women deeds overshadowed by rape

#FindEpie and women’s deeds overshadowed by rape

4 minutes

A few weeks ago, I had a discussion about what rape is. Can a woman be accused of being at fault because she was raped? Does her behaviour can give a man a good reason to rape her? Does the fact that men “cannot refrain themselves” mean that women should always be careful with them? Can anything justify rape?

I do not think so. I do not think any woman deserves to be raped, no matter what she did. I will never be for any man raping any woman on this Earth. Please, bear that in mind while reading this text.

Yesterday night I heard about Epie, a Cameroonian man who raped a young woman, taped it and posted it on social media before leaving the country. He is supposedly  in Dubai now, from what I read on social media. The hashtag #FindEpie is trending among the Cameroonian Twitter community, and people ask for him to be punished for what he did. I totally agree with them. Epie should be found and pay for his crime: he should apologize publically to this young woman just as he publically disgraced her,  and be jailed for a very, very long time.

Though the “Epie case” was the one that inspired this text, its focus is not on that story. What I want to talk about is how far narratives can take people. What I want to talk about is how “trending fights” can sometimes make the mass lose sight of what is good or bad.

I wish to repeat this before going further. Nothing can justify rape on this Earth.

A few centuries ago, it was all about men. They were kings in every domain and since women were historically and religiously created after them, they were supposed to come second, or even better, not to come at all. They had to fight restlessly and even to the cost of their lives to make their voice heard, to be granted basic rights, to earn respect and to be emancipated in communities and societies. Gender issues are central to everything today. Women deserve everything they acquired through these fights and even more.

Nonetheless, the movements born from these battles and the narrative associated to them should not rewrite the same script with a different cast.

The French writer Audrey Pulvar was criticised yesterday morning on Twitter because she said she was against the communitarianism born from fights against racism. Black people were ostracized for centuries and still are, so now some of the movements promoting them tend to be against White people or to ban them from their events. They seem to do exactly what was done to them without realising it because they do it for their emacipation.

This is exactly what I want to pinpoint. The fact that fights for freedom can sometimes lead to the reproduction of what is fought against. Men were untouchable no matter what they did. Women were to blame. Always. No matter what they did or did not do. Today, they became untouchable, to the point that it is now delicate to rise a bad deed from them. One can be accused of being disrespectful or being against women to be recognised as human beings with full potential, just as men.

What we teach today to our daughters, sisters, mentees or whatever is they are untouchable no matter what they do. Because of emancipation. Men do not have the right to molest them, so everything they do will go unseen because everybody will always point fingers at men. Epie raped a woman, taped it and posted on social media. Before he raped her, they had a discussion. The woman took money from him for whatever reason and he felt swindled. He called her, promising more money, and she ran to him.

I know people will throw stones at me but the question has to be asked: why is it that virtually no one questioned her behaviour. Does her being raped cancels the fact that as a young woman, she used her beauty to swindle a man? Let me repeat this once again. Nothing justifies rape. Never. But highlighting a bad behaviour while silencing another one makes it look like the silenced one is ok.

Men should not rape. Women should not hide behind the false pretense that historical fights for their emancipation justify everything they do. The first time I said this, I was accused of being for rape. I am not for rape. Rape has nothing to do with this since it should not be considered as punishment for women’s behaviour. The problem is rape tends to overshadow scourges virtually no one addresses.

I am  not for rape. I am for educating everyone, be they boys or girls, men or women, when it comes to what is good and what is bad, when it comes to human values. Centuries of molestation does not justify reckless behaviour and bad deeds because of emancipation. Let’s demand for what we can uphold ourselves.

Epie should be found and punished. The young woman should be found and educated on the values she should stand for as a woman. She, just as every woman, should be educated on the fact that emancipation does not mean immunity.

Photo: Thomson Reuters

  • Show Comments (3)

  • palavawoman

    Men and women are supposed to negotiate sexual interactions in a manner that is fair to both parties. However, we know that just by how our communities are structured, that is virtually impossible. Politically, economically, socially, men have pretty much all the capital and we feed on the dregs they allow us. Even the laws of the country support this. We as women exist in this space where using our bodies to get the favor of men, whether by marriage (why purity is so highly valued in women but not men) or any other means is often the only option we have to access resources. We also exist in a culture where while men are relatively free to explore their sexuality and set boundaries, we don’t have that prerogative. All these things are deliberately engineered to keep women in a certain position relative to men.

    She, despite, all this exercised her sexual prerogative (and this is what I suspect most people have a problem with) just as he did by sweetening the pot with resources she presumably didn’t have. The question of what happened before that moment when she expressed her desire to stop and he ignored it, is really null and void, because they both were in agreement. This is also assuming she is an adult. From what I hear, she isn’t. If she is a minor, then you have to ask yourself if he was even aware that regardless of what she was saying or promising, he would be the one at fault for sexually engaging a minor because he is expected as an adult to exercise restraint and respect the law.

    But when have Cameroonian men ever cared about this?

    But we live in a society where women are there for men’s enjoyment and use and if she, regardless of her age or ability to make good decisions, says yes, then what more is needed? Even if she does something human like change her mind later?

    When she expressed her desire to stop, he had many options. He could have stopped and demanded everything he gave her and that would have been his prerogative too. He could have stopped and figured out what the issue is and found a way to arrive at a palatable solution for them both and if she was tricking him, see the previous statement. There are lots of options he could have taken which did not involve him forcing himself on her (and then to post it online). He’s not a mindless animal.
    He like most men in our society has zero respect for women and knows very well our communities are designed to blame women for everything bad that happens to them. She could have gone there as a girl in love with him and some of us would still be asking why she went? We’ve seen this happen already.

    So the fact remains that the money he gave her was a symbolic, to make what is clearly not a fair exchange seem like a fair exchange. That is why a paltry 2500FCFA was enough reason for him to humiliate her like this. He did it because he knew he could and from the number of people negotiating her humanity, I can see why.

  • Jude randze

    I think our laws should be toughened to deal drastically with Rapist’s. No woman deserves to be Raped or forced to have sex with . It’s a shame that many years after embracing “Civilization” some Men (Idiots) still find pleasure in degrading women . I strongly condemn these actions and hope we will live to see that day where women would be treated as equals . Until then : RESPECT TO ALL WOMEN

  • Norglad Niyaba

    I personally think every rapist should be killed.
    But then I think this “Epie” guys actions have a beneficial aspect to a community in which majority of women think it is normal to swindle men, using sex as a tool.. as a weapon. We Cameroonians are all conscious of what some of our girls do for money. The victim also probably promised sexual gratification to Epie.
    I think this is a needed lesson for Cameroonian girls. When you play with fire you get the warmth and the light but you can also get burnt. Actions have consequences.

    I repeat. I personally think every rapist should be killed.

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