way of overpowering them without physical force. Or perhaps you, like the Ghana Police, want every victim to turn up with rope burns, swollen eyes, busted lips and vaginal tears to prove they did not consent to sex?
  5. Women in full clothing get raped too. The high incidence of rape in countries like India and Bangladesh are proof enough that no matter what a person wears, they can still be attacked by predators. Long skirt, short skirt, tights or jeans trousers, none will prevent a narcissist from taking what they want.

Pardon me for the long rant but I feel very passionately about this because this argument allows a lot of rapists to get away scott free. It allows boyfriends, dates, husbands (yes and girlfriends and wives) to simply refuse to take no for an answer, force a physical response from their victim and take from them, that which they do not wish to give.

Patriarchy has done this to us. Women are taught they are to blame if they are raped, that they are at fault if they get pregnant and men are taught that they are men when they have a high body count. They refuse to consider that they could be sexually assaulted because they cannot fathom ever having a woman or another man managing to overpower them physically or mentally.

Let’s please get this right and stop victim shaming. Giving predators excuses will never do, and teaching our young women that their clothing will drive men into a frenzy is beyond irresponsible.

Ms Djaba, i must ask you to do better. As gender minister, you are more than just a voice for the voiceless. You should never be caught perpetrating such misogyny.  Please don’t ever tell girls they make a choice to be preyed on by rapists when they dress a certain way. I don’t see us telling the lion that the gazelle was prancing about like a slut and deserved to be eaten.
And thus a closet rapist is born

The next time you talk about sexual abuse in any form, please remember to discuss consent. Let it be known that a man or woman has no right to demand oral, vaginal or anal sex from another person. Let them know even hand jobs are not to be demanded.

I and other Ghanaians want to hear you telling men and women that even if a person consented to sex, and is in the middle of the act, they still have a choice to say no and walk away. Let it also be known that if a man or woman says no to sex, that it is not alright to convince them to say yes, by stroking their bodies into submission.

This is one thing I have noticed in some Ghanaian relationships, where people assume the person saying no is playing hard to get. Disrespecting the person’s wants and choices, forcing a physical response from them, and carrying on is reprehensible. Sex is supposed to be between two willing individuals. The fact that one person has to be coerced should surely kill any vim, no? 

Oh by the way, I went out drinking on Friday night wearing a short dress and heels. The older male I was with, despite my near intoxication, thin frame and sexy clothing (the dress even had cut outs to show some flesh above my boobs) did not rape me. He had several chances, as we were in a dark and quiet section of the bar we visited and the streets on our drive back to my home were dark, to overpower and rape me, but he did not. In fact, he did not even touch my arm or leg, simply because I had already told him prior, that I was not interested in sex with him, or anyone, and that I was only interested in making a new friend. I know this must be a shock to you, and to others who hold your views that men are uncontrollable beings led by their penises but this man is a prime example of what we nurture when we, as a society teach men and women to respect each other, and make them understand that they are not entitled to anything from another person.

Oh by the by, I apologise for calling your hairstyle a chicken style on twitter. I was overcome by anger yet still, I owe you an apology. Your hairstyle should have no impact on your duty, unless the weave is sewn in too tight and making it impossible for you to concentrate.

Be the woman we expect you to be, Otiko. Show us that you’re here to protect all genders and that you are capable of doing your job.

Sincerely Yours,

~Daixy~

PS I have so much more to say but I am emotionally and physically exhausted. Should you wish to debate further, my twitter handle is @D41XY. I loooove to debate online, but only when I do not have deadlines to meet.

 

Lesson Learned from Czech Ebola Debacle

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Ghanaian student manhandled in Prague
Ghanaian student manhandled in Prague

To: Zita Okaikoi, Ambassador to the Czech Republic

From: Daixy, Unrepentant Critic and Opinionated Ghanaian Woman

 

Dear Zita,

May I call you Zita?

Of course, I may. This is my platform and you are currently unavailable to deny or accept my request.

I wish I could say I was hollering at you for good reasons. Next time, we should confer over a cup of tisane, and some of my famous cupcakes, and discuss the pros and cons of running a business in Ghana.

Today, however, I have a bone to pick with you.

You see, I was scanning the news this evening when I saw an item about a Ghanaian student who was “arrested” at Prague. The item came with a video which was appalling, to say the least.

