July 23, 2018

Why should I care about Naija prostitutes tortured in Dubai? – Pearl Osibu

Why should I care about Naija prostitutes tortured in Dubai? – Pearl Osibu

I got an SOS this morning…

Okay Pearl, back up a bit.

Let me start at the beginning.

About two weeks ago I had a conversation with the boyfriend in which I found out that Nigerian girls who say they are in Dubai are more likely than not eengagibg in prostitution. He told me they swear an oath and some other fun stuff and then make loads of money and come back driving Range Rovers. He said it completely without judgment – he’s not the kind – even though I went, ‘oops, so I was busy posting pictures of myself in Dubai last December/January and everyone was thinking I know what she’s doing out there. Tell me, were you thinking the same thing?’ And we laughed.

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He also told me that when a girl goes to a place like Dubai to prostitute, she can expect some BDSM-type stuff and has to prepare for it. So I mentally doffed a hat to these brave women. I mean, it must take a lot of guts for you to throw yourself into a pool where someone might decide his idea of fun if he’s alright is pissing on you and if he’s not, cutting you into bite-sized pieces. But you do know what to expect, the Range, and of course you hope you are lucky. But you accept you might not be and sign up anyway.

Now I’m not pointing fingers (not really) but let’s face it, for some reason, people of any cultural extraction that frown severely on natural sexual relations outside of wedlock and as such have very limited access to it tend to be on the ‘perverted’ side of the sexual spectrum. And when you throw in a whole lot of money, like the kind to be found in the Middle East countries like the UAE, oh wow, you can be sure it’d be a stretch to find anyone willing to perform good ol’ missionary-type sex. Hell, I remember when I was around fourteen and read an M&B romance that featured an oil Sheik, young as I was, I was very surprised at his ‘normalness’. No, from these people, we expect exotic so if you pretend not to know what you are signing up for, you are either far more naïve than my 14 year old self or disingenuous as hell.


Back to present day.

I woke up to a series of messages and videos from someone I know.  I was instinctively inclined to ignore the videos because who has around 15MB to blow on stuff that looked like bad porn as a cursory glance revealed. But the following text made me have a rethink.

“A Nigerian prostitute being tortured by her Lebanese customer for stealing money from his wallet. So barbaric. Do you think you can use your power to reach the people and the powers that be to initiate a National discussion on this topic of Nigerians being recruited to Saudi etc as prostitutes?” I think by my power, he meant platforms.

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He went on to say a lot of stuff, imploring that I act, reminding me that these women are somebody’s daughter, sister, mother etc!!!!!!! (yes I counted the exclamation marks). I choose to ignore the fact that these videos sent to me when the point could have been made with just the text borders on fetishism. Let us also agree to ignore the fact that by watching the videos, I participated in the very fetishism I am accusing him of. Now that that’s settled…

I am trying and failing, dismally, to care.

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I know the arguments/rhetoric. The country is hard. You will spare me. Yes, the country is hard, life is hard. But how you go about surviving is your problem and your choice. I am sitting on my ass, staring at my screen almost seventeen hours a day and chances are I will never make it really big unless I get lucky. But it’s the choice I have made. You have chosen to go to Dubai and be a prostitute and I promise you that that’s fine with me, and with everyone else really.

But in a country where we are grappling with women and girls in the North suffering as a result of Boko haram activities, you are trying to get me to be sympathetic to a person who;

Packed her belongings and went to Dubai to prostitute.

Signed up with a madam for room and board, the terms of the contract/oath being that she would pay a certain sum to this madam after which she will be free to make a killing and return to Nigeria to try and make me feel bad with her high class lifestyle and weave? Right on camera, she agrees to do anything that is required of her and face whatever penalties come to her if she failed…

What am I missing here?

See, my feminism includes women making choices and suffering the outcome of those choices. My feminism does not include women making choices and then calling on feminists to rescue them when it goes to hell. Part of freedom and right to being is making choices and inherent in this right to choice is facing the outcome(s).

So I ask again, what exactly is it I am supposed to be concerned about? That the John got out of control and decided to whip the prostitute or choke her? At which point do I involve myself? And how would my involvement look? A petition to stop girls going to Dubai, or asking that the men be forced to treat them with courtesy?

The way I feel about this is I will stand by now, and allow the conversation continue without me. And yes, the videos were very difficult to watch.

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