It builds on an Op-Ed article written by Nyana Kakoma on sexual harassment in Daily Monitor. The piece, that we absolutely loved here at Mon pi Mon and shared on Facebook was titled “Stop letting them get away with it.”
I hope there is something in this for us to learn. To re-learn that a woman’s body is her own and should not be used as and when a man feels like. That we should take back our bodies and not accept the assault we have settled for. That we (and the justice system) will know that a man does not have to rape you for him to sexually assault you. For us to know that we have the right to feel safe in our bodies and in our homes and in our friends’ homes without worrying about a man’s entitlement to our bodies. I hope that parents, while telling their daughters to dress decently, will tell their sons that a woman’s body is her own.
But you should read the whole piece here.
Then after you’ve done that, read the email message that Nyana Kakoma shares on Sooo Many Stories today.
Excerpt from email:
Telling off every boda man and every shop attendant in kikuubo eventually becomes tedious. And it can be very dangerous, too. Once, I told some guy off for touching me. You know those bu stalls of second hand clothes opposite Mukwano Arcade? Yeah, that’s where I was. I was just passing through, on my way to the Old Taxi Park. I didn’t want to buy anything, but men kept touching me. So this one guy grabs my wrist, just like that, he grabs my wrist! At first, I play it down. I tell him to let go of me. He refuses. I ask again. He refuses. So I blow a fuse and tell him off! But—guess what happened? All his bu shop-attendant buddies surrounded me. They didn’t just threaten to beat me for feeling ‘wo’, they kept asking who I thought I was, and why did I think I was too special to be touched, they also insulted me. On my way back home, I thought about what had just happened and decided it wasn’t worth it. It just gets to that point where, between threats of physical violence and letting some man touch you, you choose the latter. It’s not right and its not ideal, but that’s what happens in societies like ours.
Read the entire post on Sooo Many Stories, and join the conversation.
Do uninvited touches from men count as sexual harassment? What can we do to have our spaces and bodies respected? Please share your thoughts and experiences.