When raping grandmums is a joke, you know we have a problem

The first joke goes something like this.

There was a convict who had spent many years in prison. He decides that the first woman he lays eyes on, he’s going to rape. He gets out and the first woman he sees is an old woman missing almost all her teeth. He decides to go ahead but shows pity by counting the number of teeth in her mouth and raping her by that count. And when he’s done as he gets up to go, she grabs his hand. She opens her mouth wide, points and says there’s one more at the back.

The second joke is about the mad man who grabs a woman walking past him and starts to rape her. She screams for help “He’s raping me, he’s a mad man help me” People rush to her aid but by the time they get there, her screams have changed to soft tones from underneath the man. Between her softened notes of pleasure she says to her rescuers “leave him, he’s just a mad man, leave him”

I heard these jokes growing up as a kid. They were usually told by guys my age and we all laughed at the hilarity of it. Male and Female. It wasn’t inconceivable to us that a rape victim would begin to take pleasure from her assault. It also didn’t seem odd to us that a man-deprived of sex for that long,-would be so crazed with konji that a grandmother would just have to do. We understood. Women are there for men’s taking and when they do get taken, they enjoy it. They may fight at first, scream for help but ultimately, they’ll love it.

These jokes are just one of the manifestations of Rape Culture in Nigeria.

The website Force: Upsetting Rape Culture describes Rape Culture as follows:

Rape culture includes jokes, TV, music, advertising, legal jargon, laws, words and imagery, that make violence against women and sexual coercion seem so normal that people believe that rape is inevitable. Rather than viewing the culture of rape as a problem to change, people in a rape culture think about the persistence of rape as “just the way things are.”

Basketmouth, the comedian, came under fire last year for telling a rape joke.  By June of the same year, he had sold out tickets to his show. Little to no consequences really. He also has his own version of the Granny Rape joke:

Yet again, we don’t see anything wrong with the robbers substituting money for forced sex. The old women want to be raped because they have not had sex in ages. A dick is always welcome. That’s a bit like saying that I haven’t been pampered in ages, please let me fall sick so that I can get some loving.

I think it is shameful the way society trivializes sexual violence towards women. Despite the awareness Lotanna Igwe-Odunze has raised about sexual violence as an issue, the name Sugabelly will swiftly become a punchline or a noun.

Zaddy Ziya @kokomaster200

Sugabelly- fool (Noun)
Sugabellied- fooled (Verb)5:38 PM – Nov 27, 2015Twitter Ads info and privacySee Zaddy Ziya ‘s other Tweets

We can choose to laugh when these jokes are told or we can acknowledge that we are kids no longer.

A last word from Wikipedia (my padi) :

By only focusing on deviant individuals who commit sexual violence, it is forgotten that society influences and reinforces the mindset that these individuals have.

When you laugh at a rape joke, you are reinforcing to a rapist that it is okay. And, to be clear, it is not.

Photo Credit: Steve Schwartz via Compfight cc