Porn Addicts, Rashida White Sheep, and the Amazonian Feminists

Porn Addicts, Rashida White Sheep, and the Amazonian Feminists

These last couple of days have been quite eventful, on social media of course. Two weeks prior to that, estranged Ghanaian actress, Christabel Ekeh, m

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These last couple of days have been quite eventful, on social media of course. Two weeks prior to that, estranged Ghanaian actress, Christabel Ekeh, made the news for posting nudes of herself on her Instagram account. Shortly after, I woke up one day after a short nap to see Rashida Black Beauty “trenning” yet again on our social media space.

All I heard from commentaries on my timeline was something about flies, a bushy “punani,” and her perky breasts. Yes, the same people who claimed to be so disgusted by the said video were on my timeline giving vivid details of the video, within 2 second interval updates. It wasn’t long before I heard feminism being dragged into the matter.

(Nananom, this is the part where you hold me back before I do something that disqualifies me from ancestorhood.)

I have been quite preoccupied with trying to settle in since moving back home and so I made a pledge to let some of these idiosyncrasies pass by. I had seen a number of Facebook contacts try so hard to drag feminism into this but what moved me to this point, where I’m sitting after a long day’s hustle, behind my laptop, engaging my tired brain in serious gender analysis; is when our very own seasoned journalist, Manasseh joined in this debacle.

Part of the accusations so far include the fact that Feminists made Rashida popular by encouraging her in her first video and so are to be “solely” blamed for this sequel. And what really sparked this angle; that renowned media personality, Anita Erskine used a different approach in reaching out to the troubled teenager like any mother, big sister or friend would. Really?

Well, this seems to be their case, that feminists advocate for women to be given “agency” and “autonomy” over their own bodies and sexuality. How this has been misinterpreted to mean what the likes of Manasseh are shoving down our throats, I can’t seem to understand.

For the many of you who seem to toll this line of block-headedness, here is some little education for you: Until very recently, many societies, for the limited knowledge and appreciation of women’s biological makeup, and deep sinking male superiority thought it wise to manage and police women’s bodies and autonomy for their own material gains. To this end, practices like FGM, child marriages and certain aspects of puberty rights were instilled. As we progressed, some of the ripple effects of such norms gave birth to slut shaming, a culture that seeks to hold women to a certain kind of sexual purity standard that in the same vein pays little to no attention to how men and boys explore their own sexuality.

Till this date, many young women do not know how their bodies work; are ashamed of their sexuality or regard men’s sexuality over theirs. It is to this end the feminist movement draws attention to a long ignored fact, that women are as sensual and sexual beings as men.

Being my cousin’s maid of honour last month gave me an opportunity to be close enough to the whole marriage ceremony process as possible. And during the traditional marriage, I couldn’t contain for my life, how her husband’s sexual needs were prioritized over hers: “Never deny him sex;” “Never wear shorts to sleep;” the older women whispered in her ears.

For many societies in the world, this is how sex in marriage is usually painted: A woman was made for the man; Her body belongs to him; He has a right over her body; He determines what she does with her own body. Therefore, when feminists advocate for women’s body autonomy, we are simply saying, let the girl child know, that her body is hers; that sex is as much her right as his. When we begin to drum this in, lessons on “Consent” become easy to grasp and speaking up against sexual harassment is seen as an easy task.

Because in the absence of this, the only way society thought it wise to “manage” women’s bodies has been life threatening soltuions such as “FGM” which seeks to reduce women’s sensuality during sex, marrying girls off by their second periods to avoid “exploring” before marriage, and so on and so forth. How people can equate this simple message to what they are insinuating in this broughaha beats me, and that is why my disappointment in Manasseh keeps shooting up. Manasseh and his troops have allegations, I have a few questions?

  1. How many feminists came out during Rashida’s first video to “endorse” it. (Emphasis on endorsement)
  2. Were all those who came out to endorse it women?
  3. Did these women identify as feminists?

I ask these questions because it is becoming a new trend to blame everything on feminism. Yes! Even during Captain Mahama’s death, people found a way to drag feminism in. Secondly, in my own social media space, the people I’ve seen talk and write incessantly on Rashida are the very same people accusing “us” of making her popular. I never once shared her first video, nor give 2-minute interval updates on it informing everyone that there was such a video around. I shared Anita Erskine’s commentary on it, and then gave a two-line condemnation about the award that was given to her. I noticed this “silence” in my feminist gang on Facebook too. Others even explicitly condemned the video.

Within the last few days, it appears the people who seemed the saddest about this issue, are the same people increasing her popularity by blogging and re-blogging about her under different headlines. So who really is responsible for Rashida’s popularity? I will leave that to Manasseh and his battalion to answer.

Now, in a second article I’ve seen from Manasseh, his number one problem remains the fact that Anita Erskine “spoke too nicely” to Rashida in that letter. He seemed unhappy that she didn’t toll the usual judgmental, self-righteous route he and his followers get high off. Mr. Manasseh is unhappy, that Anita sought to see the good in all this bad, and capitalize on the positive in all of this negativity. Mr. Manasseh wished that Anita would have joined him and his foot soldiers in shredding Rashida, denigrate and mock her body, throw her to the gutters, and then go right back to church service on Sunday singing hallelujah to the “God of love.” Oh the irony of it all!

