When Tech Slut Shamed!

I have lost count of the introductions I had to erase before settling on this one for this topic. Truth be told, I am still struggling to put together a coherent introduction on this matter. Regardless of what I write, I will be coming across as a sanctimonious twerp trying to act all high and mighty. Or I will just be that perverted Muslim boy talking about a prickly issue with no shame.

Last semester, I sat through an hour and half of unending monologues filled with the word “VAGINA”. It was an uncomfortable experience for some unexplainable reason. The repeated use of the word was cringe worthy and so was my failure to comprehend why. A vagina is a body part just like the mouth so why then break a sweat when the former is mentioned?

Lucidity came my way the second I remembered the use of the organ. SEX; the elephant in the room we never talk about. It is such an abominable topic yet it the primary activity which brought about our existence. People move mountains to experience it. Others bind themselves in life long contracts, which of course can be abrogated, just to have it in a morally acceptable fashion. Why then do we shy away from the topic?

Most Ghanaian teenagers learn about sex from the screens of laptops and smartphones. When parents run away from giving their children “The Talk”, cheap pornographic videos and sexualized peers fill the gap. So we grow up having warped ideas of what sex really is about and its locus in our lives. What we learn is a heavily patriarchal representation of this God ordained and nature sustaining activity which puts the needs of the man ahead of the pleasures of his spouse.

Boys grow up infused with the belief that they can get what they want from a woman in whatsoever fashion. This gives rise to the rape culture. The heaping of blame on the victim of rape and not the actual perpetrators. Rape culture essentially exonerates a man from culpability, perpetuating his hegemony over sex.

Subtly, an extension of this hegemony legitimizes the leaking of sex tapes by a party in a consenting sexual act, usually the male, without the approval of the other. Universities in Ghana have had unending cases of sex tape leaks. Some were released for unwholesome public consumption by both parties, others by third parties trying to play some prank on friends. And then there are those which crawl into our whatsapp group chats unleashed by peeved boyfriends and male “one night standers”.

The latter is usually the case. You have a boy peeved at his girl for breaking up him. With the mind of a class two kid who snitches on a friend for refusing to share his food with him, such boys virally share the videos or pictures which usually do not have the image of the boys in it.

A couple of days ago, one of such sex tapes found its way into our conversations. The video in question is reportedly that of a first year student of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. A number of questions have popped up like pimples on a teenager’s face but very few are focused on the boy who most likely released the video (given his face is not in it). All the fingers point to the girl in a classic show of slut shaming.

It is very silly to record yourself while having sex regardless of your marital status. Premarital sex is already heavily frowned upon in our socioeconomic setting so when you put your business on camera, the societal back clash is magnified. However, rumor has it that the girl in question did not even know she was being recorded. Maybe she did maybe she did not. Maybe she even consented to the release of the video as we are yet to hear her. You will be amazed at the lengths to which people go to be Instagram and Twitter famous these days.

Let us just presume she did not consent to the release. The fallout from this episode suggests such a presumption is true. Is the sharing of this video intended to punish her? For what sin exactly? The same sin most of those sharing and forwarding the video indulge in freely albeit under the covers of the darkness and far away from the lens of a camera?

A day or so after the leak, news came in of a public “screening” of the video by some boys in KNUST as well as a night “vigil” held by the same boy until the girl in the video was identified. Slut shaming could not get any worse than that. The intent of this amassing of brutishness is lost on me. You wonder who appointed these guys guardians of morality. Knowing how boys from single sex halls in universities act once in a crowd, I am tempted to disregard this as “crowd mentality” gone super rogue. These are the same guys who show their buttocks while “charging”. But that makes me a part of this culture of always excusing men/boys for their stupidity.

What is currently going through the head of the girl is most likely traumatizing. You could only imagine what her family is facing at the moment. This tide would most definitely subdue in a week or two. What would not subdue anytime soon is the madness perpetrated by the boys who displayed the video in public and the cover under which some men continue to use to shame their sexual partners.

I could hit you with the “it could be your sister or mother” talk to dissuade you from forwarding such videos in the future or even leaking one if you happen to be a custodian of such videos, but that is a worn out plea. If only the law worked and such invasion of privacy was punishable by hefty sentences, people would start to smarten up.

 

 

2 thoughts on “When Tech Slut Shamed!

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  1. The law helps the ladies lately. I remember a chap being sentences heavily in similar case.
    It’s apathetic how these videos manages not to show the faces of those who record them. Sadly, though, we hail the the wicked ones and jail the innocent in our own mentality.

    Like

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