Reports say the student had been cleared by airport screenings but was picked up at a train station.

There’s a lot wrong with the situation.

First of all, the student was profiled on account of his race. Tell me that a white traveler would have met the same fate at this boy. Being covered in a plastic sheet?! Was he dead? Why didn’t they just place him in a sealed body bag and be done with it?

Second, he was chased after his initial clearance. Granted, he showed signs of being unwell but that brings me to my third point.

Being arrested at a train station, carted off on a trolley (not a stretcher) and covered in a plastic sheet/blanket before being dumped in an ambulance, is not the way to treat a human being. I do not know if it was fear on the part of the man in the hazard suit but the way he grabbed the guy’s arm and shoved him in the ambulance was awful. I am usually hesitant to call racism but this is clearly the case here.

Now let me get to the meat of my message to you.

In your Interview with JoyFm tonight, you indicated that the Ghanaian Mission to the Czech Republic was “quite shocked” at the incident. Shocked shouldn’t be your reaction. Outraged, sounds about right to me. You should be incensed at the poor treatment meted out to one of your citizens and calling for the proverbial guillotines to be mounted.

Zita, what shocked me was your statement that this incident should “be a lesson for all West Africans”. Those words should never have left your mouth. I may have misconstrued your meaning but feel very strongly that you could have worded things better.

West Africans should NEVER have to expect such inhumane treatment whether in our own country or elsewhere. We should NEVER accept profiling and manhandling, no matter where we are. If a westerner had been treated in Ghana; the way this boy was treated, heads would roll. Please, by all means, tell West Africans that they should be careful when making their travel plans; that they should be aware of overzealous health workers and a security system intent on marking them for quarantine regardless of whether or not they have visited an Ebola-struck country. Tell them they should realise that now, when white people stare at them and clutch their children to their bosoms, it’s not really because they are black, but because they have “Ebola until proven innocent”.

I applaud you for your willingness to protest the unfair treatment of this student, who in your own words, is “highly traumatised” but must call you out for your defeatist attitude when you said, you believe the Czech Authorities will simply respond by saying they were taking precautions.

Do not back down! Imagine that boy as your son and stand firm when you demand an unqualified apology for him, and the people of Ghana. I would expect that by now, the Czech Ambassador would have been summoned to the Flagstaff house to provide an “explanation” for this debacle. ANYTHING to show the Ghanaian community within and abroad that our government gives a damn about the good people of Ghana.

And for goodness sakes, please don’t ever ask us to “learn” from awful treatment meted out to us. This is how black slaves told their daughters to learn, every time they were raped by a white man. “Don look ’em in de eye, chile. Don yoo wake up de faya in ’em”. Perhaps my analogy is harsh but it’s how I feel.

I look forward to hearing your demands to the Czech Republic.

 

Best,

Daixy

 

Accra: Village, Slum or City?

Woke up this morning to see this article floating about on twitter. In this article, Eonline reporter  Alyssa Toomey writes, “The handsome boy-banders visited the impoverished village of Accra and took to Twitter to detail their eye-opening experience.”
From what I can surmise, Comic Relief (responsible for Red Nose Day)  brought One Direction to Accra. Lord knows which parts of Accra they sent them to, but hey, they saw a slum or two.
This is what one member had to say about his trip:
https://mail-attachment.googleusercontent.com/attachment/u/0/?ui=2&ik=179c22f4fa&view=att&th=13c42b9e2363e27e&attid=0.1&disp=inline&realattid=1424311331919495168-1&safe=1&zw&saduie=AG9B_P_VP_Hzw4NW2i-th9UwWnUb&sadet=1358329173800&sads=xWeM9eT46wLS5CbRfyeOYv0bni0
Hey Niall, thanks for visiting my country (even though you only visited Accra) and thanks for wanting to help those who are poverty stricken but here’s some thing you need to wise up to. Poverty is everywhere, even in your beloved United Kingdom. How is it that you managed not to notice that “poverty is real” before you visited my “impoverished village of Accra”?

In response to the article and the tweets from Niall Horan, GH twitter had a field day. Aside from tweets like mine which expressed outrage, a lot took to humour to voice their displeasure.

This one from Wanlov the Kubolor had me laughing my butt off!

 
I can’t blame One Direction.  They’re kids, really and hey, I can understand to some degree how in all the excitement, the band members could have tweeted like they did.  You can never see poverty and walk away untouched.  You’d have to be a cold bastard for that.

