By Iorliam’Amo Shija
Perhaps the biggest thing happening in the USA today is the revelations by women who have been victims of what they regard as inappropriate sexual behavior, harassment and even rape by highly placed men in society.
The biggest victim in recent times have been Harvey Weinstein. The Weinstein’s web , according to CNN, began to unravel in early October, after The New York Times published a story detailing numerous accusations of sexual harassment against the powerful movie producer, whose films have won a number of Academy Awards.
It is reported that the Times story reported over 30 years sexual harassment and unwanted physical contact accusations made against Weinstein by a number of women, including actress Ashley Judd.
This resulted to , what one reporter said, a flood of new accusations from dozens of other women, including some who said Weinstein had raped them. He was later fired from his own film company and his wife left him.
After the Weinstein case , what has followed is one accusation to another, resulting to another fall. The latest victim is one Matt Lauer, said to be a popular host of a morning TV show in USA. Him too has been fired for sexual harassment at work place by his employers . The list is endless.
Since I became attracted to this issue beginning with when Bill Cosby was roped in by many women who accused him of sexual harassment , the only question on my mind has always been, what if our girls in Africa, Nigeria, Benue or Tivland too gather enough courage and start telling their stories?
Their stories of how helpless house helps are molested by “uncles” when Madams are away, or how primary or secondary school teachers deceive unsuspecting minors and deflower them? Or daddy’s friends who take advantage of the daughters of their friends?
What if our university students begin to come public with their stories. Their stories of rape in offices . What if our church girls tell their stories of what they have encountered with men of God, brothers and trusted elders in the Church?
What about big politicians, civil servants, those in the private sectors and entertainment biz. What if those girls and women come to the fore with their stories?
How will our society treat them? Will the ladies receive enough sympathies and justice for their emotional pain? Will the aggressors be prosecuted according to the laws of the land(do we even have those laws?) . These are the questions on my mind.
As I see the revelations on TV daily and how the mighty are falling, I suspect there shall hence be sexual caution in the USA. The dignity of the woman shall gradually be restored in that great country. While I commend the women who have risked social stigmatization to speak up, it is my hope that perhaps their influence shall send ripples world wide and cause our girls to start talking or us, men to become more sexually cautious or At least remorseful!