It is scenarios like these that make me bless the good Lord for my questioning tongue. Where did Anita err in her letter to Rashida? Is it the part where she resolves to channel Rashida’s strong traits to good use? Or the part where she assures Rashida that no matter how bad this looks, it is certainly “repairable”?

Only about two months ago, we were all here lamenting about Captain Mahama’s unfortunate demise at the cruel hands of the people of Denkyira. It appears we’ve soon forgotten how very much of ourselves we saw in the people of Denkyira. Here we are, a different scenario, a different situation, a different class, a different gender; but same approach to dealing with a situation we do not readily understand.

People, I am beginning to really worry about Manasseh and his troop of misogynistic male fans. I fear all this craze and noise about women’s bodies may be a cry for help, a cover up of something serious, or a deviation from their “true selves.” I grew up in Ghana, and I’ve been back for about a month now. One of my biggest convictions has been that God-fearing men are highly overrated. And because of this, nothing really, can surprise me anymore.

Watch this…

Daddy Bill Cosby in the states spent over a decade on our screens forming the ideal father figure for Black folks all over the world. Off screen, he dedicated his time to chastising Black communities about the decaying moral standards: teenage pregnancy, single motherhood, gang lifestyles, etc. Fast forward to over a decade of this charade, wait for it…Daddy Bill Cosby is accused by scores of women to have been molested by him in their teenage and childhood days. Till date, some of us lovers of the show, and his character, are yet to come to terms with this.

I could give several of such instances of popular people but let me come down to the average Christ-professing man in Ghana. I’m talking of that strict headmaster who canes girls mercilessly for wearing knee-length skirts but later ends up impregnating 12 of them in a row. Or that other headmaster who preaches chastity to young folks in his school but squeezes their tiny breasts in the same breath. What of your SU executives who guilt-trip you for being human but end up confessing to being porn addicts during one deliverance service or the well-known fact about middle Eastern societies being the biggest consumers of pornography yet having some of the world’s most insane conservative laws. Or how about the married man who slid into my DM last Friday, bragging about his prayer life yet expressing his carnal interests in me, in the same message thread.

Where am I headed with this? There is a very proven ironical fact about people who have come out doing the exact same things for which they’ve spent a huge chunk of their lives fighting against. I’m immediately also taken to the US where some of the biggest anti-gay activists emerge later as deep down closeted gay people or people with gay tendencies. It appears all the rage and antagonism is to not draw attention to these “vices” which they hope to keep secret.

Even if not Manasseh, the zeal with which his cohorts indulge in these leaked videos and nude photos, pretending to be hugely concerned for the sanity of mother Ghana is worrying. And if you keep your ears to the ground, it wouldn’t be too lost on you, how sex-crazed our society is. We cloud it with the alarms we raise about nudity and the firing squad we release on these women. But I am a young woman who grew up in this environment, and the deceit is not lost on me.

Manasseh, a self-professing gender activist has time and time again opened up his platform to the chastisement of women. His obsession began with Hamamat’s side boobs on the VGMA red carpet some two years ago. A follow up to his original blunder on the topic showcased a carefully selected photo of actress Lydia Forson in a red sultry dress with a great amount of cleavage in the full glare. And not only has he indulged himself in Rashida’s housefly infested video, his feature on her, this time featured a group of nearly naked women sitting in a row at what appears to be a concert. I am not making any allegations here, I am only trying to be as smart as he likes to be in his writings. If I were close to him, I’d be very worried. If you hate this so much, you wouldn’t be promoting those images on your platform.

In his latest piece on Rashida, he referred to feminists as “Boko Haram.” I laughed, shook my head and looked up the skies. Hear ye oh foot soldier: We are raising a battalion of Amazonian women. The very shackles of your deceit would be let loose, and your fragile egos would be fed to the dogs. We are raising an army of women, who would laugh through your attacks, sail through your propaganda and rise above your hate. You had better get used to seeing women lift each other up after a great fall, and pick the broken pieces up after a unanimous condemnation. We shall turn truants into national leaders, and deviants into game changers! Hear ye! Hear ye!

Now, for the many of you disgusted by Rashida, what she represents now in our society, and the reality it is that befalls her, what help do you have to offer beyond your slandering? Ponder over that…

 

 

Efe Plange

Efe Plange

Efe Plange is founder and editor of Sankofa Reviews. She holds a Master's degree in Rhetoric and Technical Communication from Michigan Technological University. She is passionate about the Arts and Cultural industry and her background in the field is fueled by a longstanding dream of seeing theory work together with practice. Connect with Efe on social media.
Efe Plange

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 7
  • comment-avatar

    “We are raising a battalion of Amazonian women. The very shackles of your deceit would be let loose, and your fragile egos would be fed to the dogs. We are raising an army of women, who would laugh through your attacks, sail through your propaganda and rise above your hate. You had better get used to seeing women lift each other up after a great fall, and pick the broken pieces up after a unanimous condemnation. We shall turn truants into national leaders, and deviants into game changers! Hear ye! Hear ye!”

    Beautifully and powerfully written.

    • comment-avatar

      A worthy anthem. We need to cultivate a culture where women have as many chances as possible at survival, success and redemption. We have been pitched against each other for far too long.

  • comment-avatar
    Nana Yaw 2 months

    Elegant!

  • comment-avatar

    Wow
    So inspiring

  • comment-avatar
    serwaa 2 months

    where have you been?

  • comment-avatar
    Ewura Ama 1 month

    I must say kudos for this insightful piece.

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