My beef is with the article on Eonline and thus, with  Alyssa Toomey. Ms. Toomey apparently failed to do her research before posting the article.  Even worse, the article either did not go through an editor, or her editor was an ignoramus. Accra is not an “impoverished village”. So I asked Niall, One Direction and Eonline to please tell Alyssa that Accra is not a village.  None of them bothered responding but that’s to be expected.  I tweeted at Alyssa herself asking her to edit the article and deliver an apology but received no response. I didn’t really expect otherwise.

While others rant on about whether or not Accra is a “modern city” and complain about the “dirt” etc, I would like to make myself very clear.

A village is defined by my common dictionary to be:

  1. A group of houses and associated buildings, larger than a hamlet and smaller than a town, situated in a rural area.
  2. A self-contained district or community within a town or city, regarded as having features characteristic of village life.

Accra is very much an urban area, no matter what people choose to say about it. It is larger than a town. Perhaps the slum that was visited could be described as a village but my Capital City of Accra truly fails to meet the description of a village.  It is a CITY! I do not understand why the word village has come to mean in some people’s minds, “a dirty group of mud houses with animals roaming freely about”. Please! Not every village comes with complimentary death and squalor. Accra has a huge problem with sanitation and we need to get our people to stop throwing their crap in the street but just cuz some so called “villagers” have relocated to Accra from the rural areas etc does not mean it has become a village.

Every city the world over has its share of poverty. I don’t really care about the author tagging Accra as impoverished.  Hey, if she thinks hotels like Movenpick Ambassador and La Palm Royal are signs of impoverishment, that’s her problem. I can take her behind Dekalb in the Bronx or walk her through Harlem and show her some poor people. Would she like to call those places villages too? Even in Memphis, I saw squalor.The abject poverty I have witnessed will not let me attempt to fool anyone that we do not indeed have impoverished sections (and a lot of them) in Accra.

My problem is with western media always needing to portray Africa as a poverty ridden “country”. They blatantly refuse to show the progress we’re making. Growing up, I studied geography and read a lot so I knew most of the states of America and of course, that the Britain was a teeny weeny Island etc. It was all drummed into my head, whether I wanted to know it or not.  So how come Western kids do not know that Africa is a continent? How could Alyssa Toomey not have checked facts on Ghana and thus not know that Accra was our Capital city?

Later on in the day, I discovered that the article had been edited and the insulting phrase taken out. I feel better, knowing that at least one more person out there will think twice before writing about my homeland in a derogatory manner.  I don’t care if you tell the truth about my country.  Talk about the poverty all you like (but talk about yours too and maintain the balance) but please do not make the mistake of belittling us.

To celebs like One Direction who love to do charity work, kudos. Your hard work is really appreciated but please for the love of all things Holy, do your homework. Don’t mar the good work you do with ignorant comments.

My final two cents is meant for all Ghanaians. Can we fix up our city? Please? Accra is a health hazard and it’s time we cleaned it up. We have town and country planning.  Why are their codes being ignored? Why are people dumping rubbish wherever they feel like? And what do we do about the mass exodus of people from rural areas to our urban centres? How long has that Slum at Korle Gono been in existence and what has been done to take care of it?

Until we make strides to improve things and better brand our nation, we will forever have ignorant impressions running around about this country and the rest of Africa. Let’s work together to paint a better picture of our homeland.  It’s the only one we have! 

God Bless Ghana!

~Daixy~

The Adventures of Ginger Rayne Maxen…….

Naughty Ginger stole some fish
Silly Ginger got his dish
Dessert was best served with a bone in his teeth
That he couldn’t dislodge with his hands nor his feet

So Mama Daixy called the vet
Together they chased down the frightened pet
Fished the bone out from mouth agape
Finally let him make his escape

Now Ginger lies curled up on mama’s bed
Quite the adventure he has led
Perhaps now he will learn his lesson
And stop stealing meat from out the kitchen!!!

~Daixy

LOL.  I wrote this one crazy evening when I got called in from work to help with a kitty emergency.  Somehow, despite my insistence that I didn’t want any more pets, the cats in the house (dogs too) have become my responsibility.  And I have to say that my little Ginger can be quite the handful.  From peeing on my bed (and me) on his first day, to stealing chicken from my dad’s dinner, the little bugger has now taken to mewling outside my window at 5am (on the dot!)

