It’s becoming rather difficult to know who to trust online these days. There are more reasons to be careful about what you say online. A lot of Nigerians are opening up to the opportunities that abound online, but a lot more are falling prey to the disasters online. A few days ago, a teacher made a very indicting post on his facebook wall. He said that men or young adults should pick their future partners from secondary schools where they are “Loyal and Naïve”.
This singular moment of indiscretion has seen his life take a rapid turn for the worse, he is probably facing a disciplinary panel as you read. I have no sympathy for his case because his social profile has been quite controversial. He has a history of making statements that demean women.
However, I have some thoughts about the issue which I think I would rather address here than on my facebook wall. The reason for this is that I made a post similar to this and even my so-called “friends” went all ballistic and started tagging me a “Paedophile sympathizer”. This is a big lesson about the mob mentality, it takes just one person to get you lynched.
In Nigeria people have been mistaken for armed robbers and lynched on the spot, emotions drive these behaviors. Most humans are hardly pragmatic when you mention issues like theft, rape, adultery and pedophilia. Emotions run high very fast, people refuse to investigate and let’s couple that with having bad records in the area. So many of us are guilty of mob mentality. Now some facebook users are boasting about how far they went to make sure that Emmanuel Ifediata loses his job. I just hope the tables turn soon for some of these people, this would also serve to show that social media friends should be picked with caution.
Like I said, he deserves the retribution but losing his job in the name of unproven pedophilia? In a society like ours, I am sure none of these people would have gone that far if he could sue them. If they knew he had political power or money to sue them for damage to his finances and well-being, they would not try it. Eventually, if he had that money to make a court case, it would now be left to these people to prove that he is truly a pedophile. But since Nigeria’s Justice is more about emotions than actual evidence, this guy would be the proverbial head that was severed because of a headache. I really hope our government makes the justice system strong enough for people to get sued for making circumstantial accusations online.
One lady shared my post and accused me of making a case for pedophilia. What Nonsense. Let me restate my argument below.
Why Older Men Prey on Younger Women
For a lot of African men, marriage has a lot to do with control. The most available tools for control are Money, Social Status, Age, and Gender. Many who claim to be feminists don’t understand that the obvious affinity of most African women for extremely older men is an offshoot of the patriarchal society we have.
The idea that a man should be the provider, he has to be wealthier and mature is a subtle promotion of patriarchy. Most women have become so comfortable with that idea that only older men can “pamper them like babies”. When in reality, anyone who loves you and has your respect would provide the kind of love and care you so desire. This is also to prove that most women find it difficult to respect their (equal) partners the way the man attempts to respect them, we should be worried about this.
Why do women find aggressive men attractive? Why do women find richer men, older men attractive?
The probability that a lady’s equal would be richer is low in Nigeria, the probability that he would have that entitled mentality is also low. I have dated mostly ladies my age and I find it hard to order them around, and I even think they would be more likely to do anything for me out of mutual respect rather than the “subconscious feeling” that he is an established man who deserves their timidity.
You cannot eat your cake and have it
If you want a man that is older than your father to see you as an equal, maybe he will and maybe he will not. When we are ready for a society where there are equal opportunities for all then we should learn to appreciate equality of partners, date your mate. A lot of women are opposing this idea because they dated or are dating men quite older than they are. Someone noted that a lot of ladies had sex before they were 18 but this does not make it right or sensible, in the same vein I believe we would all eventually see this imbalance of age for what it is.
In Africa, even the fact that he is a Man is a reason for control and entitlement, you now add to that the fact that he is two times older than you. Probably he also controls enough resources to make life miserable for you if you disobey him.
For Men, this arrangement is quite attractive. It comes with a lot of benefits but how advantageous is this for the woman? A lot of those who read my post also claimed that once you are 18, then no one should worry about the age gap between partners. We all seem so reliant on the law which at other instances we find so abhorrent to our sense of civility. The Gender Equality bill was revisited recently, it had been rejected by the senate. Yet we use laws created by these faulty humans as our yardstick for what should be sensible.
I think many feminists in Nigeria are just delusional
They claim to fight for equality but do not understand that the fight for equality starts from the mind. If you do not see anything wrong with a 15-year age gap among couples who are meant to be equal partners then you are stuck in Lalaland and not reality. Think about it, someone on a post by Festus Adibe even argues that if the law makes 15 the legal age for consent then it would be okay for a 30-year old to have sex with them.
In my argument, I believe that the problem with Ifediata’s thought process is in three spheres:
- Breach of trust as an employee in an organization which is entrusted with the well-being of minors.
- Proposing that advances of a marital nature be made to a minor.
- The unhealthy age difference which would enable his search for naïve and innocent children.
Let’s say he was not a teacher and the girl was above 18, it does not change the fact about number 3 in that list. He has an appetite for ladies he can control and the conditions for this would only be suitable when she is far younger and not up to his social status. The only difference would be that society has placed a legal stamp on his perverted approach to human relations.
The Sexualization of Social Media
On a final note, I would hope that these events bring us more reasons to reprimand facebook users who promote sexual content without restraint. Many of those who called for the head of Ifediata consistently post sexual content that is not suitable for 15-year-olds and less, there are facebook users who are not up to 18 on their friend list, yet these people are allowed to post almost nude pictures, provide highly sexual content without any retribution.
Ifediata made a post that was not sexual (had no mention of sexual act or body parts), but these people tagged him a paedophile. These same people spend the better days of their existence on social media posting raunchy and x-rated content available to users of all age categories, but you know how justice is a matter of numbers in Nigeria. Ifediata committed a political blunder, he went against the mob and that is what evil geniuses never do.
It is for reasons like this that I write and offer to help others build valuable content, no one would drag you into a mud pit if you have not been playing close to such a pit. I think we can do better for ourselves, we can make social media a better place for ourselves. We can write, change the narratives about ourselves. I may not be a feminist but writing is my own investment into a better future for my daughters. No one should be allowed to over-sexualize our daughters, sex education is very different fom porn and erotica.