One of the most controversial issues emanating from the Big Brother Naija 2017 house is the alleged sexual assault of Tboss by Kemen. During the competition, a video emanated of Kemen allegedly touching Tboss inappropriately while asleep presumably without her consent. The backlash that emanated from this video leading to Kemen’s disqualification and dismissal from the house was enormous. However, what will always go down in history are the chain of events and comments succeeding his disqualification. How some Nigerian men and women rose up to his defence, how some blamed Tboss, the victim, for being a ‘witch’ and cursing Kemen with her bed, how she was the reason for kemen’s misfortune in the house and most recently, how AY, a popular comedian who should know better, justified Kemen’s actions as one of the things that some men do.

Kemen has a right to move on, Tboss has a right to forgive him but what we do not have a right to do as a society is to trivialise such a matter. Justifying what may amount to sexual assault is by no means tasteful. AY saying it was something men or women can testify happens to them is uncouth. How can you compare what happens in consensual relationships or marriages to a girl who has not consented to you touching her while she is asleep. It just doesn’t make any sense to me and to think he should know better! I wonder if it was his daughter, he would still make such distasteful jokes.

Thankfully, social media has exposed just how deep our prejudices against sexual abuse victims are. It has exposed our rape culture which always blames the girl for the man’s inability to keep that thing in his pants or his fingers to himself. I only hope we will use this power of the social media to keep driving these conversations to restore sanity to our system and to bridge the gender divide. To all the women who have spoken out about this and all the men who have lent their voices in support, kudos to you. We shall not be silenced.

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