I know the poem is cheesy but I couldn’t resist making fun of him.  Oh and the picture is of him as a kitten, tucked up in his basket. He still pulls such contortionist positions when he sleeps 😉

Pray Tell…..

Christina Nana Araba Asamoah

…….Why does death doll out
          Sorrow
            Pain
               Abject Misery?

Is it lunacy to want to shout;
         No!
           Remain!
             Stay with me!?

I would that he’d not knocked on our door
Touched your flesh with his icy digits
And snatched you from us

I’m afflicted with
Seeming streams of salty tears
Threatening to reduce me to a
Pathetic Puddle;
A pitiful mess.

You are gone way too soon
And I truly begin to wonder
Why death dolls out, such;
         Sorrow
           Pain
             Misery
Torment of never seeing you again.

~Daixy~


Some say we should have seen it coming.  After two strokes, why should we have expected her to survive?  But you see, those who say that didn’t see her the last time I did, before she left for her home.  She’d stepped out of our guest room dressed to the nines in a gorgeous kaba and slit.  It wasn’t really the outfit or her neatly pulled back hair that struck me that day though. It was the smirk she wore when she walked out the room and the confident stride she took up.  She looked ready to face the world…ready to fight.


I wish I’d taken a picture…

Silky Smooth & Sexy……

My mop broke.  That’s my excuse for being at shoprite at 8:30pm on a saturday evening.  If you’ve met me, you’ll know that I dislike the mall with a passion and try to avoid it as much as possible.  Sadly, it’s the one place I will visit when I need something like a self-squeezing mop or foreign foodstuffs I won’t find at my local market.

So yeah, my mop broke and I chose to go get a new one on account of I needed to finish cleaning my room.  Now, I’m gonna quit yapping about mops before I end up gushing about this new one, with it’s twist to squeeze feature and easy grip.

Something shocked me as I walked bast the bath products aisle! 

See, there was a section with razors.  I love razors and shaving cream. So I decided to check if they had Venus razors.  You know, the line that’s made specifically for women?  I’ve run out and been looking for months for venus sticks in every pharmacy or store I visit.  I figured, “Oh the mall should have them”.  Oh poor naive me.

No Venus sticks!  Everything From Bic to Gillette but no Venus?

I think it was the frustration of the endless searches and the fact that I’d gotten my hopes up that made me blurt out to my male companion “Why don’t they have venus razors?  Don’t Ghanaian women shave?!”  My voice was a bit too loud (usually I can be heard from accross a room lol) and I could hear the couple behind me laugh out loud.  My friend said, “No they don’t.  Haven’t you seen the hairy legs and the beards that could rival mine?”

Come to think of it, ghanaian women don’t seem to like to shave their legs.  Or faces, or their bikini area.  I once had a roommate (in college) laugh at me when I complained that I couldn’t find my favourite Gillette women’s shaving cream on the market.  She laughed even harder when I switched to NAIR and asked me why I bothered.

Well I think women should live by the Triple S Principle. Yes they should have SSS= Skin So Soft.  And that oh so soft skin should also be SSS= Silky-Smooth and Sexy.  Nothing irks me more than seeing a woman in a short skirt and beautiful legs that are suffocating underneath a heavy layer of hair, and yet my fellow ghanaian women are reluctant to grab a razor, so much so that a whole shoprite will not bother stocking a special line of razors for women.  You’ve never had a perfect shave until you’ve tried a Venus razor, in my opinion.  Their special bikini area trimmer is a wonderful addition to a woman’s bathroom routine and their soothing solution for razor bumps is marvelous!

I saw a woman once in town and she was sporting a hairy face.  For a while, I thought she was a man until i noticed the dress.  Even the men shave their beards…..why can’t we get rid of ours when our bodies decide to produce too much testosterone?  Oh and that one time at the beach where this girl showed up in a bikini but had forgotten to trim her bikini area?  Like seriously?  And you see it all the time.  Pretty women who work at the bank, wearing their short tight little numbers with orangutan legs to match….

I have lots of questions.

First is, do ghanaian women truly object to shaving/waxing/trimming legs and other areas?

2. If you do remove/manage hair, what products do you use?
3. Why do you choose to shave (or otherwise) ?
4. If your local store stopped shipping whatever product you use for hair removal, would you demand that they restock?

