By Yetunde Arebi
Hi, Sometime ago, we discussed the issue of safe sex practices. Some of the many questions we asked our respondents was whose responsibility it is to ensure safe sex, the man or the woman? Another was, what methods the adopt in ensuring safe sax?
The place of condoms; multiple sex partners, polygamy and even cultural practices in ensuring safe sex, the level of awareness among Nigerian about the HIV/AIDS pandemic and other sexually transmitted diseases, among others.
Several Nigerians expressed shock and dismay at the kind of responses some of our respondents gave. Today, we are bringing you some of the responses we received on the topic. Feel free to add your voice to the discourse.
Our address remains: The Human Angle, Vanguard, P.M.B. 1007, Apapa, Lagos, or, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org Cheers!
The powerful women with all their money who want to retain that married status are going through it, ditto for the helpless housewife who her little or no income to sustan herself and her childrn should she loose her favous in the sight of her husband.
That is why even whenÂ most women know (not suspec) that their husbands are not faithful to them, they will only nag, plead and preach to him, (mind you in a manner that will not incur his wrath) but never resign from performing their conjugal duties as wives.
Not to mention the ridiculous option of throwing a condom at their husbands.
The very few categories of women that can do any semi blance of such are women who have made (it) all by themselves and or, have become bread winners of their families thereby not needing their husbands for that very crucial support, finance and protection.
Equally, these women who have also shaken themselves off all cultural, traditional, moral and societal shackles called values that may intimidate or embarrass them by taking their destiny (selfish or not) into their own hands.
As a girl or woman in our kind of society, you hardly can muster that will power to utilize that option. With the present state of economy, there is very little most women can do.
Please when we talk, let us take holistic look at the options we have and not use our city life, or the few educated and employed, or affluent Nigerians in the cities as yardstick for what really obtains in our society.
A young girl aspiring to come to the city to better her lot with very little or no support from her parents will not have the power to negotiate all of the time, if at all.
AÂ woman without children and without a job or whatever income to sustain herself and her children may not be in the position to negotiate anything. Many young ladies in search of jobs have had to succumb to the whims and caprices of their benefactors, even though most of them may be too ashamed to admit it after all.
Many women these days are forced by morally depraved bosses in most working environment to engage in sex under all forms of disguised forceful methods.
While many women now freely throw themselves at men for the little benefits they can gain from them, all in a bid to make ends meet. And who can blame them in a society where only material wealth has taken over societal, moral and religious considerations and evaluation in our country.
Nobody is interested in knowing your source of wealth and affluence, just as long as you can get it through whatever means and some of such wealth can be beneficial to them.Â What of women who fall victim of rape?
Is it possible for a rape victim to ask for protection? And worse still, the children, babies, who have become targets of rape by depraved and perverted men who now walk our streets? Are they in position to ask for protection or negotiate how the men will make use of them?
What of children who fall victims of abuse by those who God Himself has entrusted their care, welfare and protection into their hands? My sister, the list is endless.
Women can do no such thing, and I want to be corrected otherwise if possible.
It is the duty of our government to help us out. Unfortunately, the power of governance still rest squarely in the hands of the men who are our oppressors.
The attitude of government must change towards the women of this country. Free education for all (boys and girls) at primary and secondary school levels must be enforced regardless or religious or geographical excuses.
No girl must be married off by her parents before she attains the age of 18. Parents who do this must be punished to act as deterrent to others.
No matter how remote the village where this crime may be perpetuated, they will have neighbours, women and there will be other young girls there who can report such incidents to the authorities.
Our men must get a new reorientation about life and the safety of the society.
If you are happy abusing the right of the women around you because they are not your relatives, be sure that some other men out there will abuse your our female relatives and children too somehow.
What goes around must come around. Surely such a man will not be happy, but he will have no one to blame but himself.
Government at all levels must stop paying lip service and politics with the issue of poverty alleviation, creation of small and micro scale industry, and adopt better methods of admitting more women into decision making positions in government at all levels.
This way, Nigerians will be convinced that the government has the interest of the people at heart.
It is true that the economy is terrible, the need to survive is great, and the competition is stiff, but some sanity can still be injected into our society if we truly care for one another. As women, let us stand up for one another in whatever situation we may find ourselves.
Many women who get to the top using their bodies and all sorts of unwholesome manners often do not offer helping hands to younger women, preferring that they too go through similar hurdles, just to make sure they have a taste of what â€œsuccessâ€ feels like or means. That ought not to be the case.
If Martin Luther and all those great fallen African_American heroes did not pay the ultimate price with their lives, there will not be a Barrak Obama to celebrate today. Some people must pay the price for others to have it better and posterity is their reward.
So therefore Yetunde, I am of the belief that it is only men that have the weapon to the change and negotiation we are talking about in their hands.
They are the ones that call the shot in almost all aspects of our lives.
Our welfare depends largely on them. As I speak, many married women are enduring and struggling through one form of sexually transmitted disease or the other, contacted from their husbands and to which they can do nothing about.
The days of simple gonorrhea are over, there are several deadly diseases on the prowl these days that may take several years to manifest in the body.