December 14, 2017

Dear Mothers of Young Girls: borrow your daughters brain – Viola Okolie.

Dear Mothers of Young Girls: borrow your daughters brain – Viola Okolie.
There is a reason why brakes are installed in cars. So that generally, you can get the car to roll to a stop when you want it to.
Brakes in cars have also been known to fail on occasion, countless occasions even with some leading to injuries and even fatalities. Yet cars continue to run everyday, people continue to apply brakes, brakes continue to catch or not catch.
Sometimes, you have no control over it.
Imagine this scenario, you are standing in the middle of the road and a car is racing down towards you. It is speeding towards you at 120km/hour but you know what? Cars have brakes. And when you say “stop”, these cars are meant to pull to a stop.
Please permit me to ask, what happens if THIS particular car barreling towards you just doesn’t stop? What happens if the driver steps on the brakes and they decide to fail on that day, but you don’t know that. As far as you are concerned, car brakes are meant to work.
Final.
Let me tell you what happens – roadkill.
You become roadkill if you do not take the decision to step out of harm’s way.
When I was learning how to drive, I was told to imagine that every other driver on the road either did not know how to drive, or was just a mad man behind the wheels. I was advised to imagine myself the only sane driver on the roads and to drive accordingly.
And that is the same attitude I take to cars barreling down the road towards me, I assume by default that they all have bad brakes. It is not the driver’s duty to look out for me, it is my duty to look out for myself if I wish to stay alive.
Because if I fail to and his brakes fail and he hits me, we would be discussing a lot of issues AFTER THE FACT. I could be badly injured or even dead, and then the survivors would begin to split hairs over who is culpable.
And then even if justice is obtained, it could be pitiably inadequate as far as my disabled or dead self is concerned.
These things aren’t rocket science.
So, it is my duty to ensure I step out of harm’s way and THEN we can begin to collectively turn all our angst and venom at the clueless driver who has attempted to drive rough with faulty brakes.
I can’t stress this enough.
There is a difference between victim blaming and saying to parents, let us be more proactive and pre-emptive and teach our vulnerable children how to stay out of harm’s way.
I have watched a lot of videos educating people on how to avoid getting drugged and date raped. I have seen videos cautioning children on stranger-danger and how to avoid potentially dangerous situations. I have also seen instruction manuals on how to avoid potential hot spots, act in the event of an attack, and draw help as quickly as possible.
So, if we are to go with the Nigerian narratives on social media that any attempt to educate people on how to avoid some potentially ridiculous situations is “victim shaming” or “victim blaming”, then there should be no need to teach people how to secure their homes against theft, or act in the unlikely event of finding themselves victims of robbery.
There would be no need to teach children how to cross the road to avoid being hit by road users; or even the elementary first aid to apply in the event of an accident.
All of them are victims and they can walk blindly into any avoidable situation, hoping that the other person would be looking out for them and in case he doesn’t, well…
…shrugs.
“No means no”.
Listen, mothers of young daughters, we really need to be wary of how much of our education we are getting off social media and how we choose to protect our children and wards.
Yes, shit happens, but it is your primary duty as a parent, to protect your vulnerable ones as much as you can.
So, your daughter walks up to you and tells you she plans to go study with a bunch of teenage boys where she would be the only girl in their midst.
Kudos on being liberated enough as not to have a twinge of worry, pull her aside and speak to her about the inherent dangers of holing up in a room with a group of young hormonal men. Kudos on not telling her that it would be better if such “study” held in a library, in your sitting room while you are in the dining section working, or in a fast food restaurant.
Kudos.
Worry more about the feelings of the young men who might feel hurt that you insinuate they might have ulterior motives, and less about the trauma that would happen to your offspring if God forbid, her “friends” intentions are not above board.
I am honestly not worried about what parents of young men teach them; like standing in front of the speeding car and expecting the driver to look out for your safety, what if he doesn’t? What if they are not taught?
Would you be able to help your child effectively cope with a life time of trauma from rape/near rape?
Why play Russian roulette with your child’s physical and mental well being when all it would take are a few well placed words of advice, in a way that would last the child for a lifetime.
Forget political correctness, why would a girl go to a boy’s house with him, undress and lay down on his bed with him, initiate sexual intercourse and then act surprised when the boy cannot stop because she said “no”?
Yes rape is rape, but I also think there is a place for deliberate mischief in the rule books, for a woman who does not want to take responsibility for having sex when she needs it but would rather pass it off as “rape”.
For Pete’s sakes, don’t go to the house. Do not plan to spend the night. If you do not want sex, make it clear from the very first moment. Leave if you find that you are/he is unable to control your/his emotions, etc
I don’t care for the reverse psychology of “are you trying to say that we men cannot control our emotions”, if it makes you sleep better at night, yes.
That is what I am trying to say.
I have no business with you and your emotions. The only business I have, is in protecting young girls who might be potential victims if we lead them on to continue to take rash and stupid decisions without thinking of the potential consequences.
When we were growing up, it was called street smarts.
The ability to suss out a situation, determine if it was safe for you, weigh the risks and potential consequences, then take an instant decision.
People were admired for having street smarts while we were growing up, now we want to raise a generation of women who lack that essential survival skill?
It’s a jungle out there people, and you either run fast out of the lion’s way, or it will eat you up.
Yes you may get “justice”, but it may be inadequate to compensate for your loss of life and/or limb.
It is not called victim blaming/shaming, it is called “education”.
Dear mothers of young girls (especially), let it not be for lack of having failed to protect your child that you both have to go through trauma.
Yes, rape is rape and no means no…
But teach your child to recognise potentially dangerous situations and walk away from them.
Teach your child to take calculated risks and weigh the consequences of their actions and decisions.
Teach them to trust themselves and themselves alone. Teach them to realise that a penis at the point of penetrating a vagina, might not be too keen to hear the word “No”, or might damn all the consequences and go ahead to chop this one wey e don see first. Teach your children not to tease or play games around with people, you can account for your reactions, not that of others.
You don’t have to worry about “who is teaching the boys”, just do your own bit and teach your girls.
Dispense with political correctness, and protect your child!
Radi8
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