5. Ghanaian guys, what do you think about women who shave/wax their legs?

6. And what of women who don’t?  Would you be cool hanging out with a woman whose legs were much more hairy than yours?

Let’s hear from you, people.  I want to know what the deal is with this.

I’ve Missed this space.  Hopefully work will afford me some time to revisit.  Thanks to those who still check out this space.  God Bless,

~Daixy~

Mob Mentality: It Can Lead to Fail

Time: 3am
Date: 31st March, 2011
Location: Mensah Sarbah Hall Annex B, University of Ghana

Event: Apprehend a female thief and show her what’s what.

Thursday had me busy at work. I ignored the internet and there’s no radio in my office so I missed the debates. The evening saw me having the time of my life at the Labadi Beach Hotel with my family and I got home too late to bother with anything running the gossip rounds.  Fast forward to Friday, April first and my shock at reading a tweet by Nii Ayertey about Amina and how she could have been his sister.  I thought, “what’s going on now?” and followed the link to this CitiFm story.  And then I prayed it was some sick April Fool’s Joke.

At about 3am on March 31st, some male students of Mensah Sarbah Hall of the University of Ghana through whatever means, decided “to catch a thief“. Unfortunately, there is NO correlation between these kids and the characters in the movie/book.  No one is quite sure how they caught this girl or how they got a confession out of her. We do know though that instead of handing her over to the police, they chose to beat her up. The girl in the video clearly has a black eye and unless she did that to herself trying to escape (silly excuse really) I call these boys women beaters. I do not condone mob action and always insist on turning over suspects to the police and for good reason. You never quite know who the mob has apprehended, and you sure as heck don’t have anyone in a mob listening to reason.

I do not know at what point in time the boys chose to strip her naked. Parading her in the Hall, they did more than that.  They tore her clothes off of her, exposing her bra and panties.  Even those were not spared however, despite her pleas for mercy. Bottom line, they exposed her nether regions and proceeded to taunt her, while taking photos of her private parts and even going as far as to insert their fingers into her vajayjay.

University authorities are looking into this matter but I do not have any confidence in my Alma Mater. For years, students have been parading alleged thieves naked through the streets of campus (from Commonwealth Hall to the Main gate) in order to pond them.  And the university has always turned a blind eye to the happenings on. Debates yesterday on facebook had people comparing what happened to this girl to the pondings that were delivered to the boys who stole in the past.  Well let me say this, when you stole from Commonwealth or any Hall in the past, you had a choice.  Either you went to the shrine at La or were handed over to University Authorities or you had an option of being marched naked through the streets of campus with the culmination of a “decent” bath in the filthy pond at the main gate.

Amina was not given any of those choices. These boys tore, (shredded, call it what you will ) her clothes from her body and then did something that has never before been done, even by those troublesome Vandals. They crossed that fine line that exists in mob mentality where the role of criminal and victim are turned around.  See, once Amina was down on the floor clutching her tattered bra to her chest and begging the boys not to go any farther, she ceased to be a thief in my eyes.  She became a sexual assault victim, pleading with her attackers to have mercy on her.  She became a woman begging a gang of men not to violate her person. 

I don’t know how many of you have ever been in such a situation before (I certainly hope you haven’t) but I doubt there is anything more damaging than having a gang of men or women (or even a single person) out to sexually molest you and you laying in a defenseless heap with nothing but your tears to protect you.

I’m still trying to reconcile what they did and simply cannot find a single rhyme or reason. Who in their right mind captures a thief in their home and then decides “Let’s see what they look like under those clothes”.  Who in their right mind chooses to get their Johnses off when they find a burglar in their home.  “Oh thanks for comming to rob me.  I’d like to have the sex now” I do not think that I have ever been more ashamed to have been a student of the University of Ghana and I am glad now that I did not follow my father’s footsteps and join Sarbah Hall.  He’s certainly upset about it.

I’m against sexual abuse of any person (be they male or female, child or adult) or animal and can only describe what I feel right now as empathy.  I wept when I saw the video (couldn’t finish watching it) and wish now that I hadn’t been linked to it. If I cannot condone lynching a person for some crime, then how on earth can I condone sexually abusing them? I keep thinking what if this had been a case of mistaken identity? Just imagine for a second, for those of you who want to justify what happened to her, that these kids had made a mistake.  What if they’d grabbed the wrong person and abused them in such a manner?  What if your sister had been the one they’d grabbed in their frenzy? It shames me to have people I respect and admire tell me she deserved what she got and that this time she’ll learn her lesson.  It shames me to hear people I expect to do something ask me if I knew this girl and demand to know “why are you being so emotional about this?”  

