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  • Dami Afam Ade-Odiachi

Our bodies are sacred



A friend of mine has been met with a disaster so great it has shaken me to my core. When I heard of it, I was wounded. I am wounded still. And tomorrow if I have cause to think of it, I will be wounded again. In between violent fits of disgust, confusion, anger and sadness, I thought that it would be wise to write about something that cannot be written about enough: the casual carelessness with which many men treat the bodies of women. It seems that too many of you are in need of instruction.


Some of you beautiful idiots and brilliant lunatics have come to believe a dangerous thing. You have listened to a villain who has made a villain of you. I for one never listen to villains or degenerates. Dangerous rhetoric is the ultimate contagion. Some of you have allowed yourselves to believe that you have the right to use and abuse people with full abandon. And thus, you have been super spreaders of post traumatic stress disorder - the only mental illness that you can give someone else. I don’t know how this happened to you. I blame your mother, your father, your family, and your culture, for creating such a callous, irresponsible, degenerate of a human being; walking mental plague.

Our bodies are sacred. It doesn't matter the part. If I tell you that you may only touch the polio vaccine scar on my right shoulder, then that is the only part of me you should touch. To do anything else would be a violation. I will not easily forgive you. My reasons are simple. There is nothing that is more profoundly mine than my body. I was born with it. I have carried it with me for 30 years. If you disobey the rules I set regarding its treatment you deny me my humanity. I become something less than you. This is why there is no such thing as a small liberty when it comes to my body. Even the slightest feel could drive me to complete distraction. Every violation no matter how small is a very big deal. I find that the same is true of most of us.

This friend of mine hugged a mutual friend of ours goodbye before she left a gathering of young people (as the polite are known to do). During this brief, impossibly quick hug, he took the opportunity to slip his hand in her shirt and he didn't stop there.

His hand continued its lightning quick journey till it slid underneath her bra. Once there, he took the opportunity to grab her breast and squeeze her nipple. She was so shocked that her senses departed from her. When they returned, she grabbed his hand, pulled it out and said, "no!" The miscreant was not perturbed. He did not believe he had done anything worthy of note. I know this because after that undeniably wicked violation of my good friend’s body he asked her to come outside with him. His dedication to villainy and shamelessness is almost worthy of praise. She went home alone.


She spent the night blaming herself. Showering, and scrubbing the offended nipple more times than a nipple should ever be scrubbed. In the morning she sent him a text.


She said, "dude, I know we were joking around but you grabbing my nipple like that was TOTALLY INAPPROPRIATE and I’m really upset."

The villain was so committed to his scoundrelism that he didn't have the good sense to apologise properly.

He said, "Loool sorry."

She couldn't believe her eyes.


I imagine that she thought, "How is it that I scrubbed my nipple with great violence and gnashing of teeth only for this harbinger of misfortune to laugh out loud?"


She typed another reply.


She said, "why are you LOLing? This is serious and I'm upset."

And he said, "Ugh! I already said I'm sorry. I don't see what else I can do."


His replies were so atrocious that I was very nearly driven to madness.

To that she said, "You could not try and trivialise it by lolling for starters."


A reasonable response in my opinion.

He said, "Ugh! Why are you doing this?"

And then he proceeded to ignore the rest of her messages.

It took an angry phone call from a friend of hers and the threat of exposure to get a half serious apology out of him, but the damage had already been done. It is unlikely that she will ever speak to him again, and that is a shame for she is a credit to the human race. To know her is to be blessed with good fortune.

We should not let molesters of women roam the streets. We should not absolve them of accountability. They must be rehabilitated. We must use everything within our considerable means to ensure that they see the error of their ways. The first step? Exposure.

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I wrote this one in 2016. And my feelings haven’t changed much since. When you’re abused, or violated in some way, how is it right that you bear all the pain, while the one that hurt you gets to walk away; gets to forget?

The load is heavy, so heavy, too heavy, don’t bear it. There’s literally no shame in it. How can you feel shame for something that was done to you? Nothing you can ever do, will ever give anyone the right to abuse you.


There’s a long way to go but I’ve heard it said time and time again that if you’re not striving for something, fighting for progress, trying for change, then you’re dying in vain. We must never get tired. We can only fight. I’d be delighted if you could make a donation to an organization called Stand To End Rape. They’re fighting the good fight on our behalf. Support them.


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