Most days I wish I was born in a different era. I walk around feeling like the enemy, painted a monster by actions of another when the most hurt I have brought to a woman was breaking her heart. Causing pain can never be justified but sometimes you have to choose between being in love and your sanity, I chose my sanity.

I know how it feels to love someone who has been hurt, not heartbreak type hurt but someone who had choice taken away from her. It took a lot of trust for her to share her truth with me and even though we are no longer together, I still recall the pain in her voice as she told me that she spent most days fighting off the flashbacks. Sometimes I would catch glimpses of her shutting down when men got too close, paranoia would sit on her face and she would go back to that moment she spent every day trying to forget.

It was bad enough that she couldn’t escape that moment but what made it was worse was the guilt she placed on herself. Blaming herself for being at the wrong place, at the wrong time. I tried telling her not to think that way but she’d show me how women are told they shouldn’t dress in a way that entices a man to want them, that she shouldn’t be out too late or that being a woman came with a target. Men are allowed to be sexual and they were reduced to being mere tools to satisfy men. She said times had changed and she didn’t agree with what feminism is. Feminism needs to be more than a war between genders but she was willing to accept anything that would give women a voice and a chance to fight for their humanity back.

Women have it hard right now. Facing challenges on every front, working to be recognized for their efforts in their careers, in their homes and even in schools. Women have it hard and men are making it worse. Placing emphasis on women on what they need to do to avoid being assaulted or harassed not only places the responsibility solely on them but also the blame if the tragedy ever befalls them.

The world is tense right now, the lines are blurred, some fear being accused of rape by a jilted lover and others don’t know that they are committing rape. Rape is not always violent. Rape is also not gender centric. Women can be rapists too but as man, I feel I should address my brothers first.

Instead of teaching women how to avoid being raped, men should be taught the importance of consent. Men need to know that no means no, and if someone says yes and that later becomes a “no”, then it is no and they need to stop. Men are not taught about consent, instead they are told sex is something that should happen between couples and the media implies women that they like it fast and rough. Even the bible says that a man and wife cannot use sex as a punishment, so if a spouse is not in the mood because of anger, can they say no and not be committing a sin?

Entitlement to ones body shows a lack of respect that cannot be explained or quantified. Just because you are a husband or a boyfriend, your desires do not supersede hers and because you take her out for drinks or a date, you can not expect sex in return. Women have a right to own their sexuality, the right to have a say over what happens to their bodies.

Jade Novelist ©️ 2018

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