No one cares!!!  A clear case of human rights violation and no one cares!!! Someone had the guts to say on facebook that if it had been a man, we wouldn’t be making so much noise about it. He said to “get it right.  It’s human rights not women’s rights” and I set him straight. We’ve been complaining for years about mob action.  Been speaking out forever about the marches to the uni pond. Clearly that was championing human rights and that was when it was even only men being abused. I have never heard of a case when a male thief was being paraded naked in the streets and the girls went over to stroke his manhood.  It’s plain disgusting to think of if you ask me.
The reason this person seems to think the world champions women’s rights is simply this.  Women and Children have always been weaker and therefore more defenceless.  Of course when you hear stories about human rights violation, they’re going to be about women being raped or molested and children being treated the same or worse.  And men, when they are abused, shut up about it.  Show me one case where a man was abused sexually and people threw a party for his attackers. 
This guy made a case of “women rape men and women beat men”.  PLEASE!!! It’s anatomically IMPOSSIBLE for a woman to rape a man unless she chooses to sodomise him and if you showed me such a case, I’d be first to condemn it. If it had been girls fingering Amina, I would still be talking about it.  If it had been boys sodomising a man or woman, I would be talking about it.  If it had been boys groping a male thief, I’d STILL be talking about it.  SEXUAL ABUSE is wrong and any person that seeks to justify and rationalise it away and promotes it is a big fat filthy IDIOT and should experience it for themself.

I want to see Amina fight for her justice now.  The state can do whatever they want concerning the theft but now the state HAS to round up the students responsible and deal with them.  Amina deserves justice.  She has become one of the many victims of sexual abuse and if it’s one thing that I know, Victims Never Forget. She didn’t ask for it.  This is not her fault and instead of men and women applauding these depraved students for their actions, I would like for there to be a united voice, calling for Justice, calling for heads to roll.  The university needs to be strict when they apprehend these students and the State should be well prepared to fight this to the end.  

I also hope that we will find a way to talk to our students.  We need to get it into people’s thick skulls, right from childhood, that sex is not a tool for punishment. 

Another thing that worried me was the way in which the video went viral.  I know some people meant well and wanted the world to see the depravity of man but did anyone think for a second that it would be adding more insult to this girl’s injury?  I sat down to think and I wondered, would I be okay with it, if my rape was taped and spread over the internet? Would you be fine if your friend, sibling, mother was attacked and the video making its rounds to every cellphone and computer, not only in your country but going as far as to hit the internet, where the entire world can see? So I asked the person who uploaded the video to delete it.  Did he? When I checked at 3pm yesterday, he hadn’t done that.  Now, his facebook profile has been deleted. Thank God for facebook crawler bots and the report violation button 🙂

No matter how you look at it, there is no “justice” in what was done to Amina. This is a human being (forget her crime) who was sexually abused by a gang and she’s never going to get over it.  I insist that we do not simply sweep this under a rug.  I’ll keep talking about it and demand that we hear something tangible from the Ghanaian government and the University authorities.  I demand that something be done to ensure that nothing like this ever happens again. You can be sure that I’ll be writing more about this, that I’ll continue to make a nuisance of myself until someone in authority says something. And it had better not be along the lines of  “It is not nice and especially when it involves students who are supposed to know better…” and then nothing is done. We have a judiciary and laws have been put in place to handle these things.  Now I want to see these laws and their enforcers DO THEIR DAMN JOB!!

My heart goes out to Amina.  No matter what her crime was, she definitely did not deserve such a punishment and I pray that true justice is served.

~Daixy~

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Rain Rain Go Away…..

Intercloud lightnings over Toulouse (France). ...Image via Wikipedia
Thunder Scares me
Lightning too
All I want to be
Is curled up beside you

~Daixy~
Waking up to the roar of thunder and flash of lightning, I’m suddenly reminded of the scene from “The Sound of Music” where Maria sings and dances with the children about “My Favourite things” and not feeling “So Bad”. Well, Maria was a nun.  What works for me on rainy days is a special someone to curl up next to, preferably under a warm blanket on the couch with a good black and white movie running on the telly.  I don’t care what Maria says, Lil’ Miz Daixy insists “Nothing beats having someone warm to hold you when it’s raining cats and dogs.’ and “besides, my curtains need a wash and aren’t so good for rubbing my face in”.  Cary Grant in “Arsenic and Old Lace” does it for me every time.
Being alone on this cold dreary night and wanting something to distract me, I’ve chosen to make myself hungry by watching video tutorials on the art of sushi. It sure beats staring at the lightning flashing at my window and jumping every time the thunder rolls.

It’s been a while since I played with food and now I must find myself a bamboo mat and wasabi, and someone to take me on a date to a good sushi restaurant 😉

Once I’m done rummaging through the fridge, I’m gonna find me a good book; another thing Maria didn’t consider (music freak) lol.
What do you do on stormy nights? Love or hate them? And if you like old movies, what are your favourites?

Corrupt Conductors Conniving to Cheat!…

Road from Kumasi to AccraImage by acameronhuff via Flickr
So last weekend, Obed Sarpong of “Ready to Chew” gave me a copy of Ayi Kwei Armah‘s “The Beautiful Ones are not yet Born.  In the beginning chapter, a corrupt conductor confesses, albeit subconsciously to cheating his passengers.  I was successfully grossed out in that chapter (and the following one), especially by the actions of the equally disgusting driver against “The Man”, whose sole crime is falling asleep in the bus.
Today’s post isn’t about the book, however.  I haven’t finished it yet.  Multiple tasks at work and elsewhere have had me so busy that chapter three is as far as I’ve made it.  I’m not going to rant about how horrible it is, for me not to wrap it up, especially as I’d usually be done in less than two hours but I will say that I will finish it before the next week begins (I need some me time).
It’s really sad that corruption still runs rampant in Ghana today.  Things have changed since Independence and yet people still find it necessary to lie and cheat their way out of their so called poverty.  Disabled persons who have been trained by the “Ghana Federation for the Disabled” refuse to practice their crafts and prefer to litter the streets.  One cured leper (at least I hope she’s cured) hangs about the National Theatre, thumping her stump (for want of a better word.  it’s 4am and I can’t think) against private car and taxi windows to demand money.  Not only does she bang incessantly on the glass, but she hurls insults and curses at you when you refuse to hand over money. SMH.
A seemingly blind man approaches my car and even without my uttering a word greets me with “My daughter, good morning.”  Eii!  With my windows rolled up, how did you know I was a woman?  And a daughter at that! I sincerely doubt that he was able to smell my perfume.  How sad does one have to be to pretend to be blind?  Before someone jumps on my neck, I’ll say this now.  There was no one standing next to him.  This was on the flag staff road and he was all alone. My perfume must have been really strong for it to permeate glass, plastic and metal. Or he’s the ghanaian version of the daredevil.  You take your pick.
Even when the avenues are created for the less fortunate to make a little something of themselves, it seems the need to stick it to the man overwhelms the desire to fend for oneself.  It saddens me every time I recall a friend’s story about how her father offered  a Chadian woman a job so she could take her children off the street.  Would you believe the woman run her finger on her skin then on his and asked if he was right in the head?  That “how can I come and work for you, a slave?”  And yet she was okay with standing by the road with her kids and begging that slave for money.  
What is this country and the world for that matter heading for? There are people willing to help, and yet someone sits somewhere and decides that they are above a type of work.  Sad thing is, I know how my friend feels cuz my own dad had a similar response when he offered to help one of them (eugh I hate using that term, “one of them”.  Generalisation is awful! Hopefully you get that it’s not my intent). After getting such an answer, you pretty much feel like dirt and that it’s not worth the effort to help anyone at all.  This is what happens when we let this evil fester in us.  It becomes a dog eat dog world, with everyone looking out for themselves.
Now why am I so pissed off?  Well I went to visit a friend at Spintex.  I knew the place to be “Flowerpot Junction” Not having a car anymore, I chose to save money and take a tro tro instead of a taxi.  The tro tro to the Accra Mall was no problem but I’ve only driven to that area like twice and had no idea what the stops were called.  My friend told me to tell them I was going to Junction, so I did and paid 55p for the trip from the station to “junction”.  Now it soon became clear that junction was farther away than my actual stop.  The lady next to me had said she was going to flowerpot and I realised her stop was the same as mine.  She told me the fare to flowerpot was 40p. So we both alerted the mate (conductor) and as i got out of the car, I asked for my change.  The mate slapped something into my hand and before I could raise my head, the tro tro shoved off.  What was in my palm? A 5p coin.
I had been swindled!  Me!  The Darling Daixy!  
I’m still amazed.  It’s not the fact that he took my 10p.  Bah to heck with that.  It’s only going to buy me water.  Not enough to get me gum even, and yet it still rankles.  Just because he realised I did not know where the junction was, he’d pilfered my hard earned 10p.  That’s what annoys me ; being underestimated and written off as some foolish newbie who does not and will never know the ways of the street.  I felt (and still do) violated and insulted.  A girl steps out of her comfort zone (what business do I have in the Spintex Area? eh) and the first thing that happens is someone takes advantage of her?  I’m really getting tired of this.  Stuff keeps happening that digs me deeper into my jaded shell.  Soon, there’ll be none of the humanity left in me, just a spectre with a strong conviction that she must never be taken advantage of. Much like the rest of the nation is becoming. 
As though I wasn’t bad enough.  LOL
~Daixy~

*tro tro: mini van for public transport

The Ghanaian Engine That…

Turned Lil’ Miz Daixy Into a Giggling Idiot.
So a couple of Months ago, my buddy Tetekai over at Lyrix Chronicles wrote about “Wanting a TsooTsoo Train”.  She bemoaned the lack of what we’ve come to recognise as a “proper train”.  Thanks to our childhood books and cartoons/movies, a lot of us (myself inclusive) seem to think of trains as engines with carriages; ergo the disappointment at seeing a ratty old cargo train.
Well, I’ve already said this to her, but can’t keep from telling everyone else that I saw a real live choo choo train! 
So umm….a friend kidnapped me Friday evening to go get my hair fixed at “Melon Salon” at Dzoworlu (you really need to check this place out).  Let’s just say, I really needed a proper trim.  Anywho, I was waiting for my turn when I heard this alarm and ignorant moi, asked “what the heck’s going on out there?”  Well, my buddy just turns to me and says, “Oh that’s just the train”. 
Just the train? Just the train?!!! Never in my entire life living in Ghana, have I ever seen a train.  Not even the snarly cargo thing that Tetekai saw. So what did this grown woman do?  I ran out of the salon to stand by the roadside, yelling for him to grab a camera.  Lo and behold, there really was a train and it was loading passengers.  “The train moves to and from Tema” my friend says and all the while, I’m asking ridiculous questions he can’t possibly answer.  “How long has it been running?” “You mean to say it’s been running since we were kids?” “Oh my gosh, how big is it? How fast can it go?” I was truly blown away by the fact that Accra has a running “train”. This one, in fact.
Yes, I waited out there for the train to finish loading and then watched it finally pull out.  I counted six (6) carriages! Did I mention I was holding my friend’s hand the whole time? (Poor guy didn’t get why I was so excited, lol) My mind must have swapped with that of a four year old or something because I really did giggle, gasp and laugh with obvious glee as the red, gold and green worm snaked it’s way out of my sight.
And then I called Tetekai to scream about it, like the excited schoolgirl I am inside!  It didn’t end there though.  While pinned under the good old comb and scissors, the train passed by on it’s way from Tema.  I forgot to ask where in Accra it ends.  You’d think I’d have my fill of trains after that, right?  No way!  As we were driving from Dzoworlu into Osu, we were stopped right before the train tracks.  Why? The train was passing through, AGAIN on its way to Tema.  Of course, that had me on the phone once more, rubbing it into poor Tetekai’s face (or ears, if you will) that I’d seen a real train.
I’m not joking about this.  Forget the subways in New York and such that I’ve seen and been on, I have NEVER set eyes on any sort of train in Ghana  (unless you count the kiddie trains at the Efua Sutherland Children’s Park).  
Now all that remains for me to do is take a ride on Accra’s CHOO CHOO TRAIN!!!
Happy New Year!!!
~Daixy~
PS. I know it’s so very American of me to say “choo choo” instead of “tsoo tsoo” but until I heard Keteke’s Tsoo Tsoo in 2000, I had no idea ghanaians called it that lol.